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Publisher Uses Multiple AdSense Accounts to Increase Earnings

A number of months ago it was revealed that if you use AdSense on multiple sites all from one AdSense account that the performance of one blog can impact the way AdSense converts on another blog. Up until this point it was thought that ‘Smart Pricing’ was on a site by site (or even page by page) basis but this news caused quite a stir.

Here were the main points from that previous post (NB: This part of that post was actually a quote from this post by Jen from Jensense):

  • “Smart pricing affects an entire account. It is not on a per page or per site basis.
  • One poorly converting site can result in smart pricing impacting an entire account, even sites completely unrelated to the poorly converting one.
  • Smart pricing is evaluated each week. So removing ads from sites you suspect are converting poorly could result in seeing an adjustment to a higher smart pricing percent in as little as a week.
  • Smart pricing is tracked with a 30 day cookie, so you could be rewarded for new conversions that saw the initial click from your site up to 29 days earlier.”

One of the implications of this news was that a number of bloggers that I have contact with decided to set up multiple AdSense accounts – one to run their more highly converting blogs and others to run their poorer sites.

Today I received an email from a ProBlogger reader who did just this. In it he reports the results of this strategy. I’ve republished part of his email below (with permission and removing his name). The results of his experiment are VERY interesting:

Just thought I’d mention a AdSense revenue strategy that I implemented on the first of the month that instantly turned out to be one of those $10,000 hours you’ve posted about before.

Because I’ve got a couple of different company structures set up I thought I’d take advantage of it to get a second Google AdSense account which would allow me to better report which company earns which revenue in case I want to sell one or the other company as a whole in the future. It would also give me the chance to test the AdSense smart pricing system. Note: I did get the ok for this from Google before applying for the second account.

I moved all of my junk sites (what I call my high traffic but low revenue sites) to the second account and in my original account kept solely my high earning premium sites where I devote most of my time and which account for 90% of my earnings.

Anyway after nearly a full four weeks of data the revenue on my premium sites is up 15% and the revenue on my junk sites is down by only 3%. In monetary terms that means the net gain over the year at current levels will be at least $20,000 but if growth continues at the current rate it could be as high as $50,000. Took me about 30 minutes to make the move yet now it looks like I can either double my yearly motage re-payments or buy a second property with the extra funds. Only downside in watching the instant revenue increase has been my regret that I didn’t make the move sooner.

Note: I’ve talked to AdSense reps in the past about whether they allow multiple accounts per publisher and their response has always been that in general it is not allowed. However they do seem to make exceptions to this if you have corresponding company details or have a different person’s name as the one responsible for the account. It’s worth keeping in mind that AdSense do seem to track the IP addresses of people logging into accounts (it’s one way they track click fraud) so it might be worth seeking their permission before going with multiple accounts.

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. Mariano says:

    Interesting… but I should point out my wife tried to get another adsense account to experiment with one blog she manages so as not to mix thing up with mine (obviously with same address) but she got turned down because this is a forbidden practice in some countries.

  2. Eric Giguere says:

    This is a strategy that publishers with many sites often use, although smart pricing isn’t usually the reason — it’s the more pragmatic issue of protecting your income stream so that the suspension or banning of one account due to things like click fraud doesn’t dry up all your income. Also, you may want to use separate accounts as a privacy measure.

    Separate accounts do, however, require you to setup separate legal entities, usually a corporation or a limited-liability company. This costs money, of course, and adds the hassle of extra paperwork to deal with, so it’s not really something that AdSense publishers with one or two sites will do.

    I asked Google once if they’d consider adding the notion of a “tracking ID”, much like Amazon has in its affiliate program, but they said no.

  3. Jon says:

    I do this, yes it requires separate legal entities [adsense allows you to have a personal account and then each corporation can have it's own account - I was told this by their reps].

    It’s true if you have an overall high CTR for an account for a period of a month or more…you can expect a pop in earnings per click.

  4. Bruce says:

    Very interesting article. I thought this was never allowed by the google TOS, but I guess there are exceptions

  5. A1Arcade.com says:

    I noticed this sometime last month; one of my sites was doing relatively well, but my other wasn’t. With all of the impressions I was getting with the other site (but low CTR), my overall price per click and monthly revenue went down.

    This looks to be a great way to get around the whole dilemna.

  6. mark says:

    Really? Wow, I never knew this before. I guess this is the reason my earnings decreased a bit as I opened more sites with the ads, but did not really promote it as much. I guess I’ll have to remove the ads for now as I can’t make a new account (I didn’t try to ask for a new one, but I doubt it’ll happen).

  7. Mark says:

    Er, so the million dollar question still remains….

    How do you know which sites are ***converting*** well and which sites aren’t?

    Because it’s conversions that’s the most important factor in smartpricing. NOT CTR and it’s NOT CPM and it’s NOT number of impressions.

    If you follow Darren’s example and move your sites about you may actually see FALLING income unless you know the relative conversion rates.

  8. brandon says:

    Am I mistaken or is conversion just another term for CTR?

  9. Mark says:

    CTR is percentage of people who click through. Not everybody who clicks through converts into a sale/member/other action.

  10. Well, one thing’s for sure .. it must be nice to have high enough adsense earnings that 15% difference really makes a difference! :D

    But – I’ve got tons of blogs too using adsense, and in fact during the olympics my posts practically went non-existence on a few blogs.. and my adsense overall is up 15% too. I can now buy a Soup and Sandwich deal instead of Coffee and Muffin deal! WooHoo! Perhaps the other Problogger will keep up informed in another 4 weeks to let us know if the trend continues…

  11. I think 15% and 3% in a small time period (4 weeks) is not a statistical significative datum. Even if for great traffic sites this situation can reduce revenue considerably !!
    My opinion is that we can obtain an exact statistic only for a long time (for example 6 monts or 1 yr.) period of audit.

  12. Nils says:

    Another idea might be to migrate your “junk” weblogs over to a different ad company, like Yahoo or somesuch.

  13. Joanne says:

    Having multiple accounts is not acceptable under google terms and conditions. So do not go against it as you will not gain anything out of it. If you are not making the money that you expected to make, you just can’t wait and hope that will come. Instead focus on creating new content which is interesting and optimize it until you get the results. It is hardwork but in the long haul, it’s worth it.

  14. Jen says:

    This is really useful information. I’d been considering setting up a company to manage certain websites and now I’m even more certain that this is the way forward for my business.

  15. Thilak says:

    But is it legal to have more than one adsense account

  16. Having more than 1 adsense accounts can really improve your earnings, but isn’t against the TOS of adsense to have multiple accounts. plz correct mr if i am wrong

  17. Very good article. I am considering dropping all of the low volume websites from my account to capitolize on my higher paying keywords.

    You would think that the channel tracking could take some of the information and use it to differentiate between sites.

  18. Jen says:

    There seems to be some difference of opinion about whether it’s OK to actually have multiple adsense accounts.

    Following success with Adsense I’m hoping to set up a limited company with my daughter – so obviously would want to keep the income from the account separately.

    Does anyone know how you contact Google for clarification?

  19. Mr. X says:

    >Does anyone know how you contact Google for clarification?

    No. They are an elusive company that does not even publish a website.

    If you put word out on the street that you are looking for them, they might contact you.

  20. It is perfectly “legal” to control multiple adsense accounts, provided you follow Google’s rules regarding such. Each account must belong to a separate and unique legal entity. This means either another human being – OR another legal entity such as a C Corporation or LLC (Limited Liability Company). I have multiple accounts this way and have noticed a definite difference in terms of income by adding a second account, however I didn’t really try to quantify it.

    Setting up an LLC is really only worth doing if you have the income to justify it. If you’re only making a few bucks per month then it doesn’t make any sense, but since you can get an LLC set up for just a few hundred dollars in the USA, I definitely think it makes sense for any blog/site that is actually making decent income. You only need to earn a few dollars per day more to pay for the LLC. Not to mention the tax benefits to those earning in the USA, as the LLC won’t be taxed until you draw that revenue out (same with an S Corp I believe).

    Also I’m not sure that logging in to check multiple accounts from one IP address would be a huge problem. It’s also perfectly possible to legitimately maintain other people’s accounts for them, if you are their advertising/affiliate manager. If I managed the advertising for 5 clients, you can bet I’d be logging in to all 5 accounts from my main workstation. I can’t imagine this would be a gigantic red flag for Google as it’s a pretty probable scenario.

    Jonathan


    http://www.macroking.com

  21. Jen says:

    Hunh, weird (and unexpected). Good info, I’m glad I found this.

  22. Jen says:

    Clever strategy, albeit sneaky.

  23. mark says:

    Yeah, Jen. I agree :)

  24. Legal entity means a business, right?

    Can it have the same address

  25. Jose says:

    Wow what a sneaky but great technique, never thought of doing something like that.

  26. Daviid says:

    hmmm..i have a 2nd account…so im give this a try!

  27. Vijay says:

    I was banned by Google adsense in October 2007. Can i create new account with different blogs, but with the same IP address…..

  28. I was under the impression using multiple adsense accounts was against googles TOS. And no Vijay, you can’t create another account with the same IP. If you can’t get a diff IP, you should contact google about getting your ban lifted.

  29. SeoGen says:

    I get the same problem at the moment.. thinking to open a new account on my wife :)

  30. Tinh says:

    great news indeed, i think more networks and forums even revenue-sharing sites to come soon :-)

  31. Chat says:

    I have wondered about this issue. But I really believe that Google does track enough information about sites and really does not impact poor click thru sites vs. more robust click sites. I do use the same account across multiple sites and have never seen any impact.

  32. Free Games says:

    One false move and Google shatters all the dreams of making it big. I guess I won’t try for another account for now.

  33. As far as I know Google is very harsh on the TOS of not having multiple accounts, although there have to be ways around it considering how many individuals practice this. Smart Pricing is definitely an issue, however, and you don’t want to get smart priced or you’ll see the profits plummet.

  34. MMO says:

    Adsense is still by far the best ad network out there for small time publishers. Just look at the competition. Bidvertiser is a joke, yahoo is still in beta (After like 3 years).

  35. angela says:

    Oh dear

    I had noticed a significant difference in my earnings since I started working on 2-3 new sites…. all new/low traffic.

    I wonder if the answer is to use a completely different ad network until they’re proving themselves.

    It’s never a good idea to have all your eggs in one basket, it’s just Adsense is such a reliable income for me that it seems only natural to stick more sites onto the same account.

    Also, there are several revenue sharing sites – I am a small participant of 1-2 and their CTR is very low compared to my main site.

    Food for thought ….

  36. Hmm. Thats pretty dumb.
    Anyone who has an exiting website and then develops a new one will have to create a new account.

    Of course anyone who doesn’t know about this will put all their sites in one account. This is just google being sneaky and saving cash!

    Spreading the word might force a rethink at google.
    I can’t see that everyone having multiple accounts is good for google or us. But i’ll be creating a new one on a different IP when i get the chance.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] En Problogger, Darren comenta que algunos bloggers están utilizando varias cuentas de Adsense para manejar diferentes sitios e incrementar ganancias. La razón de esto es principalmente por el Smart Pricing, una técnica implementada por Google Adsense. Los inconvenientes de usar una sola cuenta de Adsense aparecen al considerar estos comportamientos del Smart Pricing: [...]

  2. [...] Darren Rowse has an interesting article on one adsense user’s experience with Multiple AdSense Accounts, never mind that I thought multiple accounts were against the TOS. [...]

  3. [...] Reference: Dumb Facts about AdSense Smart Pricing. Source: ProBlogger. [...]

  4. [...] Der Problogger hat aktuell einen intersessanten Bericht zur Optimierung der Klickpreise von Adsense-Einnahmen veröffentlicht. Das Thema ist nicht neu, mir waren die Effekte jedoch bisher nicht bekannt, so daß ich mal davon ausgehe, daß es den ein oder anderen auch interessieren könnte. Durch das von Google eingesetzte Verfahren des “Smart Pricing” entsteht der Effekt, daß sich verschiedene Projekte eines Adsense Accounts gegenseitig beeinflussen. Dies bedeutet, daß nicht so umsatzstarke Adsense-Projekte die Klickpreise, von im gleichen Account genutzten, umsatzstarken Projekten schwächen und die Klickpreise in diesen Projekten sinken. Das “Smart Pricing” wurde von Google bereits im April 2004 eingeführt, die Details der Berechnungsgrundlagen waren jedoch lange unklar. Bisher war ich der Meinung, daß das “Smart Pricing” bei Adsense von Projekt zu Projekt berechnet wird. Die für mich neue Erkenntnis, daß dies Account-abhängig ist, würde auch erklären, warum die Einnahmen (Klickpreise) auf meinem Top Adsense-Projekt zum Thema “Datenrettung” die letzten Monate deutlich gesunken sind, nachdem ich etwa 15 weitere neue Projekte in den gleichen Account gelegt habe. Nur ein “schlechtes” oder neues Projekt mit einer schwachen Conversion Rate kann die Klickpreise aller anderen Projekte eines Adsense Accounts negativ beeinflussen. Bei Jensense.com fndet sich ein Bericht zu weiteren Details des Smart Pricing für Adsense vom vergangenen Oktober. Der oben angesprochene aktuelle Artikel des Problogger zu “Multiple Adsense Accounts” schildert einen konkreten Fall, bei dem ein von Google (ausnahmsweise?) erlaubter zweiter Adsense-Account die Gesamteinnahmen deutlich verbessert hat. Hier wurden einfach die Projekte nach CPC-Qualität getrennt und in die beiden Accounts verteilt. Dadurch haben sich die Klickpreise in dem Account mit den Top-Projekten spürbar verbessert. Anyway after nearly a full four weeks of data the revenue on my premium sites is up 15% and the revenue on my junk sites is down by only 3%. [...]

  5. [...] Ahora, Darren Rose en ProBlogger informa sobre un caso en el que uno de sus lectores obtuvo una segunda cuenta con permiso de Google. En la primera cuenta solo dejo sus mejores proyectos, mientras que en la segundo coloco todos sus otros proyectos que no rendían mucho. [...]

  6. [...] Publisher Uses Multiple AdSense Accounts to Increase Earnings It would also give me the chance to test the AdSense smart pricing system. … and now I m even more certain that this is the way forward for my business. … [...]

  7. [...] Darren, who’s a DigitalPoint member too, wrote at ProBlogger about this issue, and made a practical test about it. [...]