How Adsense nearly killed me - Yet taught me a great lesson in life!

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by samda, Nov 24, 2011.

  1. samda

    samda Member

    Re-posting this thread as my original thread was wiped away due to the recent db issue in WAHF.
    I have been on and off in this forum all these years. Thanks to Vishal for not deleting my account.

    I thought I should share some of the incredible lessons that Google Adsense taught in my life. Here is the story; I mean my real life story!

    Mistake 1
    It all started when I was a teenager. I was in college and heard about Adsense. It was like 6 years back. Inspired by some earning stories, I started a website just to make earnings from Adsense. As many people do, I played around the ads and clicked on my own ads. I clicked my own ads from my pc, from my neighbor's pc and I clicked ads by browsing in net cafe. It was like fun and I was so happy to see my earnings reach $100 threshold in 10 days.

    How ignorant I was! I never understood the basics of online advertising. I just thought Adsense is a gift made by some God named Google, who pays us for clicking ads. As you might guess Google shut down my account for invalid clicks. I was upset because I lost close to Rs. 500 ($10) that I spend in browsing centers.

    I talked to fellow people in India (At that time I was in India) and learnt that it is not how things work. People said we have to create websites where we need to fill every possible spot with ads and post links in sites like Yahoo Answers and drive traffic. People will come to our site and see nothing but ad and click ad instead of exiting the page. This is how I started my next journey, the Mistake no. 2

    Mistake 2
    After learning that to earn from Adsense we need to create site and drive traffic from sites like Yahoo Answers, I created another site and applied for Adsense in my mom's name in the same address. This time I was careful enough not to click ads. But my MFA site was getting good traffic and I started to earn money.

    When my account reached $60, Google banned once again saying that the address that I gave was already associated with a banned account. I was like WTH and took advice from people whom I thought was Internet Gurus. They pointed out to do one thing and there I was, in the verge of starting my next long journey, Mistake 3.

    Mistake 3
    Now I was little clever. I created a MFA site, applied for Adsense in my name, but this time in a different address. Google accepted it. Though I knew as per Adsense TOC, I was not supposed to open multiple accounts, I pursed to do that.

    This time I was very legit and slowly and steadily money started to roll in. Months passed by and years passed by and I started to earn steady income.

    I realized that MFA is not going to help me in long run and hence created 5 other niche websites and Adsense has become a substantial part of my life. I was grossing over $1,000 per month without any work. Since search engines gave me traffic, all I had to do is collect the check at every month end and cash it.

    I thought this was internet life. I was happy earning a residual income that was set on Auto pilot. But this mode made me lazy enough not to try anything else. This was the biggest mistake that I ever did in my life. I had placed all my eggs in one basket never knowing that it was a big risk. And I never took the risk to learn other facets of internet marketing and working from home.

    4 years passed by like this. Every month without fail, I used to cash the check.

    The Bummer
    Everything was fine till last year when I had to move to the US due to my day job.

    I moved to the US and hence I placed a hold on my Adsense account in releasing my payment. I thought I would release the hold in some time once I get a reliable Indian address where I can send this check. I was so busy with my job and didn't think much about it.

    When my total earnings was in the range of $xx,xxx, I got a very simple e-mail from Adsense stating that my account is banned! This wrecked me a lot mentally. How can people ban an account with such huge earning with a simple reason (Low quality content). I followed up by filling a re-consideration, followed up with a friend who is working in Google, but no use.

    What went wrong?
    All my sites were niche based and had very targeted search traffic. Being an SEO expert I was able to drive immense traffic from Google that got converted into ad clicks pretty easily. But all these sites were very small - 25 pages and they were never updated. Contents were unique, but from an advertiser standpoint, these sites might be not attractive enough to advertise.

    It was a big blow. I invested a lot in SEO - Both in terms of time and money. In one day my life was blown away! Though I am not financially fully dependent on Adsense (I have a day job), this was a big blow. It was like someone blasted your dream house that you have been building for 4 years.

    How was my feeling?
    For first one week, I was very much mentally disturbed. Started to curse Adsense in every internet forum possible. Later, slowly, I realized the fact that mistake was not on Google, but on me.

    What was the mistake?
    Just in plain simple English - Putting all my eggs in one basket and was trying to change MONEY

    What am I doing now?
    Now, did I choose to start from scratch to build another website for Adsense? No, way. This was the critical learning exercise. I started to experiment other facets of internet marketing. Started to do everything possible in internet marketing. Freelance writing, domain flipping, affiliate program etc.,

    I was so amazed that Adsense is just one small cog in the wheel of internet marketing. There are lot of other things that can be done and went on and saw people who are earning multiple thousands of $$$ every month. Money is not a big deal - But what I learnt was internet is filled with lots and lots of opportunities. It's up to us to experiment and take on things. Now I am working on few projects that are apart from the realm of Adsense. And I am so happy that my hard works have started to pay off. Slowly and steadily my projects are getting traction and they are very promising. This time I am working on multiple stream of income and if one drops I can switch the gear to another one.

    Adsense taught me a lesson that I will never forget in my life. It's always not about money and it is always not about putting all your risk in one basket.

    Summary / what you can learn from my mistakes:
    1) I will say this again and again. But it is worth saying it. "Never put all your eggs in one basket". Try different things. Internet world is full of opportunities.
    2) Don't ever rely only on Adsense - Adsense in a risky business. Both for Google and for us. Google has to follow certain standards and they have to walk on a thin line. Their terms may change and they can simply throw you out of the program any time. For those of you who are earning good income from Adsense, this may be a lousy statement (I too thought like this before getting banned!).
    3) Never depend on Google for traffic. Your website may be getting 80% traffic from Google, but that might change in a day. You would know the story of Ezinearticles and other hub sites after panda update.
    4) Try different things - Domain flipping, affiliate marketing, selling online etc., you will never know, something might hit and you may be a winner.
    5) Value for end user is important - When people used to say content is king, I used to think what bloody a** they are. I thought writing any content and building great links will prosper my needs. It's always a wrong strategy. One has to create a value - Content, tools, research etc. that people will love over period of time.
    6) Being patient - This is the most important part. You cannot build an empire in a day. Internet
    business model is just like any other offline model. It takes time and effort to build from its roots.

    That's it for now, folks. I hope my story would have entertained you, made you think and possibly help you in avoiding doing the same mistakes that I did [​IMG]
  2. Vishal P. Rao

    Vishal P. Rao Administrator Staff Member

    This is an amazing post and I'm glad Sam could retrieve it from Google's cache.

    As of now I was kind of pretty comfortable with AdSense. However after reading Sam's experience, I'm exploring new avenues.
  3. Excellent information. A great read and reminder for everyone.

    'Multiple streams of income' [​IMG]
  4. PeterFrosen

    PeterFrosen New Member

    well said and deep lessons to learn. Thank you very much for the post.
  5. Just2EZ

    Just2EZ Moderator

    Vishal P. Rao: This is an amazing post and I'm glad Sam could retrieve it from Google's cache.
    Not to get off topic but since you mention cached versions... comes in handy for ancient retrievals.
    They may not have 100% of an old site but sometimes they have enough.
    One client wanted his site "updated" back to what he had 3 webmasters ago.
    I sat in the coffee shop with my laptop and showed him 4 versions of his site.
    Don't count on what you want being there but it is a good last resort.

    p.s. it probably would not have a forum like this more than the index.
    (Edit: WRONG!)
    LOL, I just went to look and picked Nov.29th, 2004 - oops bad choice
    "We are moving this forum to a different sever. Please check back shortly."
    But you can scroll through snapshots of any date since inception.
    Here's Dec 2004 when there were less than 500 posts and 100 topics:

    A trip down memory lane....
    "Author Message
    Vishal P. Rao
    Forum Admin
    Forum Admin

    Joined: 02 May 2004
    Posts: 100

    PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2004 12:07 pm Post subject: Happy Thanksgiving! Reply with quote
    Happy Thanksgiving to all of you Very Happy

    Have a wonderful time with your family and close ones!

    Best wishes,

    Vishal P. Rao
    Back to top"
  6. Vishal P. Rao

    Vishal P. Rao Administrator Staff Member

    Just2EZ: Not to get off topic but since you mention cached versions... comes in handy for ancient retrievals.
    Unfortunately, there aren't too many captures for 2011. The last one was 22nd July. There used to be snapshots at frequent intervals earlier. I guess they are running out of server space.

    Just2EZ: A trip down memory lane....
    "Author Message
    Vishal P. Rao
    Forum Admin
    Forum Admin

    Joined: 02 May 2004
    Posts: 100

    PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2004 12:07 pm Post subject: Happy Thanksgiving! Reply with quote
    Happy Thanksgiving to all of you Very Happy

    Have a wonderful time with your family and close ones!

    Best wishes,

    Vishal P. Rao
    Back to top"
    [​IMG] That brought back some old memories!
  7. talfighel

    talfighel Silver Member

    It is good to make mistakes online because you can learn from them and not make them again.
  8. fchavez

    fchavez New Member

    talfighel: It is good to make mistakes online because you can learn from them and not make them again.
    Well said and lesson learned Samda.

    I agree though. There are so many opportunities out there for us Social Networkers. Thats why you see so many people building one business then moving onto the next one. Caution though, don't be a opportunity hopper. Do your research, stick to one, build it even if it takes a few years, then move on to the next!
  9. samantha65

    samantha65 New Member

    Hi, my adsense account was just banned for invalid click activity. None of which was me, the night before it happened i looked at my new account and the website had 1 actual click whoa i had made 0.20 cents then the next day i had an email saying account suspended.
    I appealed but they still said no, i did not even do anything. It seems unfair that they do not even have to show your proof or even what happened.
    Should i try again and how, this is the question.
  10. WahIdeas

    WahIdeas New Member

    The important thing here is that you learned from your mistake and moved on! Great post. I too used to try many "black hat" optimizing techniques back 10 years ago that worked wonderfully initially, but always come crashing and burning down on top of you. I guess the best lesson I learned in all of that is to not game ANY system to your advantage. Ultimately it will catch up to you and you'll be worse off for it. [​IMG]
  11. talfighel

    talfighel Silver Member

    fchavez: There are so many opportunities out there for us
    The biggest challenge for many who are striving to succeed online is that they jump from one program or one niche to the next way too often.

    I agree that when you are doing well with one program, you can always start a new venture to increase your income.
  12. Takuyah

    Takuyah New Member

    We learn from mistake and that make us wiser from every mistake!

    Thanks for sharing.[​IMG]
  13. robledo1

    robledo1 New Member

    Thanks for sharing this.

    It's true we shouldn't put all our eggs in one basket!

    Similar thing happened to me with PayPal.

    Long story short, they froze my accnt for no apparent reason.

    This happened about a month ago.

    I got 5 more to go to be able to withdraw my cash!

    This led me to get a merchant account.

    Now I don't have to worry about being "limited" [​IMG]
  14. chadarcy

    chadarcy Member

    This is an excellent post and much to be learned from! I am new to this forum and learning so much from all of you. I keep getting laughed at by family members, because of all the online ventures as they call them that I have tried and not succeeded with.

    My problem seems to be with marketing. I always get frustrated when I try to drive traffic to a sites, and nothing big seems to happen. I do realize that it will not happen over night, but results don't seem so keep me motivated. I always end up spending too much time with nothing to show for my work.

    I would love to prove to my family that it can be done, and some day that is what I will do. In a way they drive me to keep pushing to make something work.
  15. homesjobsneeded

    homesjobsneeded New Member

    Chad I feel the same way at times. However, it is possible just have to find the right combinations. Answer sites help a lot in traffic I have found.
  16. chadarcy

    chadarcy Member

    I am realizing that just doing a lot of posting in forums and asking questions about my issues is a great form of advertising in itself. I wish I could be more help to others and add to more of the posts, but I guess that will come also with time, and experience.

    I will take your advice and try some answer sites. Do the answer sites allow signatures, or is there another way of advertising a URL?

  17. JayW

    JayW New Member

    Nice post thanks for sharing. I've never been a big fan of contextual advertising. I think it's a good starting point for new website owners, but once you really start generating traffic in my view it doesn't make sense to use it any longer. In my view Google and many ad networks are too restrictive and you have no idea when they may decide to randomly ban your account. Also, if you don't have your own product it still makes more sense (and money) to promote affiliate products where you can make 50% on each sale as opposed to a few cents for someone clicking on as ad. Also, when someone clicks on an ad they leave your site and hence you've lost a potential customer. If you are new site owner another option is to use pay per lead programs. They pay anywhere from $1 to $5 depending on the programs you use. They don't require your visitors to spend any money and in most cases it only requires that they provide a name and email address for you to get paid.

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