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How I Made $13,490.50 With Adsense Last November (seomoz.org)
49 points by trevin on Nov 15, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 25 comments



This article makes me nauseous. How on earth is this "hacker news"? And who the hell is voting this garbage up? Please tell me I'm not surrounded by SEO guys.


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Yeah the keyword stuffing nauseated me. But I found the empirical information interesting.

I agree it doesn't feel "hacker-ish" per se, but despite the name, Hacker News has a broader following that includes startup people, i.e. the business counterparts of hackers (roles often shared by the same person). The core interest for them is in creating useful things that ultimately must generate revenue for sustainability. Online advertising, as superficially repulsive as it is, is a significant model for doing so.

Also, like most people, Hacker News readers are interested in individual-focused stories.


I'm glad you found my article useful. I tried my hardest to be factual and to back my observations up with data. ~ Scott (the website's webmaster)


Relevant paragraph, in case you're thinking of trying this next year:

> The year-over-year growth of TBFA had been extraordinary until this 2012 Black Friday because of a Google penalty. (Yes, I tried removing bad links, uploaded a disavow list, apologized and then resubmitted the site for reconsideration, but I have a feeling Google is putting off the reconsideration until they know it's too late for me this year... I submitted the reconsideration request on Oct 19th and followed up again on Oct 31, but still have not heard a word from Google.) This year, organic traffic is down 95% due to the penalty. It doesn't help either that Yahoo/Bing decided to globally deindex almost any site that had the words "Black Friday" in its domain name too.

It sounds like he was making good money until this year, and now he's scrambling to get reconsidered by Google after they penalized his site. I wish him luck.


This is an interesting play. Normally I'd assume you wouldn't go out and tell everyone, hey I make website X.com and it earns $Y every year during November. Clearly he's concerned about being penalized by Google and is trying to get a link juice boost; would love to see a follow up December 26th with what worked and what didn't.


Yes.. it was going well for me until the penalty. (That was my fault and I don't blame Google at all). ~ Scott (TBFA webmaster)


I'm not sure why this was posted on SEOMoz. Seems to me Scott is looking to get quality links any way he can due to his penalty from spamming and buying links.

While I find the post informative, I am extremely disappointed by his methods.

More can be found on Reddit: http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/12wyk7/i_run_a_black_f...


Hi xpose2000, sorry to here you are disappointed. Like I said before.. I'm pretty big on sharing my knowledge. I hope my experiences can be used to help someone else avoid the same pitfalls I did. That's all. I'm pretty sure SEOmoz decided to publish my article because they saw value in what it was saying and figured their user base could benefit from it. ~ Scott


I participated in the Iama also, I didn't find anything that was questionable about Scott's methods. What specifically didn't you like?


it's kind of funny that he puts on a bit of a mock indignation when he talks about getting his organic traffic killed yet goes on to explain that he was serving unoriginal ad farm content loaded with affiliate links. duh?

wouldnt a month long seo engagement working for someone with real products and/or content pay similarly and would have the bonus of not being completely without redeeming value?


It sounds like his website was pretty popular. People came to his website looking for something, and left having found it. That sounds like enough "redeeming value" to me.


I'm not saying they're impartial parties but the fact that he's been punished everywhere suggests to me that it used to be pretty low value at least before he made changes trying to get back on google.

it's not some across the board black friday penalty either, as four of his competitors rank above him for the terms in his url despite him being the only one that's using g+; https://encrypted.google.com/search?hl=en&q=thanksgiving...


Hi Trotsky, the site and content are not low quality. I understand what you are trying to get at, but it was really just my poor choice in linkbuilding activities that got my site penalized. Also, the fact that I have an EMD (Exact match domain) doesn't help as much either. ~ Scott


Yes. People stay on my site and view 10+ pages at a time and usually end up either clicking an affiliate link to go buy something on Amazon, for example, or clicking an Adsense ad, which is their own choice. Thanks for your feedback. ~ Scott (webmaster of the TBFA site)


The site is offering a free service, like most popular sites offering free services it is monetized by ad traffic.


Hello. I'm the owner of the site mentioned. I'm not sure I understand your comment. Why do you feel my site is unoriginal? Scott


i meant it in the google sense of the word, you didn't create the content you post (black friday ads). i guess it's unlikely that they know the images are duplicates if you're not just copying them, but its unlikely to look very good to their algs.


Am I the only one who finds this incredibly sleazy? Basically he makes money by tricking people to click on ads disguised as content.


People click the ads on my site because they find them relevant. ~ Scott (Site's owner)


But don't you find it at least a bit disingenuous to make a site promising "these black friday ads were leaked" and then blending in other ads with those?


Usually folks will only reveal their Adsense/etc. secrets once the secret no longer works for them, unfortunately. You see it a lot with information marketing products (the slightly more legit version of "Make Money Fast", usually with hype-y titles like "Google Bullet" or "Facebook Frenzy").


Are you saying I only revealed my secrets because they don't work any more?

Actually, this year my ads are making me more money per visitor than last year, so the opposite of what you say is true.

~ Scott [ owner of thanksgivingblackfridayads(.)com ]


Pretty great case of being in the right place at the right time with the right website ;D Now if he could figure out stuff for the rest of the months he'd be sitting on a pretty cool fortune!

Still, a great and inspiring story of how to leverage certain ideas to strike it big. Makes me wonder though if affiliate marketing blackfriday deals would've resulted in bigger numbers than adsense.


Hi ashray, I'm the owner of that site / author of the article.

I'd love to do more of this Adsense and affiliate marketing stuff in the non-November months. My day job keeps me pretty busy though.

Doing affiliate links did make some good $, but really, the revenue from Adsense is where I make most of it.




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