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Adsense for Search newbie

How's that workin' for ya?

     
3:12 am on Jan 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Started looking at AdSense for Search seriously for the first time. Looking over past threads, sounds like most people have found the revenue underwhelming. Sing out if AfS is your secret Santa.

Can someone tell me what data this puts in your weblogs? When Google routes the user to your designated search result URL, is it kind enough to include the source URL (the one where the user entered a search term), as well as the search term? Either? Both? I kinda value the detailed search information more than the click revenue (which I expect to be minor).

Unlike some page elements, I'm having trouble finding where on the page Google things is the most wonderful for AfS. Any pointers/experience?

7:13 pm on Jan 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Ron,
I've had Search for about four years. Its been steady as a rock, about 2-3% of my revenue from ads. Not much, but it would buy a good dinner and decent bottle of wine here in Chicago each month.
7:26 pm on Jan 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I've seen search produce anywhere 5-15% of total earnings depending on the site and its users. I put off trying it for a long time and once I saw how well it performed, wished I'd tried it sooner.

If nothing else, it helps visitors find what they need. Even if you have a database, using Google's search can take some of the strain off it.

8:30 pm on Jan 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Using the older options, with ads on the top and right I often went over $10 ecpm from site searches. Switching to the nicer for the user, newer layouts, with ads only on the right, ecpm has dropped by over 50%, but it has been worth it from an improved user experience.

It's worth using, but I wouldn't plan my business around it. Only about 2% of my users use the search function. I think my very best month paid slightly over $1 per thousand visitors. Like dibbern2 said, it's good for at least one nice dinner out per month, but that's about it.

The main reason I use it is that it takes the search engine workload off my server, and it works better than the local search engines did.

Yes, it does include the search term in the URL.

3:55 pm on Jan 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the feedback; that gives me an idea of the range of possible benefit.

In fact, I'm mostly interested in the keyword data I can generate with Adsense for Search, more than the revenue. I want to see if some significant benefit can be gained by using custom search that goes to custom search result pages (which can also contain content that helps attract the right ads).

Unfortunately, The ToS for AdSense for Search seems to forbid any other search tools. So, I'll probably enable it for a while, look at the data, and then decide whether or not to proceed with the experiment by stripping Adsense for Search off all the pages and putting on a simple, hand-customized local search tool.

 

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