Sunday, February 19, 2023

Valentine’s Day and I Broke Up with Google AdSense

Examples from desktop and mobile of our site perverted by Google Ads
Examples of desktop and mobile blog site perverted by Google AdSense. The ads have nothing to do with the content, which gets pushed down the page.

We tried an experiment with Google AdSense on our blogger site: It didn't go as planned. We are breaking up with Google AdSense. It's not been a good relationship.

What was our goal with enabling ads?
  • Recuperate a little money for things like SSL certificates.
  • Cover some of our cloud service expenses.
  • We were hoping to make $2 day.

What was the result?
  • After almost one year, we made < $40. (That’s less than 10 cents a day.)
  • We turned an okay looking web site into a very ugly looking web site. Specifically:
    • If ads showed up, they were just horrible and not at all targeted to the content.
    • Many times (on older posts?), nothing showed up and just lots of white space pushing the “content” way down the page.
    • Admittedly, we didn’t experiment that much with where to put ads and took the advice of the AdSense site.
  • We spent a lot of time trying to satisfy the AdSense “system”. It took weeks to get approval.
  • We are glad we tried, but it was a failure.
  • We ended up making less than 10 cents a day at a severe cost to the usability of the site.

What went wrong?
  • Our biggest mistake was basing our estimations on blogger stats. You must use the Google Search Console to calculate your real visitors per day. Doh!
  • Our blog has low but consistent traffic; it's not a good candidate for ads.
  • We are not promoting our blog in any way, on any other media. So, we are not actively driving traffic to it. We are not the types to do that.
  • Our expectation that ads would be minimal, and we had a niche following so ads would be very targeted both turned out to be wrong! Your site/blog has to have large numbers of visitors first and foremost.
How else could we make $40 a year?
  • We can save this amount of money doing small things around the house; reduce gas and water usage for example.
  • We could put a buy me a coffee link or donation link on the site.
  • We can work extra at our "day" jobs.
  • We can eat out one less time per year.
  • We can look for loose change on our friends' couches.

The most annoying thing about this Google AdSense experiment?

  • The user experience. Is there no other way to make tasteful ads and not make pages so ugly?
  • We hate seeing ads because we use my own blog daily to look up stuff and it killed us to see it so littered with ads. And, I hate the idea of what viewers (and we have a consistent few daily) think of us for having ads.


All comments go through a moderation process. Even though it may not look like the comment was accepted, it probably was. Check back in a day if you asked a question. Thanks!