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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

February AdSense Summary

Someone said they were interested in my AdSense statistics, so I'll make this a separate post rather than a footnote in a Reader Mail post.

My AdSense earnings for February were $41.22, for a daily average of $1.53. That is a decline from $45.59, averaging $1.82 a day in January, for a partial month.

Based on this trend, I should go over $100 total in March and get my first AdSense check by the end of May. Google only pays you once you go over $100, and then 1.5 months later. It appears that I'm justified spending $20/month on hosting. I'll have another 2-3 months of data before making my decision.

Despite having 20% more pageviews, my earnings decreased. My page eCPM decreased by 34%. This appears to be affecting all ad networks and not just AdSense. Due to the recession/depression, online advertising rates have been slashed.

My standard deviation in February was $3.56! There were a couple of days where Google suspiciously reported zero ad clickthroughs. A "typical" day has 1-2 ad clickthroughs. Then, I got a huge credit of $19 on Friday, February 27, all at once. I was concerned about click fraud or getting banned. It appears that there was an error on Google's side and they "caught up", giving me a huge credit all at once.

I had substantially more traffic, while my AdSense revenue decreased. Still, I earned enough to pay for hosting. My site traffic continues to grow, which is the important thing.

I had 5625 Absolute Unique Visitors in February, compared with 4169 in January. That still is less than my all-time record of 6887 in October 2008. "The Amero Subterfuge" temporarily ranked high in Google for the keyword "Amero", which was a popular search term.

The week of 2/22/09 to 2/28/09 was a new weekly traffic record of 1952 Absolute Unique Vistors, compared to 1948 on 11/2/08 to 11/8/08.

On February 26, I set a new single-day traffic record of 766 Absolute Unique Visitors, due to this reddit thread citing Relativity Fnord. They weren't even citing my article. They were discussing that long comment! That Reddit thread sent 502 visitors to my blog. This shattered my previous record of 472 Absolute Unique Visitors on October 23. My AdSense earnings for that day were only $0.02, but Google may have had an error on their side.

I noticed a weird pattern on Reddit. If someone cites my blog on Reddit, most of the traffic comes within the first few hours. Reddit citations have a very short life. By the time I noticed it, the traffic spike was over.

AdSense doesn't seem to be giving me credit for all my pageviews. According to Google Analytics, I had 12,072 PageViews. According to AdSense, I had 10,782 PageViews. According to Google Analytics, I had 9,591 AdSense Pageviews. (It appears that approximately 11% of my readers block Analytics but not AdSense.)

The discrepancy makes no sense to me, because I have AdSense enabled on every page. Maybe the difference is due to Public Service Ads (PSAs)? If Google has no suitable ads for your page, it gives PSAs. However, it should not be 20% of my total. Another possibility is search bots, but that shouldn't be 20% of my total either.

I read an interesting description of the proper way to use AdSense. One guy went through his site, and saw which ads are being displayed. If he saw a "scummy" ad, then he used the "competitive ad filter" to block it. He said that his AdSense earnings skyrocketed after he did that. I'm not going to waste time with that. It's Google's responsibility to make sure their ad quality is good. Besides, spammy sites tend to keep moving. It'd be a continuous uphill battle.

AdSense is definitely a suboptimal advertising option. However, AdSense is a "good enough for now" advertising option. I'm better off spending my time writing good content and attracting readers. I can always experiment with alternatives later. I've achieved my first goal with AdSense, which is "earn enough to pay for hosting on my own domain".

My blog is still a hobby. The income isn't enough to justify doing this as a full-time job. It's nice to earn enough to pay for hosting. I should expand my offerings from Blogging into other areas.

Remember that I'm a software engineer. (IMHO, I'm a really talented software engineer. Is that true, or just me being delusional?) I want to write some code and put it on my site. For that, I need more than a plain vanilla WordPress install. Linode is more expensive than the alternatives, but it's also more powerful.


Anonymous said...

I don't think it's a good idea to disclose your AdSense income, I heard it can be a sign you're asking for more clicks, be careful.

As for blogging as a job, we all start somewhere. Once you get your own wordpress or movabletype,whatever, you can put in a theme, adjust some fonts, some simple ways to increase readership (aesthetics).

You have lots of good stuff to blog about, so it's just a matter of when that your readers increase and you make hundreds a month, OK, that's still not a full time job, but sure helps to have extra money.

Anonymous said...

I always get paid within 25 days of the end of the previous month. For example, I went over $100 in January. I got my direct deposit February 22. I think the month and a half is just how ling you have to wait before asking questions about a missing payment.


Anonymous said...


I too had a slight drop in february, but it's three days shorther than January and that pretty much made the difference.

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