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Not bragging here (in case someone is 'jealous' or offended...) Just want to do a survey on how well this works for everyone.
Info sites generally do not have too many competing links, while in directories links are everthing! (or almost), and many directoires are to commercial sites anyway.
With our info sites for example, we have fairly long articles , and apart from navigation the only real links are Adsense. So part of it may be how many competing links you have to Adsense.
I would also guess that Adsense needs to be above the fold to return good CTR. We are just doing a test on that, but given past tests with other things i think i know the answer even before we start.
Also i really think people should be reminded that the Adsense TOS states specifically that you may not discuss your statistics, (especially vital ones!)
I had the ads in the top right corner of my page, and I just recently moved them slightly lower on the page (still above the fold) and centered. That has helped a great deal with my CTR, but it's still rather pathetic.
I have no idea what my extreme clicks are like, but my average CPC is similar to yours - I get too many clicks to be able to tell what any particular click did. Better stats in the future from G, maybe...?
I am almost sure if Google AdSense code had an option of opening ads in a new window, the CTR ratio would go high.
Re the directory bit. It's a directory of offline items, so while the category pages are link heavy, the target pages aren't.
furthermore, that should have an effect on CTR, which at around 2% isn't bad. My problem is the low CPC.
lol.. I had to say it.. I think I heard it in some movie or something.. :)
And yes my reason is same as what killroy said. On a site where end users are spending more then 15 minutes on average.. I would expect to see good increase on the CTR if "_blank" option is available.
I had assumed that the Ads would open in a new window, or at least provide the option.
While I wouldn't mind it if competitive ads appeared (if the ads opened in other windows) I doubt that I will add it now because I don't want to lose people off of my site.
Anyone else feel the same way?
Unfortunately, I'm not able to find the topic at present (ack... what a horrible search function for such a wonderful community such as this!), but this topic was extensive discussed and debated a few weeks ago.
Doing my best to sum it up from memory:
- Many felt that advertisers would be very upset to see their ads pop up in a new window. The prevailing view on this was that if advertisers are paying for the traffic, they should get your visitor directly, plain and simple.
- Pop ups are against Google's ethos. Many surfers are confused by popups, since the back button no longer functions.
- Some felt that a compromise might work... giving advertisers the OPTION to allow publishers to pop up their ads in another window.
- Some publishers noted that ads popping up in new windows is really a standard of the Internet today, with surfers actually used to (and expecting) having new windows open when they click on an advertisement.
I'd personally much rather have ads open up in a new window, but I'm not holding my breath waiting for Google to make this change.
If you have 30 or so websites, do you have to reapply for an account on each one or can you use the same google code?
The CPC reduction could also be due to running Adwords out through the more professional and business related sections where people may be less inclined to click. Our first trial was in our travel section, and there we got susbtantially higher CPC and CTR. We are assuming that travel type adwords are much more competitive relating in higher CPC. Im sure there are other categories like this which the overture tool users and adwords users across broad categories will already be aware of!
One nice side benefit, echoing the previous poster is that some Adsense panels are returning very useful looking sites, enhancing the reader experience for our niche readership, and they are far broader and relevant than say using a few affiliate providers. We are hoping this is seen as a service, as well as advertising. Niche magazines with high credibility are sometimes bought for the highly specialised ads they contain, even some mags in the print media are funded totally by such advertising, dropping the cover price altogether. It will be interesting to see whether either of these two models roll out over web publishing as well in future.
Our first trial was in our travel section, and there we got susbtantially higher CPC and CTR. We are assuming that travel type adwords are much more competitive relating in higher CPC.
Travel sites may also have more "reader churn" than the typical site does, so the same readers aren't always being exposed to the same ads.
Also, "travel planning" is often a synonym for "shopping," as in shopping for hotels, car rentals, rail passes, travel insurance, and other services.
Niche magazines with high credibility are sometimes bought for the highly specialised ads they contain, even some mags in the print media are funded totally by such advertising, dropping the cover price altogether. It will be interesting to see whether either of these two models roll out over web publishing as well in future.
I don't see why not--and I think the availability of highly targeted advertising is much better news for niche sites than it is for large "portals" and other general-interest sites. If you were planning a trip to Guatemala, would you look for hotel listings at a travel site about Central America or on CNN's travel page? And who's more likely to actually buy a digital camera when clicking on an ad for the Canon PowerShot G5 or the Nikon Coopix 5400: a reader of MSNBC or a reader of Imaging-Resource, DPReview, or Photo.net?
IMHO, the portals and other big sites are good for branding (and possibly for sales of mass-market goods and services), but niche sites offer far more potential for advertisers *and* publishers when it comes to selling niche products and services.