Learn to Maximize AdSense Income with AdSense Secrets

The internet is filled with people that are self proclaimed experts of one thing or another, whether we are talking about making money online, internet marketing, blogging, domaining, etc.   But it is rare that you run across someone that is widely accepted by the internet as an expert as the authority on a particular subject.

Joel Comm, the Google AdSense expert, is the only person that I know of that meets this criteria.   Joel is the author of AdSense Secrets, which is a close to 250 page eBook designed to teach you everything he knows about Google AdSense.   That is right, I said almost 250 pages!

Chances are if you’ve read AdSense tips by the many pro bloggers and other “experts” on this subject, they got their information from this Google AdSense bible.  I’ve been reading about 5 pages a day and working my way through this document for a few weeks now and finally finished it.

I have to say that this book was the best $9.95 I spent over the past few months and has really opened my eyes to some additional opportunities that AdSense users have.   I am hoping to discuss some of these strategies over the coming months after I’ve put them to good use, but in the meantime I wanted to make sure you guys knew that AdSense Secrets was out there at an incredible price.   Oh, and don’t forget this could be considered a business expense.  :mrgreen:

A Couple of Ideas to Improve Your AdSense Income

A couple of months ago Google made some significant changes to their AdSense program when they re-did the clickable area, which caused a lot of people to lose money. I know personally that my AdSense income dropped by at least $70.00 a month as a result of this change, and I’ve heard from several others that are have had the same problem.

Anytime there is a change, it is only natural we take the time to step back and look over the situation in the hope of finding a way to improve it. One post I ran across recently was written by Josh titled 10 Ways to Increase Your AdSense Income. In his post, Josh covers a bunch of methods people should consider when trying to maximize their clicks.

Two important tips:

2. Target competitive niches! I don’t care what anyone says about MFA sites, they work! I’m not talking about spam sites, I’m talking about high-quality, informative sites that are in a high paying market! Some of these niche sites can bring in $5-$10/day after only a couple days. When you’re making over a $1 per click you don’t need much traffic to make money.

3. If a site has a CTR of 1% or less, remove it from your site. Although there is some controversy as to whether or not CTR causes “smart pricing” to kick in, it’s just not worth risking. At least remove Adsense for a few weeks and see if your overall adsense income rises. If so, you were probably hit with Google’s Smart Pricing. If that site in particular was causing smart-pricing to kick in, consider a different monetization model.

And one tip I’m not so sure about:

8. Do not go by Google’s heat map. It’s a good visual aid for some layouts, but there are just too many variables. The effectiveness of any layout will be determined by color, style, niche etc. so testing is always your best bet!

Click over to check out the rest of the list!

Google AdSense Smart Pricing…Re-Evaluating My AdSense Strategy

If you’ve ever attempted to make money online, you know that it can be very complicated, requires a lot of research, and is always evolving and changing. Last week I posted my December 2007 review and talked about how my overall income dipped for that month, particularly with Google AdSense. I noticed a similar trend on most of the blogs I read, so I originally told myself that it was probably due to the change to the clickable AdSense area.

Last week I ran across a post over at Courtney Tuttle’s blog titled how to get worthless AdSense clicks, which caused me to re-evaluate how I approach trying to make money with Google AdSense. In this post, Court explains Google’s smart pricing, which basically is a system that Google uses to penalize bloggers who get a lot of worthless AdSense clicks. This idea was not a new concept to me, as I’ve heard in the past the theory that having less advertisements per page can result in higher payouts per click. I also remember David of CyberCoder talking a bit about smart pricing in one of his video blogs (though I can’t find the link now).

After reading Court’s post, I decided it was finally time to look into this a little more. It just seemed to be to much of a coincidence that my AdSense income was at an all time high, then I launched a bunch of new blogs that currently aren’t receiving a lot of traffic and my AdSense income dipped from $10.00 a day to $3.00 or less.

The first thing I did was go into my Manage Ads page in the Google AdSense panel (managing all my AdSense code from here saved me a TON of time) and set up some new channels for my various ad blocks, including in-post squares, rectangles ads, link menus, and other places where I had AdSense on my sites. This way I could determine which advertisement blocks were performing the best. After a couple of days doing this, I studied the results and completely removed the under performing advertisements from my sites (anything with less than a 2% CTR). I also removed AdSense completely from some of my newer sites that haven’t received much traffic yet (if you feel your under performing websites need advertisements, you can easily replace your AdSense ads with Yahoo! Publisher Network ads or BidVertiser).

It is unclear how long it takes for AdSense to remove the penalty, but I’ve already seen some progress here over the past day. Unfortunately, it is to early to tell if this is a coincidence or not. If you have more questions about Google’s Smart Pricing penalty, I recommend you click over and read the post. It provides a detailed explanation, tips on fixing it, and also includes a bit about keyword sniping.

Are you a victim of Google’s smart pricing penalty?

[found via EZ-OnlineMoney]

Make Money Online with Google AdSense

Most of us start out blogging for fun, but it’s inevitable that eventually it will be time to take a shot at making money online. Over the past year, I’ve read a lot of great AdSense guides and tried a lot of different things on this site. Some succeeded, while others did not, but each and every one of them has been a good learning experience for me and helped me to optimize my Google AdSense revenue. Here is a compilation of my experiences with Google AdSense so far:

What is Google AdSense? Google AdSense is Google’s advertising service that uses javascript code and Google’s search technology to match up appropriate advertising with the publishers content. This, in theory, will make your advertisements more appealing to your readers. Revenue is then generated on a “Cost-per-Click” basis, with you getting paid each time a reader clicks on your advertisements.

Once you’ve signed up, you may be a little overwhelmed, as there is a lot to learn. Here is a bunch of the most common questions and the answer I would give:

How do I boost my Click-Through-Rate (CTR)? There are two ways to boost your CTR. The first way is to increase traffic; however, for many blogs starting out this is something that will take a lot of time. You need to gain a loyal readership and get a lot of content indexed with the major search engines before this goal can become realistic. The second and easier method is to work on your ad position to maximize the number of clicks you will receive. In the next few sections this will be covered in greater detail.

Where should I place my Adsense ads? There are a few schools of thought on this, but I’ve found two methods to generating a higher click-through-rate that have worked well for me. The first is to make sure your advertisements are placed “above the fold.” This means that they will be seen by the reader without any scrolling involved. This helps to ensure that they will at least be viewed before a web surfer hits the back button and gives you more chances for a click. The second and most important to place advertisements is within your posts. This can be done in a variety of ways. WordPress users can easily add Adsense ads inside their posts using the AdSense Deluxe plugin. I find this is effective for longer posts, but I prefer to have an advertisement placed in every post I do. Jason Drohn of JDs Blog has written a great post on how to integrate Adsense without a plugin. I simply placed the following code on to each page where I want to display them (in my case Main Index and Single Post pages):

<div style="float: right; padding-left: 5px;">
{Paste Adsense Code Here}

You can float the advertisement to the left by changing right to left and adjust the padding to right. Doing this will allow you to wrap your post’s content around the advertisement and increase the chance of additional clicks. The only thing you need to remember when using this method is that you will need to write a longer opening paragraph for your post to maintain a good appearance to readers. If you write a lot of shorter posts, you may want to use a smaller ad format, or consider placing them just below the title (without wrapping them around text).

Should I blend my ads or make them stand out? I’ve been debating this for awhile now. Some claim to have success both ways, but I’ve found that for this site blending advertisements works better. Making them stand out with a border, different color background, or whatever else will cause them to get noticed, but web surfers are more likely to know they are advertisements this way.

What are the best ad formats? According to Google, the most effective ad formats are the 336×280 large rectangle and the 300×250 medium rectangle. Depending on the layout of your website, using 160×600 advertisements can be very effective as well. As far as my personal experience, I’ve found that the 336×280 large rectangle has given me the most success. This is could be because it’s integrated into my post, but more than likely the real reason is because you will often get Google Video advertisements in place of link advertisements, which readers are more likely to click.

How can I get rid of those annoying AdSense ads that don’t have anything to do with my content? If you’re trying to maximize your AdSense income, targeting high paying keywords and getting rid of advertisements that have nothing to do with your content is a must. The first thing you should do is tell AdSense where to get their keywords. If this isn’t done, they can use information from your sidebar, header, footer, and other places to determine which advertisements to place on your site, which will only hurt your site’s potential income.

To do this, place the following start code at the beginning and the end code at the end of where you want Google to look for keywords:

<- google_ad_section_start -> <- google_ad_section_end ->

Next, go to your sidebar, header, footer, and wherever else you want Google to avoid and enter the following at the beginning of the content:

<- google_ad_section_start(weight=ignore) ->

and this at the end of the content:

<- google_ad_section_end ->

This tells Google AdSense to ignore anything between these tags.

This stuff has been talked about a lot and will do a lot to help get valid advertisements, but there is more you can do. The next step is to monitor your blog for advertisements still showing up that aren’t relevant to your content. Next, write down the URL of the advertisement listed below the advertisement (DO NOT CLICK IT).

Now, once you’ve gotten your list of URL’s together, go to your Google AdSense account and do the following:

  1. Click on AdSense Setup
  2. Click Competitive Ad Filter
  3. Enter the URL of any advertisements you don’t want to show up on your website. To add multiple URL’s, type the URL and hit enter, then type the next, etc.

For example, if you don’t want to see the “Are you Gay” advertisements because your site doesn’t touch that subject, filter out “thegayquiz.com/gay” and that advertisement won’t appear on your site any longer. Repeat this until you’ve added any URL’s you’d like to censor out.

Once you have submitted it, any URL’s you have entered should disappear from your site completely and permanently. I check through a few pages every week on this site at random and try to find any ads that I deem irrelevant to my sites content then filter them out. This will help you receive more relevant advertising on your site and hopefully improve your Click Through Rate (CTR). Also, many of these generic ads that you will want to filter don’t pay much when clicked (some are a penny per click), so your clicks should pay better if you get rid of them.

In order to target keywords, you will want to stick to a particular niche on your site. If you want to branch out more, set up a second blog to cover other topics. This will help Google avoid being confused as to which advertisements to place on your site. You’ll also need to experiment with which keywords pay the most, then target these keywords.

How do I know which Ad formats are working the best? There are two easy ways that I know of. With MyBlogLog’s free metrics service, you can view day old clicks. You’ll want to click the “Ads” option to see which ad formats were clicked. If you use different ad formats in different spots on your blog, you’ll quickly learn which formats are working the best. If you want same day stats, you’ll need to pay a small stipend for instant metrics (I think it’s roughly $3.00 a month).

The second method is to use a free service like Crazy Egg to see where people click on your site. I like the heatmap option, which gives you a picture of your sites homepage and allows you to easily see EXACTLY where people clicked when visiting your site.

What are AdSense Link Units? Adsense link units also targeted advertisements that work similar to normal AdSense ads in that they are Cost-Per-Click, however they actually require two clicks in order for you to get paid. When someone clicks on this on your link unit, it will then take them to a bunch of related links. When those are clicked, that is when you get paid. The nice thing about these link units is they are easy to integrate into your website and they are relatively unobtrusive.

What other publishers features are available with Google AdSense? In addition to getting relevant ads targeted to your website’s specific content, Google AdSense also offers two additional services. They are AdSense for Search and Referrals.

What is AdSense for Search? Google allows you to easily add Google Search to your blog and display AdSense advertisements within these results. When searchers click these ads, it will work the same as if they clicked the advertisement on your webpage.

You have the option of adding a search engine that opens the search results in the same window, in a new window, or even allow you to open the search results within your webpage. If you’re a WordPress user, it may prove difficult to add Google search to your blog. For these people, there is a Google AdSense search plugin available.

How does Google’s referral system work? Google is in the process of rolling out Referrals 2.0, which will offer several referrals, allowing bloggers to find appropriate referrals for their blog’s niche. Each referral has different requirements for you to get paid. For example, Firefox requires someone to simply download Firefox via your referral button and you get paid. The Google AdSense referral, on the other hand, requires the person to sign up and generate at least $5.00 worth of revenue before you will get paid $5.00. ProBlogger offers 5 tips for improving your AdSense referrals.

Overall, having success with Google AdSense requires a lot of individual work, with a focus on ad placement and using proper keywords. It also helps to get a lot of pages out there and indexed with Google. What works for one site, may not work for another website in another niche, but hopefully you can take something from my experiences and generate some additional income with Google AdSense.

Sounds great, how do I sign up for Google AdSense? Google AdSense does not have a minimum traffic requirement, so no matter the size of your blog, if you want any easy way to make money online, you can easily sign up using the link below:

Think I missed something? Let me know in the comments below!