The Google, Adsense and general SEO merry-go-round has started again!
A long time ago I ran another website for a community of gamers who were playing City of Heroes. It was a great game and they were great people. I have no complaints.
The group was quite large, over 300 characters, and partly due to this we decided that a forum would be useful for us to keep in touch and generally abuse each other (mostly in a nice way). As the site was costing me real world cash to host, I decided that rather than come to resent the site for what it was costing me, I would use advertising in the form of Google’s Adsense program to support it.
The process of installing the ad code and generally running a website was totally new to me, but I was taking a web design course at the time and so I struggled on. The final site was decent, but the ad revenue was, to be honest, pathetic.
The problem, I now understand, is that social sites just don’t generate search engine traffic (people looking for something). Rather you tend to get the same visitors over and over. If you are unlucky this could even get you kicked out of the Adsense program altogether as it would be the same IPs clicking the same ads over and over …
I was “lucky” and the gamers using the site were either “ad blind” or using ad blockers. Of course, this didn’t help with paying for the server, etc.
This led me to try and optimise the site for external traffic in an effort to make it pay for itself. It turned out that searching for facts about SEO while gaming, studying and committing general debauchery was far from fruitful and the site never really got anywhere income-wise. Indeed it actually became a distraction from the real purpose of why I opened the site in the first place.
Recently my pursuit of a valid Adsense account and all the things that come with it have been getting in the way of my regular posting here. Although it is true the merry-go-round is indeed starting again, this time I hope for a much better ride!