I have a German forum for medical patients to talk about medical and non medical topics.

Link: Patientenfragen.net ... wir haben die Antworten (German Version)
Link: Patientenfragen.net ... we have the answers (English Version)

The forum runs since 2006/05/05

I created this long term case study when I installed vBSEO back in 2007.
Since then I published my Traffic and Earning Records as well as Keyword long tail data.
I also tryed to document all important changes to my website so that anyone following this case study could see why traffic changes might have occurred.

The last update was on 2010/10/22

This Case Study ends after 3 Years

After 3 Years of maintaining this case study I decided to stop making all my statistics public.
I think there comes a point for a thriving business where making their stats so public
does more harm then good. I hope you enjoyed the journey as well as I did and maybe
you learned a few things from my experiments. As last gift to all the followers of my case study I made a last update. Enjoy and thank you for watching my project grow.

Maybe I start a new Case Study for www.AdsenseExperts.com
You will be the first to know if you watch this forum closely

Important events that may have had impact on my traffic:

2007/07: Installation of vBSEO + vBSEO Sitemap plugin
2007/10: Google PR Update -> PR 3 to PR 5
2008/09: Removed vBulletin Archive and Footer Links to Archive, removed Forum Title from Showthread, Forumdisplay and Memberinfo replaced showpost with permlinks
2009/02: We had some Server Issues for 5 weeks with slow speeds and sometimes being not reachable. Google PR dropped from 4 to 3
2009/08: around that time Google PR dropped to 0 (possibly because of the Google Caffeine update or because we are selling direct Links on our Forum, who knows? )
2010/01: Installed vBEnterpriseTranslator which automatically translates the forum into English via Google Translator
2010/03: Added Pictures next to my Adsense Ads in Threads and switched loading sequence of Adsense Ads to have the Ads in the Thread loaded before the one below the Navbar
2010/04: Upgraded to vBulletin 4.x. Installed vBOptimise Pro, vBSupercharged, and optimised webpage load time by serving some static content via cookieless domains. Also removed images next to google Ads because of violation of google TOS (I asked them). Furthermore I changed the 2 large rectangles as second post in threads to one large rectangle as second post and one large rectangle as last post on each thread page.
2010/05 further worked on page speed (with pagespeed and yslow) by optimising and serving images from static cookieless domains.
2010/06 made an exclusive contract with a direct advertising sales company. Adsense earnings will go down, total earnings for me will go up
2010/08 My Forum got hacked and a JS Redirect was installed to redirect traffic from google. Also all URL Rewrites were changed and had to be re-established via 301 redirects. It took about 12 days to reach old traffic levels and the decrease is visible in all graphs.
2010/09 Deactivated Adsense Interest based Ads. Activated "Images + Text" Ads for all my Ad Spots. Introduced the Large Rectangle and the Big Welcome Text below the navigation.
2010/10 Deactivated all rel=nofollow attributes (internal and external)


Traffic stats (organic traffic from search engines)

(Y-axis normal scale)

(Y-axis logarithmic scale)

Keyword Long Tail:

Google Adsense earnings:
Here is a graphical representation of my adsense earning.
I changed the scale of the Y-achsis to an odd interval and removed the numbers so you can't guess the income, but I think you will get the idea

Since Adsense changed payment from USD to EUR I made a new Graph for earnings in EUR starting January 2009:

Here is another interesting graph that displays Adsense earnings in comparison to the unique visitors per month:

Interested now and you did not visit my forum yet?

Go for it:

Link: Patientenfragen.net ... wir haben die Antworten (German Version)
Link: Patientenfragen.net ... we have the answers (English Version)