The guys over at Stack Overflow are saying that they tried Google Adwords, and it was horrible for generating ad-revenue for them. In a recent podcast (Episode 64, 15:00), they say that they had nearly one million pageviews per day*, but Google Adwords were generating 38 cents of revenue per month. That’s astonishingly bad. They said that they hand-picked some advertisers themselves, and their ad-revenue went up 50x — which would still only be about $19 / month. I’ve sometimes wondered if ads on websites actually generated any profit for websites, or if they were just a method to pay for a fraction of the monthly costs. Sounds like the latter. Even at $19 / month, there’s no way that Stack Overflow is paying for it’s own bandwidth and server costs.
* According to Alexa.com, which tracks website traffic, Stackoverflow ranked as the 639th most visited website in the United States, which is certainly respectable.