So I wanted to give an update about Mowser's traffic... it seems to be doing relatively well still, though in the past week or so, the traffic has started to slide back a bit from a peak of 105k mobile page views on the 13th to just over 86k yesterday. The nice thing is that you can see from the graph above that the number of ads served have remained pretty consistent, though they're starting to drop a bit as well. On the pages that serve ads, I always put two ads - one at the top of the page, and one at the bottom. Thus the impressions you see above actually represent double the actual pages with ads... so if I served roughly 36k ads on the 21st, that means about 18k pages with ads were delivered, or about 20% of my page views. That's not bad, especially since you can see from the red line, I'm getting really great click through rates.
What I find amusing is that the stuff I was doing to optimize ads when I getting 5k page views a day seems to have scaled nicely, now that I'm getting almost 20 times that amount. At least all that time fretting this summer paid off a bit as insane as they seemed at the time: "Oh no, I only made $4.75 today... hmmm. What can I do to get it back to $6!?!"
So why aren't the page views growing? Well, I've been serving up AdMob ads exclusively because they've been paying so well, but it seems doing that will affect search traffic. I'm going to have to start mixing and matching ads to make sure that Google keeps indexing pages. I'm pretty positive Google is using their AdSense bot to seed their mobile index - which would make sense - so ignoring them completely is just dumb. But what percentage should I use? How much is the traffic worth? Should it be 50-50? More? Less? it's sort of an interesting game to play, trying to balance payouts vs. the traffic which makes the payouts possible.
Once nice thing about the steady traffic is that I looked in the stats and of the 86k pages I served yesterday, only around 750 of them were in the mobile site links directory, so I finally was able to get rid of that whole section tonight, redirecting to the search page and feed directory. Thank goodness! The other day, Miker wrote about the increasing number of mobile portals that are out there, and that's definitely one of the main reasons I don't really want to keep putting effort into mobile links, but honestly its one of those things that has bugged me for a long time. Mowser is about helping publishers make sure that mobile users can access their site - so pointing to a bunch of sites that were already mobile didn't really flow with that core focus at all. Also, even though the mobile links directory started as a social bookmark service which worked for a while, it eventually just got spammed and trying to maintain a fresh directory of links by hand is both a pain in the ass and a losing battle in the long term. Eventually there will be too many mobile sites for a directory to be useful and everyone will have to rely on search, just like on the PC web. I'd rather focus on enabling sites to go mobile, rather than creating a quickly outdated database of links.
Anyways, lots more stuff to come soon - I've *got* to get a publisher's FAQ finished up, and start promoting Mowser to weblogs. Also a summary and presentation that I can use to try to get funding was supposed to get done a month ago as well. It's so hard for me to switch gears from the technical details, to the 1,000 foot business stuff. I feel like I just got OUT of that PowerPoint mode and down to the nuts and bolts, but now I have to get back into hand-waving again for a bit in order to promote the business and it's hard to do!