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AdSense for Search now Powered by Custom Search

AdSense today announced that their search feature is now featured by Google’s Custom Search.

This means that those using AdSense for Search get access to a few new features including:

  • Site Search
  • Improved indexing of your pages
  • Vertical search
  • Tuning search results and ads with keywords
  • Selecting ad location
  • Quick and easy updates

You can see a full explanation of each one at the announcement on the AdSense blog.

AdSense and Feedburner Ads a Step Closer to Launch? First Ads Seen in the Wild

It looks like the integration of AdSense ads into Feeburner feeds is a step closer with reports surfacing that AdSense ads have been seen on RSS feeds that look like this.

Feedburner-Adsense

This ad was seen on the feed of Inhabitat (found via Digital Inspiration). The images are served as image maps not JavaScript.

Here’s hoping that this will perform better than the previous AdSense for RSS program that has been in beta for a couple of years now!

AdSense Roll out Ad Review Center to All Publishers

AdSense have today rolled out their new(ish) Ad Review Center for all AdSense publishers. I’m happy about this as I was in this last batch of publishers to see it.

The idea behind the Ad Review Center is that when advertisers target your specific blog you now can see that they’re targeting it and can approve or ban and ad depending on whether you want it to appear on your site or not. This gives you more control over the ads that appear on your site.

Note – this is only for ads targeted to your site (ie general AdSense ads that are contextually placed on your site are not included).

Also keep in mind that when you remove an ad you could be decreasing the profitability of your site as it removes the ad from the ‘auction’ that happens between Advertisers to have their ad appear on your blog.

To find the Ad Review Center log into the ‘Setup’ area of AdSense, then click the ‘Competitive Ad Filter’ area and opt into the Ad Review Center program (it should be highlighted in a little green box).

When Google AdSense Doesn’t Provide Relevant Ads On a Blog

AdSense is a wonderful way to make money from blogs for many bloggers – however it’s not always suitable.

Check out this post looking at the ads that AdSense put up on a blog for women over the age of 40.

Ads included (to name just a few):

MEET MARRIED WOMEN! Married but looking? Meet LOCAL married women right now!
OLDER BLACK WOMEN: Free to join. 1000′s of pictures of beautiful older black singles.
HISPANIC WOMEN ONLINE: Find your interracial match on line.
MARRIED BUT LOOKING: Discreet affairs for men and women have never been easier.

AdSense is great when you have a topic that is focused upon some kind of product or service – or a topic that is directly associated with a type of product or service – however when you have a topic that is a little more open to interpretation or vague (and not I’m not saying Women over 40 are vague!) AdSense often produces ads that are less targeted.

The same is true in my experience with AdSense on religious and political blogs. Their bots look at words like ‘Spiritual’, ‘Christian’, ‘Democrat’, ‘Clinton’, ‘Muslim’ and doesn’t know what you’re saying about these things – it’ll quite often guess wrong and put up something that is completely the opposite to what your blog is about.

When AdSense serves irrelevant ads to your blog it doesn’t mean that your topic is no good, just that you might want to go back to the drawing board and find another way to monetize it.

The take home lesson is that when you’re first using AdSense on a blog to watch the ads that it serves up. Keep in mind though that sometimes the ads will start off un-targeted but that they improve after a day or two (perhaps as it learns what does convert and what doesn’t on your blog).

AdSense Secrets 4.0 Launches

AdSense Secretsupdate: please note the update at the bottom of this post.

It has been a big week for bloggers launching products and making special offers.

AdSense guru Joel Comm has this week also announced a new product (or rather an update of an old one) called AdSense Secrets 4.0.

Joe’s written many resources for those wanting to improve their AdSense earnings and his book on the topic has been a best seller on Amazon.

This week he’s launched his 4th version of the product.

Before you visit his sales page – take a deep breath. It’s long, its full of sales talk…. but the product is only $9.95 (his previous ones have been $97).

Joe’s AdSense resources are always a great resource for those starting out with AdSense – so if you’re wanting to improve your AdSense performance or want a good introduction to it a $9.95 investment is definitely worth it.

If that’s you just scroll to the bottom of his sales page, skip the sale and click purchase – you’ll save yourself 15 minutes of reading an watching videos in the process!

update: friends I want to make a couple of clarifications to this post after reading the comments left so far.

1. I have bought the product and believe it contains useful information to those starting out with AdSense.
2. Joel Comm’s previous versions of this product were helpful in my own journey with learning about AdSense. Yes I learned some of what I now know about AdSense through my own experimenting and the reading of free information online about it but his books have helped me – as a result I am mentioning this latest version.
3. In signing up for this product there are a few ‘catches’ that I didn’t realize. As I mentioned in the post the long page is very salesy and as I encouraged you to skip through it – I skipped through it. This was a mistake on my part and I apologize for this. Please do read the sales copy and understand that there’s a membership program/monthly report with this that costs $29.95 a month which you are subscribed to when you sign up for this. You can unsubscribe at any time if you don’t want to be in it. I’m a little surprised and disappointed to see Joel doing this to be honest but it is mentioned in the sales page (see the ‘free’ bonuses).

I am sorry for not pointing this subscription cost out in my original post. It was a dumb mistake from me. Having said this I think Joel’s product here remains a worthwhile resource for those starting out with AdSense.

update 2 – Joel’s seen the error of his ways and has changed the process again meaning you’re not automatically subscribed to the ongoing reports. All seems to be good now.

AdSense Introduce Reports for Link Units

I just logged into my AdSense account to check my nightly stats and found a new reporting option in the ‘Advance Reports’ section (pictured below).

Now you can choose to view ‘Ad Units’ or ‘Link Units’ or ‘Both’.

Ad Units are all of your normal ad units (text ads, image ads, video ads) and ‘Link Units’ are those little adlink unit ads that many bloggers use around their navigational areas that take readers to a second page of ads.

it’s good to see these stats as they were previously all mixed into one in the advance reports unless you’d set them up in channels.

Adsense-Link-Unit-Reports

Have AdSense Sliding/Scrolling Text Ads Changed Your eCPM?

Just under a week ago AdSense rolled out their new Sliding/Scrolling feature on Text Ads. The response from ProBlogger readers was mixed to say the least and included:

“They’re interesting. I like that the arrows are pretty small, yet visible to those who are paying attention to the ads.” Stephanie

“What a waste – do they really think that people looking at Adsense will take the time find a couple of tiny arrows to look at more ads?” – Blogthority

“I’m not a big fan of bells and whistles, so it annoys me a little bit to see more moving parts on a website. On the other hand, if it offers more-relevant ads and gets more clicking for the bloggers, then I’m all for it!” – Jeff

“This seems counterintuitive. People don’t like ads anyway, why would they actively scroll to see more ads?” – Lulu

“I think it will help people get more targeted ads” – Alex

“I am definitely wanting the option to turn it off.”- Prince John

OK – so there are a lot of opinions – but one of the questions that I’m left with today is – have the addition of the ability to see more ads in AdSense units led to any changes in your actual earnings?

Does the ability for people to see more ads increase the chance of them clicking more and you being paid more? Does it lead to a higher eCPM (amount earned per 1000 page views)?

At this stage it’s too early to be conclusive but in spending some time today checking over my own stats I’m not sure there’s much of a difference. In fact if anything some of my AdSense channels have had a decrease in CTR over the past week.

I’m hesitant to draw too many conclusions but here is a graph (without any figures) of the CTR and eCPM of one blog with AdSense on it at the moment. The 3 April was the day that the scrolling ads went live on most people’s ads.

CTR.png

eCPM.png

As I say – it’s too early for conclusions – particularly with just sampling one blog. There’s many explanations for differences in CTR and eCPM however I’d be interested to hear if anyone else has noticed any changes in your AdSense performance over the last week?

AdSense officially Launch Sliding/Scrolling Text Ads

After what seems like a very long test period AdSense today have announced that they’ve added scrolling ads to all CPC text ads. They announce it on their blog here. We started seeing them back in December.

These ads have been appearing increasingly on many publishers AdSense units of late and are little arrows at the base of ad units which allow viewers of the ad to hit forward and back to see more ads. Here’s how they look.

adsense-slider-ads.png

As publishers you don’t get paid when readers click the arrows or scroll through ads but I guess the theory is that they’ll be more likely to click an ad if they see one that is more relevant to them.

Here’s a little video of them in action:

What do you think of these ads?

AdSense Release Ad Manager

Ad-ManagerI’m about to fly out of Austin but thought I’d post a link to a story that broke this morning on the official AdSense blog – they’re releasing a free Ad Manager service.

I’ve been sitting on this story for a few weeks and even got a sneak peak at it and I think it’s going to fit with the needs of quite a few medium to larger bloggers who want more control over their ad serving. It’s able to be used with a variety of ad networks as well as your own direct sales of ads.

“If you operate a site with remnant ad inventory as well as reserved ad inventory that you sell directly to advertisers, then Ad Manager is for you. It can help you sell, schedule, deliver, and measure directly-sold and network-based inventory. Google Ad Manager offers a wealth of features, including an intuitive user interface, automated yield optimization, and proven Google speed and reliability.”

The service offers:

  • Inventory management
  • Yield optimization
  • Ad targeting
  • Trafficking, ad delivery, and order booking
  • Creatives and rich media management
  • Reporting
  • User interface navigation
  • Account administration

You can learn more about their Ad Manager and apply to be in the beta here.