Cannibalizing Traffic … with Google AdSense

This one’s another one-liner: Add Google AdSense tags and watch traffic take a dive as it makes your site load like a slug. August was a great month as traffic spiked to nearly 14,000 MAUs. So, what to do next? I know… let’s slash that number in half by splattering banner ads everywhere!!

Here’s a fact: Google AdSense will slow down your site. And, generally, people will not care to see any ads — two bad things, especially when your CTR is crap. There was a brief period of about two to three weeks where I thought, “hey, this network is actually starting to make some revenue,” but that came at the very huge cost of slowing down the sites of loading said ads. Awesomesauce. Lesson learned: when you’re first starting out in building an online network, don’t fall for AdSense, the quick buck.

Epiphanies: AdSense isn’t terrible. It won’t slow down your site by 10 seconds of anything, but if you’re trying to score that sub-1,000ms loading time, AdSense feels like it’s adding an eternity. Also, the revenue isn’t terrible at nominal traffic but, on a personal preference of disliking display ads myself, it wasn’t worth keeping them up. It was distracting to me and my users, so back to the drawing board!