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Google Adsense Tips for Forums

Forum Heat Map-761099

The official Adsense blog has just posted some useful tips for those of you with a Forum.

Forums are notoriously difficult to convert with Adsense so these tips might be quite useful. They’ve included with the tip a useful heat map which points out the ideal positions from their experience. As per usual the top left hand sidebar area is the hottest with horizontal ad units between the first two posts also being important.

They also advise allowing image ads.

The only other tip that I’d add to their list would be to try rotating the colors of your ads. This is a strategy that attempts to overcome ad blindness from repeat readers which is a big problem for forums.

Read more at Inside AdSense: Six AdSense optimization tips for forums

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. Rebort says:

    The biggest issue with AdSense and forums isn’t placement, I’ve found, but relevance. Since forums move rather quickly, Adsense and Google cannot keep up. It’s frustrating if you’re running a niche movie forum and all the text ads are for vBulletin, phpBB, or “$1.99 WebHost!.”

    Eventually, I discontinued my adverts because they served no useful purpose and annoyed the living heck out of the regular, returning user base.

  2. Tony says:

    Ads on my forum get no clicks, zero, nothing, nada…

    So I sell the top ad space real cheap per 1000 impressions. It is only used for market recognition.

  3. Patrick says:

    I do get clicks on my forums. Nice to see AdSense write something on communities. AdSense has been a bit of a “savior” if you will for Internet communities, helping them to meet expenses and in many cases, make money.

  4. Scott says:

    I have found that with forum websites that affiliate links work much better than the contextual Google adsense ads anyway. With the affiliate links I can at least choose ads that I believe my visitors will be interested in.

  5. It depends of the forum. If you have ads on the pages in which are located the threads, and that your forum is well segmented (you won’t get relevant ads in the off-topic section, for instance) it might be possible to get some nice CTR, but that would be coming from SE traffic, not regular readers.

  6. Matt says:

    AdSense has a feature called Section Targeting, which I’m sure Darren has written about in the past that allows you to pick sections of your site you’d like your AdSense ads to target and also to denote areas that you’d like it to ignore. You could use these in conjunction with perhaps some keywords in your html code to force greater relevance from AdSense in a forum environment. I’m not SURE it would work, but I bet it would.

    You can read about the feature here

    They say that it may take some time before google crawls the new codes you ad in and AdSense changes, so be patient if you try it.

  7. Michele says:

    If your forum is optimised for search engines it should serve more relevant ads. Of course a lot would depend on how niche it is

  8. I applied those optimization techniques long ago, and found that regardless of what you do, forums will typically not do well.
    Take what you can get, write content for your non-forum pages and experiment there.
    Changing the colors every so often works for a day at a time for a spike here and there, but that’s about it.

    Chitika is better suited for quicker keyword matching.
    Make it non-contextual and use them both.
    It actually improved my AdSense earnings, due to less ads and their higher click rates (a debatable subject, certainly).

  9. Kris says:

    Our website has done great with adsense as the niche market we’re in is tough to sell adspace too. By positioning your ads correctly you’ll definately get clicks as long as you have the visitors. All users see a text ad above the first post and right after the last post (before the navigation and post reply buttons). Guest users get one more ad shown below the first post of every page.

    Obviously content pages will do better then a forum page. But the nice thing about forums is users always come back. Yea, regular users don’t click a whole lot… but they do sometimes… and when your site is large enough you’ll have enough guest users to make asense worth it.

  10. Freeware says:

    I know this article is a bit aged but I read it with interest all the same!. On our site we increased our eCPM considerably by simply removing ads for members, this way the impressions fell but the clicks remained!!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Beim Pro Blogger ist ein Hinweis zur Plazierung von Google AdSense erschienen. Sein Betrag bezieht sich auf diesen Eintrag im offiziellen AdSense Weblog von Google. Meiner Meinung nach ist der wichtigste Tipp: 6. Be sensitive to your forum community Forums are highly interactive, so be sensitive to your users when implementing your AdSense ads. Be sure to blend the ads nicely, so they don’t appear overly intrusive – but don’t blend them so well they mislead your users! Every forum site is different and you know your community best, so as always use your own judgment to create the most positive experience for your users. [...]