|Getting the most out of Google AdSense|
How to get more targeted ads
| 10:25 pm on Jan 9, 2005 (gmt 0)|
As a Happy New Year present to all here...
After a lot of fiddling, I've a few hopefully useful pieces of information regarding getting the most out of AdSense.
You'll get the most out if you make your ads relevant to the content of the pages. The more relevant, the higher the clickthrough will be, and the better advertisers will be since you're feeding them better traffic.
Here's how, in my experience at least, to make the AdSense robot's life as easy as you can.
Use decent HTML
The AdSense robot appears to like well structured but clear HTML. Use style-sheets to separate layout from content, and try to keep your HTML page (the only thing AdSense looks at) as simple and clear as possible. For example, many people will put FONT tags around headlines on a page - don't, and instead surround a headline with an H1 tag, taking care to re-define an H1 tag in your CSS. This appears to let the AdSense robot understand what your page is all about.
Make these clear but relevant to your page. If you run a widget company called ABC Inc and have made a page about red widgets, don't put 'ABC Inc' as a title - put, at least, 'ABC Inc - widget maker - red widgets' there. The title appears to really help AdSense.
Similarly, the page name is useful. For the above page, don't call it abc.inc/article.asp?id=238. Instead, try and get your content management system to cope with abc.inc/widgets/red/ - even queries appear to have a good effect, so abc.inc/article.asp?id=238&title=red_widgets might get a slightly better response.
Let the AdSense robot in
If you run a site where a portion needs login before the content is visible, then the AdSense robot needs to see the content too. Rewrite your security slightly to allow everything with IP addresses 126.96.36.199 - 188.8.131.52 in without any problem.
Using an SID? Stop it!
Refer to pages consistently
page.asp?id=12&type=writing works exactly the same as page.asp?type=writing&id=12 - but to AdSense, they're probably two separate pages. Write all links to pages like this consistently, so that AdSense doesn't think they're two separate pages.
Placements and colours
Ads that fit into the look and feel of the website and in navigation blocks - like in a header - don't appear to work as well as ads that fit in the main content. This user, at least, uses two separate ads - one in the header, and one (most of the time) directly below the main content.
Get everything right, and your Google AdSense ads can become useful content for your visitors. If they're useful content, they click on them, and you make money. And if they're relevant to the content of the page, advertisers will thank you because they're highly targeted leads.
It's been a lot of playing about, but I hope this article is useful for everyone here.
| 12:49 am on Jan 10, 2005 (gmt 0)|
Excellent post, james007!
| 1:09 am on Jan 10, 2005 (gmt 0)|
Good advice for AdSense and good advice for any website that cares what robots think of it. Thanks! :)
| 10:19 pm on Jan 10, 2005 (gmt 0)|
It's my ambition to make the front page... not managed it yet, I notice... :(
| 10:30 pm on Jan 10, 2005 (gmt 0)|
A couple of questionable methods I've seen recently:
1. Add a word right before your ads. For example, if you want ads for red widgets, put "red widgets:" right above your adblock.
2. Use a lot of meta tags that have the words you want your ads to show.
Are these *technically* against the TOS?
| 1:20 am on Jan 11, 2005 (gmt 0)|
The word just before the ad is just a very small nudge. It won't get anyone rich selling the M word. More often it's done because the Google ads are a little off target. Like when an article is about sewing needles and you get medical needle and syringe ads.
I do wish Google would set ways so that we could better nudge adwords in the right directions. For example my visitors are interested in supplies for widget making NOT cheap widgets from Asia. There seems to be plenty of ads for the hobby supplies but how to get those ads. It's not that one pays better than the other. It's just nice to have ads that the visitors to the page are really interested in. I would think the advertisers would want the same thing.
The other one that has been bugging me is articles on personal creativity are not right for ads on corporate creativity and innovation.
I know every publisher has occurrences of mistargeted ads like this. It's not helping the advertiser either.
| 10:15 am on Jan 11, 2005 (gmt 0)|
Debatable whether it's Google's fault - more the advertiser's fault for making their keywords too wide. But there's no doubt that the more relevant the ads are, the more clicks you get.
| 10:19 am on Jan 11, 2005 (gmt 0)|
Nice post, James Bond.
| 2:05 pm on Jan 11, 2005 (gmt 0)|
I've also noticed that Adsense is case-sensitive when it comes to URLs. Meaning that if you have a link www.widgets.com/show.cgi?widgets=tools and link www.widgets.com/show.cgi?widgets=Tools they are treated as separate pages in Adsense. From my experience, Adsense only seems to send content ads to one of the above. Not sure if it is a dup content issue or what, but some of my pages won't show relevent ads but the exact same page will show ads when I capitalize the word in the URL (or vice versa, it is not consistent)?
So to avoid this problem, stay consistent with your case as well.
| 2:29 pm on Jan 11, 2005 (gmt 0)|
One problem that I find is where advertisers have specified what to me seems inappropriate keywords. For example on some information pages I need to mention personal names in the text, but these attract ads which have nothing to do with the real content. For example "John Doe" might attract ads for John's Garage, etc.
For the life of me I can't understand why advertisers would want to include the name of their company in their keywords unless it was also a brand name.
| 8:24 pm on Jan 11, 2005 (gmt 0)|
|For the life of me I can't understand why advertisers would want to include the name of their company |
Because they know their customers may search for them using that name? Some customers forget domain names and immediately turn to a search engine to remind them.
| 8:58 pm on Jan 11, 2005 (gmt 0)|
I run the website for one large company, and the most used search phrase to find us is our company name.
| 11:53 pm on Jan 11, 2005 (gmt 0)|
|Because they know their customers may search for them using that name? |
Yes, but searching is a different matter. I'm talking about the keywords bid for in Adwords.
I run a UK family history site which is only of interest to people researching their ancestors, and naturally it includes a lot of names. I just can't see what's in it for an advertiser to target my site with an ad for (say) cheapest petrol from John Doe's garage in Ohio just because the keyword John appears on my page.
| 12:19 am on Jan 12, 2005 (gmt 0)|
|I just can't see what's in it for an advertiser to target my site with an ad for (say) cheapest petrol from John Doe's garage in Ohio just because the keyword John appears on my page. |
Possibly because the advertiser does not have good natural search engine ranks for their company name "John Doe".
So if a customer is searching for their company name, they want them to be able to find their site, even if they have to pay .05 for the lead.
| 3:37 am on Jan 13, 2005 (gmt 0)|
|So if a customer is searching for their company name, they want them to be able to find their site, even if they have to pay .05 for the lead. |
I don't follow that. Let's say I have a page on which the name "John" appears several times, "John Doe", John Blow", and "John Another". Adsense spots "John" as a keyword and places an add on my page for "John's Garage". How does that help the advertiser? If someone does a search for "John" there will probably be thousands of pages ahead of mine in the serps, and if he does a search for "John's Garage" my page won't even show up. And somebody who has actually found my page because it is what he is looking for won't be at all interested in cheap petrol in another continent.
What would be really useful would be something you could put on a page to advise Adsense what keywords to ignore.
| 3:53 am on Jan 13, 2005 (gmt 0)|
|I don't follow that. Let's say I have a page on which the name "John" appears several times, "John Doe", John Blow", and "John Another". Adsense spots "John" as a keyword and places an add on my page for "John's Garage". |
This is probably not the thread for this discussion, but there are many variables to what you're asking. What keyword the advertiser bid on, what keyword google thinks your page is about, whether the advertiser turned on broad matching and for what reason, etc, etc.
| 4:07 am on Jan 13, 2005 (gmt 0)|
One thing that I have found is very clean very targeted optimized pages do well. Also backlinks help. Keep pages very targeted kw density is good here. Have the same kw phrase in the title, h1, file name. Have the saem kw phrase in the anchor text incomeing and outgoing on site and off site. Off site is not necessary. Section your site if you have different subjects with subdirectories. Be carefull to not have insane kw density. 5% is just fine. I really don't look at a %. Just repeat the thing 5 or 6 times in the text including <b>, <i>, <strong> and <u>. Then you can have links to other pages on your site with phrases that share that kw root at the bottom of the page.
Also if you find that one stupid word is getting ads turn that word into a graphic if you still need that word. If you don't change it to another word.
| 4:19 am on Jan 13, 2005 (gmt 0)|
No, I can guess what keyword the advertiser bid on - "John". It justs seems like a waste of money by bad targetting.
As a real example I have a page which mentions "Henry" - and I get a string of ads about numatic vacuum cleaners. I can't see any other word on the page that has any relevance to vacuum cleaners.
OK, I can optimise the page better to target more appropriate ads, or I can ban their urls, but the fact remains these poorly targetted ads are wasting my time and their money.
OK, I've had my gripe, so let's drop the subject drop. I'm off to bed.