Houston We Have a Problem

Scott Greczkowski

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Staff member
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Cutting Edge
Sep 7, 2003
102,971
27,001
Newington, CT
Hey guys... (please put your wallets away...)

A few months ago I made some changes to our ad layouts hoping to improve things and also make the site less cluttered. Well that move backfired...

In Adsense we went from making $8 a day and now we are not even doing $2 a day.

Screenshot 2024-06-09 at 1.49.17 PM.png


Part of it is due to the changes I made, but it appears most of it is due to changes at Google. But it's not just us. Many publishers using Adsense have dropped over 80% over the past few months.


All of this while Adsense's revenues climbed to 8.1 Billion.

It has always been my philosophy to have the most ads seen by those guests visiting the site. For those who wanted to be a member of the site and participate here they have always seen much less ads. We would rather them be an active member of the site than be bombed by a lot of ads.

One of the changes I made was I turned off Google's Auto Ads, Auto Ads allows Google to place as many ads as they want... wherever they want. That is something I did not like.

I went through and placed where I thought they would work and also where they looked good and didn't take away from the site.

This did not look like a good move

This morning my wife sat down with me and we had a talk about SatelliteGuys and she tells me that something must be done. We figured out our expenses for the site and it's around $400 a month to operate. (Sometimes more and sometimes less). she has told me the past few months we have been funding a big portion of its operation ourselves. She told me she knew I was trying to do things to make it better. But she wants me to work on things again and improve them.

So I have a job ahead of me. (And again a job I don't get paid for... this site is a labor of love for me.) and that is to try increasing the ad revenue for the site so that it again pays for itself.

First step is to enable Adsense Auto Ads again and see if we see an increase. After all Adsense is placing the ads themselves in places they think will work best. I don't like the idea of them placing as man ads they want anywhere they want but I have to see if this will work.

If it does not work, then for registered members I will have to add in ads from other ad networks, which I do NOT want to do. I have always considered Adsense ads very SAFE ads. Since all ads were made and served by Google, we never had an issue with bad ads that you can get from other ad agencies such as ads with video, ads with sound, ads that pop up, ads that refresh themselves every few seconds, ads with fake virus warnings and even ads with malware.

The companies I work with have been very good, but occasionally a bad ad does get through. And I HATE that. The reason for ads is to pay the bills... not scare people away with bad ads.

We currently work with two other agencies and each has been bringing in about $85 to $120 a month in revenue. Right now ONLY UNREGISTERED / NON LOGGED IN USERS see ads from those companies.

I am going to try the Auto Ads first, and I am not happy about that as it's going to clutter up the site. But if it does not work my next step if to use ads from the other agencies, and possibly even remove Adsense so that the higher paying ad networks can get the better ad spots. I also hate these ads as it slows down the speed of the site. For our supporters they can tell you how fast the site is now without any ads. I am so PROUD of the speed we have now, it bugs the hell out of me to gum it up with ads.

I should note that Adsense recently (automatically) added a popup message for those using ad blockers for all unregistered and registered members. I figured out how to turn off those nag screens for registered members. I recently shut them off for unregistered members as well, as with them on our traffic to the site declined by almost 30% and for some reason our search engine placement with Google and others declined as well.

But my wife tells me I need to do something as we can't keep paying forever. She wants the site to pay for itself. And ultimately she is correct.

Unfortunately as you can see Ads are a necessary evil. I do hope everyone will bear with me as I experiment with things. (Pub Members will not see any changes of course.)

And this is not a post to try getting pub memberships. things are bad for everyone right now and I get it. I am just alerting folks of changes I need to make and why I have to make those changes.

Finally (and I posted this in another topic, but will post here too). I have been getting a lot of feedback (good and bad) about the Spring Cleaning changes I made to our Social Influencers section. The changes were made to clean things up a bit as I didn't want to see 12+ forums on our homepage with each Social Influencer having their own forum on it. I have come up with an idea which should make everyone happy and do it without cluttering up the Homepage. I will be working on that as well.

SatelliteGuys was founded on members helping members and for the past 20 years we have done just that. While there is not much going on right now in the world of satellite, we have plenty to talk about here. Please feel free to start new topics and invite your friends to join us, and most importantly lets be helpful and friendly to those who come in, we want this to feel like a home for them too.

Now to go start working on those ads.

Thanks for reading folks, thanks for being here and thanks for being SatelliteGuys!
 
Scott - you gotta do what you gotta do. I agree with your wife that there's absolutely no reason you should be paying out of pocket to run the site, especially where there is an "easy" revenue stream available to you.

Ads are unfortunately a fact of life now and most online users don't even really "notice" them. That is to say, they see them but they don't register as obtrusive or annoying (espeically compared to the pop ups in the early days!!). So truthfully, while keeping things ad free is nice, it's 2024 and I think most people just sort of shrug them off now.
 
Scott - you gotta do what you gotta do. I agree with your wife that there's absolutely no reason you should be paying out of pocket to run the site, especially where there is an "easy" revenue stream available to you.

Ads are unfortunately a fact of life now and most online users don't even really "notice" them. That is to say, they see them but they don't register as obtrusive or annoying (espeically compared to the pop ups in the early days!!). So truthfully, while keeping things ad free is nice, it's 2024 and I think most people just sort of shrug them off now.
This is a good point.
 
As popular as The Pit is, maybe throw Ads in there. I would rather not have the Pit be part of this site, as I feel the discourse in there spills out and its spirit makes its way into the rest of the areas of the Forum. But Scott and Eva are in charge, and I find useful threads here and like the science & space threads. I just wish there was a way to totally ignore anything inside those sub-Forums in The Pub.
 
I have Ignored them, but they still show up in The Pub thread count. If you have a way to remove them so any posts inside don’t show up in New Posts or on the Forum home page, that would be great!
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Actually my way of hiding them for you wouldn’t show you those messages. :)

But with that said I don’t know too many people who hide things and then sit there with a calculator trying to figure out if there are extra posts in the count. :)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Google changed something in February

 
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Google changed something in February

I posted that link in my original message. :)

Just keeping everyone in the loop about whats going on. I don't want to see us go away.

I have enabled AutoAds again for Unregistered and Registered users... and revenue is up from the $1.64 we were seeing the other day... but these changes take a few days before you see any real changes.
 

Oh boy…