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Shady or Superior Adsense Integration?

Big Money Tips points to an interesting use of Adsense on a site. It is a fine line as to what these guys are doing with their third ad on the page which is very blended into the site and almost invisable at a first glance (there are three ads on the page – all quite different in their presentation). As Big Money Tips writes – is this superior or shady use of Adsense?

Google to Revamp Adsense and Adwords Program

Silicon Valley Watcher writes that Google are getting ready to announce some big changes to their Adsense/Adwords program which will be of interest to many bloggers using the system.

‘As this is being writtten, about 1800 Google marketing people from its offices around the world are at an internal sales conference at a secret location in San Francisco, being briefed on a completely revamped Google Adwords/Adsense program and other new features.

The text ads business is crucial to maintaining Google’s pace of growth and its share price, which reflects high expectations for the dominant search giant. But Google offers few tools to advertisers to let them control where their ads appear and on which web sites. Similarly, web site publishers have virtually no control over what types of ads Google sends their way. This has caused some shifting to competitors such as Kanoodle that offer such controls.

That’s why the revamped Adwords/Adsense will provide a suite of tools that provide greater control, management and monitoring data to advertisers, to better target their sales messages.’



I’ll be watching any announced changes carefully as Adsense has been a major part of my earning strategy on my blogs – hopefully the changes not only benefit the advertisers but also are worthwhile for publishers.

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How AdSense Premium Publishers Boost their CTR by 500%

Have you ever wondered what the benefits of being a premium publisher on the Google Adsense program are? Google don’t say to much about it on their website. You have to achieve ’5 million search queries or 20 million content page views a month’ to qualify, which puts most of us out of the race but we can dream can’t we? Anyway – the official line is that the benefits of being a Premium Publisher are:

  • Google sales representative and account manager
  • Flexible ad formats
  • Advanced filtering
  • Optimization assistance
  • Additional monetization options
  • Enhanced technical support



It all sounds pretty general and I’ve often wondered what the specifics are. Today I spotted a short post by Gary Stein who shed a little light on what one premium publisher (Topix) is doing to boost their earnings on their home page by 500%. The long and short of it is that they are able to track your movements across the site’s different channels and serve up ads that relate to where you’ve spent the most time. So instead of their Home Page (which is a collation page of loads of general news) showing up ‘general’ type ads it shows up ads which they have a pretty good idea that you’ll be interested in because you’ve previously searched for it.

So in a sense the ads are not contextual in the strictest sense (ie they are not relevant to that page’s content but are reliant upon your surfing history – Behavioral targeting advertising. I wonder if this is the type of feature that Google would consider making available down the track to its average user? Obviously it would be in their best interests, and those of their publishers and advertisers, to see click through rates go up by 500% across the board. However I guess they also have to balance it with the reaction of the end user who may not appreciate having their surfing tracked in this way.

Source of original information: AdSense Premium Publisher: Boost CTR

Understanding Adsense Statistics

There is a good post over at Webmaster world titled A few notes on Adsense stats where one user of Adsense writes some definitions of terms used in and lessons learned interpreting Adsense statistics. It won’t be much use to long term Adsense users but might be helpful in discerning what you’re looking at for Adsense Newbies.

New Adsense Format in Testing – 7 Ads per box

Adsensesky1-1

It looks like the people at Adsense are trialing a new format of ads again. Actually its not completely new – the size is the normal wide skyscraper (160 x 600) but the difference is that they are trying 7 ads in it rather than the usual 5.

The font is smaller and there is no URL on the design. I found it on one of their tester sites, sitemeter which runs Adsense ads on their stats pages (like this one).

Adsense have tested numerous formats on these pages and only some of what I’ve seen trialed there has ever gotten through to the rest of us so don’t count on seeing it as an option too soon – but you never know.

I’ve included a screen shot of this skyscraper (left – click to enlarge) because these tests always last too long.

What do you think of the new format? Theoretically it should increase the click through rate for ads as there are more chances of ads being relevant for readers – however the font is smaller which decreases the chances of users seeing them.

The other initial thought I have is that most of my pages already have two ad sections per page and Google struggles to fill them both already as it is. I worry that if I moved to a 7 ad format whether the other ad section would more often than not be empty.

I guess we’ll find out how useful the format is by whether they offer it to us.

Adsense isn’t for all Blogs

MediaDailyNews has a great article that describes a situation where running Adsense didn’t work out for one blogger who wasn’t happy with the type of ads being served on his politically conservative blog.

‘Maloney pronounced Thursday on his site that Google’s contextual ad service, AdSense, was ‘not ready for primetime.’ He complained that Google routinely sent ads that weren’t meant for his conservative audience. One ad, for instance, asked readers: ‘How can 59,054,087 people be so dumb?’–referring to the voters who re-elected President George W. Bush in 2004.

‘I could live with the occasional mistargeted ad, but it seemed that a vast majority of the ads were inappropriate for large segments of this site’s audience,’ Maloney wrote Thursday on his site. ‘I could even live with the many ads that highlighted positions different from mine, if some of them weren’t so downright insulting.’ Maloney cited ads that sold T-shirts labeling Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and President Bush ‘asses of evil,’ and ‘Hillary for President’ ads. Maloney since withdrew from AdSense.’

It is a good reminder that whilst Adsense can serve incredibly relevant ads at times that it is an automated service that does not have the ability to discern opinion, sarcasm, tone or the points of arguments or debate.

Adsense/Adwords Changes are Coming – 1 Merchant ad per Page Rumored

It is rumored that on January 12 there could be changes in the air for bloggers using Adsense. Actually the changes would start with Adwords (the other side of the Adsense coin). You see it seems that Advertisers using the program will be told tomorrow (or in the next few days) that there are changes coming into effect on the 12th. The big change is this:

No longer will Google allow more than one ad per page for the same affiliate program. Presently a number of the ads on any one given page could actually be sending clickers through to the one merchant program but this will all come to an end next week. The results of this change will definately impact publishers using Adsense to monetize their sites – however the debate is still out as to what impact it will have upon our bottom line.

Some theorize that this move will see a flood of affiliate advertisers leave the program in favor of other methods of earning a dollar. The result would be less ads in Google’s stock and less competition for keywords which would result in a drop off of click values.

However other are arguing that the impact will be quite the opposite. With less spots available a bidding war might open up between some affiliate advertisers seeing keyword prices increase.

Whilst I’d love to see the second of these options come to pass I wonder if it will. You see most affiliate advertisers have a finely tuned operation going. They take out ads on Adsense for affiliate programs that pay out more than it costs them to advertise. As a result of this there will be a limit as to how high they will be willing to bid on keywords. If the bidding goes too high they cut their margins and there is little point making the bids at all.

Jen over at JenSense.com has yet another theory: ‘However, if Adwords/AdSense get together on this and allow one advertiser per keyword per merchant on the search side, yet allow as many advertisers per keyword per merchant on the content side of things, this could actually result in more advertisers opting into content. If they cannot afford the bid price in search, advertisers would still have the chance of getting click throughs in content, where it could be more affordable if all the advertisers are not trying to outbid each other for a single spot in the serps.’

Whatever the case it will be an interesting change to watch and one which could make or break Google’s Adsense program for 2005 as it has the potential to alienate both publishers and advertisers.

Google on 60 Minutes – Adsense Publishers to Profit?

Online Business Opportunity is predicting profits will result for Adsense users after the 60 Minutes show on Google tonight in the States. They say watch out for a rise in earnings due to:

‘- The price per click will rise across all products and services

- AdSense advertisers will be earning more money due to this rise in click prices

- A less sophisticated group of advertisers will be spending money without proper tracking and ROI calculation’

I’m not sure there will be much noticeable difference but will be interested to track it and am keen to get my hands upon a copy of the episode.

Christmas present from Google

Fc696 Main

It looks like Adsense have decided to send Christmas presents to some of their bigger earners this year. Its a ‘Mood lighting AM/FM Radio’ like the one pictured here.

‘Turn down the lights. Turn on the mood music. Now, let the light show gently take you on a journey into 7 vibrant hues and passages of soothing relaxation. This AM/FM Radio with precision quality sound, LED technology, and rotating gravity switch helps you choose just the right mood. It even has a 60 minute timer.’

Lamp

Reminds me a little of one of those 1980′s lamps with all the fibre optic like things sticking out of it that my nana had (left).

The gift seems to be only sent to medium to high income earners with one user on the Webmaster world saying he got one having averaged somewhere in the $2,000-$3,000 range per month.

Nothing in my mailbox yet.

Source – Christmas present from Google:

Update: My Mood lit radio just showed up – it only slightly improved my mood from my other Christmas present from Google.