Saturday, November 05, 2005

How Do I Know AdSense Works?

If you have an AdSense account, you may have noticed Google has what they call "case studies" of sites that have successfully used AdSense. These are included so you can read what has been accomplished using the program.

Google updated the "case studies" page recently.

The entries are "Ask the Builder", an AdSense publisher that was recently featured on an AdSense webinar. Then there is This is a site that has done well with a comparison type website. And finally, there is Weblogs, Inc. Now these guys were recently featured on the Inside AdSense blog and here we see what they've done with AdSense.

You can now visit two distinct sections in "case studies", beginner and advanced.

This is great because you will be able to see how websites are being created around AdSense and the thinking behind it, not just how they experimented with hotspots on their pages. An example is the EngineeringTalk case study, again, featured in the AdSense blog.

Questions - Do you think these studies really help? Have you used any tips? If so, please share with us.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Yahoo Ads - Yahoo! Publishers Network

It's called Yahoo! Publishers Network, a contextual advertising program similar to Google AdSense. The program is in Beta, and you must be a legitamate business to be considered. The program is not open to individuals at this time.

You may know that one of my sites has been doing extremely well since day one. I am adding a new pages every few days and it seems to be viral in that people look at one site and click to another to read about different topics.

So I decided to place the Yahoo! ads on the main site. This is one of the newest pages and doesn't have a lot of traffic.

The temptation is to place it on one of the sites that is doing well to see if YPN as it's called, can pull the weight.

With YPN you can target from various sectors. In other words, my pages are on travel, but if I like, I can show ads on mortgages. I am sure it's only a matter of time that Overture will have a passel of ads and they will better match the context. For now, remember we're in Beta and it is interesting to watch each day how the ads better reflect the context of the page.

For instance, on one post, Google AdSense is on the page, we get ads with just about everything you'd want and expect. YPN, set for a particular target, shows you some relation to that target - but maybe not you'd expect. Believe me, that will greatly improve over time.

I loved the font of the YPN ads. Looks nice and crisp, flows with the page. It is slightly bigger than Google's.

There are some programs and scripts that allow you to rotate AdSense and YPN ads. I will cover them in another post. And, no, I'm not leaving the AdSense program nor will I stop writing about optimizing your work to get the most out of it. Let's continue our discussion. My point with talking about YPN is simply to show you that if you had any doubt, contextual based ad serving is here for a while.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Using the 336 by 280 Block and Sectional Targeting

Just how much is too much? The 336 x 280 pixel AdSense block takes up the better part of the page in a blog. That's a lot of real estate given the Blogger type blogs post only to a 400 pixel column of a typical 1024 pixel wide page.

Still, it's a new month and I'm going to see how well moving the blocks will improve things. You may notice, I've removed the AdSense links along the top as well as the block on the page footer. There are now two skyscrapers running down the side which will accompany the blog column.

In addition, I've added Sectional Targeting to the template. It really doesn't matter on this blog, since everything here is about one subject - but be aware this is a great tool, especially if you cover more than one subject on your page and your AdSense ads are typically following something off topic.

Google Responds

It took over the weekend for the good folks at Google to respond, but they did and fixed the issue.

I had a problem with one of my sites, where the AdSense ads did not have anything to do with the text. The appeared to be legitimate ads, not Public Service Announcements, so I wanted Google to have a look.

They request in one place on their site to wait for 4 hours. On another place, the request is 48 hours. I waited about 30 hours before using their online troubleshooting wizard and shot them off a letter.

Their reply was polite and to the point.

So, don't be intimidated by Google and the AdSense team. They are there to help you. It is of benefit to them to get your ads correct as well.

Because I wasn't as clear as I should have been, AdSense only fixed the ads on index.html. The same problem exists on another page, /2005/10/pocahontas.html, and I noticed that the ads that appear when I drop the www on the domain have nothing to do with my site. But that is typical. Until enough people access the site without the www, Google doesn't know what to serve as the bot has not visited that iteration of the site.

What's next?

I will write Google back and have them take a look at the above link. I am confident that they will clear it up before the week ends.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Google AdSense Happy Halloween

Some AdSense participants got a "treat" this Halloween.

Their AdSense blocks were cutely decorated in the Halloween theme. I did not see any of my ads so embellished, but who knows what might happen with Christmas around the corner?

The only repercussions I can think of are the ads being displayed in parts of the world that don't celebrate the event. Maybe they'll be asking Google to include some of their holidays.

Let's see... Brazil alone celebrates over 60 holidays a year...

A reader of my blog sent these in. Enjoy and comment.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

My AdSense Ads Don't Follow my Context

Just a few posts ago I told you about the new "wizards" Google AdSense has to get the correct ads running on your site(s). Well, today we have the opportunity to use one.

You see, on one of my niche sites I found that the ads were not following the context a full three days into the project. The AdSense template is in place, but I'm getting ads for hurricane type products.

So remember, we use the wizard that says, "The ads don't appear to match the context of my site." Clicking that I get an order to clear my browser cache and cookies. That done, I press "Continue". Here I'm asked whether the code ran for at least 48 hours. This is a time window Google is allowing for the famous GoogleBot to crawl the site and match ads to context.

When I click "Yes", that 48 hours has passed to allow the GoogleBot to visit, the next pages asks if I am using an language that is accepted in Google's AdSense program.

On the next page, I'm actually stuck - because the questions are: "Yes" - My settings are for both image and text ads, or "No" - My settings are for image ads only.

And here's my dilemma; according to current AdSense thought, text ads perform better than image ads. Image ads are said to remind us of the good ol' banner ads we have become blind to. I'm following current thinking and using "text only" ads. What are you using?

I clicked "Yes", that I'm using text and images, because at least the word "text" appears.

The next screen asks if you are using Flash. The idea here is if the page is almost all Flash content, the Google software will not have enough text to make heads or tails of the context.

I'm then asked if I've made recent changes. Well, since this is a new page, I select yes.

And that brings us to the end of the wizard, which says, wait another week and a half for a new spidering of the site.

Are you that patient? (plus 1 and 1/2 weeks of AdSense revenue on the page/site could mean quite a loss). I wasn't, and so drilled down to the page where I am able to fill out a form.

So, I wrote that the ads don't seem to follow the context. My experience with Google is that they are quick to respond to a request. I'll post a follow-up when they reply.

Another way to check your page is to drop the www in the URL. For example, you will find that and returns two different results.

One thing Google may suggest to you is Section Targeting. I'll cover that in another post. There is a way to fine tune AdSense to use the context on the page you choose. Pretty cool.