I Tested Google AdSense For One Year - It Didn't Improve My Earnings

Last Update: February 26, 2021

I added Google AdSense to my website in January 2020. It was a three year old website that was monetized with affiliate programs. I didn't change anything else but just added the Google AdSense code.

I started with the automated placements that are suggested by Google. But it added the ads on weird placements, and I decided to place them manually. Google did not like my manual placements, so it didn't allow me to place ads for one month. I assumed I was banned on that point, but the ads were enabled later. I did not want to get banned, so I turned on the auto ads and excluded some placements from the relevant settings.

The traffic of the website was on the same levels in 2020 and 2019. 2020 was the year that I added Google AdSense, as mentioned above.

I had a 20% drop in my commissions from affiliate programs in 2020. However, Google AdSense did not close the gap. It covered 50% of this loss.

Here are my two conclusions:

  • Google AdSense is not always good for the user experience of a website because of the automated placements.
  • Google AdSense can decrease your earnings if you use other ways to monetize a website.

I will consider using Google AdSense in the future if I build a new site. But I will not include it on posts that are a good fit for affiliate promotions.

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roamy Premium
I`ve had on and off with adsense, one thing is for sure, it`s not the best way of making money but, from what I`ve read in several places if you need to join larger better paying ad programs, you need to have a good standing with Adsense(whatever that means)
For that reason, I do turn my Adsense on and off from time to time, but the income from it......maybe a Pizza at the end of the month, but then you can not even buy the Pizza because you need to earn $100 to cash out from Adsense.
My site has gone through a long rough patch, but when things worked well(about 2-3 years ago) I made several $300 monthly income from ads but that`s history now.
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CassiOfTroy Premium Plus
Hi Elias,

I really welcomed this article, your findings and your decision.
Like you, I test for a time and then make a decision.

Last year, I placed Google AdSense on one of my sites - the older one.
I have seen a drop in traffic and also my bounce rate has been affected.

Not much earnings to walk away from and I have made a decision to remove them from my site.

Thank you for sharing.
Cassi
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bonzo124 Premium
Nice to see that many people had the same experience. It seems that is not a problem only for specific websites, but Google AdSense has to improve its program.
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CassiOfTroy Premium Plus
I agree with you, Elias.

The program needs a lot of improvement.

Cassi
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Swangirl Premium
I love seeing posts like this that reconfirm we can be successful with the basics (good content etc). I have seen similar posts from very successful members explaining they don't use social media or don't use email lists. Of course those methods work for different people and different sites but it is nice to know we don't HAVE to use them.

I have found adding high quality content, using great keywords and the basic principles of SEO techniques (compressing images, adding titles etc.) is all I need. If I put in the time and produce this content I always get good results.

I have not used Adwords and don't think I will.

Thanks!
Jessica
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bonzo124 Premium
Hi Jessica, I don't use social media as well. I just share my content on Pinterest and Twitter but no further engagement.

I will build an email list. It will be a testing period to see if it improves my results. I have figured out that I must test everything and then decide if it works for my site.

If you create quality content and apply the basics of SEO, you will get traffic. I have no doubts about it. Everything starts from the content. Then, you can see what other options you have.
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Swangirl Premium
Sounds like a great strategy. I ventured into paid advertising a few times and found it was useless for me. I should have spent the time from that and fussing with social media on simple content generation. I would have been much better off.

Thanks for sharing your observations.
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Zarina Premium
I didn't even bother with the Adsense since the beginning of my journey. The only ad networks I would consider are the high-end ones, like MediaVine or AdThrive (but you need a LOT of traffic to get in there).

Out of curiosity I tried Media.net recently only survived 2 months - barely any earnings and TERRIBLE customer service, so don't join them!!!
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bonzo124 Premium
Thanks for sharing your experience. I will test different methods before using another advertising program. Not sure about them yet.
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BrightSales Premium
I was having issues with Google Adsense a few months back. They didn't want to approve me. But now I see them asking me to add Google adsense. I think I'll avoid them after reading your blog here for now by trying out other ad incentive companies. All the best!
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bonzo124 Premium
Yes, they want sites that get some traffic. You can test different programs. Google AdSense is not the only option.
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