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Google AdSense Forum

Sociable icons impact on AdSense Earnings
Where best to place on a page?

 5:08 pm on May 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

I had my web developer add sociable icons to my site some time ago. They were placed near the bottom of articles and rarely did that well.

A few months ago, they were moved to the top, just under the article title and above the main article text. CTR dropped though I honestly don't know the cause.

My site has been hit very hard by all the Google/Panda algorithm changes (precipitous drops in traffic and income). Some of Google's tweaks took place around the same time the sociables were moved to the top.

The sociables are being clicked more now but am wondering if they could be causing the drop in Adsense CTR. Do I keep them at the top or move them back to the bottom? Are the sociable icons even worth keeping?

Thought I'd get opinions from others before paying my web developer to move them again.



 5:33 pm on May 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

@shallow: I'm in the early stages of a site redesign, and where to add the social buttons was something I considered as well. My thoughts were a person couldn't know if they wanted to share an article until after they'd read it. So, it wouldn't make sense to put them before the article, as they'd have to scroll back up to get to them. Putting them at top and bottom I thought was overkill, so I opted to place them at the bottom after the article or page content, as that seemed more convenient for the user.

Not sure if this will be of any help to you, but that was my thought process.


 5:43 pm on May 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

My thoughts were a person couldn't know if they wanted to share an article until after they'd read it.

Thank you. Those are my thoughts too. I sense that my web developer thinks that they should remain where they are but I think it hurt CTR and I'm not convinced they will bring that much new traffic to my site.

Incidentally, the new sociable icons are larger and better than the previous ones, so they may get clicked more simply because they are more eye catching.


 5:49 pm on May 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

I have mine under the post header (but mine are custom post types, and not like blog posts) and made sure to put enough space between the social buttons and the ads so there couldn't be any accidental clicks.

Dunno how it affects CTR - could be a lot, could be not at all. It's definitely another distraction. But everyone who shares something of mine on Twitter or Facebook tends to bring in a few more users, who then are likely to come back, and ever so slightly increase my brand and reduce my dependency on Google. So overall, if I have to give up a few bucks worth of clicks to get that, I'm okay with it.


 6:20 am on May 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

netmeg, I'm unclear about the difference between custom post types and blog posts. Please explain.

I'm going to have the sociables moved back to the bottom. The current icons are better looking, slightly larger and less cramped than those used originally.

My eyes see changes in the CTR since the sociables were moved. Maybe it's a coincidence but moving them back is worth a try.

If income gets much lower, I may consider shutting the site down. I'll give it more time though. Who knows, maybe Google will throw some of us a few crumbs.

Marketing Guy

 8:14 am on May 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

I tested a few sizes and locations for sociable buttons and large icons, below the post (before comments) seemed to perform the best.

I'm running a small horizontal banner underneath them - the CTR is OK, but not brilliant.

TBH, Adsense is bottom of the barrel when it comes to website revenue for a lot of verticals. Currently looking at swapping to direct ad sales for one of my sites and would expect to bring in at least 5 times as much revenue, so that might be something worth looking into.

Keep in mind with Adsense, you're giving some advertisers a lot of impressions for next to revenue for yourself. That's a lot to give away for free and in times where a lot of digital marketers are looking to cut their reliance on Google, offering ad space directly to advertisers might be a good move.


 9:09 am on May 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

In the past week I've moved all mine from the top to the bottom - I think the top viewable page is important, and I try to leave it relatively icon and as ad free as possible. I'm also of the mindset, that if people like what they read, they'll reach the bottom and will then want to click on a social link. I've personally found the peaks of traffic that have resulted from social media doesn't generate much in the way of extra revenue.


 3:11 pm on May 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

netmeg, I'm unclear about the difference between custom post types and blog posts. Please explain.

It means my sites are WordPress, but they're not blogs, so the posts aren't like blog posts, they're formatted differently. For example, some are formatted as events.

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