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Google AdSense Forum

AdSense on forums
Has anyone had success running AdSense on forums?

 8:40 pm on Dec 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

I know that the conventional wisdom is that forums don't generate income from advertising but I'm wondering if that's always true.

I recently added forums to a website I run and I also run AdSense on the forum pages. The forums, let's say they are about green and red widgets, generate targeted green and red widget ads, however click through on these ads is virtually non-existent. I mean zero clicks on most days, not just 1 or 2. Click through rates under 0.1%.

I'm just curious as to whether anyone has ever run AdSense on a forum and NOT seen abysmal performance! If so, what did you do that others don't?



 10:01 pm on Dec 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

I get ctr > 1% on my phpbb. Keep the ads at the top. Block any spammy ones (i.e. ebay). If you have regular visitors then block any that go stale.


 10:11 pm on Dec 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

>if you have regular visitors then block any that go stale.

Why? I'm just interested.


 11:33 pm on Dec 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

I found that having Adsense ads immediately after the first post in a thread significantly increases CTR.


 12:28 am on Dec 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yep, CTR really stinks. I've had adsense on my forum for the last week, and CTR is .1% (and that's based on 2 lousy clicks!) But here's the thing: one click netted me almost two bucks, but the other one only got me a quarter!

But as someone said, I do see a lot of the same ads keep showing up, so I've blocked the vbulletin ads (my site uses vbulletin), and all the other forum/blog ads. Because my site is a movie site, now all the ads I get are very relevant, movie-related ads.

So while the CTR is low, I'm hoping it'll pick up soon. Then again, I once had Burst! ads on the forum for about 3 days, and the entire profit of those 3 days totaled less than 2 bucks! That means my Adsense basically makes the same amount! And Adsense doesn't annoy my visitors nearly as much as Burst's random ads, so there you go.


 12:29 am on Dec 27, 2004 (gmt 0)


I haven't figured out how to put Adsense immediately after the first post. Can you point me to a vbulletin tutorial that'll show me how to do this? Thanks.


 1:06 pm on Dec 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

I've been running AdSense on my forums since late August. CTR started out pretty high, but has steadily dropped. It's better than nothing, and pays for the site and then some. Try changing colors if CTR gets stale. I've already gone through one color change, and will probably do another this week.


 2:12 pm on Dec 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

We are running adsense in our forums with good ctr - it is by far lower than in regular self produced content but still alright.

I've patched the forum software so that ads will be inserted directly into the forum entry. It does not look very good but it works.

Adsense code is only inserted if a forum entry has more than 100 characters. Maybe 150 would be even better. This way I try to make sure to give enough good content to Adsense. So no Ad will show in a "I have this problem too"-entry.

And it works fine - no bad ads :-)


 5:17 pm on Dec 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have had pretty good luck in a forum - and a relatively new forum at that. Not a great CTR, but a decent (albeit unremarkable) CPM. I think I would do better if the targeting were better - sometimes it is awfully generic. But I really can't complain.

My forum is meant to develop into more of a knowledge base over time, than to serve as a discussion board. Somewhere between a regular phpbb board and Google Answers (focused on a particular subject). I think that helps the ad performance, even if it also translates into less of a "community" (and thus also into less "return traffic").


 6:27 pm on Dec 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have succesfully inserted the ads into the default SMF theme in SMF Forums just under the buttons and above the main content. If anyone wants, I can send the php code...


 8:55 pm on Dec 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

>if you have regular visitors then block any that go stale.
Why? I'm just interested.

If they keep seeing the same ad they won't click on it. If you block the top one then it introduces a fresh ad (albeit with a lower click cpc).


 9:45 pm on Dec 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

We see pretty decent results now on our forums with adsense, but it took a lot of tweaking and intigration... worth while in the end.


 3:50 am on Jan 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hi Forsakenland,

Might i ask you for the php code for inserting the adsense ads into the SMF forum please?


Much thanks.

[edited by: Jenstar at 6:56 am (utc) on Jan. 6, 2005]
[edit reason] No email requests please [/edit]


 9:07 am on Jan 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

I make enough from Adsense on my one forum to pay for all the bandwidth those people suck down 5 times over. It's peanuts compared to my regular content sites, but considering I only have it display for guests, it's not bad.

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