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Here's to AdSense and our upcoming 15th year together

5:06 pm on Dec 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from CA 

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joined:Nov 25, 2003
votes: 341

Back in the mid-90s, burned out, with a hatred for retail and the telephone that took several years to subside below seething, I decided to see about turning a computer slash programming slash DB design hobby into a business. So went to college as an ancient student in CS (three quarters of my class were over 30).

It's all in the timing. And my timing was atrociously delightful! I went with several final year classmates to a job fair for programmers: 5-solid offers in March evaporated by May. Only one of us (not me) still had one left on the table. Bust went the dotCom boom. So I dusted off a class assignment business plan and went into the webdev business for myself.

A couple years later I heard excited chat about something called AdSense. In November 2003 I trialled it. And simply could not believe the numbers. I kept running tests and they kept handily out performing the control (existing affiliate revenue stream) tenfold. It was truly mind boggling. By February 2004 AdSense was 99% of revenue and I'd thought the relegated 1% decent for the time and effort. AdSense changed everything.

It shrunk the time I'd planned to need for full (English) build out from never ending to 4-years. It covered upfront translation costs for French and Spanish language sites in the 3rd through 5th years. It paid for the shift from stock to custom imagery. For multimedia.

Mostly via AdSense revenue I could sell out of my then major niche for an amount that allowed the undertaking of my Great Chinese Adventure in 2012, which has become almost as rich a lode as the English language sites.

Yes, there is no AdSense on the Chinese language sites. And over time AdSense has largely been replaced on all other sites by direct ad space sales such that what was 90%+ of their revenue is now less than 9. However, the growth in site number and size since 2003 means that even now AdSense provides a comfortable income stream. While having paid the cost of truly explosive business growth for the past 14 years. A growth that would have been far far slower, if possible at all, without it.

* thank you, CS technical writing class, for requiring a webdev business plan.
* thank you, dotCom bust, for vanishing those programming jobs.
* and thank you, AdSense, not simply for making dreams come true but for making them both greater and sooner real than I'd ever imagined possible.
It's been a truly wild, AdSense primary booster fuelled, ride to date.

Here's toasting heartfelt thanks to the past and great cheers to the future!
6:29 pm on Dec 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from GB 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 29, 2005
votes: 118

Agreed a roller coast ride.

My son, he must have been about 16 at the time, made so much money from Adsense he managed to buy a brand new car on the earnings. He was the best dressed boy in his class, with all the latest gadgets, for many years. His niche was cheats for console games. Then one day his whole business just went down and down and down. He never regrets it, He was at the right place at the right time and it lasted more than five years.

My story was much more sedate. I developed in a more long term niche but progress was slow. In the end though, it seems the tortoise has won. Without Adsense I would financially be ....well who knows, somewhere else. Adsense has freed me up from working for someone else - the #*$! involved in working for others is, for me, unbelievably, mind bendingly boring, disappointing and a self-destructive experience.

I regret not one single jot in developing my own websites and Adsense has been the corner stone. Thank you Adsense.
10:14 pm on Dec 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Aug 14, 2014
votes: 89

Hear, hear.

Adsense was a life-changer for many, myself included. It allowed me to leave a job I once-loved and now-hated (no thanks to clueless / egocentric leadership). Finished my degree, paid off all my debt and the new-found mobility allowed me to move to the area of my choice.

While the numbers are not what they use to be now in 2017, I would be somewhere very different was it not for Adsense (and no doubt working for someone else). It'll be thirteen years next year for me - thirteen years made possible by this program. The ups and downs have been very much worth it.

So I raise my glass with the others at this table, Thank you Adsense.