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Make Money Online: Documenting 10 Years of Failure

By John Ward / March 20, 2015 / 65 Comments
This is the history of my experience trying to make money online over the past 10 years or so. This is by far the longest post I've ever personally written and it's more of an autobiography than a blog post....
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IBM Watson Explorer

By John Ward / April 6, 2015 / 1 Comment
I'm going to talk a little bit about IBM Watson Explorer (WEX). A few people have contacted me about what I do at my day job as a Watson Explorer Consultant. Since this is my personal site I don't usually...
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I Made an Automated Pancakeswap Prediction Bot

By John Ward / October 14, 2022 / 0 Comments
A few weeks ago I got the idea to try to automatically bid on Pancakeswap's Prediction game. So I decided to try to build a Pancakeswap Prediction bot to take on the task. I did this just to learn about...

My 2022 Recap and 2023 Plans

By John Ward / January 13, 2023 / 0 Comments
I haven't been posting to my blog that often, but I wanted to recap 2022 and lay out some of my plans for 2023. Overall, 2022 was a pretty good year for me, and I made some progress on business...
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Watson Explorer vs Elasticsearch for Enterprise Search

By John Ward / May 12, 2020 / 0 Comments
Are you interested in IBM Watson Explorer vs Elasticsearch? Recently, I had to do some comparisons between IBM Watson Explorer and Elasticsearch for a project. I spent some time going through the features of both platforms and found some interesting...
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What is IBM Watson

By John Ward / July 24, 2020 / 0 Comments
There is a lot of confusion about what exactly IBM Watson is? I'm going to try to clear that up a little bit in this blog post. I'll go into the history of IBM Watson and what IBM is doing...

One AdSense Change Dramatically Increased My Earnings…

By John Ward / March 9, 2015 / 12 Comments
... and I have no idea what it is. I used to blog actively on my tutorial site, TeamTutorials. In it's prime the site would see over 100k page views per month. Even in the prime the site barely met...

Are Products the Road to Prosperity?

By John Ward / May 13, 2015 / 1 Comment
A few weeks ago a wrote a somewhat popular post about my past experiences trying to make money online. I went through the ups and downs of working as an affiliate promoting other people's products. At the conclusion of the...

What’s the Future of XRP

By John Ward / September 20, 2021 / 0 Comments
The XRP token was a fast-growing cryptocurrency until the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a lawsuit against the parent company, Ripple,  back in December of 2020. This left many people scrambling to dump their XRP holdings and several...
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IBM Watson Explorer Connector List

By John Ward / March 4, 2020 / 0 Comments
IBM Watson Explorer Foundational Components include many out-of-box connectors for various types of data sources including web, filesystems, shares, databases and content management systems. This allows Watson Explorer (WEX) to be a very versatile tool for ingesting and indexing from...

One AdSense Change Dramatically Increased My Earnings…

… and I have no idea what it is.

I used to blog actively on my tutorial site, TeamTutorials. In it’s prime the site would see over 100k page views per month. Even in the prime the site barely met the $100 Google AdSense monthly payout threshold. After 2-3 years of not posting it now the site receives 5-6k visitors per month. That’s a significant decrease. The main reason I kept this site was because it used to cover hosting on my dedicated server so I could run other project on it.

After traffic died off the site would average less than $10 per month in AdSense revenue. Well a few weeks ago I remember going into the AdSense UI and changing some things. However, I really can’t remember what I changed. I think I created a new channel and updated all my tracking codes with that channel. I think I may have turned on some kind of delivery optimization settings. I seriously can’t remember exactly what I did. This is like the worst AB test I forgot to actually monitor.

I forgot about this change completely as I rarely check up on this site. One day I decided to log in and see if I was going to be getting my AdSense check soon. The last time I was paid out was in November. So I ran the recent stats and I saw a significant increase in revenue. With 5-6k hits a month I’m generating probably 60% of the income I generated at 100k+ hits. Now if I could only figure out what I did…

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Now, I don’t consider $60 a month impressive at all but the fact that my earnings increased by such a high percentage is interesting. I find the RPM (revenue per thousand views) of $22 to be quite high. In my experience I’ve always had a hard time reaching more than $2 RPM (aka eCPM). It has always been especially difficult for me to monetize sites that revolve around tech as those readers tend to be ad blind or use an ad blocker.


After a few months I went back to check my stats and they returned to the “normal”, pre-change levels. What I think is happening is that there must be a good bit a fraudulent traffic. When a new site is added Google doesn’t seem to adjust for this. After I got some traffic history all of my earnings decreased, including the numbers I showed above. The payout ended up being about 1/10 if the originally reported earnings. Adjustment for fraudulent/bot traffic is the only assumption I can make at this point. I’m not sure if my site is being specifically targeted or if this is common across AdSense properties.

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John Ward

I've been in working in the tech space since about 2004. I've spent time working with Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing, and Advertising technology.