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Adsense for Search but Not Google's Search

     
8:27 pm on Oct 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I run a commercial search program on my site which I like a lot. However, I've never used my search results page with Adsense because it was unclear to me how this would work. The search results page does show the term entered in the form "Search Results for: Keyword" and displays matches within the site including showing matched keywords in bold. It also places the keyword within the PHP-style site URL.

I'm wondering if Adsense would work well enough to be placed on the search results page. Considering that the search function is widely used the number of different URLs that are created could be quite extensive and thus I wonder about the targeting of the Adsense ads.

9:53 pm on Oct 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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It usually works pretty well for me. The targetting can be a bit hit-and-miss for the first access of more uncommen search phrases though. Try it and see.
12:06 am on Oct 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Thanks zCAt. Can you tell what does Google use to read the content of your search results page? Is it similar to the information that I am presenting? I'm wondering if presenting the search term in the page title could help.
6:35 am on Oct 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I presume it uses the search term(s) in the query string for the initial ads, which often works quite well even before the Adsense bot gets there. On repeat searches the targetting is often better, presumably after a bot visit.

Now you mention it I don't have the search query in the page title; I'll have to give that a try.

2:47 pm on Oct 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I asked Google about this and they seemed hesitant to say that ads will be relevant since the pages will need to be indexed. My concern then becomes one of how many pages will they end up indexing. Will it be for every URL that is created as a result of a search? With thousands of different searches I get every week this could end up being a nightmare as far as how many pages are crawled since I assume that each unique search creates a unique URL.

This leads to a couple of questions:

1. If I place a restriction in robot.txt for Google not to crawl the search results page will it still load ads on that page?

2. If it loads ads what criteria are being used to assess the content of the page? URL, page title, content?

5:32 pm on Oct 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I don't think the Adsense has any problem indexing thousands of pages.
4:17 pm on Oct 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Actually my concern rests with the incredible amount of crawling that is likely to occur and the bandwidth this will consume. Again every week thousands of searches occur, a large number of these are unique, meaning that thousands of URLs will be created each month. I assume Google would continue to index these over and over so that within 6 months time there could be a huge number of URLs being indexed that are generated by the search function. Not sure it is worth the extra expense for this to occur though I may be wrong.
7:29 pm on Nov 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Just a follow-up on this issue:

I managed to get the search terms to appear in the page title and also now have AdSense displaying on the search results page. After 10 days the CTR is slightly below the site's CTR but certainly acceptable. The eCPM for the search results page is above the site average.

The ads produced by Google for the keyword search are best if the topic is within the nature of the site. However, I am somewhat pleasantly surprised that Google will also display relevant ads for keywords that are off-topic for the site. For instance, my site focuses on business issues but a search for something not associated with the site, like the name of a TV personality, often (but not always) produces an ad related to this keyword. In fact, better yet, the ads will appear even if my internal search results show no matches for the search terms. Thus, the use of search terms in the page title may be useful in helping Google determine what ads to load.

While 10 days is not a long enough period to test this, I do feel there probably is reasonable value to be had with placing AdSense on an internal search results page.

 

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