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Are crappy websites really the way to go?

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by Lakitu, Aug 19, 2014.

  1. Lakitu

    Lakitu Junior Member

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    I've heard in the past that websites with crappy designs usually do better with ad revenue, and such has worked out for me as well. Nice themes with lots of space? Forget it, no one even bothers with the ads. I've tried some nice themes out in the past, and minimal revenue was made, but with a crappy layout where everything is scrunched up closer, people tend to click on ads more.

    So yesterday I decided to experiment and appeal to my website's mobile audiences. I spent some time and modified a similar template to look like my current one, except that it's responsive. It also loads a lot faster, so that's good right? Added some responsive Adsesne ads and everything looks great. Just like my old site, except now the ads look way better on mobile. Nice!

    Compared previous daily earnings to that of the new layout... not so nice. Ad revenue is down by about 50%. I'm rather disappointed for putting in that extra effort to make my site faster and better looking only to find out the end-goal of generating more income failed. Going to be reverting to my slow and clunky layout now, but wanted to ask if anyone here has had similar situations or experiences.
     
  2. nessie

    nessie Registered Member

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    It's true up to an extent. A "better designed" site is usually a different ballgame for monetizing. In my cases, keeping a site non-responsive with ads closer to each other got you more clicks and more impressions as mobile users will also be full desktop views with multiple ad units.

    However, a responsive site may be a better long term solution depending on what you plan on doing with the site. Mobile optimized sites are much easier to make go viral on FB/Twitter as most of those users now view and share a lot of links primarily on their mobile device. That way, you can potentially get a ton more visitors viewing less ad units which would likely get you more ad revenue than less users viewing several desktop ads per page.
     
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  3. Almenocinque

    Almenocinque Junior Member

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    What I would do if I was you, is to test both the layouts in at least a 2 week period and then compare the results. My site is in the automotive news niche, I had not updated it since 6 months and then I started updating it again I was writing at least 15 new posts per day (also installing a new clean theme), my current traffic levels are what they used to be 6 months ago, back then I had a cheap looking theme, but the profits now are 5 times more than what the site used to do before, for me content is what matters the most everything else comes next. Try adding the ads between the paragraphs of your content (maybe on the middle) and add a skyscraper to one of the sidebars. Contextual ads also work best for my site.
     
  4. SpookSEO

    SpookSEO Senior Member

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    Sad to say, that is already how things work today. There exists a bigger possibility for those kinds of websites to be successful, compared to websites which concentrate more on their content. The layout really makes a huge influence in a website's success, especially when it comes to attracting advertisers.
     
  5. GoGetRanked

    GoGetRanked Power Member Premium Member

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    Its really true i think
    i don't know what it is but i have seen more adsense revenue from sites i personally did'nt like the style of
    vs sites i really loved
    god knows what end users what tbh

    regards,
    ToG
     
  6. SEO Power

    SEO Power Elite Member

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    Disable the responsiveness of the theme and redo the test, then compare the resulting earnings with your previous earnings.

    Making money from Adsense is all about putting your ads in the most visible parts of your blog with reasonable contrast relative to the surrounding colours.

    By the way, did you compare the traffic stats for the days you used your old theme and when you used your new theme? If your traffic is not consistent, it might not be your theme causing the drop in ad revenue.
     
  7. Lakitu

    Lakitu Junior Member

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    That's a good point to consider about how social sharing works on mobile devices. Didn't really take account of that. Overall, I think the niche for the site I tried it on might be better as desktop only right now, but I have another site that's slowly picking up speed that might benefit from the things you brought up.
     
  8. Lakitu

    Lakitu Junior Member

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    I always compare traffic. The amount of visitors was more or less the same, but it seems the way people interacted with my site changed. Less people are navigating to other pages with the responsive design for some reason. It's strange, because the point of it was to make navigation easier. :confused:
     
  9. lord1027

    lord1027 Elite Member

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    Truth it, adsense optimized themes look like crap for visitors, but they tend to work pretty well. But it depends on what you're trying to achieve, do you want returning visitors or not? :)
     
  10. hardwarez

    hardwarez Newbie

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    Indeed, the less the website is loaded the more your users will surf on your website and focus on the ads. User-friendly and responsive is the way to go. Also prefer light color design, especially for the background, so the content will have a better impact.
     
  11. AMABE

    AMABE Registered Member

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    This is interesting info.
    Confusing and overcrowded sites simply put me off.
    Do those sites have a good returning visitor number?.
     
  12. gianca

    gianca Newbie

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    I know this feeling, happened to me as well, not sure of what is the reason but the old non user friendly design had better revenue for menthan the responsive user friendly one... not sure what I did wrong but now I know I am not the only one!
     
  13. AMABE

    AMABE Registered Member

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    Ok, I'll create a site, write a two-word article and fill it up with adds. I can already hear the ca$h regi$ter. :biggrin1:
     
  14. Laubster

    Laubster Senior Member Premium Member

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    You can get algorithmic penalties for overdoing it with ads supposedly, but yes I've always done way better with bad designs. When you have really high quality content and design people actually sit and read. When your site sucks they click away fast, which either means the Back button or your ads : )
     
  15. aka sam

    aka sam Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    you have a point here. I have seen that too, you should test those crappy layout for sure.
     
  16. ThopHayt

    ThopHayt Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I think you're all confusing crappy with cramped. Cramped layouts gain mistaken clicks and eye attention from nearby ad's. Don't see why something has to be ugly just to have those qualities.
     
  17. watsonovedades

    watsonovedades Senior Member

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    for sure just like ThopHayt said ,it doest have to be ugly, just has to be cramped
    make a basic design nothing to fancy and put the ads near to each other
     
  18. gu3sswh0

    gu3sswh0 Regular Member

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    The quality of a site is not the issue here. You want the theme to be basic enough where your ads display on the forefront.
     
  19. Balkana

    Balkana Newbie

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    I am a huge hater of crappy designs, I'm planning to start one blog soon and after that I'll be creating niche websites. I spent last two days on finding a good theme (and cheap) and I actually found it.

    I guess that crappy design referrers to designs from 2008-2010 - or it is just the color pick and layout to make everything look similar?