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Getting rid of Google Adsense

Careful! This post is looking a little old and could be inaccurate in many, many ways

Every now and again I see the discussion over the addition of ads on the website of a web professional. Some feel it devalues the website; others are just trying to make a little extra cash. Personally I think it’s all about context and how the ads are integrated into the website.

When designing the previous version of my website I added in some Google ads to see if I could get the website paying for itself. It also gave me some experience on how to integrate and customise the ads. It was all seen as a bit of a test and it failed miserably. In 1½ years Google registered 13,018 impressions, 8 clicks and an most excellent earnings of 39p.

Surely enough to retire on.


There are a few different factors as to why the ads failed so spectacularly:

  1. Positioning
    Although positioned high up the page, well above the fold the ads were not in a normal position most might expect on a blog.
  2. Styling
    I purposely styled the ads to fit with my design, doing so hid them from view.
  3. Irrelevant ads
    Sometimes Google wouldn’t always pick the most relevant ads to show on a particular page and for the audience my site should attract.
  4. Audience figures
    To date my website has never garnered high traffic figures, so with a click thru rate of 0.06% I really needed high traffic to convert that into high earnings.
  5. Target Audience
    I’m a web designer and I rarely click on ads. I write about web design mainly and assume those looking at my site work in or around that field, so it can be assumed these people like myself don’t click on ads much either.

Come on we can fix this, we have the technology

Sure if the ads were my primary consideration when redesigning my website I could have done a few things to make them stand out more. Although getting a bit of extra money from ads would be nice I’m not going to do anything that may distract users from the content or do anything that may harm a person’s impression of the site or me, at least not on purpose.

So I kicked them into touch

Simply put the ads weren’t working; I wasn’t prepared to go to great lengths to improve the CTR so they’ve gone. I still like the idea of the website paying for itself but if it ever will it first needs a bit more traffic and possibly something a little more suitable, like fusionads.

In the meantime however my site remains advert free.