AdSense Case Study

A multi-stage approach to niche site creation

This site you're visiting is a demonstration of one way to build a content-rich niche site that makes money using Google's AdSense system. The site is developed in stages so that you can see how exactly the site was developed.

  • Stage 1: Content focuses on basic content development. In this stage all we do is select our topic and write content. No images, no fancy layout. Just simple HTML for each page: a title, a heading, a subheading, some text, and links to other pages on the site. The most complicated part of the page is the AdSense code that you'll find at the top (to display a horizontal link unit) and at the bottom (to display a horizontal ad unit) of each page. Normally, ads aren't placed on the page until after Stage 2, but part of the point of this case study is to see how and if the ads change as the pages are changed.
  • Stage 2: Optimization focuses on AdSense optimization, which is really just a special case of search engine optimization (SEO). In this stage we look closely at our content and work to complete and target it. Are we mentioning the right keywords? Are there missing subtopics that we should be addressing? Do we have "about" and "sitemap" pages? Do we have the right keyword density? Are the keywords mentioned in the title and at least one of the headings? Do all the links work? Is there a natural flow between pages? Have we minimized the use of external links? Have we provided the right meta tags? Do we use headings, bolded text, italicized text, and lists to our best advantage?
  • Stage 3: Images adds images to the site. Images are an easy way to make the site prettier. This includes building a banner to use in our header and adding images throughout the pages. Again, standard SEO techniques -- using ALT attributes and captions to identify the images, positioning the images near relevant text in the HTML -- play an important part.
  • Stage 4: CSS beautifies the pages using cascading style sheets (CSS).
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