The short answer? We had already decided it was over. At the outset, being an affiliate based site, we resisted the temptation to run competing adverts (even for our own affiliate partners’ ads). Google however kept pushing traffic our way long after we had decided the numbers were not stacking up. So we thought we would reciprocate, as they were not always finding what they wanted on EM, and sent customers on the way.
In some respects even a modicum of advertising on an affiliate based site seems cannibalistic. Anyway, it seems that eBay, Amazon and a few others do play adverts next to their content. As a user I find that irritating, especially when they almost seamless in design and on a site which didn’t rely entirely on organic search. One cannot help feeling that accidental clicks must amount for a lot of the costs of CPC advertising.
So did we make money out of Adsense? Sure we did. But barely enough to pay for the dedicated server EM was running on. We eventually moved back to Virtual machine, waiting for a panda to arrive and take away the remaining passers by. Panda didn’t kill EM, it was already in intensive care.