Top 9 Questions For Google AdSense Answered!

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Top 9 Questions For Google AdSense Answered!

Postby Evan » Tue Oct 20, 2009 6:44 pm

A couple of weeks ago I had a chance to head to Google’s office for a full day of AdSense discussion. As part of the event we got to ask questions via an online form and members who attended were asked to vote on the questions. The top 9 voted on questions were answered by Google’s staff.

Here were the questions:

Question #1: “Ad erosion (aka ad blindness): As a way to fight the inevitable, could the publisher define a section of the page within which Google may embed in a random place the ads, with some features for the publisher to somehow control the decision?”

Question #2: “Does Google recognize semantic tags (microformats and RDFa) to better qualify ads served on the page, which would increase the conversion, hence revenue?”

Question #3 (mine): “Can you share with us website layouts that are getting > 10% click through rates or higher?”

Question #4: “I’d like to see performance standards or ranges for different site categories. In other words, is my site underperforming or overperforming on CTR or CPM? And how do I figure this out? I can do it for traffic in Analyzer – but not in Adsense.”

Question #5: “When is it best to use “text only” or “image only” ads?”

Question #6: “Does Google have plans of introducing an AdSense Optimizer? I would like you to figure out algorithmically: 1. what colors are best 2. what positions are best 3. what networks in your inventory pay the best. I define the ad blocks, you do the work!”

Question #7: “I’d like info on the review my site makes from each region/country. For example, if I get a large % of my revenue from California or Australia, I could add more content specific to those areas.”

Question #8: “How can you use Google Analytics data to help your website generate more income?”

Question #9: “Do Google Adsense ads have a positive, negative or neutral effect on a visitor’s perception of a website?”

You can view the answers at: http://www.evancarmichael.com/blog/2009 ... -answered/

What do you think? Is there a question you would like to ask the AdSense team? Please comment below – I would love to hear from you!
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Re: Top 9 Questions For Google AdSense Answered!

Postby christew » Fri Oct 23, 2009 1:16 pm

Google is right about the 10% CTR rate thing being a bad thing. I share the same philosophy.

I like a lower CTR and a higher CPC. Throwing ads in the users face increases CTR, but often decreases CPC as there are more users clicking just because it is right in front of them.

This means you get less money for every visitor you lose from your site.

I prefer to get more for each visitor I lose, and lose a few less visitors while doing so, as these visitors will likely view another page, click an aff. link, share the article, sign up to mailing list etc.
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Re: Top 9 Questions For Google AdSense Answered!

Postby Evan » Fri Oct 23, 2009 1:20 pm

Or... you can have a high CPC and high CTR :)
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Re: Top 9 Questions For Google AdSense Answered!

Postby christew » Fri Oct 23, 2009 1:34 pm

Evan wrote:Or... you can have a high CPC and high CTR :)

Quite often I find CPC is higher when ads are less intrusive (and hence CTR is lower). Not always, but mostly. It doesn't happen straight away either so it is difficult to split test. It is more that Google will not pay you as much is your traffic quality becomes lower, which is often the case when ads get more intrusive.

Plus a 10% CTR in Adsense, when you combine with CTR of other advertisers, it can add up to a big traffic leak. I prefer to gradually tweak a site so you lose less visitors, but get paid more.
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Re: Top 9 Questions For Google AdSense Answered!

Postby Evan » Fri Oct 23, 2009 2:04 pm

Hi Chris - this is another question that comes up frequently and there are many misconceptions about it.

The CPC is all about maximizing the return for the advertiser - you'll get a high CPC if your ads are in a competitive market, you've niched yourself out to a specific target audience, and you're delivering a high ROI for your advertisers. If you have multiple ads on the page then then Google reads from top to bottom and shows the highest bid at the top. If you have multiple ads and someone clicks on your 3rd ad then you will get less than if they click on the first ad.

CTR is determined primarily by how relevant the ads are to your content, the location of your ads, and the design of your ad units.

Traffic leak will occur if you have a higher CTR but it depends on what your business model is. If you're trying to make money through AdSense then it's going to come from first time, search engine visitors, not repeat visitors or people who spend a lot of time on your site. Regular visitors are ad blind and don't click on AdSense.

If your only business model were AdSense then you would want a high traffic leak... as long as they're clicking on your ads and you're making money.
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Re: Top 9 Questions For Google AdSense Answered!

Postby christew » Fri Oct 23, 2009 2:24 pm

Evan wrote:CTR is determined primarily by how relevant the ads are to your content, the location of your ads, and the design of your ad units.

Traffic leak will occur if you have a higher CTR but it depends on what your business model is. If you're trying to make money through AdSense then it's going to come from first time, search engine visitors, not repeat visitors or people who spend a lot of time on your site. Regular visitors are ad blind and don't click on AdSense.

Yeah I agree with this and have found the same.

Evan wrote:If your only business model were AdSense then you would want a high traffic leak... as long as they're clicking on your ads and you're making money.


I use Adsense and have an ad supported business, but my business model is different. I try and balance Adsense revenue (and traffic loss through adsense) with having readers browse around my site, click links, leave comments, read the content and get a useful experience from the site - so that they end up sharing or returning. A high Adsense CTR would interfere with this.

So I try to balance Adsense placement and CTR with user experience.
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Re: Top 9 Questions For Google AdSense Answered!

Postby Evan » Fri Oct 23, 2009 2:27 pm

Hi Chris - what you might want to consider is showing more ads to people who come via search engines (they are more likely to click on ads anyway and less likely to get involved with your site) and then show less ads and encourage participation to people who come from Twitter, referral sites, your other marketing efforts, etc.
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Re: Top 9 Questions For Google AdSense Answered!

Postby christew » Fri Oct 23, 2009 2:56 pm

Evan wrote:Hi Chris - what you might want to consider is showing more ads to people who come via search engines (they are more likely to click on ads anyway and less likely to get involved with your site) and then show less ads and encourage participation to people who come from Twitter, referral sites, your other marketing efforts, etc.

Yeah completely agree, it has been on my to do list for a while.

will do it 2 ways (or a mixture of the two):

- Target advertising and page content (e.g mailing list signup) based on sources of traffic
- Have more advertising on older posts so regular readers seeing new content see less ads.

Both are easy to do on wordpress.
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