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  #1  
Old 24 Aug 2007, 16:58
Skipsoutdoors Skipsoutdoors is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Google AdSense

Has anyone found a viable alternative to these people?

I don't understand their formula for figuring out what they owe you. When I contracted with them a year ago they were paying me $12 to $15 per day and at times $20. Over time their payments decreased and decreased and decreased all the while my traffic going up.

They've now gotten to the point that if I see $4 in a day I think I've hit the jackpot, and I know better than that. My traffic today is approximately 60% greater today than it was a year ago when they were paying $12. To give a more recent example last month my traffic (even according to their BS o meter) was 30% lower than my traffic to this point this month has been yet Google had tallied about 25% more pay last month than so far this month.

I'm about to tell them to take their crap and stick it where the sun doesn't shine if their payments do not improve in the near future.

Skip
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  #2  
Old 24 Aug 2007, 19:34
mtlcore mtlcore is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
It would help if you gave some traffic stats.
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  #3  
Old 24 Aug 2007, 20:10
Skipsoutdoors Skipsoutdoors is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
About 230,000 hits/day on 35,000 page turns/day 1000+ uniques.

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  #4  
Old 25 Aug 2007, 04:00
mtlcore mtlcore is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Ok, I looked over your site. IMHO the ads on top right and left corners are just ugly.. The visitor wants to browse the real content. I have ads setup just above the navbar but I only have one block. Also remove the ads between thread listing, it might bring u some money but users will tend to run away. Try adding ads after last post.

That's all.

PS: will u be changing the color scheme in the near future?
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  #5  
Old 25 Aug 2007, 13:57
relivo relivo is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
You really need some work done on your forum In all honesty, the second I would go there if I was a guest I would have clicked the X and closed it.

Why? You have 5 Google AdSense related ads in the header before I even know the name of your site or know what is going on.

Good luck with your forum
Kolby Bothe
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  #6  
Old 25 Aug 2007, 20:02
Ted S Ted S is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
For the most part, Google pays based on action (clicks), not traffic. If your visitors increase 10x but your clicks don't, your revenue wouldn't go up. The first stat you should be looking at is your CTR and the number of clicks you're getting. Is that up 50% from a year ago or down? Having your ads all crammed at the top of the site not only negatively impacts the user experience but many repeat users will unconsciously skip over the ads -- we call it ad blindness. By integrating your ads within relevant content areas you can increase clicks and decrease user abandonment.

Furthermore, Google uses a system to determine quality -- sites that send poorly converting traffic make less per click than those that send good traffic. If your site is driving bad traffic or if people click ads thinking it's content (false clicks) and then back out, you're going to see a sharp decline in earnings. The only way to address this is by sending better quality traffic. If you can't do that, consider trying other programs -- Google Adsense can be very profitable but it is not the only advertising program out there nor is it ideal for all sites. In the PPC world there are companies like Yahoo Publisher Network, Adbrite and Clicksor. In the CPM world there's standard internet, burst, castle, 247, valueclick and dozens of other networks.
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  #7  
Old 26 Aug 2007, 08:58
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Hendrizius Hendrizius is offline
 
Join Date: May 2007
I personally do not like google ADsense too, but there are not many alternatives. With only one false-click you can already be kicked out of the network. I have already been kicked twice, but after discussing the data my Account was re-enabled.

I am currently trying to switch over to Etology. They pay you 75 % of the money which advertisers invest and also have a feature where advertisers can directly buy advertisments on your website. This is really good for finding new partners. Have a look here to see how paying would look like. I find it very handy but I just have started with etology aswell. Before I have been trying to use ADbrite or Zanox. I did not like both very much. Zanox is an affiliate program, you get money if people buy something over the ADs on your website, usually about 15 %. Well I have not been paid for 2 months that's why I skipped it....

Google ADsense is very good for displaying Content realted Advertisments and is unique currently with that feature. There is no other AD-Program which can display as content-related-Advertisments as Google-ADsense. Unfortunately google has strict rules (3-ADs per page, ban on 1 click) and only pays 50 %. I got about 120 clicks per day and only get 10 $, that is not very much.

To pit it into a nutshell, try using etology or zanox =). And yes, your forum is awfull, you need to rework it =). On my website (d3scene.com) only guests see Advertisments which is very handy for members as they keep visiting your website.
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Last edited by Dan; 04 Sep 2007 at 20:48. Reason: Removed affliate id
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  #8  
Old 28 Aug 2007, 13:29
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danward danward is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
IMO your design and layout need a serious overhaul. The colours clash and the layout is not particularly user friendly. I recommend more subtle colour schemes, smaller fonts, and maybe some simple graphics? Sorry, however, that I am no help with your adsense question.
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  #9  
Old 30 Aug 2007, 12:24
Skipsoutdoors Skipsoutdoors is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Originally Posted by danward View Post
smaller fonts,
We have a lot of older members with short arm disease. The larger bolder font is easier for them to read.

99.99% of the return visitors enter at a forum level, I've thought of eliminating the home page altogether. We have a high rate of return visitors. Many have been on the forums for 4 or 5 years.

Skip
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  #10  
Old 31 Aug 2007, 17:45
linesider linesider is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Skip - I run a fishing forum too, with roughly similar traffic. Making less money now than I was for 4 months in the winter time. I've seen the quality of the ads tank a bit and they are certainly paying less - going from 20-35 per day to 2-5 per day. Thems the breaks with forums. Your users are becoming blinded to the ads too...

While my site is not anywhere near where I expect it to be, it is a lot easier on the eyes than your site. I would recommend you look through come of the skins available for vbadvanced and the forum and get one nicer on the eyes. It will only help the board. I imagine you could go another step and have two different versions of the same style. Instead of High Bandwidth - Low Bandwidth Choices, you could have 20/20 Vision style and Geezer styles

I would recommend reducing some of the ads and changing the style. If the ad style is hurting, you may not be getting the return you could hope for.

Good luck
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  #11  
Old 01 Sep 2007, 12:43
Skipsoutdoors Skipsoutdoors is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
That was kind of what I did with the reason the forum home displays the categories and forums in a list as opposed to all the forums. Our load times are pretty fast given what we are serving. I went through it in the spring and dropped my bandwidth usage by 1/3 doing it the way I did it by taking the images off the forum home and still keeping the category tabs having related forums and listing like they used to on forum home, just less forums. Those little arrows and bullet points and locks and such aren't much but by the time they load 57 times each on forum home it's a lot too much.

The colors are a little wild, but at one time we had a camo background. It was too difficult to load so the idea was to create a background with camo colors in html. I also like the fact that it's a fairly distinctive color set. That way it doesn't look like the other 6,799 hunting forums on the net.

The traffic's not the issue. Google screwing me on payment for their ads is.

The way I look at it is this. I buy ads for my daytime business in a local news paper. An ad of any reasonable size costs $150 or so. This newspaper has about 3500 subscribers and publishes weekly or 4 times a month. There are roughly 45 pages to the newspaper and no guarantee that all of the 3500 people will see my ad. More to the point, most people who read a newspaper only read about 1/3 of the paper. So if my ad is in the sports section, the people who read the headlines, business news, and lifestyle section do not see it.

With close to 6000 uniques viewing per month, that's equivalent to a newspaper with nearly twice the number of subscribers as the News Journal I advertise in. Those 6000 people make about 30,000 visits on the website in a month. Roughly equivalent to twice the size of the newspaper's monthly reads from subscribers. Those same subscribers viewed 700,000 pages this month - way above the newspaper's rate. The advantage of this style advertising is since the same ad blocks appear on every page, people can't miss them. It's not like I put google's ad in the Georgia Land Lease forum and it only got viewed by 150 people this week.

If Google would advertise something hunters would be interested in IE: Treestands, bows, etc they might get a little more activity. I don't know any hunter that's interested in a bullet proof vest that Google insists on advertising.

Skip
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  #12  
Old 03 Sep 2007, 03:45
jeremyalyea jeremyalyea is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
I know it has been said already. But you should consider a new skin. It would probably be worthwhile to consider paying someone to create a custom skin for you if you are serious about your site.
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  #13  
Old 03 Sep 2007, 06:42
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SEOvB SEOvB is offline
 
Join Date: May 2007
Real name: Jarvis
Originally Posted by Skipsoutdoors View Post

If Google would advertise something hunters would be interested in IE: Treestands, bows, etc they might get a little more activity. I don't know any hunter that's interested in a bullet proof vest that Google insists on advertising.

Skip
Here sounds like a large problem itself then. You aren't getting targeted ads to your site. You need to move the ad blocks around some put them closer to the content instead of at the top and you should start seeing improvements.

Switching the color of the ads from time to time maybe worth your time as well.
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  #14  
Old 03 Sep 2007, 07:30
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Dean C Dean C is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Real name: Dean Clatworthy
Originally Posted by Skipsoutdoors View Post
We have a lot of older members with short arm disease. The larger bolder font is easier for them to read.

99.99% of the return visitors enter at a forum level, I've thought of eliminating the home page altogether. We have a high rate of return visitors. Many have been on the forums for 4 or 5 years.

Skip
If a user has problems reading fonts on the web, they should increase their global font-size, not have you increase the font-size for ALL users who use your website.

Now, to answer your question. I think part of it is how competitive the advertising market has got over the last couple of years. Advertisers are willing to pay less, users are becoming more adverse to advertising that isn't relevant to them.

I have to be honest too, as a user who has just come to your site, if I had an interest in outdoor sports, i'd close it almost straight away. The design is horrificly bad. Light text on dark backgrounds is much harder to read on the web, and on top of that you have these horribly big fonts. Yes, you may have to cater for disabled users, but accessibility can be provided by using ems for font-sizes, and then the user can increase their browser font-size and enjoy a pleasurable experience across all their sites, and not have EXTRA big font sizes on yours.

A good accessible, usable design will make your advertising seem less intrusive, and users will click on your ads more as they won't stick out like a sore thumb.
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  #15  
Old 04 Sep 2007, 11:33
linesider linesider is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Skip, the other problem with Adsense and our types of outdoor sport/rec boards seems to be that there are a lot of boards out there getting tons of hits a day and burning though potential advertisers.

How about looking into swapping some ad space reserved for Google and selling advertising space to someone else direct - that way yu make all of the coin
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