Minggu, 14 Maret 2010

AdSense's advantages & Disadvantages

AdSense's advantages

AdSense is simple to join.

It's easy to paste a bit of code into your pages.

It's free to join.

You don't have to spend time finding advertisers.

Google provides well written, highly relevant ads - chosen to closely match the content on your pages.

You don't have to waste time choosing different ads for different pages.

You don't have to mess around with different code for various affiliate programs.

You're free to concentrate on providing good content and Google does the work of finding the best ads for your pages from 100,000 AdWords advertisers.

It's suitable for beginners or marketing veterans.

AdSense provides simple, easy-to-understand stats.

If you have affiliate links on your site, you ARE allowed to add AdSense ads. However, with your affiliate links, you must not mimic the look and feel of the Google ads.

You can filter up to 200 URLs, so you can block ads for sites that don't meet your standards. You can also block strong competitors.

Inevitably, AdSense is competing strongly for space on web sites with all other revenue sharing opportunities.

If you own a small web site you can plug a bit of AdSense code into your site and almost instantly relevant text ads that are likely to appeal to your visitors will appear on your pages.

If you own several sites, you need apply only once. This makes AdSense much simpler than joining a bunch of affiliate programs.

As you can see, I'm really keen on this revenue sharing service.


One problem is inappropriate ads. You don't want spammy junk advertised on your site. Google's standards probably aren't as high as yours. You can filter out 200 URLs, but in some industries that won't be enough.

The stats Google supplies are inadequate. They're easy to understand at a glance. However, they don't tell you exactly which ads people are clicking on, or which keywords are involved. That's frustrating.

Also, I'd like to be able to identify and block ads that have very low payout rates, without doing a lot of sleuthing and messing around.

The ad panels say "Ads by Google" - free advertising for Google. You don't earn anything if someone clicks on that link.

The minimum payout is $100, which is regarded as too high by sites which don't receive much traffic. That won't worry experienced webmasters.

Also, sites that want to display AdSense ads may not include "other content-targeted and/or text-based ads on the pages displaying AdWords ads." However, human beings review the sites. Rejected sites have been able to appeal successfully.

Another disadvantage is that Google doesn't allow you to share your stats with other webmasters. The AdSense Terms and Conditions say:

"Confidentiality. You agree not to disclose Google Confidential Information without Google's prior written consent. 'Google Confidential Information' includes without limitation: ... (b) click-through rates or other statistics relating to Site performance in the Program provided to you by Google..."

That's really weird. Web site owners need to be able to share such information and discuss successes and failures.

A big disadvantage of the service is that Google doesn't say how much its AdSense partners will receive. You'll just receive an unknown share of the revenue.

Only a company with the goodwill and respect Google has earned could get away with such a cheeky offer.

Google says:

"How much will I earn through this program? The AdWords ads you are able to display on your content pages are cost-per-click (CPC) ads. This means that advertisers pay only when users click on ads. You'll receive a portion of the amount paid for clicks on AdWords ads on your website. Although we don't disclose the exact revenue share, our goal is to enable publishers to make as much or more than they could with other advertising networks."

So the only way to know how much you'll earn is to try it and see. If you want to bail out, all you have to do is remove the code from your site.

Don't put all your eggs in the AdSense basket. If Google discovers fraudulent clicks on ads appearing on your pages, it can dump your site from the service, and refuse to pay you all revenue owed. Some webmasters who claim total innocence have had this happen to them.

Google has made several changes to its AdSense FAQ, clarifying varying things. For example, it IS possible to apply for separate accounts for separate web sites. I've done so, and checked with Google that it's OK in my case. Read the rules - they look ambiguous to me. If in doubt, ask first!

Some time after the launch of AdSense, Google added "channels" which improve the tracking. I strongly recommend that you experiment with these.

Sites with "excessive advertising" are being rejected.

Optimize Adsense With 5 Not So Common Tips

If you’re using Google Adsense for your site, you may have already read many different optimization articles in regards to placement, colors, and removing borders in order to blend your ads into your site. These are common tips, but what else can you do to take your Adsense revenue to the next level?

Here are some effective tips that have eluded many a webmaster.

1. Control the Adsense Bots

By telling the Adsense Bots that crawl your site where to look, and which parts to ignore, you can help it decide what type of ads should be displayed. Make your ads more relevant, and it will make sense for your readers.

Get these bits of code in your site template…

<-- google_ad_section_start(weight=ignore) -->


<!-- google_ad_section_end -->

and Google Adsense bots will ignore the content in between the two section-targeting statements.

You can also use...

<!-- google_ad_section_start -->

<!-- google_ad_section_end -->

and Google Adsense bots will pay extra close attention to the content in between.

How I implement it is to edit the template and tell it to

  • Emphasize my post content
  • Ignore everything else (Header/Sidebar/Footer)

UPDATE: In order to get it to work, you have to add one extra ‘ – ‘ symbol to the code above. See Adsense help for more details.

This is by far the most effective method out there for ensuring relevant ads are displayed for your site. My site was initially showing ads about ‘Chicken Noodles’ (must have something to do with my domain name), but shortly after implementing this, was showing relevant tech ads.

2. Rotate Ads

Having the same ads in the same place may cause Ad-Blindness, where your readers subconsciously ignore certain areas of your site. Changing up the ads from time to time helps alleviate this issue. If you are using Wordpress widgets, you can try using the Ad-Rotator Plugin, which will help rotate your Google Ads randomly.

3. Inline Google Searching

This is a relatively new development by Google, where your readers can now do a Adsense sitesearch with Google, where the results are displayed inline within your site, making your website more ’sticky’.

4. Use Channel Monitoring

Google Adsense allows you to define and track multiple channels of Google Ads so you know where your revenue is coming from. What you can try is to allocate each Google Adblock type (eg. Square, skyscraper etc.) to a certain channel so you know which types of Adsense formats work best for your site, so you can focus on them.

5. Use Images

This is a controversial topic, where there is a fine line between what Google considers to be acceptable, and what it does not.

“Publishers are still welcome to place images above the ads. The only exception is if it’s in such a way that it looks like the images are part of the ads.

When something like that comes to our attention, we’ll ask that the publisher place a visible border between the ads and the images, to make it clear that the images are not being served by Google on behalf of the advertisers. We generally do not ask publishers to remove the images completely, we just ask that they add borders to avoid confusion.” – Google via Jensense

While the use of images had previously been highly effective in increasing clickthrough rate for me, use this tip with caution. You should know when to draw the line between harmless images, and what goes against Adsense TOS. If you’re on Wordpress, you can try the Adsense-Beautifier Plug-in, which adds images to your Adsense blocks.

Which of these tips do you already use, and what other optimization tips work for you?

Top 7 Ways To Optimize Adsense Legally

Thanks to adsense, blogs, rss feeds and their listings -- not to mention an arsenal of free types of advertising -- it's possible to make a very good income without spending a penny and with minimal effort. The trick is to optimize for it.

PLEASE NOTE: Though adsense may have originated with Google's system, there are many other adsense-type programs available, all of which are as viable -- some even more so -- as theirs. The information included here applies to most of them.

While everyone else is busy optimizing for search engines, by optimizing for adsense, a site can feasibly pull enough traffic that simply clicks on the ads to forget about other forms of sales.

However, bear in mind that most adsense TOS agreements prevent any unfair or "fraudulent" clicking, even so much as a note saying, "click here to support this site," which risks banishment by most adsense companies. This, of course, is to protect those adwords customers who pay to have their ads displayed. It is they who are robbed (not the companies) when an ad is clicked irresponsibly. Furthermore Google, for one, can track clicks effectively enough to detect any artificial or irresponsible clicking will garner any income received this way.

With that in mind, by understanding how adsense-type programs work, one can optimize a page, legally, to create a substantial income. And while guidelines are designed primarily focused on adsense, many of these strategies will increase a sites' general revenue as well.


    The first step is to design a site around the top searches. There are various tools (keyword selectors and zeitgeist, for example) that help gather this information. Of course, there is also the "niche marketing" school of thought, i.e., to find a smaller group that has less page-per-click competition. In this case, the ideal is to find a large audience-small page ratio. But after more than a year of marketers scouring the web for them, finding one is rare and searching for one can take a LOT of time. Not hours or days, but weeks or months.


    Lists of these can be found simply by searching the internet. Of course combining the highest paying adsense keywords with Top Searches may make a very strange mix. Afterall, the top search (at the time of this writing) is Britney Spears while the top-paying words relate to mesothelioma and asbestos cancer. So, unless Britney Spears speaks out on mesothelioma, there's little chance these could be combined legally*. But, by looking down the lists there are more feasible combinations. The main thing to understand is it's only a combination of the two (high-paying keywords & top searches) that will bring enough traffic to garner any measurable LEGAL income from adsense.


    Placing the ads prominently on the site is a no-brainer, though some marketers still tend to hide them toward the bottom of the site. Another TOS factor, too, is a content-to-ad ratio that adsense programs used to insist on, but seem to be slipping. Generally the policy was no more than two banner ads per page though many sites that end up at the top of searches seem to flaunt this rule. But who knows how long they last, too. Traditionally, putting one banner across the top, just below the title, and one "skyscraper" down one side, with content in the middle is the best.


    One pase allows for 2 ads, but more ads can be placed on each additional page on the site. For those lacking ideas for additional pages, the simplest page would be a separate contact page, as well as an "about us" or testimonial page, all of which are viable additions.

    Incidently, it's ironic that so many marketers create mile-long splash pages rather than a group of pages and never add one adsense ad to them. As if, by doing this, it will garner more sales, when the truth is, they sacrifice as much as gain because these pages are rarely indexed and annoy visitors as many as they attract, simply because of their set up. Understand this: adsense is a way to profit from EXIT traffic, something that WILL occur at one point or another, no matter how wonderful the page.


    Some prefer the adsense to blend into their site, almost hiding it from visitors. But this diminishes its effectiveness. Rather, by highlighting it, visitors will be more aware of it, allowing it to stand out. Of course, we'd all prefer our visitors to stay at OUR site, buy OUR product, etc. But the fact is, many won't. Isn't it better to gain something from their departure?


    This feature is only available from some of the larger adsense programs. If it is available, placing it at the bottom of a page offers the visitor the convenience of doing a search without having to first go to the SE. Of course, many SEs and browsers offer toolbars that diminish the effectiveness of this. But adding it will create another exit point that is to your advantage-- and seems like a service, too.


    Some adsense programs offer a "block competition" option, one in which specific sites may be barred. However, to believe it's possible to effectively block ALL your competition is naive. Though it may at first seem outrageious to help advertise for the competition, again, at least one will gain from their advertisement (and, for those who need payback remember: the competition is paying you).

8 Tips to Optimize Adsense Units

Adsense is one of the most common revenue generators for blogs and websites. Usually you can drastically improve your click-through rate and overall earnings by positioning the ads wisely, by improving the content targeting or by optimizing the ad units directly. Below I will cover the last point, how to optimize the Adsense units with 8 simple tips:

  1. The three top performing ad units are: 336×280 large rectangle, 300×250 inline rectangle and 160×600 wide skyscraper. Consider using those units if possible, but bear in mind that other formats might be more suitable for your website design.
  2. The most successful link color is blue. This fact is connected with the roots of the Internet where all major websites used to feature blue links.
  3. Apart from blue links you can also use a link color that matches the pattern of your website (i.e. If you use green links make the Adsense links of the same color).
  4. As a general rule of thumb, blend (no border, same background) your Adsense units if your website has a light color scheme and contrast (border, contrasting background) the units if you are using a dark color scheme
  5. If the ads are placed within the content you should avoid using borders while ad units outside of the content can use borders to call attention.
  6. If your website has mainly repeat visitors (like Forums) you can rotate the background color of the units to reduce ad blindness
  7. Consider removing the “Advertise on this site” message from your units. This can be done on the control panel under the “My Account” section, disabling the “Onsite Advertiser Sign-Up” feature.
  8. Test, test and test. Every website is unique so make sure you test with different colors and formats and track the results to fine tune your Adsense units.

Earn more with AdSense tips by email

A few months ago, we updated the email communication options in your AdSense account to give you more choices about the types of messages you'd like to receive from us. You can now pick the types of messages that interest you from five categories:

* Customized help and performance suggestions
* Newsletters
* Google market research
* Special offers
* Information about other Google products and services which may be of interest to you

If you'd like to receive emails with optimization tips that are targeted to your specific account settings and ad implementation, you'll need to choose the category Customized help and performance suggestions. You'll receive roughly one email per month from us with targeted performance suggestions, so you don't have to worry about your inbox overflowing with messages from us.

In case you aren’t currently opted into this category, we’d like to recommend that you update your preferences to be able to receive Customized help and performance suggestions going forward and not miss out on valuable information on how to optimize your AdSense performance.

Posted by Annette Vorstoffel - AdSense Optimisation team