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Google Adsense Change Log

A few weeks ago I was chatting to a Google Adsense consultant who was asking me for my opinion on how to improve Adsense. One of my suggestions was that they should add some sort of a ‘Change Log’ system which would help publishers to track changes that they make to their ads.

The reason I suggested it was that when you have multiple web pages with multiple types of ads on each it is difficult to keep track of what changes you’ve made and what impact they might have had. There have been many times where I’ve made a range of changes to my Adsense ads on different blogs and have promptly forgotten what it was that I did – so when I notice a few days later a change in my ad performance I have little idea what was the reason for the change. Frustrating.

Anyway – it was just an idea and I doubted (and still doubt) that the Adsense team would implement it – but today I noticed on the official Google AdWords Blog (ie NOT the Adsense one – but the AdWORDS one) that Google have just made a new tool available to Advertisers – it’s called the My Change History tool which – you guessed it – tracks changes made to an Adwords account over 3 months.

Of course it’s a lot easier to track changes in an AdWords account so I still doubt that we’ll get something similar as Adsense publishers – but I’d still love to see them add something to help us keep track of our Adsense changes. Even if it was some sort of note taking space (or what about a private, internal blog?) for publishers to manually keep track of their changes.

There is of course nothing stopping us all doing our own change logs – in fact this is what I currently do these days – each time I tweak an advertisement (ie if I change a design, placement or add or subtract an ad unit) I just jot a note down in my Change Log so changes in my results can be traced back to the appropriate action. I use my Back Pack It account to run my Change Log – but any word processing, spreadsheet or calendar program would probably work.

Do you track your Adsense changes? If so how? And what other features would you love to see the Adsense team add to the publishers tool box?

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. This is what source control is great at. At work, we use CVS, and if I want to see my changes, I just look at the history for the XSL file(s) containing the ad code.

    We also use bug-tracking software (Bugzilla) to keep track of tests we do with ads (in addition to keeping track of regular bugs, of course).

    There must be some sort of personal source control systems out there that are more lightweight (and hopefully easier to use) than CVS/RCS/Clearcase/etc. I don’t happen to know of any, but maybe someone else does.

  2. Dan Wolfgang says:

    This is almost like a light-bulb moment for me. I jot down the changes I make to track them–but gee, having a system to help manage that would be phenomenal. Through some charting and quick analysis it’d be easy to spot trends and see how version “A” compared to version “B” or “C.”

  3. It would certainly be a nice service for Google to offer. I imagine they could create a service that you could ping when you update your page template, which takes a snapshot of your page’s HTML and makes a journal entry with it so that you can see the dates and changes you have made. Then if you notice differences in your stats you can go back and compare the snapshots that Google took to see what changes you may have made.

    Even better would be some nice graphical reports that show your CTR history for example with markers on it indicating where you made changes.

    In fact at the moment I’d just settle for some pretty graphs built into the reports. That would be a great addition.

  4. When adding a URL to my competitive ad filter, instead of blocking the site from my entire network I would like the option of just blocking the site from certain pages.

  5. Andy Merrett says:

    I don’t currently track changes I make to ads, as I don’t change them that early, and my revenue is so (relatively) small that it’d be silly to analyse any change in any case. I can sum up my one significant change to date in reducing the number of ad blocks from 3 to 2 on my personal blog. Wow, big change huh?

    What I must do (and I’ve been lazy) is to add non-URL based channels to all my blogs. Currently only one blog has them, which I use to track ad position. I need to roll that out across all blogs.

    I agree with Simon; some graphs would be nice, so I don’t have to export to Excel to create a graph.

  6. Hidden Nook says:

    One thing I would like to see is (in Adsense) is the ability to filter out certain ads via keyword search.

    The reason I am suggesting this is sometimes you get a really disgusting ad that has nothing to do with what you are blogging about that makes your site kinda embarrassing (especially when readers email you about it).

    Adsense already has a filter out by url link, but their are so many you can filter out. If one had it done via key word search, it would make life a lot easier for many bloggers out there.