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The Adsense "black box" model is a great deal of the problem.

Auality Indicator that Helps Me Know if Changes Improve ROI

5:46 pm on Dec 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I ran across this thread:


In it Drall makes a statement about how their approach to Adsense placement is one that minimizes accidental clicks. Their idea is that intentional clicks provide a better ROI investment for the advertiser. Because Drall's sites provide good advertiser ROI they aren't smartpriced so much and therefore even with a lower CTR they earn more than they did when they had an Adsense placement that was more likely to produce accidental clicks.

Drall also talks about how it was difficult to make this change (no guarantee of a positive outcome). They saw an initial drop in earnings until what they perceived as smartpricing changes started to take effect (two months later).

I personally would do anything with my sites that would add to their long-term value. Short-term money is never the goal. I would definitely consider re-evaluating the Adsense placement on my site, if the Adsense program wasn't such a black box.

If I make a change that in the short-term creates an income draw down, that's fine. I can measure that. What I can't measure (isn't shared by Adsense) is some sort of quality indicator that helps me know if my changes are improving the ROI for the advertiser. I also have no way of knowing how long I will have to endure the draw down until possibly the smartpricing algo recognizes the improvements and rewards me (in terms of smartpricing, is my site evaluated daily/monthly/quarterly before some sort of change is implemented?)

I don't make changes with my site because "if its not broke don't fix it." I'm making money, why not go with the sure thing when there is absolutely no concrete evidence that making changes will improve things. (Even Drall's statement is simply anecdotal. With the way Adsense is right now, there can't be any A-B type testing in a matter such as this.)

Of course Adsense is doing the exact same thing, just making cash and not fixing something that's not entirely broken. If they were serious about improvements in the program they would stop making up nebulous rules about ad placement (blend your ads, oh wait now we don't want you to blend in your ads. Ads can be on the same page as pictures of products, but not too near. Don't draw attention to your ads- how do you mean, by not putting them in the middle of the page's content-oh wait, that is allowed) and give us some tools to quantify matters with.

6:43 pm on Dec 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

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That's a super idea.

It is very difficult to evaluate changes in Adsense positioning these days. I got fed up with them a few weeks ago and deleted my only prominent ad block. Earnings seem to be adjusting themselves back towards where they were.

I imagine there is a good reason - possibly not enough advertisers, accidental clicks on the removed block etc. I have no idea.

I have no idea what Google want. They said to me once they wanted every free space filled with adverts but my own testing suggests that wasn't what they wanted after all.

I suspect the reason for being given no feedback and not being allowed to test within a reasonable time frame is to do with dissuading the bad guys from playing the system. Doesn't half make it difficult for everyone else to help them make money.

A quality score (similar to Adwords) would be brilliant.

1:17 am on Dec 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

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A quality score (similar to Adwords) would be brilliant.

A quality score of an AdSense Account or the page(s) AdSense is on?