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Google AdSense: 6 Tips to Earn More From Mobile

     
11:39 am on Jun 16, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Google AdSense has published six tips and three best practices to help AdSense publishers earn more from mobile.

The three best practices are fairly obvious, and most of you will already be attending to these: Make it load fast, make it easy to find what the site visitor wants, and be consistent across screens. That third one is a bugbear of mine when visiting a cut down mobile site and not finding what I want, and then having to either go to the full site, or, i'll abandon it and probably never return. I'm probably part of the 61% that abandon it and i'm gone.

The six tips are a little more helpful, and the final one listed by Google is probably my top tip. I don't recall the last time I stopped experimenting.


  • Swap out the 320x50 ad units for 320x100 for a potential RPM increase.
  • Place a 320x100 ad unit just above the fold or peek the 300x250 -- that is, place a portion of the ad unit just above the fold (ATF).
  • Use the 300x250 ad unit below the fold (BTF) mixed in with your content.
  • Prevent accidental clicks on enhanced features in text ads by moving ad units 150 pixels away from your content.
  • Consider using responsive ad units, which optimize ad sizes to screen sizes and work seamlessly with your responsive site.
  • Test your site. Pick the metrics that matter most to you then experiment with them.



  • [adsense.googleblog.com...]

    What tips can you add to this?
    12:16 pm on June 16, 2016 (gmt 0)

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    Great tips, I am currently using 320 x 50 on mobile with responsive ad units, I think I might try increasing it to 320 x 100
    1:34 pm on June 16, 2016 (gmt 0)

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    "moving ad units 150 pixels away from your content"

    That's quite a space on a phone size screen.
    1:35 pm on June 16, 2016 (gmt 0)

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    The tips are interesting and cou;d be helpful to visitors if more publishers used them.

    Something that always bugs me is what "above the fold" means.

    What size screen are they talking about?

    [I seem to recall they actually stated the size sometime back, but can't recall where/when]
    1:40 pm on June 16, 2016 (gmt 0)

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    "moving ad units 150 pixels away from your content"

    That's quite a space on a phone size screen.
    Yeah, I was surprised by that number. I was thinking 50 pixels would be enough.

    But really, as long as you keep the ad a bit away from any other call to click it should help avoid accidental clicks.

    .
    2:03 pm on June 16, 2016 (gmt 0)

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    Agreed about the distance; accidental clicks are no good to anyone, and may reflect badly on the publisher.
    3:31 pm on June 16, 2016 (gmt 0)

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    My top tip is one I mentioned the other day in an other forum post here - if you're using a responsive theme (for WordPress, for example) pay close attention to where the ads "fall" on different devices; if your ads are mostly sidebar ads, they could all end up at the bottom of a very long scroll.

    Use heatmapping analytics to get a sense of how far down your pages your mobile users will go - you can get something along those lines in Analytics, but currently I'm liking Hotjar best (they have recordings!)

    Don't put your ads too close together lest more than one appear on a larger screen (such as an iPad or iPhone 6 Plus) and don't restrict the viewport too much with CSS lest your ads get cut off.
    4:04 pm on June 16, 2016 (gmt 0)

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    peek the 300x250 -- that is, place a portion of the ad unit just above the fold (ATF).


    Good luck to anyone trying to implement this consistently across all screen sizes while remembering that if the whole ad shows above the fold you are contravening the rules! To complicate matters further, as far as I know the position of the 'fold' has never even been exacty defined, and an ad that is partly visible sounds very likely to get accidental clicks from swiping up...
    4:41 pm on June 16, 2016 (gmt 0)

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    Yea, I don't think I'd try that one myself.
    6:57 pm on June 16, 2016 (gmt 0)

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    Good luck to anyone trying to implement this consistently across all screen sizes while remembering that if the whole ad shows above the fold you are contravening the rules!


    It's relatively easy to get the screen height dynamically using JavaScript and then just peek the ad so it takes less than 1/5 of the screen. Uncharted waters, so I'm willing to give it a go on a few pages.
    1:47 am on June 17, 2016 (gmt 0)

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    This applies if you use DFP for inhouse / directly units, to compete with AdSense.

    - Price mobile and desktop inhouse / directly sold inventory differently in DFP.
    1:27 am on June 18, 2016 (gmt 0)

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    Tip 7 - to get more traffic on mobile (and thus increase ad revenue) I found it necessary to get out and generate mobile traffic... to get back traffic that social media took away, as well as generate new traffic from mobile specific platforms (apps.)

    First, I made sure these many apps & their bots are allowed access to my server.

    Second, I opened numerous social media accounts, researched how they work, and wrangled traffic to my site.

    Third, I made sure the many marketing & advertising companies and their contributors (that may bid on Adwords) had access to my server.
    1:00 am on June 19, 2016 (gmt 0)

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    It would be helpful if we had a standard definition of the ubiquitous word "Mobile".

    From what I can see, watching other folks feverishly tapping away on the train or the bus, are small mobile phone types - all the way up to what I call Tablets.

    Setting aside the bandwidth costs as a limit, I can't seriously see people using mobile to surf, and pore over "informational sites".

    I'm sure "Mobile" is quite handy to order a pizza, a taxi, making hotel or theatre reservations, or utilising one of the 1,001 "popular Apps", even wasting time on Facebook or Twitter. I did see a person next to me reading what appeared to be a book, but I think that might have been an eReader like Kindle.

    I couldn't see myself seriously researching a topic like "Best Desktop Build 2016" in great depth on any of them.

    I might be wrong, but to me there are sites ideal for "mobile", there are sites best viewed on a Desktop/Laptop, and no doubt sites which appear suitable in between both of them.

    Ironically, a few weeks back I checked my sites for mobile from a link in a topic here. Mr. Google reported my sites were mobile friendly. Mr. Google also reported my sites as slow.

    You can largely put that down to Mr. Google's AdSense.
    7:15 am on June 19, 2016 (gmt 0)

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    too many accidental clicks and a ctr that seems oddly high will make you lose your nessie arrows
    7:43 am on June 19, 2016 (gmt 0)

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    Also, 300x600 now allowed on mobile as long it's at the bottom of the page.

    Useful for real content sites where users actually reach bottom
    9:22 am on June 19, 2016 (gmt 0)

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    The other day I got an amusing call.

    "Where's the fold?"

    Seems their mobile design was portrait, thinking folks use their phones and tablets that way .... but it turns out (for reading ease) many of their users view in landscape. So... the fold is in a different place and a number of errors (and lost ad revenue taken back) was occurring.

    "What should we do?"

    "Check the viewport and present from there."

    "How?"

    "Open your check book and we'll talk."
    9:46 am on June 19, 2016 (gmt 0)

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    One of the downsides of a mobile site compared to a responsive design.
    2:28 pm on June 19, 2016 (gmt 0)

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    From what I can see, watching other folks feverishly tapping away on the train or the bus, are small mobile phone types - all the way up to what I call Tablets.

    Google defines "tablets" as a separate category, both in Google Analytics and AdSense reports.

    Still, it's true that "mobile" (even if you use that term only to mean "smartphones") covers an increasing amount of territory. But that's true in the desktop/laptop realm, too, where display sizes have grown dramatically over the years and screen resolutions are all over the place.

    The target keeps moving, and "responsive design" is just a way to buy time until the next big thing comes along.

    Setting aside the bandwidth costs as a limit, I can't seriously see people using mobile to surf, and pore over "informational sites".

    I've seen plenty of people do just that--and outside their home countries, apparently without regard for (or awareness of?) roaming fees.

    On our own informational site, which is skewed toward in-depth articles and guides, time per session for mobile is lower than for desktop but is still quite respectable.
    3:02 pm on June 20, 2016 (gmt 0)

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    Im a long time publisher (10+ years).
    Most of my sites (mainly informational sites) that have adsense are not mobile friendly. They don't seem to rank any differently whether searched for on mobile or desktop. All meaningful metrics say that mobile (smartphone) is my biggest area of earnings - better ctr, better rpm. So i'm not sure how at present I would benefit from making my sites mobile friendly.

    As for testing in general i find that less than 10% of tests (whether suggested by Google or my own ideas) show an improvement in earnings compared to the original.
    9:38 pm on June 20, 2016 (gmt 0)

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    They don't seem to rank any differently whether searched for on mobile or desktop. All meaningful metrics say that mobile (smartphone) is my biggest area of earnings - better ctr, better rpm. So i'm not sure how at present I would benefit from making my sites mobile friendly.
    I learned you can't judge one by information given on the other. You never will know the potential of mobile responsive until your site is mobile responsive.
    11:23 pm on June 20, 2016 (gmt 0)

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    >My top tip is one I mentioned the other day in an other forum post here - if you're using a responsive theme (for WordPress, for example) pay close attention to where the ads "fall" on different devices; if your ads are mostly sidebar ads, they could all end up at the bottom of a very long scroll.

    I'd definitely second this. Indeed, my responsive pages had a banner at the bottom of the main article, and an MPU at the top of the sidebar - which meant two ads following each other on mobile (and a stern warning from Google).
    2:25 pm on June 21, 2016 (gmt 0)

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    Most of my sites (mainly informational sites) that have adsense are not mobile friendly. They don't seem to rank any differently whether searched for on mobile or desktop. All meaningful metrics say that mobile (smartphone) is my biggest area of earnings - better ctr, better rpm. So i'm not sure how at present I would benefit from making my sites mobile friendly.

    That's interesting. On our main information site, we've made our most popular pages mobile-friendly (probably a thousand or pages or so to date), and the mobile versions do quite well. But, they've earned a tiny fraction of the revenue that we earn from our desktop/laptop/tablet traffic, even when we've displayed AdSense ads on them.

    For our topic and audience, research (and spending) are done on computers--and, to a lesser degree, on tablets--not on smartphones.
    3:26 pm on June 21, 2016 (gmt 0)

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    All our sites pages are mobile friendly, same niche as editorialguy.
    Adsense RPM is exactly half the level on smartphones compared with tablets/computers but only 20% of page views are smartphones so the loss isn't too serious.
    Affiliate sales (about 50% of income across the year) are probably even more reduced on mobile, though.
    nickreynolds, I would be quite concerned to have ctr etc higher on mobiles, on a non- responsive site. Sounds like a potential red flag for invalid clicks at some point.
    5:44 pm on June 21, 2016 (gmt 0)

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    I've come to the conclusion that, at least tor now, it makes more sense to leave AdSense off our mobile pages and regard mobile pageviews as a loss leader. There simply isn't enough money in mobile traffic (for us, anyway) to justify cluttering up the mobile reading experience. If and when mobile becomes the tail that wags our dog, I may need to rethink that philosophy.
    8:48 am on June 22, 2016 (gmt 0)

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    Unfortunately, too many publishers have this frame of mind. "If it's broke - throw it out". While advertisers adopt the paradigm that: "If it's broke - fix it".

    If you're not getting high enough RPMs on mobile devices you should be optimizing your ad layouts for mobile screens. We have many customers that use our platform to create mobile AdSense layouts and its increased RPMs repeatedly.
    2:22 pm on June 22, 2016 (gmt 0)

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    Unfortunately, too many publishers have this frame of mind. "If it's broke - throw it out".

    It's all about ROI. A small publisher has only so much time to invest, and there may be better ways to use that time than in playing with ad formats (especially if AdSense isn't the publisher's main source of revenue).
    2:55 pm on June 22, 2016 (gmt 0)

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    The same can be said of advertisers but how will you ever know if you can achieve a better ROI if you don't try first? If any of you buy traffic then I'm sure you run some kind of optimization or testing strategy. In the short run, this will hurt your performance but in the long tun you are very likely to gain from experimenting. Large or small, if you're not optimizing your currnet monetization channels before you decide to chuck it then you're leaving money on the table.
    3:11 pm on June 22, 2016 (gmt 0)

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    @Yayabobi
    I agree that experimenting is necessary, but then there is over optimizing, this provides short term gains but is not sustainable. Improving user experience ads happy customers, more links and in the long run sustained positive organic rankings.

    Also as a publisher, how can you buy traffic? We sell traffic. Unless you have means of buying cheap traffic and selling it at premium, I don't see how this can work.
    7:00 pm on June 22, 2016 (gmt 0)

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    There are ways to buy traffic. Running Google AdWords and BingAds to your site is technically buying traffic, and there are other ways. Whether or not it's quality traffic that is likely to convert for your advertisers, though, is another question entirely. It can be done, but it has to be done very carefully. If you get the right mix of quality traffic, good times for everyone. If you don't, advertisers could block you from their placements, you could get smart priced by AdSense, or in extreme cases, booted out entirely for providing a "significant risk" to advertisers.
    7:22 pm on June 22, 2016 (gmt 0)

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    The way I see it is that paying for Adwords or BingAds will cost far more than you will ever be able to monetize purely with Adsense. Even if you are able to pay less per click for your campaign, there is no guarantee that the user that visits will click on the ads on your site. So you need to figure like a 100 to 1 ratio, that is for each 100 visits coming from an Adwords click one will "convert" by clicking an Adsense ad that appears on you site. You need to pay at least 100 x less for your Adwords clicks then you be getting from Adsense. Not likely!

    Maybe if you buy low quality traffic but then the risk you mention kicks in.

    Am I seeing this right or am I missing something. I am assuming that taboola and other similar services are priced similarly to Adwords / BingAds.

    Obviously if you have a subscription model, or are selling a high margin product (higher than an adsense click offers) then the 100:1 ratio is not issue.
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