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Official AdSense Blog Gives Blogger Optimization Tips

The official AdSense Blog has just posted a post which for the first time gives tips for Bloggers wanting to optimize their AdSense earnings. They’ve previously done these with general websites and forums but today is the first time I’ve seen them officially give attention to the humble blogger. They’ve even put up some ‘pretty’ pictures to help illustrate their points.

Adsense-Blogs

There’s nothing in the post that regular readers of ProBlogger wouldn’t have already picked up here, but it is good to see them picking up the topic.

To summarize their post:

1. Choose the right ad formats – they recommend the medium rectangle which allows both text and image ads and fits nicely between posts. Banners between posts can also work.

2. Place ads where your readers will notice – they break their advice into two sections, firstly main pages (they suggest ads after each post) and secondly individual post pages (ads at end of entries and in longer entries mid post as well as above comment boxes). They also suggest replacing skyscrapers with link unit ads.

3. Improve targeting – they recommend exploring ‘section targeting‘ which specifies which parts of your blog you want the ads to be contextual to and which you want them to ignore (ie you don’t want your sidebar usually but do want to target specific posts). My own experience with section targeting is a little mixed to be honest. I had it active on one of my bigger blogs but at the same time I added it I found ad relevancy and therefore CTR actually dropped. Whether it was tied to section targeting I’m not sure but I don’t use it much any more.

4. Customize your ad colors – They recommend their normal ‘blend ads’ policy – so having the same background and border color on them as the background of your blog and choose a bold title color. I find title colors can also work if you blend them to be a similar color to the other links on your page also on some blogs.

Their final advice is the experiment with different layouts, ad designs and formats and to ensure you track results with channels. While these are almost throw away lines at the bottom of this post I don’t think they can be emphasized enough. Without experimenting with different options you could be missing out on significant increases in performance and without tracking your results you can end up making changes but never learn from what you do which again leads to missed opportunities.

Once again – pretty basic stuff but solid advice that fits with my own strategies. Nice to see the AdSense team focusing on helping bloggers specifically with their official blog.

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. Andy Howard says:

    I’ve just started experimenting with adsense on my blog, and I’m finding the ads to be relevant without section targeting because of the specific nature of the blog content. Also, I’ve matched the ad background to the quote background colour which creates good colour co-ordination and style while still allowing the ad to stand out against the blog background.

  2. Jennine says:

    Awesome. I’ve started to implement this in my blogs :)

  3. Very long overdue but well received. I believe most experienced webmasters know that they must test different ad layouts, colors, and positions etc to evaluate where to place ads for the best results. Glad to see there is true value in free information to help us all to leverage our Adsense revenue.

  4. Ande says:

    That’s a good start, i think it would be usefull, if they also included the correct place to put the Html for different blog formats, something i know i would find usefull.

  5. Dave says:

    Its good to see the adsense team giving out some solid advice to bloggers, and most of it makes sense.

    As with most advertising streams, experimentation is perhaps the best way forward, especially with the colour scheme you choose for your ads. I personally found that making the ads stand out slightly gives a better return than blended ads, but I know some people find blended ads more productive.

    Perhaps the biggest problem is that once you have settled on a relatively modest layout that sees some good returns, changing the layout or colour scheme can feel like you are possibly stepping ‘into the void’, forever risking the possibility that it will kill your income stream, especially when you realise you need to try a new layout for more than half a day to see if it works.

  6. I’m interested in hearing more of your opinion on section targetting.

    You say you’ve stopped using it.

  7. karli says:

    I would like to add, that in ‘choosing the right ad format’, you should always try and use sizes which fit in well with the surrounding content.

    Many people believe that 468×60 adsense banners don’t work.

    I have one of this size on one of my sites, which gets around an 8% CTR consistently.

    My advice is test, test, test. Always remove borders, and test again. Channels are your god…ignore them at your peril!

    Kx

  8. Cary says:

    Well said, Karli…sometimes the best placement and styling turn out to be incredibly counter-intuitive.

  9. Kashif says:

    These days I am playing with my blog designs, trying to apply a consistent look and feel on all of them. I have also tweaked adsense positions and on some blogs it paid off.

  10. Luc says:

    Their advise is good, but …. you can’t post adsense banners or rectangles between posts with blogger. They should know it, because they are blogging on blogspot themselves….

  11. JD says:

    Hi Luc -

    You can place Adsense code (or any other code) so that it appears after apost, by placing the code after the “” at the end of the “” section. I use the Adsense 234×60 text-only script. You must log into your account and go to the “Change Settings” and “Template”. Anyone who hasn’t done this sort of thing before – save the section of code you want to change into Word or Notepad, as a back-up. With this, you can un-do an edit if you don’t like the finished product.

    The ad appears after the first two or three posts on your main page. I don’t know why it doesn’t appear after every post on the main page (I usually display the last five posts). Maybe something to do with Adsense’s rules -

    An ad or banner should not be wider than your post section – that will create an incorrect image of your blog to be seen.

    Look at my blog and you should see Adsnse ads and a banner ad below the first two posts.

    JD

  12. JD says:

    The section in the quotation marks did not appear – my bad -

    It said to place your code after the of the section.

    JD

  13. JD says:

    Let me try once more -

    Place your code after the [] of the [] section.

  14. Luc says:

    Hi JD,
    thanks for the advice, why they don’t appear after every post has indeed something to do with adsense rules ( maximum three ads on one page)

  15. JD says:

    Dang it!

    Just look at my blog and view the source code and you’ll see where the Adsense ad code is -

    JD

  16. John says:

    Actually, I found all this from the posts here at Problogger and Darren’s regular advice. So the AdSense team were a little late with it. What I have also found out was that traffic means ALOT! It is great to have your site optimized, but traffic is really important to drive CTR, and optimization is important too they both go hand in hand. Thanks for the great advice!

  17. sogiholics says:

    hello darren, you know this is my first comments, but i always visited this blog, not daily. i just wonder about this topics, everyone said that Good layout for adsense is three columns. Do you know any information about this ? Thank you

  18. meinhard says:

    hi, sicher interessante hinweise, doch sicher nicht der weisheit letzter schluß!

  19. One problem I’m currently having is that, while using Blogger, I can’t put the Google Adsense script IN the blog post.

    I can only add it to the template.

    And which is better? Ad at the top of the best, right after the title? or at the bottom when they’re done reading the content?

    Still experimenting, any advice and constructive criticism appreciated!

  20. simon says:

    I thought you could only have a max. of 3 adsense ads per page.

    Need to re read the TOS again.

    Tx for sharing this “summary” info.

  21. u8v8.com says:

    Great

    It is really a good idea, I will have a try

  22. SCOTT MCVEY says:

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  23. Anthony says:

    Man these are really cool tips.I have already started to see the improved results

  24. olaf says:

    Ok, but how can I switch off google adsens on one selected subpage where adverts are in my templete code?

    I’m doing some experiment on my blog releated to porn and I want to switch off adsense on that one page. How can I do it?

  25. Laptop Freak says:

    I just changed ads location on my blog and found the map recommended by Google. The way I put it on my website looks exactly like Google map. We’ll see if it changes anything.

  26. neon says:

    Your site is very easy in terms of expression and open. I think everyone who enters your site is very gratifying, but also sharing a very nice opportunity to give …

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