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Do you harness the full potential of "placement targeting" ?



1:15 pm on Oct 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


Today I made a big change to my website that hopefully will increase my earnings a lot over time.

I run a medical forum for patients to ask medical questions.
My forum has several medical categories with different topics.

So far I made extensive use of Adsense channels to track each of my Ads separately.
I also activated "placement targeting" for the best performing ad placements.

However I did not realize the full potential of "placement targeting" until yesterday after I talked to my direct advertising marketer.

Q: What is the main goal of an advertiser?
A: To show there ads to their target group which most likely will convert

Q: Is wider or narrower targeting more effective?
A: I think it depends but mostly the more narrow the target group is, the better the Ads perform

Just as info to you:
CPM prices for a very narrow targeting e.g. topics about "cough" or "skin rash" are 40-50$ (campaigns that my direct advertising marketer runs)
Campaigns that are not that narrow e.g. health only get 10-20$ CPM.
Yes, it makes that much of a difference.

So what did I do?

I have several AD Placements on my forum but I did this change to the best performing AD which is the large rectangle above the fold next to the welcome message (shown on every page).

What I did is I created a separate channel for each forum category that is interesting to advertisers e.g. health, diseases, nutrition, alternative medicine, etc.
Each of these channels was selected for placement targeting and got a description that outlined the topics in which these ads will be shown.

Then I created several large rectangle ads and assigned each one a category channel I created before.

Now each thread in a specific forum shows the Ad with the channel that was created for this specific forum.

Now each advertiser can narrow down the placement targeting on my website to a certain topic which suites his campaign best.
For example an advertiser who is selling homeopathy can now target his Ads to my forum "alternative medicine" and his ads are only shown to people interested in "alternative medicine".
This way conversion and CTR should increase quite a bit and a lot more advertisers should use placement targeting on my website over time and with that increase my earnings.

What are your thoughts on this topic?
How do you handle placement targeting?

Kind regards



8:38 am on Oct 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

The way you've organized your forum makes sense because obviously there are advertisers who will want to target people with specific health issues. Hence, creating AdSense channels to match the structure goes without saying.

My websites are more narrowly focused than yours, and thus I haven't found any advertisers who wanted to target a specific section of my site(s). Your website is about health, which is a very broad topic, so it makes sense to parse it out they you've done.


10:13 am on Oct 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Sounds like a great way to improve the user experience, your advertiser's experience and your revenues. A win-win-win.


1:35 pm on Oct 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jetteroheller is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Only far below 1% from placement advertising here.

Most important to block unwanted adverisers to prevent users from bad experiences with unwanted SMS subscriptions.

32 blocked so far, but they always come back with a different name.


8:05 pm on Oct 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

DaStarBug your plan is great and beneficial to both advertisors and your site visitors :thumbsup:
Your sites topic "health" definetly has more potential for placement targetting.


8:42 pm on Oct 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I have channels for category level ads, homepage ads, forum ads. From there I have more channels for content inside each category including the forums. We've taken time to give our channels meaningful names.

We've also taken time to craft solid descriptions inside the targetting options.

Right now we're trying to gather more information about each channels demographics so we can include it in those descriptions.

We also made sure image ads were enabled so that advertisers are free to show a wider range of ads.

Since we took the time to do this placement ads increased from about 5% of all ads to 15% and climbing. Income is growing at an insane pace to record levels.


8:58 pm on Oct 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member farmboy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

This question is for those of you who have responded to a Google offer to provide you with optimization tips.

Have you ever received a tip to make ads available for placement targeting?



3:18 am on Oct 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

@farmboy: I did not receive a tip from Google about placement targeting however I received a tip that I should activate image ads which I did.

Just a quick note.
Since I splitted the one ad location into several ads tracked each by its own channel even though CTR nearly stayed the same eCPM increased by 2 EURO.
This can be normal fluctuation but never before had an eCPM above 5 Euro. NICE :p
(Placement targeting of the new channels is not yet visible in Adwords so far, so the increase is not related to more placement targeting!)

About the Description.

I have a very complex but easy naming system for channels because I track hundreds of different Ads via hundreds of channels.

At first I did not spend much thought about naming and description for placement targeting.
Then I remembered that I had an old Adwords account and I actually locked how my site (and competitors) showed up on the placement tool.
That is why I did it different this time.

@Atmoci: I like the idea with demographics for each channel. Will look into this further.

To bad that the description only holds 250 characters.


12:09 pm on Oct 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

This topic was an eye-opener for me, thank you OP. Yesterday I went ahead and created individual channels for each of my forums, and activated them for placement targeting. Today is off to a slow start, but I'm confident this will increase earnings as advertisers start to discover the new channels.
Will do my best to keep you all updated on developments.


2:36 pm on Oct 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Adsense Placement targeting will take up to 4 weeks untill the new channels show in Adwords.

Just a note ;)


3:03 pm on Oct 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hi DaStarBuG, is this written in any of the documentation? I can't seem to find where. Thanks.


3:16 pm on Oct 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Here you go: [youtube.com...]


3:58 pm on Oct 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Very useful information. Thank you again.


3:30 am on Oct 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

So...is it possible (and advisable) to have more than one ad placement category on a single ad? For instance, an ad that appears consistently in the left column of every page might be associated with a targetable channel called "ROS left col 160x600" -- but when it appears on pages about blue widgets, it would also be associated with a channel called "blue widgets."


4:25 am on Oct 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

you can have up to five channels assigned to each single ad unit.
Watcht the adsense channel videos on youtube I linked to in the post before.

if you want to automate this it would require some programming.

Create 2 ad units the same size and color.
One gets the channel "ROS left col 160x600" and one gets both channels "ROS left col 160x600" and "blue widgets"

<if pages = blue widgets >
ad with channel ROS left col 160x600 + blue widgets here
ad with channel ROS left col 160x600

This way I show different ads with different channels in my different sub forums

It makes sence to really think about the naming system for your channels and what you try to accomplish.

There are so many different ways for using channels to get the best reports you need for your site(s).

You can use unique channels for every single ad or you can assigne multiple channels for multiple ads.


one channel 160x600 and assign it to all 160x600 ads
one channel left side and assign it to all left side ads
one channel above the fold ....
one channel ROS

this way your ad would get 4 channels and you could compare the performance based on location, ad size, targeting, above or below the fold and so on.

Another way would be to assign unique channels to each ad unit.
This is what I do.
I wrote an article about it unfortunatly I posted it on other websites first so I am not allowed to post it here.
"Google Adsense - The Secret to using channels":


12:11 pm on Oct 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Placement targeting is a very bad idea.I never heard anyone increased their revenue after enabling it.But many have seen drastic fall in revenue.Play the opposite game.

Further you got to be kidding if google doesn't know it is page about cough or something to place ad.Don't waste your time.I personally keep Google puzzled i never want them to know my website true value.So i also get a better revenue.


2:52 pm on Oct 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Seems that someone has no idea about how the advertising market works.


12:02 pm on Oct 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

So far 10 days and still no listing in Adwords.

I am curious about the exact timeframe it takes google to publish placement targeting enabled channels in adwords.

I let you know as soon as it happens.
My guess is 4 weeks but we'll see


8:20 am on Oct 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Just for you to know.

It seems that each new channel for placement targeting needs around 50.000+ AIs before it shows in Adwords.
One of my new channels which receives the most impressions is listed in Adwords, the other 10 channels with much less impressions are not yet listed.

Maybe it is a combination between time and AIs which ever comes first.

I keep you posted if you are interested


8:35 am on Oct 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I hope it's the time / AIs combination. Seems like a bad idea for them to delay channels showing up in AdWords just because they are not the most trafficked. Low traffic doesn't necessarily mean low quality for advertisers.


9:03 am on Oct 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Yes I very much think it is a combination.
One month data for low traffic channel and 50k+ AIs for High Traffic channel.

My newest change described here proofs that low traffic channel can be highly targeted and be worth a lot more then high traffic channel.

We will see in 2 weeks if the combination theory is correct


10:46 pm on Oct 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

During all the discussion about placement targeting I forgot to mention that if you use it you really should claim your website on google ad planer.

Here is a google post about placement targeting and google ad planer.

I had my site on ad planer set up 3 years ago that is why I forgot to mention it.



1:37 am on Oct 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I saw really low CPC for placement targeting so I disabled it again. It just does not make sense for me to allow advertisers to pay 1/10 of the price of content network.


2:21 am on Oct 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Placement targeting is competing in the auction with every other AD so they can't pay you 1/10th of the other advertisers.

However Placement targeted ADs are CPM ADs which means you get money for each impression and not the clicks they aquire.

Using placement targeting is effectively increasing the competition on your AD Inventory.
The more advertisers which compete for your ad units the more you earn as publisher.


2:38 am on Oct 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I don't mind how many of them compete, if they are low paying I will remove them. Just check your advaced reports.


3:11 am on Oct 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

OH thank you for the tip. Never did that before (*irony off*)
Do what ever you like :)


5:16 am on Oct 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Sure I would love to use placement targeting and it might be an option for sites where the earnings are not 1/10 of the regular ads. So if it will change anytime soon I will give placement targeting a try again.


7:12 am on Oct 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

About what time period did you test the placement targeting?
How long did you have set up placement targeting for a channel before you counted the earnings?
It takes up to 4 weeks before placement enabled channels get displayed in Adwords so that Advertisers can start bidding on your site.

I for myself see no real difference in earnings (eCPM) between my Content Ads and Placement Ads (0,03 Cent eCPM difference to be exact).
I am talking about roughly 2 Mio AIs this month for comparison.
However my overall eCPM is rising constantly due to more competition on my Ad spots.

About how many impressions are you talking about that let you determine your 1/10 earnings?

In Adsense changes take time.
You can't (on average) make a change and decide 1-2 days later if it is good or bad unless you get thousands of AIs each day.
And even then normal fluctuation needs to be taken into account so changes should at least be run for 2-4 weeks to really come to a good conclusion.


11:30 am on Oct 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

It takes up to 4 weeks before placement enabled channels get displayed in Adwords so that Advertisers can start bidding on your site.

This is a very good research, thanks for sharing.
Does it takes 4 weeks for all level of publishers ?


11:52 am on Oct 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Quick question: If you set a channel as available for an placement targeting, how do you know that some advertiser is running a campaign on it ?
This 45 message thread spans 2 pages: 45

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