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Channels revisited
Good or bad for AdSense publishers

 5:08 am on Jun 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

Several weeks ago, there was a lot of discussion about channels. Specifically, there were rumors, theories and proposed testing to see if a reduction of channels was good for publishers from an income perspective.

Anyone have any new insight?




 6:56 am on Jun 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

I wonder how channels could affect the performance either way? Do you happen to have a link to that thread?

Channels are pretty useful to find out which pages are doing well. But I never knew they could have any effect on the earnings.


 7:03 am on Jun 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm currently going the opposite way:
Channelizing to the extreme.
Previously I used only 8
Now going for over 50 channels.


 8:15 am on Jun 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

I have never seen any indication that channels influence any of the other key metrics involved. Not saying it doesn't happen. I'm saying I haven't seen it. The recent discussion on channels in this forum (one of them) suggested that Google was somehow using channel data to determine smart pricing adjustments to individual accounts. It was further suggested that by deleting your channels you could defeat smart pricing entirely, at least for a couple of days, and then presumably you'd have to do the whole thing over again. I think quite a few people probably deleted their channels hoping for a positive result. I did. I'd been meaning to do it for a long time to give my naming convention more uniformity. 150+ channels? Starting from scratch? That's an all day job and that's the only reason I hadn't done it before then. What happened when I deleted all my channels was nothing. Nothing happened. There wasn't the slightest variation in any direction far enough outside the norm to be significant. Then I believe it was suggested that Google had caught on to the fact that we were aware of their channel abuse so now it didn't matter if you deleted them or not because Google was on to it and I don't know what all happened after that because I rolled over and went to sleep...

Channels are user-generated ad definitions given to us as a convenience. All they do is track the performance of a specific ad block so that we, as publishers, can have access to that information. Google already has that information. Channels allow us to have it. They certainly wouldn't rely on us telling them what it is, or even allow us to tell them what it is, when that information can be gathered and interpreted so much more efficiently in-house. Google has their own channels, believe me. It's inconceivable that they wouldn't.

I think the suggestion was more along the lines of Google piggybacking on our channels and somehow gleaning bits of information from them that otherwise wouldn't have been available. That's where the whole thing falls apart, at least as far as I'm concerned. Google already has this information. Why waste resources collecting it from us?


 1:40 pm on Jun 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

I tried deleting them, after Ann posted her theory. Waited a couple weeks - couldn't see any difference, so I put them back. Now I'm channeled to the max. I don't know if it's helping or hurting as far as smart pricing, but it is giving me all kinds of weird and interesting information - like on some of my pages, green links work better than blue, and red links seem to work better than any of them. And some pages and sizes don't work at all.


 3:25 pm on Jun 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

I made a change and it seems to have good results.

I don't know if it's helping or hurting as far as smart pricing, but it is giving me all kinds of weird and interesting information - like on some of my pages, green links work better than blue, and red links seem to work better than any of them. And some pages and sizes don't work at all.

Since channels were first offered, I've used them to test colored ads, placement of ads, size of ads, ads on certain pages, etc.

I've made some interesting observations.

However, if push came to shove and someone asked me if I'd bet the farm on it, I wouldn't say that all that testing and information has necessarily resulted in more money in my pocket.

There are just too many variables from site visit to site visit, from visitor to visitor, from ad to ad, etc. to be able to say with certainty that this works best or that doesn't work well, speaking in a broad sense anyway.

After the recent channel discussions I began eliminating channels, both by putting new code on the pages and by deleting channels on the Channel Management page.

I'm almost to my goal of having no custom channels and only URL channels.

As a result, I'm spending less time analyzing reports, changing channel codes, naming channels, etc. I'm spending more time improving my sites and adding good quality content. The improvements and additional content SEEM to be gradually growing my income over time.

Ask me a year from now and I might have a different opinion, but as of right now my advice to a new AdSense publisher would be to use channels to test various layouts, color schemes, etc. to learn the basics and then scale back and spend more time on the sites and less on the channels & analysis.

Information is a valuable commodity. But only if you do something useful with that information and it was worth the time and effort expended to obtain the information.



 4:14 pm on Jun 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

I've set up channels for my largest site by site section. If nothing else, I'm seeing which areas are of interest to most visitors and using that as a guide for further development.


 7:19 pm on Jun 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

I tested that theory and it had no noticable longterm effect. However, I did not test in its extreme version.


 4:45 am on Jun 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

i tried it too, many times actually, no difference. Deleting all channels, making many channels, etc, etc. Right now I have only 5, a few on topic, others on ad location.


 5:15 am on Jun 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

Yes it is still holding true for me. I have added more ads and find it does maintain the rise.

Here is the URL to the thread mentioned.


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