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How do you know when it's time to "leave well enough alone"?

When it comes to your Adsense Ad's



7:10 am on Sep 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Do you have a goal in mind - that if you reached - know your ads have been optimized well enough?

Maybe for example, it's a 2% CTR average for a month.

I find my self constantly scrutinizing, changing, optimizing and re-optimizing my ads - over and over - looking for that perfect combination of web design, Adsense colors, sizes and placements.

There's something about Adsense that makes me feel like I can be doing something better - that I could be making more money - if I could just get that last thing right.

I'm constantly analyzing my stats and trying new combinations.

Maybe this isn't a bad thing, because I'm learning new things, ideas, and keeping the design of my pages fresh and up to date.

But at the same time, I feel like I will never reach the plateau of happiness - and that it's an endless game because:

It really is impossible to know if your CTR went up because of your ad placement, size and color changes - maybe people were just more interested in the actual ad that day.

Maybe the reason your CTR went down the next day was because the ads running weren't as appealing - not because you changed colors.

This is why I feel like I drive myself crazy sometimes with it, and was just wanting to know how you gauge your publisher success.

I feel like I might be 'over-optimizing' - but when the difference between a 1% CTR and 2% could be hundreds or thousands of dollars, it's easy to do.

What is your goal? Have you reached it?


8:16 am on Sep 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member

I've experimented with colours and placement, and sometimes it seems to make a difference, other times not. I leave it alone now, as I find the time invested in trying changes and experiments isn't worth the financial gain (assuming the experiment is positive).
I think I've reached a point with my site that doesn't allow for much more optimisation, and sometimes I refrain from slapping big ads in ugly prominent places just because it can make a website look spammy and unappealing. I think that's what saved me from Panda when it reared its black and white head.


12:38 pm on Sep 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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

I'm always testing something, but I try not to get obsessive about it (cause I tend to get obsessive about it)

But I won't run my tests during my peak traffic seasons, and I won't run a test for less than two weeks at least.


2:58 pm on Sep 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

I understand exactly how you feel as I have these same thoughts. I think it's made worse by the fact that I don't have a team of people reviewing my sites so sometimes I question myself too much.

Netmeg has more patience than me as I try to hold out for at least 7 days when running a test. I don't have a magic number for page views you should be looking for before you decide if whatever you changed is a keeper or not but the more you have the better.

Also, try not to test too many things at once, make one or two changes to the layout then evaluate results.

What I know I have learned is that sometimes very small changes can make big differences. Something as simple as moving an ad 50px can have significant results, changing a line of text to bold, taking something you think looks cool off the page, adding something useful to the page.

When you have a busy season or high traffic period probably a good idea to give it a break and enjoy the results for a while as Netmeg suggests.

I doubt I'll ever stop testing.


6:40 pm on Sep 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

A good question is how long do you wait to come to conclusions about a change you've made? [n] days/weeks/months?


3:00 am on Sep 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

I understand how you feel, did the same myself. Don't waste the time, the time could be used more wisely creating new sites. The best way I learned to increase adsense income is to add new websites "not fuss over 1". 1 site turned into 2, 2 into 3, and now I have 10, and the income from 10 un-optimizatized would beat the income from 1 super optimized.

Anything above 1.25% is good.

Also don't forget to take user intent into consideration. All niches have season "even if you think it does" and the season drives more clicks the non season. That season could be pay days, bonus days, weekends, etc. So some days "on season" your CTR can be 2.50%, but on off season it could be .90%.

So until you understand that the season or pattern of purchase, testing different placement is a waste of time. On on Season when they are ready to buy, people will hunt from you ads "unless they are below the fold".


4:47 am on Sep 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

@Clarence: Creating sites is easy but maintaining them, getting content? Where do you get the content for 10 sites?


2:37 pm on Sep 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

the income from 10 un-optimizatized would beat the income from 1 super optimized.

Sounds like you're assuming that the traffic to the super optimized would stay the same. When I discuss optimization of a site AdSense is only one part of it. So, what would happen if once you had your 10 sites you took the time to super optimize them?


7:59 pm on Sep 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Focus your energy on content with the goal of generating many page views. Once your site becomes popular, then you can play around with ad placements.

If you're using Wordpress, there are a number of plugins that will help boost your traffic for up to 20%. 

1. Cache plugin (w3 or super cache) retains static page of your pages which makes your site load faster.

2. Related post plugin generates related posts that your visitors may like.

3. Popular post plugin generates your popular article of the day, which can be configured by last 7 days, 30 days or a year.

4. Random post plugin generates buried older posts that your visitors may have missed.


9:28 pm on Sep 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

Varun21: You can hire people to write content, Guest Post, or write it yourself. I do all 3. It's not that hard.

Jpch: Penny wise, Pound foolish. increase .01 percent return on existing traffic or generating double the traffic in a new site. I would prefer double traffic in a new site. Online, Growth beats optimization any day.


10:54 am on Sep 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

increase .01 percent return on existing traffic

If that has been your traffic increase due to optimizing, then yes, I'd agree with you that maybe your time is spent better on a new site. It could also be that you make really good sites the first go around so there's less for you to optimize. For some of us that hasn't always been the case...LOL.


9:04 am on Sep 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

There is no such thing as well enough.

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