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[P]
Earn High by Playing it Clean

By MichaelCrawford in Internet
Thu May 05, 2005 at 03:44:23 AM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

Google AdSense tips and tricks that aren't what you expect.

Webmaster editordude asked:

... is it possible to earn high ($1000+) by 'playing it clean'? By that I mean doing everything I can to make it a great site for visitors, all content is original, easy to navigate, ranks high, updated often etc but not go out of my way to earn, so no popups, no large square banner before content etc.

It's very common for website operators to make money - or try to anyway - through underhanded means, for example by gaming the search engines with such "search engine optimization" schemes as link farms, or by emailing mass quantities of spam.

Is all that really necessary?


I replied:

I registered my domain seven years ago to present my business to the web. I got the idea that I could attract potential clients by writing articles and posting them on my website. They were at first very focussed on what I do but eventually ended up covering a wide range of topics.

This worked very well for me, because hundreds of people who have read my articles linked either to one of them or to my homepage, and so some of my articles are now very popular. Every now and then someone who needs what I offer reads an article and then realizes I'm for hire and inquires, and maybe then I get a contract.

This ended up working so well for me that these days I have to turn away business. My website as a whole gets over a hundred thousand hits a month. My homepage is PageRank 6, and all my articles are either PageRank 4 or PageRank 5. My pages are in the top ten for hundreds, if not thousands of relevant queries, and many of my pages are #1 for lots of queries.

I had some health problems last year and was unable to work enough to get by, so I finally tried AdSense. I put it on all my articles, but not my homepage which still is meant for my clients to see. My first month I made over three thousand dollars. I could see from my ad performance report that this was going to happen within a few hours of publishing my first ads. It made me break down and cry.

I have not always made that much. Last month (March 2005) was only eighteen hundred, but April started up again in the last week, coming out at $2100 and I can see how I might make $3k in May.

It's not simply a clean, honest site, my whole reputation as a businessman depends on it. With the expenses I have, I'm not able to quit working (yet!), so I have to run a very clean operation.

I have also worked like a slave on my website on many occasions. A couple of my articles took more than a month to write.

I had this crappy old half-baked HTML design, with poor navigation, inconsistent colors, invalid HTML, formatted with nested tables and the works, but I suddenly lost a contract a couple months ago and was in a really hard way. To get back to work quickly I started paying for advertising with money that was very scarce.

My wife, who used to be a web designer before she went back to art school, had made a really nice XHTML+CSS design for my site, with easy navigation, consistent colors, a nice theme, but when she realized there were over a hundred hand-coded static HTML files on my site, most of them in ancient, invalid HTML, she was too intimidated to roll out her design across my site.

Her templates sat on her computer for over a year until I started paying for advertising. I began to fear that people would click my ads - costing me money - see my half-baked homepage, and just press the back button without even reading what I had to offer. So I spent three solid days, and nights, without sleeping, on a marathon HTML coding session to implement her design.

All I did at first was to redesign my homepage and each of the pages that were directly linked from my homepage, but there were quite a few of those.

My hard work, and advertising gamble paid off. I got back to work quickly enough that by the time I could earn a paycheck we hadn't starved or become homeless yet.

Since then I've been redesigning an article each week. I have about a third of them done now.

So yes, clean, honest hard-working webmastering pays.

I'm now paying to advertise my articles. When I have a new one redesigned, I pay for ads for it. I had AdSense on all of them at first, but have been removing it from the non-performing pages. My objective in my advertising is not to drive clicks to my ads, but to bring repeat visitors to my site, and over time build even more traffic as (hopefully) some of these people give me links.

Now, it took six years to get my site to where I was able to earn $3k in my first month of AdSense. But I didn't have the first clue about anything when I started out. It wasn't for several years that I really started to devote much time to my articles, when I realized what a difference they were making to me.

I think that if I were just starting out with a totally new website, knowing what I know now, I could get it to $3k in AdSense after a year. It would help to have an ad budget, but that's not the most important thing, it's having a site that's worth someone's time and effort to link to. It's having a site that makes people want to link it.

My advice, if you're just starting out, is to not post any ads on it at all. Not even one! Not for at least a year. Why? I think ads discourage linking. Once you do publish ads, test them for a week or two and then remove them from all the nonperforming pages. A page without AdSense still gets linked, drives up the pagerank of your site and is a gateway to your other pages.

When I'm done redesigning my articles, there will be just one AdSense unit on one web page. That single ad unit is responsible for all but about ten dollars of my monthly revenue. I think the other pages will be better at building traffic to my site if they didn't have ads, and I would have already removed their AdSense but I have so many that I just don't have the time.

I have become very well aware that I'm sitting on top of a gold mine, just beginning to tap into the vein of ore. I am very inspired to read so many posts here from people who say they were able to quit their jobs because of AdSense. I'm not there yet, but it is my objective to quit working my original job within a year and instead make a living - a good, comfortable living - writing content for my site. I've been in the same line of work for seventeen years, and have been self-employed for seven. It's not an easy way to live. I wish I could go back to my younger self and shake some sense into me. But now I see a way out.

So there you have it. Clean, hard work is indeed the key to success on the web.

-- Mike

I originally planned to keep this article proprietary as a way to draw traffic to my website. For reasons I explained in my diary The Way of the White Hat SEO Ninja, I am releasing it under Creative Commons and submitting it here and elsewhere

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 559 Nathan Abbott Way, Stanford, California 94305, USA.

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Earn High by Playing it Clean | 187 comments (129 topical, 58 editorial, 0 hidden)
Got my AdSense check today (3.00 / 2) (#2)
by MichaelCrawford on Tue May 03, 2005 at 07:02:26 PM EST

I could've kissed the DHL man when he gave me my envelope. It was $1,809.58, but would have been more if I hadn't paid thirty bucks for express delivery.

I'm going to go buy some 7-Up to mix with the gin that I'm going to celebrate with tonight. Get myself good and tanked - I was dead busted broke before that check arrived, if it hadn't come today I would've been completely fucked.

Back soon!


-- Tired of my press release? Have some Google AdSense Tips and Tricks instead.


Just finished my third drink (3.00 / 2) (#21)
by MichaelCrawford on Tue May 03, 2005 at 10:51:55 PM EST

MichaelCrawford : gin & imipramine = mcgrew : beer & paxil

Don't drink and post!


-- Tired of my press release? Have some Google AdSense Tips and Tricks instead.


[ Parent ]

Your HeadCase (1.00 / 6) (#167)
by Saeed al Sahaf on Sun May 08, 2005 at 01:56:37 AM EST

Or in the case of MichaelCrawford, how about just don't post!

[ Parent ]
Hey Wait... (2.50 / 2) (#32)
by unknownlamer on Wed May 04, 2005 at 01:59:10 AM EST

Aren't you violating the adsense TOS by divulging info on your earnings?

It would suck for you if google found out...



--
<vladl> I am reading the making of the atomic bong - modern science
[ Parent ]
Wow! (3.00 / 2) (#4)
by solstice on Tue May 03, 2005 at 07:06:49 PM EST

My website gets something like 60k "sessions" per month (690k pageviews) according to my hit tracker, Urchin 5.  However, I make only about $30 a month on AdSense.  I get a check every 3 or 4 months for around $120.  I would have a heart attack if I made the kind of money you are talking about.  I run ads on all my pages and forum, they are relevant to my content, but not many people click on them.  Google reports my impressions last month were 313k, with clickthrough of only 0.1% (422 clicks).  I assume you have a much higher CTR.  My guess is my visitors are fairly tech savvy and avoid ads out of habit.  Oh well, it's basically free money, even if it's only a small amount.

I'm glad Google changed their TOS to allow people to talk about their earnings. :)

Engineers don't click ads (3.00 / 2) (#8)
by MichaelCrawford on Tue May 03, 2005 at 07:25:26 PM EST

I had adsense on all my programming tips, and sometimes a whole month would go by without a single click.

I do get a high clickthru rate, but it's on a nontechnical article. Maybe you should consider broadening your website's focus.


-- Tired of my press release? Have some Google AdSense Tips and Tricks instead.


[ Parent ]

Engineers (none / 0) (#188)
by sgp on Sat May 21, 2005 at 09:10:38 PM EST

My website is for engineers - and I get a petty amount from Google for the adverts on my site.
The topic is pretty specific (shell script programming) but the pages normally seem to get reasonably topical adverts.
Some people do click, and I can't see any particular consistency - it's mainly Mon-Fri, of course, with either Sat or Sun performing very badly, though there's no pattern at all to that.
The reason I use Google ads is that text ads are the only format I'll tolerate myself, as a web user. I assume that my readership are of a similar disposition.
There's been some discussion here about what we are and are not allowed to talk about, and I have to admit that I've not read the T&Cs in detail recently, but what kind of daily impressions are you getting for $3k/month (== $100/day)? What kind of click-through rate? How does Google search ranking affect those factors?

Also, how do you feel about people leaving your site? I'd like to think that my site is offering people what they need; if they're leaving my site and going elsewhere, I'd feel that I'm somehow failing in providing the right service in the first place... this seems to about-turn the "provide good content" policy, (which is the only driving force behind my site - if it was to make money, I'd never have started it... if I had started it to make any money, I'd have given up years ago!)

I'd be interested in your views on this,

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

forums typically don't convert too well (3.00 / 2) (#28)
by kpaul on Wed May 04, 2005 at 12:40:57 AM EST

for adsense, from what i've heard.

also, i don't think we can talk about clicks and CTR yet, though. ;)


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

meh (none / 0) (#90)
by solstice on Wed May 04, 2005 at 09:54:01 PM EST

If they can figure out who I am from this username, then they can boot me out. ;)

[ Parent ]
Skirting the TOS line (3.00 / 2) (#46)
by rusty on Wed May 04, 2005 at 11:21:55 AM EST

Without "talking about clickthrough" in specific numbers, I can say that your CT could be a lot higher than that. Like, nearly an order of magnitude higher.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Whore (1.16 / 6) (#162)
by Saeed al Sahaf on Sat May 07, 2005 at 09:21:55 PM EST

I suspect that "MichaelCrawford" is full of shit. I think that along with this non "story", he is using K5's heavy trafic to raise his BLOGs google rate and trafic, especially with the 20 million comments he has made to his own story. Talk about WHORES.

[ Parent ]
Actually, no, you're sadly mistaken. (none / 0) (#165)
by MichaelCrawford on Sat May 07, 2005 at 09:51:58 PM EST

I was trying to make more of a difference to other webmasters who were struggling with their sites. That's why I licensed this article under Creative Commons and submitted it, rather than keeping it at my own site where I could have used it to draw traffic.

The one page on my site that makes any money already draws a hundred thousand hits a month from the search engines. I'm not going to boost that by publishing an article on adsense at K5.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Earnings (none / 0) (#186)
by ertelc on Thu May 12, 2005 at 10:36:43 PM EST

You need to do a little more research on the keywords that will generate income for your site. Because doing any research for myself, I had 400,000 impressions and was making barely $0.10 a day. With a little research, I found the key words that generate a little income and targeted my audience around that. That turn around was April 1, and I have averaged $45 a day in profit. Not too shabby.
[%] Free Ringtones
[ Parent ]
Nonperforming pages (2.50 / 2) (#7)
by solstice on Tue May 03, 2005 at 07:24:54 PM EST

Do you use the channel feature to track how each of your pages perform? I've never used this. Does it help at all to do this? Why not leave ads on all pages?

Ad free pages ad value to your site (2.50 / 2) (#10)
by MichaelCrawford on Tue May 03, 2005 at 07:41:36 PM EST

It is critically important that you use the channels. At least track URL channels. Not only can they tell you which pages are performing, but provide valuable feedback about how optimizing ad placement on a given page is working. Please see Google's AdSense Heat Map for tips on placing your ads. Heed it's advice, I could tell within an hour that it was helping substantially once I improved my ad placement last week.

You have to understand that ad-free pages still add value to your site. They show up in search engine results and people link them, which boosts your overall pagerank. They also serve as a gateway to those of your pages which do perform well.

If the pages aren't performing anyway, you have nothing to lose by removing the ads, and everything to gain. That's because the visitors you really need aren't the ones who click your ads. Once someone clicks an ad, you make a few cents but then he's gone from your site and lost to you forever.

The visitors you must strive to attract are the repeat visitors, the ones who enjoy your site and recommend it to others. Most importantly, you need them to link your site. But if someone sees pages plastered with ads, he's going to feel you're just nickle-and-diming him, and won't link you. Maybe he even won't come back. And then you lose out far more than you would from removing the adsense from your non-performing pages.


-- Tired of my press release? Have some Google AdSense Tips and Tricks instead.


[ Parent ]

Good advice (3.00 / 2) (#12)
by solstice on Tue May 03, 2005 at 07:55:56 PM EST

I never even thought about this, but my ads are in the traditional upper-right location, a 'white' area. Oops. :)

[ Parent ]
Google's AdSense Optimization Tips (2.50 / 2) (#11)
by MichaelCrawford on Tue May 03, 2005 at 07:44:52 PM EST

I followed the advice of the "Heat Map" in Google's AdSense optimization tips last week. It's the reason I think I'll make $3k in May instead of the $1800 I made in March.

I'll send you my bill in the mail ;-)


-- Tired of my press release? Have some Google AdSense Tips and Tricks instead.


Don't report your Clickthru Rate! (3.00 / 4) (#17)
by MichaelCrawford on Tue May 03, 2005 at 09:15:21 PM EST

The AdSense Terms of Service were recently revised to allow us to reveal our pay. I'm pretty sure they did that so AdSense publishers would start publishing success stories like I did. But the TOS still forbid revealing either your clickthru rate, your eCPM, or your pay per click. If they catch you posting it here, you'll get booted out of AdSense. They turn a deaf ear to pleas to be readmitted, so don't make that mistake.


-- Tired of my press release? Have some Google AdSense Tips and Tricks instead.


Really? (3.00 / 3) (#19)
by Polverone on Tue May 03, 2005 at 09:52:30 PM EST

I guess "don't be evil" was dead on arrival.
--
It's not a just, good idea; it's the law.
[ Parent ]
The beginning of Google's end... (3.00 / 2) (#20)
by MichaelCrawford on Tue May 03, 2005 at 10:00:59 PM EST

... was when they went public. They may try to resist it, but soon Wall Street's demands to produce quarterly results will put an end to Google's efforts to build a sustainable business.


-- Tired of my press release? Have some Google AdSense Tips and Tricks instead.


[ Parent ]

So why are making it your career plan? (3.00 / 2) (#23)
by Brayton Power Cycle on Tue May 03, 2005 at 11:42:28 PM EST

I mean, it seem like a step backwards to me to go from being self-employed to essentially going back to relying on one big company for a paycheck again.

[ Parent ]
The key is diversification (3.00 / 2) (#24)
by MichaelCrawford on Tue May 03, 2005 at 11:53:59 PM EST

There's more than one way to advertise on a website. I'm already experimenting with Amazon and Powell's affiliate ads.

I recognize that I'm in a precarious position, getting all my revenue from Google, and from an ad on just one page. I'm working hard to write more articles, and to find other advertising revenue that will be successful.

CheeseburgerBrown was making a boatload of money off Darth Vader's Weblog when suddenly Google started serving unpaid Public Service Announcements. He was able to get his ads restored, but his income was dead in the water for a couple days.


-- Tired of my press release? Have some Google AdSense Tips and Tricks instead.


[ Parent ]

The nice thing about different ad services (none / 0) (#124)
by Phssthpok on Thu May 05, 2005 at 11:24:26 AM EST

is that they index each other's content. At one point I even saw AdSense ads showing up in Google's "unpaid" column because they were inline in indexed pages.
____________

affective flattening has caused me to kill 11,357 people

[ Parent ]
Use channels to optimize, find nonperformers (2.50 / 2) (#18)
by MichaelCrawford on Tue May 03, 2005 at 09:21:16 PM EST

In your AdSense member page, under Ad Settings->Channels, you can set up channels to track the performance of your ads. You can have up to fifty channels. If you don't have too many pages, you can track the performance of each individual page, or even each ad unit on a page.

You should use this both to optimize your ad performance when experimenting with the heat map I linked below, and to find non-performing pages. If you're unable to make a page perform, my advice as I said in the article is to remove the ad completely because I'm certain that ads tend to discourage people from linking our pages.

It was obvious to me that I should use channels from the very start. I'm surprised that people are saying here that they've never used them.


-- Tired of my press release? Have some Google AdSense Tips and Tricks instead.


Ad control (2.50 / 2) (#29)
by BobTheMighty on Wed May 04, 2005 at 12:55:55 AM EST

Despite the aforementioned "don't mention your clickthru rate or else" policy, do Google or the affiliated advertisers attempt to exert any control over a site's contents? I have always been adverse to ads because if my revenue is dependent on some advertisers and they tell me they don't like my content, I have to choose between censorship and loss of income.
-
I'll try not to confuse you more than absolutely necessary
Not so far (3.00 / 2) (#44)
by rusty on Wed May 04, 2005 at 11:10:34 AM EST

In all the time I've run Google ads here, they haven't ever made a peep about site content. They do take a look at the site when you first sign up, and presumably if someone went and complained to them about something the violated their terms they might look again, but it doesn't seem like it happens much.

Actually, no advertiser here in any of the ad formats has ever tried to get me to change any site content. It's always a risk when you base your income on advertising, but it always has been and overall it seems like the model still works. If nothing else, when one advertiser comes down on you, you can always make a big stink about it and get someone else to pick you up for Freedom of Speech brownie points. That's what happened last year when some people organized a pressure campaign on the Dailykos advertisers -- kos ended up making a lot more money than he was before, from people who wanted to be seen as supporting free speech.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Actually they do (2.50 / 2) (#63)
by MichaelCrawford on Wed May 04, 2005 at 02:33:34 PM EST

There are some unspecified "stop words" that will make paid ads stop being served and be replaced by unpaid Public Service Announcements.

Basically anything that makes your page look like a porn or hate site.

CheeseburgerBrown had that problem with Darth Vader's blog.


-- Tired of my press release? Have some Google AdSense Tips and Tricks instead.


[ Parent ]

Well, that's not very useful (none / 0) (#184)
by CAIMLAS on Wed May 11, 2005 at 02:05:36 PM EST

If they're unspecified, how are people to know what they should avoid? Any pointers/advice on what those words are?
--

Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.
[ Parent ]

Don't generalise your success story (none / 0) (#33)
by shinnin on Wed May 04, 2005 at 04:02:06 AM EST

Clean, hard work is indeed the key to success on the web.

I'd like to believe that generalisation.

Indeed. (3.00 / 2) (#35)
by Polverone on Wed May 04, 2005 at 04:42:48 AM EST

I am amazed at how I've seen an increase in obvious garbage click-whoring sites when I search for things (especially products) in the last few months. Obviously people aren't doing this just for fun. Before committing myself to "playing it clean" online, I'd like to hear the business case for "wallowing in filth." Maybe I, too, could strike it rich in a roller-coaster thrill ride to the bottom.

Seriously, I think an interview with or article by major creators of spyware, adware, spam-friendly mass mailing software, networks of click-whoring sites, etc. could be quite fascinating. Is it made by people who couldn't make a living working on "normal" websites and software? Is it more profitable than squeaky-clean behavior? If you sell software that enables scumbags to do their scummy things, how do you protect your own interests against your obviously scummy customers?
--
It's not a just, good idea; it's the law.
[ Parent ]

Scum to scumbags (none / 0) (#41)
by shinnin on Wed May 04, 2005 at 09:53:16 AM EST

Esp. sites "syndicating" (stealing?) other sites' contents. Just how many "online encyclopidias" are there nowadays?

Myself and indeed a good amount of people I know who worked "hard and clean" weren't incredibly successful with web-based businesses.

Hell, even sex.com went under!

[ Parent ]

Dude your site is ugly! (1.50 / 2) (#34)
by dimaq on Wed May 04, 2005 at 04:38:31 AM EST

but you got my click. 2 actually.

You should have seen how it used to look (none / 0) (#101)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu May 05, 2005 at 12:09:53 AM EST

Most of my site has actually been redesigned by my wife, who was a freelance web designer before she went back to school.

I think you'll agree it's a substantial improvement if you'll look at a page that hasn't been redesigned yet, that I designed myself.

And that's actually one of the better ones of my old site. One of it's problems is that there was no consistency from page to page, and many of them looked (some still do) downright awful.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

I don't care, it's still ugly (none / 0) (#114)
by dimaq on Thu May 05, 2005 at 07:34:25 AM EST

really when something is ugly there's no point thinking that it's still better than what it used to be or than something else - it's just ugly. period.

[ Parent ]
So how would you describe my old design? (none / 0) (#116)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu May 05, 2005 at 07:43:48 AM EST

Perhaps "hideous" is the right word? "Revolting" perhaps? How about "appalling"?

Bonita didn't used to think it was so bad until she read several books on web design, CSS, and also Jakob Nielsen's book Homepage Usability, and did a couple sites once she was able to get some clients. The next time she looked at my site she basically didn't rest until she had me a new design.

It was only the fact that I had so many pages, that were in HTML 2, 3, or 4 transitional, most of them not valid, that kept her from rolling out her design to my site.

Really it's best that I'm recoding my pages myself, because it's a good opportunity to read them all over carefully and revise them. I've been fixing a lot of broken links for example.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

with all the advertisment... (none / 1) (#121)
by dimaq on Thu May 05, 2005 at 10:42:08 AM EST

with all the advertisment you made for your old design, I elected to spare my eyes :)

[ Parent ]
Impressions != income (3.00 / 2) (#45)
by rusty on Wed May 04, 2005 at 11:16:27 AM EST

I've found that more page impressions does not necessarily equal more income. With adsense, it seems to matter much more where the ads are on the page, and exactly what pages they live on. The goal for a site operator should be to find the minimum number of pages that ads perform well on and just run them there.

And even then, you should also experiment with placement. For a little while, I was running blogads above adsense ads on some pages, for anonymous visitors. This arrangement put the adsense performance right in the toilet. Reversing the order, so the google ads were higher up, brught it back to normal. I was actually kind of astonished at what a difference it made. So try out some different page locations, you might be surprised at how much better one works than another.

____
Not the real rusty

And you carefully controlled other variables... (2.50 / 2) (#47)
by skyknight on Wed May 04, 2005 at 12:00:59 PM EST

precisely how? This doesn't sound particularly scientific as you've described it.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Other variables like what? (2.50 / 2) (#49)
by rusty on Wed May 04, 2005 at 12:25:40 PM EST

It's not particularly scientific, but if I can look at performance for one month, change nothing except the placement of the ads, and then look at performance for the next month, I think I can reasonably draw a conclusion that it made a difference. The change in performance was well outside of the normal month-to-month fluctuations.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Well... (1.50 / 4) (#51)
by skyknight on Wed May 04, 2005 at 12:42:47 PM EST

In a perfect scientific experiment you would control literally everything, such as having the exact same content posted, rewinding people's brains to be seeing the content for the first time, etc. Obviously that's not possible, but still, there are a lot of things that would need controlling to some degree if the results are going to be interesting. Were the traffic volumes the same? Was it roughly the same set of people? Were the articles for which this was tested roughly of the same nature? Was it the same time of the year? There are so many things that could have changed from one iteration of your test to the next that it could be questionable to draw the inferences that you did. Maybe if you tried the experiment over the course of a year you could wipe the possibility of the noise influencing your results. Then again, I bet K5's demographics can change quite a bit from year to the next. I don't know... If I were in your shoes, I'd be inclined to reserve my judgment. It might actually be the case that the ads' success rates were correlated with something that you saw, but not necessarily caused, and that's an important distinction to make.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
On rewinding brains (none / 0) (#57)
by glor on Wed May 04, 2005 at 02:11:12 PM EST

Does demanding this criterion make science (with people) impossible?  There's a debate on epistemology to be had here.

--
Disclaimer: I am not the most intelligent kuron.
[ Parent ]

Actually... (none / 0) (#79)
by skyknight on Wed May 04, 2005 at 08:56:43 PM EST

I believe quantum mechanics dictates that no two experiments will ever be quite the same, though I might be misquoting someone. In any case, that doesn't kill science. Science never answers questions with complete certainty. It only redistributes the probability of various explanations. That you can never exactly duplicate an experiment doesn't mean you can't say anything about the universe. It just makes things harder and thus means that you must be more conservative about the conclusions that you draw.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
You can predict quantum probability with certainty (none / 1) (#89)
by MichaelCrawford on Wed May 04, 2005 at 09:39:50 PM EST

While no physics experiment is repeatible because of quantum uncertainty, one can make precise calculations of the probability distribution.

In some domains, such as the electron-photon interaction explained by Feynam and Tominaga's Quantum Electrodynamics, one can do experiments that collect enough data points to have amazingly precise measurements, and show the the physical laws are completely valid.

In other domains, such as atomic nuclei, in which the bound states of the heavy particles have such high energy that they travel at relativistic speeds, the "laws" are more of an approximation, but over time the experiments are increasingly determine just how they are wrong and enable improved models to be created.

Neutrino oscillations were predicted because the Standard Model (which covers the bound states of nuclear particles) didn't seem quite right, and have recently been confirmed by actually observing some.


-- Tired of my press release? Have some Google AdSense Tips and Tricks instead.


[ Parent ]

Yes, indeed... (none / 0) (#168)
by skyknight on Sun May 08, 2005 at 08:27:25 AM EST

I recently watched a taped lecture by Feynman in which he was at the blackboard drawing out all the zeroes for some value to illustrate how accurately it had been measured. It was quite illustrative. In any case, yes, while things at the particle level are non-deterministic from our vantage point, we can still make pretty good claims about how things will act in the aggregate, thanks to probability and statistics. Really, though, my particle physics knowledge is sadly lacking. Most mechanics problems I can muddle my way through, but when things are really big or really small I don't have the requisite background.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Not just quantum mechanics. (none / 0) (#93)
by glor on Wed May 04, 2005 at 10:26:57 PM EST

This is one of the basic problems of science, to my mind:  when you repeat an experiment, having changed some control variable, which of the differences are "significant" and which are just "background"?  Nearly any experiment will have "background" variations way way above the quantum limit, due to, say, temperature variation, stray magnetic fields, power surges or dips, component failures, statistical uncertainties, unrewound brains, you name it.  The problem is never one of eliminating such non-control variables, but of reducing them to some acceptable level.  

MichaelCrawford is right that quantum fluctations are sometimes exactly calculable and can be verified to high precision.  But such experiments still suffer from the kinds of problems that I list above.  

--
Disclaimer: I am not the most intelligent kuron.
[ Parent ]

Well, the about about science is... (none / 0) (#169)
by skyknight on Sun May 08, 2005 at 08:30:37 AM EST

is never tries to make an incontrovertible claims. The purpose of science is not to "prove" things in the way that many people think of the word, but rather, as I said previously, to reallocate probabilities in a vector of possible beliefs. Our experiment may have been whacked by quantum level oddities, but we try as best as we can to reason about whether this may have happened and to what extent, and to incorporate those beliefs into our final claims. In the end, this could all be the result of a trickster god.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Never? No, just a different set of them. (none / 0) (#173)
by glor on Sun May 08, 2005 at 11:48:22 PM EST

Science does make incontrovertible claims, but they are all of this form:  "We did X, and Y happened."  What's controversial afterwards is the interpretation, or any guess at a causal relationship between X and Y (either its details, or simply its existence).  There is a very strong likelihood of an assumption like "if you did X, you would see something like Y."  However, if you call into question observational reports, the entire apparatus of science collapses.

Note that this does happen sometimes.  Thomas Kuhn writes that after Galileo discovered that the period of a pendulum depends only on its length, he "observed" that this was true for angles up to 90 degrees (which is not the case, the equality is only good at small angles).  

--
Disclaimer: I am not the most intelligent kuron.
[ Parent ]

Nah (none / 0) (#58)
by rusty on Wed May 04, 2005 at 02:14:41 PM EST

I know what you mean, but without being able to show you the data, I can say that it was pretty damn unmistakeable. I'm talking about watching the CTR drop by an order of magnitude on the day I first changed the order (and stay there), and then rise by an order of magnitude (and stay there) on the day I reversed it. The total timespan was within one month, and there was no great deviation of traffic from normal at any time. Normal CTR deviation from one day to the next, with no changes, is on the order of +/- 25%.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Well, I admit that would have made me wonder... (none / 0) (#80)
by skyknight on Wed May 04, 2005 at 08:57:39 PM EST

It would have been more interesting if you had done it several times and repeatedly gotten very similar results.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
What is CTR? (none / 0) (#85)
by lukme on Wed May 04, 2005 at 09:18:28 PM EST

How real is this number - ie, what how is it arrived at? Is there a weekly trend - a monthly trend?

Most of the internet traffic that I have analyzed has distinct daily, weekly and monthly trends.


-----------------------------------
It's awfully hard to fly with eagles when you're a turkey.
[ Parent ]
Click through rate (none / 0) (#103)
by rusty on Thu May 05, 2005 at 01:08:48 AM EST

All I see is a daily summary, which gets updated in slightly less than real-time, but I only really pay attention to it on a dialy level. And there are fluctuations, although I haven't really noticed the kind of trends that raw traffic numbers show. Probably because the CTR is a rate, not a raw count, so while overall clicks are lower on weekends, the rate stays pretty much the same.

Anyway, what I'm talking about is (with fake numbers) say the CTR for the first week was between 6% and 9%. Then I move the ads around, and for the next week in those positions the CTR is 2% to 0.5%. I switch back, and it returns to 6% to 9%.

That's the magnitude of difference I saw. The highest numbers on the lower days were much lower than the lowest numbers on the higher days. If there was even any overlap, I'd be less sure, but as it was, it left me no doubt. I also am pretty sure that it would be different for different sites and different layouts -- but I bet the general effect remains similar.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

It was unmistable when I adjusted my placement (none / 0) (#115)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu May 05, 2005 at 07:38:02 AM EST

I could tell in less than an hour that May was going to be over a thousand dollars more than March was. There were just a few days left in April, but even so, just moving my ad was enough to make April three hundred dollars more than March.

I let a day go by to make sure, then emailed AdSense support to suggest they give a pat on the back and a hefty bonus check to whoever came up with the heat map.

All I did was move the ad on my top performing page from the right side of the article's intro text to the left. The heat map says that goes from yellow to orange. It's red just on top of the body text, but that would have been disruptive to my page's design, and I think would have actually reduced CTR. But I'm going to spend some time thinking about how I can redesign my pages so I can use the red rectangle and not look tacky.

I just checked my ad performance report and I'm pretty sure that May really is going to make three grand. It's hard to be sure yet because I have big daily fluctuations - I get the most traffic to my article on the weekends, in the late afternoon and evening in North America. I get the least during business hours on weekdays.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Ad placement is why I'll make $3k again in May (none / 0) (#67)
by MichaelCrawford on Wed May 04, 2005 at 03:09:31 PM EST

I used the advice of the AdSense Heat Map and boosted my performance from the $1800 it was in March to where I'm pretty sure I'll make $3000 in May. I did it late in April, so April came to $2100.


-- Tired of my press release? Have some Google AdSense Tips and Tricks instead.


[ Parent ]

DEAR MICHAEL CRAWFORD, (1.00 / 19) (#52)
by Hatfield and the North on Wed May 04, 2005 at 12:49:44 PM EST

PLEASE STOP ATTEMPTING TO GAME OUR SEARCH ENGINE, FAGGOT.

YOURS SINCERELY,
GOOGLE

-1 Googlegaming, blogwhoring, linkwhoring, (1.09 / 11) (#54)
by Hatfield and the North on Wed May 04, 2005 at 12:51:13 PM EST

MichaelCrawford, crappyarticles, CreativeCommons, MisuseOfTheWord"Proprietary", flauntingincome, etc.

Why the hel+1 not. (3.00 / 2) (#55)
by Mylakovich on Wed May 04, 2005 at 01:21:28 PM EST

I have no idea what your talking about, but I like it!

New Terms of Service allow reporting income (none / 0) (#71)
by MichaelCrawford on Wed May 04, 2005 at 03:27:26 PM EST

Several people have raised the issue that the AdSense TOS don't allow one to report income. That was changed in the last revision to the AdSense Terms of Service:

Confidentiality. You agree not to disclose Google Confidential Information without Google's prior written consent. "Google Confidential Information" includes without limitation: (a) all Google software, technology, programming, specifications, materials, guidelines and documentation relating to the Program; (b) click-through rates or other statistics relating to Site performance in the Program provided to You by Google; and (c) any other information designated in writing by Google as "Confidential" or an equivalent designation. However, You may accurately disclose the amount of Google's gross payments to You pursuant to the Program. Google Confidential Information does not include information that has become publicly known through no breach by You or Google, or information that has been (i) independently developed without access to Google Confidential Information, as evidenced in writing; (ii) rightfully received by You from a third party; or (iii) required to be disclosed by law or by a governmental authority.

I think it's OK that I say "$1800" instead of the actual $1809.58 that I got for March, as it's clear from the context that I'm rounding.

Note however that CTR, pay per click and eCPM are still confidential. From the above:

"Google Confidential Information" includes without limitation: ... (b) click-through rates or other statistics relating to Site performance in the Program provided to You by Google;


-- Tired of my press release? Have some Google AdSense Tips and Tricks instead.


Crawford pays the bills around here +1FP (3.00 / 3) (#78)
by Smiley K on Wed May 04, 2005 at 08:44:51 PM EST

I'd give you a section vote if you were any other K5 poster.
-- Someone set up us the bomb.
Thanks for Pointing That Out. (none / 0) (#86)
by MichaelCrawford on Wed May 04, 2005 at 09:26:30 PM EST

I was going to say that I have more active ads right now than anyone else, but actualtools has seven while I only have six.

Not to be outdone, I just placed two more. Once they're approved, that "six" links will show eight ads. You might find the new ones surprising.

I expect that I'll place a few more in the coming week, once I'm able to do my budget for the month. And next month, when I think I'll finally be ahead, well, then you'll really start to see me spending some serious money on advertising.


-- Tired of my press release? Have some Google AdSense Tips and Tricks instead.


[ Parent ]

And here are my new ads (none / 0) (#94)
by MichaelCrawford on Wed May 04, 2005 at 11:05:56 PM EST

MacsBug beats GDB for assembly debugging hands down. Apple has a HOWTO on debugging kernel code with gdb, but it's like trying to pound nails with your fists. I've had the idea of writing a new UI for GDB to make it work just like MacsBug, but then I have so many ideas, and so little time.


-- Tired of my press release? Have some Google AdSense Tips and Tricks instead.


[ Parent ]

Playing Clean: Security For You and Your Family (3.00 / 2) (#81)
by MichaelCrawford on Wed May 04, 2005 at 08:59:48 PM EST

I spent a couple hours thinking about how to respond to a black-hat SEO named kiladen who responded to the original thread at Webmasterworld that he games the search engines to feed his family. He claims he makes twenty thousand dollars a month.

None of his sites last longer than a month or two before the search engines remove him from their index, but he ownes eighty throwaway domains and has software that can roll out a new website with thousands of keyword-rich yet meaningless pages in twenty minutes.

He acknowledges that he's not likely to get away with even this for more than six more months before they figure out who he really is (it would be worth google's while to hire a private detective) and shut him down permanently, because he has a high salary job to fall back on.

He just wants to make as much money as he can as quick as he can and is somehow able to justify this to himself because it enables him to provide for his loved ones.

Well, I hope he's got a good life insurance policy because he's not going to leave much of a legacy for his family if he's hit by a truck tomorrow. The money that feeds his children will dry up in a month or two once all the search engines remove the last of his sites from their index and he's kicked out of AdSense for violating their TOS.

Even if he's not killed, if he is injured or should become too sick to operate his "business", he won't have either his ad revenue OR his salary to fall back on. I hope he doesn't live in the US because the streets of America are filled with homeless people who never thought or could afford to buy disability insurance, or whose spouses didn't buy life insurance.

The whole reason I tried AdSense at all is that I was too sick to work, and now I know that, even if I'm not getting as much money as I need to quit my job from my website, if I couldn't work for a whole month there would be enough for rent, utility bills and food.

This really got me to thinking about how my website could provide some security for Bonita if something should happen to me. Even if she did nothing to maintain my site, it would provide ad revenue for years, possibly decades. Even if Google folded and she couldn't run AdSense, there would be new search engines that would still send my site a lot of traffic, and new ad networks that she could live off of with a minimum of effort.

On several occasions I haven't had the time to work on my website for several months, yet found traffic to my site increased as those who read my articles gave it links.

I realized that when I discuss this with Bonita (in a few minutes, she just called from Spain and asked me to call her back), she's going to protest that she won't be able to write any new articles, so traffic likely would eventually dry up as interest faded in the old ones, or they became technically obsolete. And I thought that I would tell her she could commission writing from folks like CheeseburgerBrown.

And I thought, "Why don't I get that started right now?" so a few hours ago I emailed him a sales inquiry. You'll know when he's written something for me because I'll give him credit in the K5 text ads I'll place once it's published. What better way to draw in kurons than offer writing from CheeseburgerBrown on my website?

Well I just spoke to Bonita, and when I did, I started crying. "Why did you have to tell me now, when I'm away and you're home all alone?" she asked. And I said, "What if I'd thought of this today, and went out and got killed in a traffic accident before I could tell you? It might never occur to you how you could keep people coming to my site."

She made me stop talking about it before I became uncontrollable. She said I got so upset because I'm so lonely that she's away. We don't spend much time apart.

You see, right after our wedding in 2000, I bought a million dollar life insurance policy. She would have been set for life if she lost me. It was doubly expensive because of my illness - I'm lucky I could get insurance at all, most mentally ill can't - but I didn't care because I made over a hundred grand that year, the last year before the dot com crash.

Well, the dot com crash happened, and although I did everything I could to keep paying on that policy, eventually it got to be too much for me and I had to let it lapse. It was canceled.

Bonita has been very worried either that I might get sick or get killed. She'd have to drop out of art school and get a job. She probably couldn't afford to rent a place where she could keep our dogs, who she loves as if they were her own children.

But now I know - and she knows - that it doesn't have to be that way.

Maybe next month I can afford to get a new life insurance policy, maybe even disability insurance. Getting disability insurance will certainly be costly, as I already have a disability. I might not be able to get it at all.


-- Tired of my press release? Have some Google AdSense Tips and Tricks instead.


Why is Bonita afraid you'll get killed? (none / 0) (#98)
by Russell Dovey on Wed May 04, 2005 at 11:50:49 PM EST

Who's gunning for you? Or does she mean accidents?

"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan
[ Parent ]

Nobody's out to get me, not these days anyway (none / 0) (#100)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu May 05, 2005 at 12:04:56 AM EST

But there was a time when I thought that they were.

No, she's more worried about something like a traffic accident, or just slipping and hurting myself so bad I can't work. Even a broken arm would keep me programming.

Read the above linked diary and you'll understand why getting sick presents a very real threat to our livelihood.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

I read the diary. (none / 0) (#129)
by Russell Dovey on Thu May 05, 2005 at 12:51:44 PM EST

You're right, it was magnificent. Couldn't put it down.

Of course, my monitor's pretty heavy, so I can't really pick it up either. Suffice it to say I couldn't stop reading until the end, when it seemed advisable to avoid confusion.

"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan
[ Parent ]

WOW! (none / 0) (#130)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu May 05, 2005 at 01:01:10 PM EST

Thanks!

The comments I found posted the morning after I wrote it made me feel like I devoted a whole night pissing into the wind. Like "This was entirely too terse." Dear me, 6489 words!

I may well submit it is a story, but I do, it needs more work.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

See, this is why you get lotsa page views. (none / 0) (#131)
by Russell Dovey on Thu May 05, 2005 at 01:09:30 PM EST

Some people work on a story for a few hours, then post it. This guy writes a great, interesting, readable piece of work and says "Hmm, better polish it a little before I submit it to the actual queue."

That's the difference. (Now, if only I can listen to me. Yes, me, that's you I'm talking about!)

"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan
[ Parent ]

It can be a problem sometimes (none / 0) (#133)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu May 05, 2005 at 01:44:20 PM EST

... what I described in my diary transformed somehow from pride in a job well done to destructive obsession. My music downloading article was long, but not a month's worth of long. LwSD was three times as long, but only took ten days to write.

It's actually k5 that made me the writer I am today. I guess I just didn't notice that most people ignore the advice they get in edit. What I took it to mean was that I should revise my articles. After having enough articles in edit, you start to figure out what you need to do without having to ask anyone to critique your work.

You know what I hate? It's when an article is dumped, because the moderators make clear that what the author needs to do is revise and resubmit, and then he just doesn't bother. That just pisses me off that people don't resubmit as they're asked to.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Train wreck (1.00 / 3) (#149)
by actmodern on Fri May 06, 2005 at 05:01:57 PM EST

I have to admit. This is the ultimate in modern human sacrifice. We're watching this poor man go on and on describing all the insane things in his life.

I'm not condoning it because he's obviously mentally ill but I have to say +FP not for the story but for the 15 comments he'll post to his own story.


--
LilDebbie challenge: produce the water sports scene from bable or stfu. It does not exist.
[ Parent ]

Feed his family? (3.00 / 2) (#170)
by skyknight on Sun May 08, 2005 at 08:36:14 AM EST

What is he feeding them, a different near-extinct species at every meal?

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
What if I submitted last night's diary as a story? (2.50 / 2) (#102)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu May 05, 2005 at 12:32:25 AM EST

Yes, it's a diary, but I feel there is a place on the front page for certain kinds of diaries. Living with Schizoaffective Disorder was a fifty page diary that made front page in three installments, and if you think about it, any story anyone writes about their genuine personal experience is a diary.

Not tonight's diary! This one:

Of course I would replace the link in the intro, which is to the original of this article on my website, to this page's URL on K5.

Yes, I know it's 6489 words, certainly the longest diary I've ever written, quite possibly the longest of any at K5. But it's not just manic rambling, as WhetherMan suggested. I'm not manic or anything. I actually worked at it quite carefully and methodically. I spent eight hours working on it, revising it extensively, so I would do the best job I possibly could. I'm like that with most of the things I write.

Just after I moved to Canada, rusty asked me to submit a story about my immigration, but being paranoid I thought I would be deported if I called attention to myself too much. I had actually intended not to mention my move until I had my landed immigrant card, which is only about to arrive a year and a half later.

My diary explains our decision to move, what it was like and what has happened since we've been in Canada.

I have also intended for quite some time to write a followup to Living with Schizoaffective Disorder. I said in it that I was doing really well at the time, that all I needed was a monthly med check.

Well that was true in April of 2003, but I started to get symptomatic again the week after it appeared here on K5, and damn near ended up in the nuthouse again. It was only going to the emergency room when I did that saved me, another few days and the men with butterfly nets would have had to chase me down and drag me in.

My recovery was very slow and painful. It took an entire year. And I have only been able to get by as well as I have because I decided to publish Google AdSense on my site.

A good part of why I wrote both this article - Earn High by Playing it Clean - and last night's diary is that I wanted to help people who had no other options understand that there really is a way out.

Please do go read it - I worked hard on it, just ask frijolito. If there's enough support for it, I'll fix it up and submit it tomorrow.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


it's already posted to k5. (none / 0) (#119)
by garlic on Thu May 05, 2005 at 09:29:55 AM EST

what point is there in trying to make it a story, besides ego stroking?

HUSI challenge: post 4 troll diaries on husi without being outed as a Kuron, or having the diaries deleted or moved by admins.
[ Parent ]

Greater exposure (none / 0) (#123)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu May 05, 2005 at 11:21:19 AM EST

Probably ten thousand people read Living with Schizoaffective Disorder when it was on the front page at k5. I only found four comments the morning after I posted my diary, now there are thirteen. That's pretty disappointing, after putting so much work into writing it.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

BESIDES ego stroking. (1.50 / 2) (#125)
by garlic on Thu May 05, 2005 at 11:26:02 AM EST

BESIDES EGO STROKING. did you see that part? I wrote it bigger this time so it would be easier to read.

HUSI challenge: post 4 troll diaries on husi without being outed as a Kuron, or having the diaries deleted or moved by admins.
[ Parent ]

Well, to fight the stigma against mental illness (none / 0) (#128)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu May 05, 2005 at 11:57:04 AM EST

... for one thing. I try to serve as an example that the mentally ill can make a positive contribution to society.

Do you have any idea of the risk I take, being so public about my illness? How many consulting clients do you think I'd get, if they all new about that before they contacted me? But I'm open about it, because I'm trying to help the mentally ill people who have to hide it because they face such hatred from others.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Jesus, just STOP! (1.20 / 5) (#166)
by Saeed al Sahaf on Sun May 08, 2005 at 01:53:59 AM EST

Jesus, just STOP! Stop before your HUGE HEAD EXPLOADS!

[ Parent ]
$20,000 a month to feed his family? (none / 0) (#136)
by Polverone on Thu May 05, 2005 at 05:53:58 PM EST

What the hell are they eating? Stats like this make playing it clean sound less attractive than it should be. You can take unique content that you've worked hard on and make it somewhat uglier and tackier to bring in $3000 a month, or you can mass-produce garbage with scripts and bring in $20000 a month. Wow. It's the least risky get-rich-quick scheme imaginable for someone with computer savvy. No wonder I've been coming across so many garbage pages lately. Google needs to offer a bounty on garbage pages so that I can get rich quick hunting down the work of get-rich-quick SEO guys. Arms races are fascinating to watch, if not always enjoyable to participate in.
--
It's not a just, good idea; it's the law.
[ Parent ]
Maybe he lives in Switzerland (none / 0) (#137)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu May 05, 2005 at 05:59:48 PM EST

The rent on those mountaintop chalets is pretty steep you know.

Yeah, I found it a little hard to swallow that he claims he needs twenty grand to put food on the table, and then goes on to say he has a high salary perm job in case the SEO fails.

Maybe he's into cocaine, high-stakes gambling, or high class hookers.

I don't have many bad habits but staying up all night at k5 waiting for my article to post.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

I Am So Stoked! (3.00 / 4) (#107)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu May 05, 2005 at 04:34:12 AM EST

I haven't done as well recently making front page as I used to. Maybe I'm really getting my old self back.

I've been sitting up for hours reloading this story, seeing that it was just a few points away from making front page, but a couple hours would pass between each vote, because I guess everyone who usually moderates had already done so. It was heartbreaking, after a couple hours at 68, that someone put it back to 67. I'd have been crushed to only make section if the autopost deadline passed.

To those of you who still believe I'm just a link whore and of no real benefit to the community, please see my response to communistpoet's request that I help the Free Software Foundation become the #1 hit for free software. They are number 2, even though they are pagerank 9, as good as apple and slashdot, while the #1 hit is only pagerank 8.

I've been spending a lot of time thinking about writing a couple of more informatively practicle articles, one about AdSense and the other about White Hat Search Engine Optimization. I'll submit them here, but it will be a while. I'll be posting some notes here over the next few days. But you can get my first such tip by reading communistpoet's diary linked above.

Thank you for all your support. As I said in my press release, I want to give back to the community that has given me so much. I meant it when I said I was a Dirty GNU Hippy in last night's diary.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


holy cow dude, (none / 0) (#118)
by garlic on Thu May 05, 2005 at 09:28:35 AM EST

how about less crowing about how great your article is, and how everyone should like you because you buy ads, and more trying to think of something interesting to say? Also, replying to your own article 15 times at the top level makes you look a little manic.

HUSI challenge: post 4 troll diaries on husi without being outed as a Kuron, or having the diaries deleted or moved by admins.
[ Parent ]

He is insane (none / 0) (#148)
by actmodern on Fri May 06, 2005 at 04:52:10 PM EST

He is clinically insane. He's shared that much with us. The scary thing is his article got put on the front page :-)

--
LilDebbie challenge: produce the water sports scene from bable or stfu. It does not exist.
[ Parent ]
Not insane, mentally ill. There's a difference. (none / 0) (#150)
by MichaelCrawford on Fri May 06, 2005 at 05:42:18 PM EST

I'm mentally ill all the time, but I'm only rarely insane. Whenever I've been insane - when one more or more of my symptoms have been acting up severely - it's never been longer than a couple months at a time. Usually it's not more than a few weeks.

I just like to write. I like to write no matter what, but I like to write more at some times than at others: one of my symptoms is compulsion. Compulsions are acted out in response to anxiety. Most obsessive-compulsives do things like pull hair, pick scabs, straighten the pictures hanging on the wall, straighten the fringes on the carpet. Me, when I get anxious, I write. A lot. I find it comforting.

But such writing doesn't generally come across as inspired by insanity, because I also find it comforting to edit, and meticulously so.

I was anxious a few days ago about how my AdSense check hadn't arrived yet, it was late in fact even though I'd paid thirty bucks to have it expressed. I was running out of food for myself and my dogs. For comfort, I spent eight hours writing a six thousand word diary. I'm thinking I might fix it up some more and and submit it as a story:

What do you think?

If you wonder how obviously mentally ill people can murder someone and not be found guilty by reason of insanity, it's because the jury didn't find that they were symptomatic enough to be judged criminally insane. Now, I know there's places like Texas with death penalty obsessions, but even in states where the rule of law is still observed, even being schizophrenic doesn't get you a Get Out of Jail Free Card.

In most states, the rule for judging someone criminally insane is that they must have been incapable of distinguishing between right and wrong at the instant they committed the crime. I know from experience that I can be wigging pretty hard, but still know that to hurt someone would be wrong.

If you'd like to know more about my mental illness, it made front page right here at k5. I had to submit it in three installments because it was so long - fifty pages in hardcopy. I like to write, you see. But the copy I have on my own website is marked up a little nicer and has some nice photos:

Thank you for your attention.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Roland? (1.00 / 3) (#163)
by Saeed al Sahaf on Sat May 07, 2005 at 09:23:52 PM EST

Is that you?

[ Parent ]
Go back to slashdot [nt] (none / 0) (#178)
by esrever on Mon May 09, 2005 at 10:36:20 PM EST



Audit NTFS permissions on Windows
[ Parent ]
I would feel like a whore if I did this (1.00 / 9) (#108)
by A Bore on Thu May 05, 2005 at 04:56:27 AM EST

Smearing my excrement over the internet in the hope of a monthly check dropping in my mailbox. At some point, you have to take a step back and ask yourself if you are crossing the line in order to get traffic to your website. I have nothing against people posting self created content and making money on that, but when they start desperately spamming and google bombing it crosses the line, becoming parasitism. It simply isn't worth it, I can earn enough in my daily job to sustain a comfortable life without compromising my moral integrity, or becoming a nuisance just to make a fistful of extra dollars.

I've never once spammed anyone actually (2.50 / 2) (#112)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu May 05, 2005 at 06:37:22 AM EST

and while you might reasonably claim I'm a link whore, all the links I've ever posted to my own articles were on-topic, usually genuinely helpful responses to questions they directly addressed.

All my other links have been from my sig, my diary and from my text ads, all well-established as acceptable ways to promote one's site.

And I don't see what is wrong with googlebombing, as long as the link text is actually a relevant keyword. And do you know, that's not the original meaning of googlebombing: I learned at webmasterworld that a googlebomb is a link farm set up by an SEO pointed at their competitor's website. Their objective is to make the search engines think it's the competitor that's gaming the search engines.

What I do pales in comparison to what the black hat SEOs do.

I'm thinking over an article on White Hat SEO, and expect I can submit one within a month. Most of I don't already know is readily available at webmasterworld.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Spamming and suchlike (1.33 / 3) (#120)
by A Bore on Thu May 05, 2005 at 10:08:45 AM EST

Googlebombing I count as spamming. Just because you are spamming a search engine does not make it morally acceptable. In your current .sig googlebomb, your essay is actually little to do with AdSense tips or tricks. You are manipulating a commonly searched term hypocritically to point to an essay about playing fair.

Link whoring is a nuisance, plain and simple. I personally do no think it is "well-established as acceptable ways to promote one's site", but do as you wish. Just be prepared for reactions like mine.

[ Parent ]
Well actually it IS about AdSense tips and tricks (none / 0) (#122)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu May 05, 2005 at 11:12:57 AM EST

If you had actually taken the time to read my article, either the one I link to or the one your comment is a reply to, you would understand that.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

I did read it.. (1.33 / 3) (#126)
by A Bore on Thu May 05, 2005 at 11:37:25 AM EST

and it ISN'T really. The first 970 words are about you, your website, and your life to date, diary style. Then there are two short paragraphs with your "tips and tricks", compromising a measley 147 words. I see two tips there: 1)Don't post any ads at all and 2)When you do, have one adsense per page. I feel the essay is heavily weighted away from tips and tricks, and towards webmaster Michael Crawford. You might like to perceive it as a community service, writing it, I see it as more self advertisement.

You are decieving yourself, but not me. A question: how far will you go? How much are you going to push this in people's faces to keep the checks running in? Where are your own lines not to be crossed?

[ Parent ]
I'm astounded, frankly, that you don't get it (none / 0) (#127)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu May 05, 2005 at 11:54:27 AM EST

I originally posted this at webmasterworld because so many people have worked so hard to build their websites, with such poor results.

I explained how I was able to succeed by building a legitimate website, and wrote down as much of what I knew that I could think of at the time, so that others could benefit.

That was at webmasterworld. One member emailed me to say it was "A Beautiful Contribution".

I posted it on my website so it would get more exposure. I had the idea it could draw traffic to my site too, but I decided, no the right thing to do would be to publish it at K5, so it would get even more exposure, and then CC license it, so others could copy it, and so it would get even more exposure, and so help even more people.

You may say that what I advise is common sense, but it must not be, because it doesn't occur to most people.

I find your attitude difficult to understand.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

It's not the writing, its the Googlebomb (none / 0) (#144)
by A Bore on Fri May 06, 2005 at 07:01:00 AM EST

Perhaps I'm not making myself clear. You can write about your experience if you like, you can publish it where you want, you can call it what you want. What I object to is your hijacking of the search term "Google AdSense Tips and Tricks", since your essay mentions these only briefly and without depth, and as I have said, concerns more with self promotion and diarising of your online experience.

A contributor below has inadvertantly strengthened this point - "It[the article] is less about 'hot tips to beat Google'". People searching for "AdSense Tips and Tricks" blatantly are looking for tips to beat google, not a content-lite personal biography. 147 words on subject to 1352 words overall: only 11% of your essay directly answers the search term. To me, that is crossing the line.

But you refuse to discuss this subject in the terms I've laid out. You are answering questions I haven't even asked, as if I'm attacking your right to post whatever you want. Like you say yourself, if the page is good enough, it shouldn't need a googlebomb to attract traffic, right?

[ Parent ]
BUT THE WHOLE ESSAY IS ADSENSE TIPS! (none / 0) (#147)
by MichaelCrawford on Fri May 06, 2005 at 12:04:40 PM EST

There's just nothing more I can say to you if you just won't listen to reason.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Plz identify. said tips (none / 0) (#183)
by A Bore on Wed May 11, 2005 at 06:29:49 AM EST

beyond the ones I've already identified. Read your essay with a critical eye, how much is *actually relevant* to what people are searching for with "Google AdSense Tips and Tricks"? I did some basic word counting and came out at about 200 words, charitably. About 10% of your essay. The rest, as I reiterate is diarising, relinking to old articles, information about what money you make, stuff about your wife / life continuum etc. etc.

Here is an example of what I percieve your essay to be. Say I set up a page, and googlebombed "Finding Cheap Flights" linking to it. The I set out one or two paragraphs about finding cheap flights on the net, then spent another 1,00 words talking about my own website selling cheap flights, and other great deals on all sorts of things like windsocks, highlighter pens and police batons. This is dishonest. Not the essay itself, I can write waht I wish after all. But the context, the intention I had when writing it. It wasn't to honestly write a good essay - I wouldn't need a googlebomb. Googlebombs are dishonesty. It is not up to me to define what your search should return, as if I can predict the relevancy of my own writing to you, John Q. Randomsearcher. Your essay is self promotion tacked onto a few paragraphs of useful, but obvious advice.

I don't expect you to actually address what I've said. Whenever I've accused you of writing irrelevant self promotion, you've replied in denial, without actually talking about what you wrote. 10% is not a huge amount of relevant information. Stop saying you don't understand, and deal with it.

[ Parent ]
there's value there, though (2.50 / 2) (#142)
by urdine on Thu May 05, 2005 at 11:11:42 PM EST

I think there's value to personal information, the story of the steps he took to get where he is.  It is less about "hot tips to beat Google" and more about how to built the TYPE of site that will succeed modestly using AdSense.  It's very inline with what Google says - make good, unique content and you'll get good Google rating and good traffic.  This article goes into some nuts and bolts of that, and I think it does a good job of showing "one man's approach."

Also, I think there's absolutely nothing wrong with making money in this way.  If you are frightened by the possibility that your ethics might be tested, you don't have to make a site like this, or take this sort of chance.  I think if someone can look the slippery slope of profits in the face and turn away, balancing their need to make a living with their own ethics, that says quite a bit more about their character than not making a site at all.

[ Parent ]

Thanks for sharing ... (2.50 / 2) (#109)
by tilly on Thu May 05, 2005 at 05:49:40 AM EST

Sharing your technical knowledge, practical advice and the personal stuff ...

I found that a fitness kick - a health kick - is good anti-depressant.

Also, might meditation help?

With both - exercise, meditation - there are so many different ways, one needs to experiment to find the type suitable for one's temperament.

Would be a good idea to lay off the booze, perhaps?

Anyway, thanks and good luck to you!

Exercise helps quite a lot, actually (3.00 / 2) (#110)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu May 05, 2005 at 06:10:35 AM EST

I rode ten miles a day from last july through november, when it got too cold and rainy here in nova scotia, and I think it's a significant factor in my recovery.

I've started riding again, but wasn't feeling so good lately, so I haven't done it much yet, but I will get back into it soon.

I drink only very rarely. I made a conscious decision when I was a teenager that I would not become an alcoholic someday, and I could see in myself that if I drank much at all, that that would be my fate.

But I just spent a week sweating over the arrival of my adsense check, because if it hadn't arrived yesterday, neither I nor my dogs nor my cat would have had anything to eat today. While I could have gone without eating for a day or two, I would have a hard time explaining to my pets why I couldn't feed them.

It was actually my wife who suggested I get drunk, when she saw how worked up I was when the check finally arrived. That's remarkably understanding for a wife.

I really do feel it's important to spread the light. Read the marketing tips I give to other consultants. It's almost all common sense, but most businesses keep their marketing strategies a secret, to help their competitive advantage.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

No way. (2.50 / 2) (#117)
by Harvey Anderson on Thu May 05, 2005 at 09:01:38 AM EST

What you should be saying is, "Will you ever talk about yourself so much that you won't ever need to do it again?"

Pride is one thing; talking about it so much turns into making one look like he needs a 24-hour hug from Mickey Mouse.

[ Parent ]

Looked at your site ... (none / 0) (#111)
by levsen on Thu May 05, 2005 at 06:36:57 AM EST

but couldn't find the AdSense ads. Which pages are they on?

This comment is printed on 100% recycled electrons.
I didn't want to call attention to them (none / 0) (#113)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu May 05, 2005 at 06:59:56 AM EST

or the moderators might have I was just posting this story to get kurons to click them.

This is my top performing page, where I'll be leaving the adsense. Here is a nonperforming page, where I'll remove the adsense when I get around to redesigning its HTML (it's probably my next one that I'll do this weekend).

I'm not actually at all happy with the ads that google serves to my music downloading article. Most of them are for p2p networks, and often claim that they offer legal downloads, but don't really. Sometimes I get email from readers who are confused, who think that because they clicked the ads in my article about legal music downloads, that what they advertise must be legal too. I tell them to go and actually read the article.

When I'm done updating the HTML design on my website (a big job, as I have over a hundred hand-coded static pages), I'm going to have a try at directly selling the ad space on that page, most likely to MP3 player manufacturers.

Here is one with a couple affiliate ads for books at Amazon and Powell's City of Books. I had great hopes for the affiliate ads, but they don't actually work worth a damn, I've only sold three books in two months. I won't remove them from my articles, and will only add them to new ones, just as a convenience to the reader whenever I specifically mention a book.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Google Ads? (2.33 / 3) (#132)
by the77x42 on Thu May 05, 2005 at 01:18:21 PM EST

Never seen them. http://www.mozilla.org/support/firefox/adblock.


"We're not here to educate. We're here to point and laugh." - creature
"You have some pretty stupid ideas." - indubitable ‮

I don't get it (1.50 / 2) (#138)
by hershmire on Thu May 05, 2005 at 06:10:03 PM EST

Your independent consulting business is doing so well that you have to turn customers away, yet you have to rely on meagre 1-3k/month check from Google to supplement your income? Methinks you need to raise your fees. That or drop the smack habit.
FIXME: Insert quote about procrastination
Yes, I really turn customers away, and no smack (none / 0) (#139)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu May 05, 2005 at 06:16:33 PM EST

The problem is that I don't have enough productive hours in a day to be able to get by. If I could concentrate and code productively just five hours a day, I am (pardon my ego) such a hot programmer I could keep all my clients happy and make a hundred grand a year.

The problem is that it's been years since I've been able to program so productively, with any consistency. And there's no way to predict when I'll have a good day or a bad day.

The other problem is that I have to labor for every penny I earn. But a website like mine will still earn money for a long time if I'm not able to work at it for a month or two.

I just read a post from some guy at webmasterworld, said he wrote 180 articles in a year, and quit his job two months ago for adsense at four times his old salary. That's what this article is all about.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Foot in mouth (none / 1) (#140)
by hershmire on Thu May 05, 2005 at 06:30:32 PM EST

I read about your illness after I posted that comment. I understand now why you were having problems.

Your article is interesting, though the concept is not new. Advertising has been supporting free media for a long time. I appreciate the ease AdSense lends to the casual website owner, but it seems a little too dynamic to rely on for income. If you are really serious about supporting yourself with advertising revenue, you should work on soliciting advertisers directly like a typical online magazine. At that point you'd really have ensure your work is quality, and produced during regular periods. I guess it's just a matter of how much time you want to commit to this.

Of course, I have only a vague idea of how AdSense works, so take this with a grain of salt. :)
FIXME: Insert quote about procrastination
[ Parent ]
I want to solicit ads actually (none / 0) (#141)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu May 05, 2005 at 06:40:54 PM EST

I'm not very happy that the ads Google serves for my legal music downloading article are for p2p apps that fraudulently claim you'll be downloading music legally.

I figure the article would appeal to mp3 player manufacturers, or legal music downloading websites, but I don't have the first clue as to how to approach them.

I was thinking of emailing Emusic just to give it a try. Maybe I'll just go do that, what the hell. They're prominently featured in the article, but most who come across it don't read that far, I don't think.

I've been thinking for a long time of how I'm going to email adsense support someday to tell them I stopped running their ads because the ones they served me were dishonest.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Prosperity (3.00 / 2) (#145)
by levsen on Fri May 06, 2005 at 07:05:41 AM EST

This is maybe off-topic, but it reminds me of an article I just read on Alternet.org, how the economy is going up, up, up in America but prosperity is going down. Man this guy has to worry about getting enough food to eat because he is sick. My socialist central European country may not be the best place to live but people here don't have to be *that* worried about becoming disabled.

This comment is printed on 100% recycled electrons.
[ Parent ]
You did read the article, right? (none / 0) (#151)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri May 06, 2005 at 06:56:44 PM EST

The man runs his own business; when you work for yourself the risks are higher.


How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]
Even on a good day things are hard (none / 0) (#152)
by MichaelCrawford on Fri May 06, 2005 at 07:35:38 PM EST

Nobody ever hires a software consultant because they have some easy coding they need done. The best I can hope for is that they need me because none of their in-house staff has the relevant skillset. Sometimes, though, they give me the work because it's beyond any of their abilities:

One client gave me what they called "a test of my skills", a first job "just to see how good" I was. It was a custom database. Not SQL programming: a whole new database, written from scratch in C++, from the storage format, queries, sorting, searching, and editing. They needed it written from scratch because they had very unusual needs. For reasons which are hard to explain, it had a recursively-defined variable-length record structure. That is, fields in the database could be records, and fields in those records could be more records.

It wasn't a server, it only needed to be used by one process, an online futures trading decision support system.

The owner of this company is the wealthiest man I have ever met, or ever likely to meet, and the money invested by this company belonged solely to him. My database was to be a core component of the program that told his trading staff when and what to buy and sell.

Performance was crucial, which was why they decided not to use an SQL database: the networking latency for an SQL database would have been intolerable. Instead, I used a memory-mapped file, with C++ inline functions for accessors. I spent a couple of months with the Intel VTune performance profiler to optimize the code.

My client emphasized the need for reliability. If their application went down for even a day, it would cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars. This was a common occurrence, as their existing application was pretty buggy. They certainly didn't need me to make things worse.

On a previous project I had begun to adopt the "test first" strategy advocated by the eXtreme Programming methodology. I became fully committed to it here. Mostly I unit tested each of my classes and templates. I also did integration testing, in which I ran command-line programs that accessed the public API of my database using test data.

The result of all this work was that my database met all their expectations, and significantly accellerated their ability to make money. Only two bugs were ever found after I integrated my code with their application. I found one and my client found one. Both these bugs were fixed before my code went live with real trades. They spent several months testing my code, comparing its performance with their old database, which was pretty primitive but known to be reliable.

In the end, they told me that this "first project", which was "just a test", had never really been meant to be easy. Theirs was the largest single software application I have ever worked on. Mac OS 7.5.2 was bigger, but was composed of hundreds of applications, libraries and code resources. This was a single Windows executable with well over a hundred man-years of blood, sweat and tears invested in it.

It seems they had asked the application's original developer to write this database, but he refused, because he said "it couldn't be done".

Makes me feel pretty confident of my code-fu, to hear a client say something like that about my work.

But that's not what makes my life as a software consultant hard. I'll tell you that now, two things:

My client was only willing to pay any of us, not just me, but his own employees, once a month. He just didn't like to take the time to write out our paychecks.

So you can imagine my dismay when he went off on a month long vacation cruise, and forgot to pay any of us before he left. It was otherwise a good year that year, so the check I had to wait an extra month for was almost ten thousand dollars.

But here's the icing on the cake: his research director said to me one day "Your code is by far the best in our codebase". I asked his permission to quote him on my homepage; such a testimonial could help me significantly in winning new clients. He was glad to oblige.

But when company's trading manager saw that on my homepage, he refused to give me my last month's paycheck until I agreed to sign a "termination contract", which I had to wait for their attorney to draft, in which I agreed not only to remove that quote from my homepage, but never to reveal to anyone either the name of the company, the name of any of the staff, any of their methods, or the amount of money that they had.

They are very secretive about their methods, you see.

Bastards. I hope they burn in Hell.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Believe me, I sympathize. (none / 1) (#153)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri May 06, 2005 at 09:05:15 PM EST

My dad was an independent businessman for most of my life. While it wasn't in a tech field, his experiences with customers were what gave me the (mistaken) desire to work for as large a company as possible.

These days, the thing that keeps me from going independent is exactly what you focus on in your article - the need to sell yourself. I just don't have those kinds of people skills.

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]

Maybe you could quit your job for AdSense? (none / 0) (#154)
by MichaelCrawford on Fri May 06, 2005 at 10:28:01 PM EST

It's all the rage these days.

My claim that if I started now, armed with the knowledge I've gained over the years, that I could be making three grand a month a year from now, seems to be borne out by some of the posts I've seen at webmasterworld.

Even more so: some guy said he wrote 180 articles in a year, and he quit his job two months ago. He's now making four times his old salary.

I'm going to be writing an article on White Hat SEO this month (I think it will draw a lot of traffic - I'll submit it here too), but you don't need to wait. Everything you need to know can be found at Webmasterworld if you dig around a little, and ask questions.

All it takes is hard work, patience and persistence. I don't think luck has anything to do with it, I really don't.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Don't know about quitting my day job but... (none / 0) (#157)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sat May 07, 2005 at 08:47:38 AM EST

it might be worth it to supplement my income.

I am awfully tired of being referred to in other people's books but never actually writing my own.

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]

The best thing about writing for your own site (none / 0) (#158)
by MichaelCrawford on Sat May 07, 2005 at 09:29:53 AM EST

... is that you get to keep the rights, and you articles continue to make income as long as they draw traffic.

Most publishers require their authors, especially unknown ones, to assign copyright to them. If your book never gets a second printing, then the money from the first is all you'll ever earn. And you'll only ever get paid once for a magazine article.

I used to want to get a book published, but if I do, I'm going to self-publish it it Lulu rather than approach a publisher with it.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

No. (none / 0) (#159)
by levsen on Sat May 07, 2005 at 06:21:39 PM EST

The man runs his own business; when you work for yourself the risks are higher.

Normally, the risk of starvation isn't higher. Only in America.

This comment is printed on 100% recycled electrons.
[ Parent ]

ROTFL. (none / 0) (#160)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sat May 07, 2005 at 07:07:58 PM EST

You realize your point is somewhat blunted by the fact that he doesn't live in America?

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]
That's why I'm not starving (none / 0) (#164)
by MichaelCrawford on Sat May 07, 2005 at 09:49:01 PM EST

However, I'm not permitted to draw on any form of public assistance for three years. Bonita had to sign a document swearing to provide for me for that time. If I should get any form of welfare, Bonita would have to pay me back.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Pay it back? Ouch. (none / 0) (#171)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sun May 08, 2005 at 08:26:42 PM EST

Oh, and sorry for letting myself go off-topic.

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]
Why are you so often near starving? (none / 1) (#155)
by Anonymous Hiro on Fri May 06, 2005 at 11:40:10 PM EST

Why are you so often in a situation where you and your loved ones are close to starving or homelessness? Zero savings rate?

That's the part I don't get. Your medical bills are very high?

Maybe you should move to a cheaper country and make money from adsense ;). USD1800 a month is FAR FAR more than most people's monthly salary here - here it puts you past middle class... A fresh graduate could get about USD500-600/month and that's not "poor" level.

So whilst you wouldn't live like a king, you'd definitely be able to buy decent dog food for your dogs, and nice stuff for your wife every month, live in a fair sized house with a garden, have a car (or two)... You might even be able to afford a maid to help out with household stuff (that'll cut into your savings rate though). Medical treatment here is OK for non-trauma stuff (it's not great, but doesn't look like the US is giving that much bang for buck either).

Personally I'm not sure adsense is sustainable in its current form, but I'd gladly sign up for an additional USD200-500 a month whilst it lasts.

Trouble is, my country isn't listed in any of the three possible payment schemes (well its not that easy to figure out whether one could get paid or not).

If you come here as a Tourist or Person on Business trip, you're not allowed to earn money here without a work permit.

But if your website is hosted in the USA and your payment goes to a USA account, and you just transfer money in... Are you really earning money here? You're just living here ;).

Hmmm....

I explain it in great detail in my diary (none / 0) (#156)
by MichaelCrawford on Fri May 06, 2005 at 11:52:05 PM EST

Yes, in fact, my medical bills are very high. For one thing, the medicine I take for my schizoaffective disorder costs three hundred dollars a month. For another, my wife is a full-time student, and ironically she doesn't qualify for financial aid because I make so much money.

My medical bills aren't as bad as they used to be, now that I'm covered by Canadian health care. My temporary residency was granted in October, so I could get a health card. Before that, I paid quite a lot of money to see both a psychiatrist and a psychotherapist.

When I'm well, I can earn a lot of money - I made over a hundred grand in 2000. But I'm self-employed, so even on a good day, things are hard.

And a bad day? You have no idea. Read all about it, you'll be glad you did. I know it's long, but I worked hard to do a good job:

AdSense, my friend, is like manna from Heaven. It is a drink of cool water to a thirsty man.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

This has got to be an all new low for k5. (1.00 / 6) (#161)
by Saeed al Sahaf on Sat May 07, 2005 at 09:18:07 PM EST

This has got to be an all new low for k5. This is a totally self-serving masturbation story. Good Lord.

an exercise for rusty and the editors. (2.40 / 5) (#172)
by the ghost of rmg on Sun May 08, 2005 at 10:37:49 PM EST

read the responses in this article, particularly to mr. crawford.

this is the reason that people who produce decent content left this site in droves. these people are targetted precisely because they take pride in what they do -- which is to say, they do a good job at it. these are the people who are vulnerable to these sorts of tactics because people with self-respect, i.e. people who care about what they do and try to do a good job, are not willing to put up with that kind of crap and have better things to do.

these people are simultaneously most vulnerable and most important to defend, yet you, rusty and the editors, spectacularly fail to do so. in fact, you even have cute philosophical arguments to save yourselves from criticism for what is really just lazy stupidity.

the first time someone posts something like what you see in this article, you know what that person is about and you know they have no place amongst decent people. there is no second chance. there is no possibility that it was a mistake. it is a window into the soul. you know, absolutely know, what you can expect from that person from that point on.

yet you do nothing. absolutely nothing.

it is not crapflooders or trolls or whatever else that has emptied this site of its best contributors from past years -- it is your complete indifference to the people who are engaged in making your site better. you view them as cogs in a machine that will replace themselves with time and you feel no obligation to them at all, despite what profits you make on their backs.

you have the power to stop this -- and make no mistake, no one else here does. round up a cadre of editors, say nine or ten, and tell them to eliminate this kind of garbage. send a message to all your users that this is not what kuro5hin is about, that you really are about "freedom and not freeDUMB" as your faq so inanely claims.


rmg: comments better than yours.

Here's why I still publish at K5: (3.00 / 4) (#174)
by MichaelCrawford on Mon May 09, 2005 at 12:24:55 AM EST

Thank you for your support. You said:
this is the reason that people who produce decent content left this site in droves. these people are targetted precisely because they take pride in what they do -- which is to say, they do a good job at it. these are the people who are vulnerable to these sorts of tactics because people with self-respect, i.e. people who care about what they do and try to do a good job, are not willing to put up with that kind of crap and have better things to do.

In my diary, frijolito asked me:

I sometimes wonder why you continue to contribute to this site, being it so filled with hateful idiots. It reminds me of something someone said at Husi while discussing whether to write something up to let K5ers know about enterfornone's suicide: "be sure to harden your heart first".

I gave several reason in my response. The one relevant to the discussion at hand is as follows:

Finally, I want to give back to K5 because K5 has given so much to me. Both Living with Schizoaffective Disorder and Links to Tens of Thousands of Legal Downloads were first published here, and made front page - all three parts of LwSD made front page. I don't think that the copies I have on my own website would be nearly as well-known as they are if I hadn't published them here first.

It's commonly said that the solution to hate speech is not censorship, but more speech. I think the solution to the troll problem is never going to be zeroing their comments or anonymizing their accounts, but attracting more and better users to the site. I miss the K5 of old, before the trolls started running the place, and I'm happy to do everything in my power to set things right by publishing quality content here.

I am dismayed by the response I've received in this story, but not ready to give up yet.

Not quite, but close to it:

I had intended to revise The Way of the White Hat SEO Ninja so that if I submitted it, I might have some hope of making front page. Now I'm not so sure I want to, at least not yet, because all the trolls who gave me such crap in this story would bring it down in flames in the queue.

I might just keep my revision for my own website. You'll know if I do, because you'll see the text ad I place here for it.

Think about what that would mean to the kuro5hin community:

I bet that if I put AdSense on it, you'd see a lot of ads for psychiatric medications like the Risperdal I take. All the crazy folk who visit my site looking for help would click the ads like there was no tomorrow and I could retire to the Caribbean.

I spent EIGHT HOURS writing that diary, editing it meticulously because I felt it was the most important thing I had written since Living with Schizoaffective Disorder. I'm prepared to spend just as much time getting it ready for the queue. Imagine how much traffic it might bring, and how many new k5 members, because of an article with a title like that one has showing up in RSS feeds all over the Internet.

Or else...

I could publish it on my own site, and all the money K5 makes money from my text ad might be enough to buy a box of diapers for Rusty's kid.

I haven't made my decision yet, but in any case I'm not going to do either anytime soon.

But the trolls here at K5 are amateurs: if you want to see a troll, look at the flameware that erupted when I posted a link to my article on alt.www.webmaster. I only posted two or three hours ago, and that clusterfuck has already grown to seventy five messages no wait ... now it's eighty two messages!

I had to file an AdSense support ticket, to explain to them that if Viper succeeded in his threat to get me kicked out of AdSense, I was going to serve them with a subpoena for GMail's IP address logs, to help my process server track down his real identity.

What a man gets for trying to be helpful.

I'm going to copy the HTML out of this post, because in a few minutes, I'm going to submit it to the queue as a Meta story. Thank you for giving me a reason to pull an all-nighter: I hate going to bed when I have an article in the queue.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

this problem guarantees no new users will come. (none / 1) (#175)
by the ghost of rmg on Mon May 09, 2005 at 04:26:05 AM EST

the same way the presence of these people drives current and past users away, it keeps away new users. self-respecting people do not put up with the kind of shit you see here, a fact that the crapflooders are absolutely aware of and in fact mold their strategy to. (one can see this sort of self-consciousness in their deduction that female accounts must be trolls because a real female would leave immediately upon seeing their responses -- and this is rock solid reasoning.)

this is something that rusty and the crew seem unwilling to face: human beings are not text generating machines. the sort that are willing to put up with this site are going to be of a lesser kind simply because if they had any pride, they would no longer be here.

in fact, there's even more to the story relating to the aspect of community as a motivating factor, but i know rusty finds that notion even more quaint than the idea of self-respect, so i'll spare the reader.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

My Hat's Off To You Again, Sir! (none / 0) (#179)
by MichaelCrawford on Tue May 10, 2005 at 04:33:18 AM EST

Biting your spectacular troll has been a life-altering experience for me.

I hope you enjoyed your screaming orgasm. I hope it gives you many happy memories.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Who cares? (none / 0) (#176)
by Harvey Anderson on Mon May 09, 2005 at 10:06:40 AM EST

If you are trolling, who cares?
If you are not trolling, who cares?

[ Parent ]
Ah, rmg (none / 1) (#177)
by LilDebbie on Mon May 09, 2005 at 11:31:14 AM EST

you are the perfect gadfly.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
Wait... (none / 0) (#181)
by CAIMLAS on Tue May 10, 2005 at 04:29:57 PM EST

What is it you're saying, exactly? Are you disbarring this article because it talks about adsense, specifically, or because there's an inherrent quality of the post that's morally or otherwise bankrupt?

If latter, what is it that this article posesses you deem so detestable?

--

Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.
[ Parent ]

why would i take the time to explain to you (none / 0) (#182)
by the ghost of rmg on Tue May 10, 2005 at 05:21:54 PM EST

what every other reader understood perfectly?


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]
won't this ruin it? (none / 0) (#180)
by CAIMLAS on Tue May 10, 2005 at 04:26:16 PM EST

Won't wildly publicizing adsense result in a ruination of the profits for those that currently use it?

It seems to me as if this would result in a glut of poor advertisers due to the plethora of people that use adsense on their sites, resulting in a lower overall quality of products being advertised on the sites... resulting in less revenue.

Maybe someone could clue me in on this.
--

Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.

Adsense (none / 0) (#185)
by ertelc on Thu May 12, 2005 at 10:32:49 PM EST

I use adsense as a source of income to limit out of pocket expense to provide a few websites that people can enjoy and I can spend my spare time doing. I've noticed a great increase in my profits over the last couple months, but with a little time and dedication, one could make a substantial profit. I wouldn't quit my job just yet.
[%] Free Ringtones
Censors! (none / 1) (#187)
by Saeed al Sahaf on Sat May 14, 2005 at 03:07:49 PM EST

Interesting that all the comments that Michael didn't like have been removed...

very good article (none / 0) (#189)
by Neokit on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 09:07:52 PM EST

I think you wrote a very good article, but i do not believe you when you say it's possible after a year to bring from adsense 3k.

Anyway, have you ever used it from the other side ? Have you tried adwords ?

---

---
Hebergement Internet en francais.
Webhosting in french!

Earn High by Playing it Clean | 187 comments (129 topical, 58 editorial, 0 hidden)
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