Michael Dayah, Founder

Knoxville, Tennessee
Ptable Ptable
Bonding with students across the globe

Michael Dayah created his periodic table website,, as a hobby project when he was a teenager interested in programming. "I started it when I was 14 as something fun to do," he says, "but left it untouched for about 10 years." Eventually, as more learning moved online, Michael's site started gaining traction. "I was seeing a lot more visits to the site and decided to invest more of my time in it," he recalls. Michael spent about six years optimizing the site and SEO so that it would become the first organic listing on most search engines when someone searched for a periodic table.

He has since poured his time into improving the site for students and educators, adding 3D visuals and tools to virtually mix compounds. "I want people to be able to ask deep questions about the periodic table," he explains, "and explore and experiment in ways that are otherwise impossible without pouring over pages of data. This tool really allows students to do that."

Discovering the element of AdSense
Discovering the element of AdSense

As traffic grew, he began to explore how he could start earning ad revenue. "I tried a few tools from different ad tech companies, different brokers, and a few affiliates," he shares. "I chose AdSense because it gives me the most control over the types of ads that are shown, and that's really important to me from a user experience standpoint for an education site." Plus, he adds, "every year I see a new peak in revenue – increases of 10-15% each year – which is great not only because this is my main source of earned income but also because it's really motivating. Seeing the site's audience grow and the revenue grow makes me want to keep doing more."

“I started this site as a way to make science education more interesting and allow students to ask deeper questions with a periodic table, and I was able to turn it into a business using ad revenue. Now I serve over 15M students and educators each year, and I'm able to make the site accessible to all with a free, ad-supported model.”
Expanding the site to serve a global audience of learners

Michael has expanded the site's features to serve a global audience; now supports 50 languages. "We're even recommended as part of Germany's official science education syllabus," he says. With students and educators making up the bulk of the site's visitors, access remains core to the Ptable mission. "My main goal," Michael says, "is that students can access this resource regardless of location or ability to pay, and ad revenue helps me fund the site so it can be free."

Michael Dayah Michael Dayah
Michael is red-green color blind so he spends a lot of time selecting distinct colors for his posters to ensure everyone is able to read it clearly.
Keeping access free for students

Keeping access and performance in focus has also helped Michael make an impact right in his community. "There's a local teacher here in Knoxville who always recommends the site to his students, and I've actually gotten to meet some of them through my volunteer work. It's pretty amazing to hear them talk about how they find the site helpful and know that their teachers find it a valuable, trusted resource. It's a real point of pride in my life, to have created something that millions of people trust and use each year."

About the Publisher

Michael Dayah is a programmer living in Knoxville, Tennessee. He previously worked for FlightAware developing their interactive, pan-and-zoom mapping. Not ready to move across the country, he left to focus on an almost-abandoned decades-old side project that had been slowly climbing in organic rankings, expanding it to include lesson plans, posters, and wallet cards. AdSense allowed him to pursue this full time.
Michael Dayah