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"Quick and Dirty" On Page Optimization Trick
Google ain't just a search engine anymore!

 5:52 am on Aug 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

Recently, I've been using AdSense to improve my on page optimization quickly, easily, and effectively. With AdSense code on a page, you can get "instant feedback" for changes you make to a page.

Assuming you've covered the basics like meta tags and page structure, simply revising the text on a page so the AdSense ads mirror the keywords that the page targets will obviously improve revenue.

What makes this is handy is that your ads will change within a few hours of making changes to your page. If the ads are better targeted, you're done! If not, try again and review your ads in a few hours. You can (and should!) confirm your click through ratio within 24 hours.

Even better, within a few days you can check the ranking for your page. Invariably, I find mine has improved, often significantly.

Google is no longer a search engine, it's a contextual advertising system that includes a search engine. This trick is simply one way an SEO can use that change to his advantage.



 7:43 am on Aug 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

I know the theory has been thrown around loads lately, but are you *confirming* that running Adsense on your site will improve your rankings within Google for the targeted 'Adsense' keywords?

Total Paranoia

 8:23 am on Aug 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

I think what DaveAtIFG means is that running adsense will give you faster feedback as to whether the changes you make were "correct" or not.

If adsense starts returning ads that are on target to your keywords, the changes you made "should" also work to your advantage in the serps.

He is simply using adsense as an almost instant feedback tool for on page SEO.

Correct DaveAtIFG?


 8:25 am on Aug 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

Exactly! Thanks TP, for putting it so succinctly. :)


 8:32 am on Aug 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

The adsense preview tool works pretty decently and gives you a larger number of ads to test your targetting.

Total Paranoia

 8:32 am on Aug 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

And a very nice idea this is. It makes complete sense, thanks for sharing this.

Right then now I have an excuse to sign up for AdSense!

BTW DaveAtIFG, I don't think there is anything at all dirty about this trick.


 8:36 am on Aug 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

you can test pages here as well: [webmasterworld.com...]


 9:46 am on Aug 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

This works great except for those rare occasions when AdSense can't find a clue as to what your page is about no matter what you put on it.


 10:31 am on Aug 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

DaveAtIFG is correct. Before I ran Adsense I tested my page optimisation by keyword searches and nine times out of ten the page would show up in serps and I thought the job was done. But sometimes the ads displayed by Adsense came as a shock.

An example was a film review which always made it into the first page of serps for many combinations of director's name, actors' names, or the title. But when I put Adsense on the page the ads shown were mainly for chiropody and foot care products. The reason was in the text I had inadvertently twice used the word 'foot' and also referred to 'bunion'.

Naturally I changed the text and the page now shows more appropriate ads. But it would be too simple to assume that Google originally considered the page was primarily about feet. I suspect there are many factors which determine which ads will show, and it could be that the ads available for a fairly obscure 1930s film were so general and unfocussed that the chiropody ads won out.

Perhaps I should have left things as they were, because the CTR for my movie pages is the pits. :(

Small Website Guy

 10:41 am on Aug 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

It's been my observation that pages about entertainment stuff generally gets you ads for DVDs and books which pay the bare minimum per click.

You should have checked how much the foot care companies are bidding. Maybe it's a hot market.


 11:12 am on Aug 20, 2004 (gmt 0)


Although it gives you an idea of what Adsense ads will be displayed on your pages, surely any knowledge you gain is skewed by the potential Adsense ad stock.

For example, on one particular page I just tested it mentions a local attraction in passing on a resort page. The attraction (not in the USA) is named the same as other attractions in the USA. These have obviously attracted more profitable ads and these are the ads being shown, even though the page could in no way be said to be optimised for that attraction.

However another resort page which does not mention the attraction is showing ads relevant to the resort.


 12:18 pm on Aug 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

Good find DaveAtIFG.

I have been using this method for my sites that have adsense, but I didn't realize I could use it for sites that do not display the ads.

This is great!


 1:16 pm on Aug 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

I've been using AdSense to tweak, and I've also noticed that it can make a difference where on the page the ad code goes - what it's near.

Incidentally, it's a little off topic for this, but we have to remember that there's a "semantics" factor with AdSense - and Google does know who links to us and who else those sites link to and who links to them.

This was dramatically shown by AdSense running ads on one site that *should* belong on another. The connection is *not* that there is any linking between those two sites, because there isn't, but that they are both linked to from the same site on the same page.

The reason I bring that up is not for AdSense itself - and it's not the only clue I've had in this respect - but to point out that for optimization it's worth checking linking structures to help establish overall topical relevancy for sites.


 4:42 pm on Aug 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

The attraction (not in the USA)
If your page doesn't make it clear where the attraction is... Contextual search can also impact localized search. I suspect the default for localized search is the biggest market (usually the US) so I specify non-US searches.

I've had very good results (AdSense and SERPs) by including a specific country, state, county or city name in titles and page content when it's appropriate.


 5:14 pm on Aug 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

I remember that when I couldn't get the ads to target my keywords, I would email Adsense and they would manually change the code and make it reflect my keywords.

Does anyone know if they still do this?


 5:22 pm on Aug 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

I wish, skunker - you should see what off-topic is being run on one page. It's actually comical. And the word the ads are targeting is nowhere to be found on the entire site, not even close.


 7:41 pm on Aug 20, 2004 (gmt 0)


I have been using this method for my sites that have adsense, but I didn't realize I could use it for sites that do not display the ads.

i'm missing something here, can you elaborate on how it can be used for sites not in the adsense programme?


 10:23 pm on Aug 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

If your page doesn't make it clear where the attraction is...

Oh, it does - very much so!

No, the point I was trying to make was that a similar page without the two textual mentions of somewhere with the same name as an American attraction was showing relevant country-related ads - so there were competing relevant ads which existed.

Once the two minor mentions in body text were made those ads disappeared and were replaced by the American ads.

So it seems that the ad placement could in some way be relevant to ad stock/value, which could disrupt the idea of using the method for optimisation.


 12:50 am on Aug 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

Making clear where the attraction is isn't the only thing that counts: there are also off page factors.

AdSense is geo-targetted to start with. So if I visit a US-page about an attraction in Orlando I might see ads about the same attraction in Paris, because they pay more to target Dutch visitors.

I often see ads in Dutch on English or Spanish pages. So if your page is about a duck I might see ads for National Geographic DVD's about ducks, about attraction parks in either Orlando or Paris and even ads for a Dutch restaurant that serves ducks.

Obvious this shows the value of AdSense for page optimalisation is very limited.


 4:52 am on Aug 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

i'm missing something here, can you elaborate on how it can be used for sites not in the adsense programme?

Say, you are optimising a client's page for "bright green widgets" and you need to confirm that Google also thinks this page is about that topic.

So you go to an Adsense testing tool such as the one on WW and enter that URL. If the ads are about bright green widgets, then you have succeeded to an extent. You still have to figure out to what extent that is by using other tools such as density analysers (if you think density has much value in ranking).


 9:25 am on Aug 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

Problem with the adsense program is that 90% of targeting happens based on the URL.

E.g. I have a URL

It will serve ads on all the keywords and their combinations on the page. Thats where the adsense tool makes no sense.

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