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Blank spaces

Are there that few advertisers or am I doing something wrong?

     
1:48 pm on Nov 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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For the past few days a number of my pages have had blank spaces where the google ads should be showing up. I run ads in 3 columns, and the left hand column ads (regular skyscraper) always show up. I was running a half banner (single ad) in the center column and a small box (two ads) on the right. The center and right column ads are not showing up, indtead just blank space, making my pages look funny and no doubt affecting my $$.

I don't mind the lower clickthrough as a result of having three ad blocks on each page, but I'd at least like the ads to SHOW UP! Is there that little inventory or am I just doing something wrong?

Some pages, which have little text on them, are showing up fine, others, with multiple stories, are the ones without ads showing up. I don't get it. Any ideas?

1:54 pm on Nov 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Also, the content of the ads is not matching the content of my articles very well. I have set up these pages as .shtml because I was going to update with SSI, but I've been just adding content via straight HTML. Could the bot be missing these pages because they are .shtml instead of standard .html? I read that search engines don't like .shtml but I haven't seen any proof of that.

I'm somewhat green at this, so if anyone can point me to sites that could have some answers to my questions, I'd appreciate it.

2:31 pm on Nov 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Be careful of what you wish for. It's not at all clear that you will get more money by having three ads.

You may make LESS money. The reason is that people could be more inclined to click on the second and third ads which have lower EPC. So you're downselling them.

2:39 pm on Nov 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I'm getting the same thing, one block that has allways displayed ad's now isnt, while one below it does.
2:50 pm on Nov 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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You may make LESS money. The reason is that people could be more inclined to click on the second and third ads which have lower EPC. So you're downselling them.

You can also make MORE money. Folks not inclined to click on the first higher paying ads may find something interesting in the 2nd or 3rd ad blocks. So you have the situation of making money from a user that you wouldn't have otherwise clicked on any ads had you not used the other ad blocks.

It goes both ways.

4:10 pm on Nov 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Have these pages been online long? Could be a result of themed vs targeted.

Also, make sure you don't have too many URLs in your filter list.
[webmasterworld.com...]

4:14 pm on Nov 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Adsense as well as Google and other search engines don't have any problems with SSI. It's as good as plain HTML.
5:27 pm on Nov 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Thanks to everyone for their help. I think I found my answer on the Google FAQ:

---------------------
6. Why is only one ad unit displaying ads?

The multiple ad units system detects the number of ad units that are on your page, and automatically serves unique ads to each ad unit. The system is optimized for pages that have highly targeted ads available as a result, you may sometimes see that only the first ad unit contains ads. As our ad inventory changes, or if your page content changes, you may start seeing more ads on your page.

When only one ad unit is displaying ads, any additional ad units will display as transparent boxes, or will display the alternate ad or color that is defined in their ad code.

-------------------

Well, I can understand their "high targeting" but I wold rather see ads than blank spaces. Overall, I think their targeting is either too targeted, or doesn't really handle content well. I write a lot of articles on a variety of subjects and the ads always seem to be in one highly specific area, sometimes not even the main thrust of the article.

For instance, I write a weekly NFL football column. Last week I wrote about all the upcoming games, especially the Eagles-Ravens and Patriots-Steelers. They got top billing and even though I mentioned the St. Louis Rams ONCE, out of seven ads, five were for St. Louis Rams items.

So, whatever sophisticated method they're using, it's not optimizing on my site. Either that or I'm a horrible web writer.

Additionally, the ads are not updating along with my content. Not even close. I've had a couple of new articles up for a few days and the ads don't relate. I am somewhat disappointed, but after years of dealing with ebay, I've come to expect disappointment from hugh public companies. Google will probably become as horrid as ebay, though I hope that I'm not right.

This brings up another question: Do Meta Tags have any effect on Adsense? Inquiring minds want to know.

5:33 pm on Nov 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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So, whatever sophisticated method they're using, it's not optimizing on my site.

1 - give it time for the "correct" targeted ads to show
2 - force the mediabot to come back and revisit the page (e.g. change ad format)
3 - grin and bear it
4 - remove the ads altogether and replace it with something else (other affiliate programs, etc) as possibly Adsense is not working for your site

5:37 pm on Nov 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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And I actually do know how to spell HUGE and WOULD!
5:42 pm on Nov 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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alika, it's not that Adsense isn't working, I guess I just haven't tweaked it properly, I suppose, and I so have other affiliate programs. Thanks for the idea of forcing the mediabot to return. I'll give that a try.

Overall, I like AdSense. I am just a nitpicker when people or especially large companies make promises and then don't deliver.

I'll just keep tweaking and building pages until my revenue gets to a point at which I no longer have to be concerned. Hopefully, that will come before I die.

5:45 pm on Nov 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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One of the realities of Adsense and other affiliate programs such as ebay is that they may work for some, and not for others.

From my experience, I will not say that a company does not deliver what they promise when my site is obviously a poor fit for their program. I'll simply look for other programs that I know can work on my site and I know how to make it work on my site.

6:39 pm on Nov 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I have a similar situation.

If you are receiving ads on the page, then the Goggle AdSense bot has indeed visited it (or at least your website), otherwise it would not display any ads or display a public service ad. I have noticed that sometimes it takes time for Google to "understand" the content of a page. And sometimes it will show ads it thinks are relevant to my site, but not necesarily relevant to that particular page. Sometimes this is corrected over time, sometimes it never gets corrected. I have a feeling that Google uses more than the words on your page to figure out what its about, perhaps looking at similar sites people visited, the site they came from, etc. This can be tracked by Google's Toolbar for those of you who allow them to collect data about your web surfing habits (which I believe you can opt-out of).

If it is showing incorrect ads for a long time (not just when you first put up the page, wait a few weeks), you might look at the content of the page itself. If Google AdSense is misunderstanding the content of the page, then so is Google Search Engine, and probably also Yahoo! Search and MSN Search! Perhaps adding more keywords into the content somehow would help.

Personally, I use this as a red flag indicator that something is wrong with the page. I find that pages which Google AdSense can't figure out are also the pages that are not showing up well in search engines. It lets me know that I need to modify that page if I want it to show up higher and under the relevent search terms. (If it shows up high but under the wrong search term, people just press the back button, so it is important that search engines understand your page.) If nothing else, adding AdSense to your page helps you understand how search engines, and Google in particular, view your website. That, in itself, if almost worth adding AdSense even if you never get a click on an ad. (And I want those clicks too.) :D

About the blank spots. This is what I did: I used Goggle's alternate ad feature so I can specify my own ads in case they don't have any to display. It doesn't give me more Google ads, but at least it is not a waste of space. Plus I get to promote other things there. It's actually kinda nice that Google rotates my ads in with theirs. It keeps the webpage looking a bit different so people don't start ignoring that space knowing its a Google ad or Static ad.

I originally had only one ad unit per page, and then I changed to three ad units per page. My Google AdSense revenue DOUBLED by making that change. I have to deal with the blank spots on some pages (which I fill with other ads), but other than that, I am actually making more money.

8:21 pm on Nov 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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WisTex, thanks a bunch for your post. I am like you, using a trial and error technique to find out what workd and what doesn't. I have been making changes to the pages in question and getting differing results. Part of the problem may be me. I expect results in seconds, not days, so I should probably just concentrate on making the site better and not worrying about the details.

I'll check out alternative ads and see if that helps my frame of mind. ;-)

BTW, I also went from one ad spot to three and my revenue, from Sept. to Oct. tripled and I hope it continues to do so.

Thanks again and good luck.

 

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