Archive forAdvertising

AdSense Revenue Sharing Site List Updated

I finally got around to updating my AdSense Revenue Sharing Site List. It had been over two years since I updated it, so it was getting pretty stale.

When I began editing it, the list had 48 sites on it. I removed 22 sites that were either gone or had removed the revenue sharing from the site. I added in 14 new ones, so there are now 40 sites on the list. I’m sure there are more out there, so feel free to send me any new ones you know about. Hopefully it won’t tale me two years to update it this time.

One new wrinkle I discovered for some sites are affiliate programs. You can sign up as an affiliate and when someone signs up underneath you, you get your own ads displayed on any pages your referrals create.

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AdSense Announces Program Policy Changes

Yesterday AdSense announced a new program policies update. If you read the official announcement, it seems like there really weren’t very many changes.

However, like usual JenSense has done an outstanding analysis of what really changed, and there are some surprises. I would highly recommend reading through this to make sure you understand all the changes.

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AdSpace Conference in San Francisco Next Week

The AdSpace conference is going on next week in San Francisco. This looks like its going to be a great event to attend for small publishers who use contextual advertising like AdSense.

If you are interested in going but haven’t registered yet, ShoeMoney is giving away tickets.

The conference features several sessions from AdSense employees, so it will be a good opportuniuty to get some questions answered. In addition there will be some great people like Jennifer Slegg and Jeremy Schoemaker to rub elbows with. I’ll be there as well.

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Reminder: Update Privacy Policy for AdSense By April 8

Since AdSense introduced their new interest based ad targeting, they are requiring AdSense publishers to have new privacy policies in place by April 8. That leaves just 5 days to get these in place.

Since I run mostly WordPress sites, I have started using Eric Giguere’s Privacy Policy Plugin for WordPress. This seems to do a pretty good job, and hopefully if there are more updates to the AdSense privacy policy requirements, it will be a simple update. You can check out AdMoolah’s privacy policy to see a sample of what it generates.

JenSense also just came up with a good sample privacy policy that you can use with any site.

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MicroSoft PubCenter Beta Shows Promise

Techcrunch is reporting that publisher are having some good, early success with MicroSoft AdSense competitor, called PubCenter.

Some quotes from the article:

Our tipster says that he receiving from four times more in revenue Microsoft than Google AdSense. And the money isn’t the only advantage PubCenter has over AdSense. The advertisement themselves are are higher quality than Google’s ads, he says, and equally as targeted towards the content.

We also heard that Microsoft is allowing publishers to get creative with ads by allowing them to set background images. Google AdSense only allows publishers to change the color of the ads.

This could be great news for current AdSense publishers. We need a serious competitor. Yahoo has been trying with its Yahoo Publisher program (which has been languishing in beta since 2005), but most people report being very disappointed by the earnings..

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Google Adds Favicons to Ads

Here is an interesting Google test I came across today. It looks like they are testing putting small icons beside the URL in some ads. Here is a screen shot:

Google Favicon Ads

Google is always testing changes like these to a limited set of users to see what affect they have. My guess is that these icons will increase the click-through-rate on these ads. There have been some other reports from people seeing these as well, but my screen shot is the first I’ve heard of a US based search showing these results.

I’m sure if these icons do increase click-through-rates, publishers will like the addition!

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inLinks: New Link Buying Service From MediaWhiz

MediaWhiz (who owns Text Link Ads) just announced a new product called inLinks. (Sign up with my affiliate link.)

inLinks is a advertising network that places plain text ads within the content of blog pages. This is similar to what services like Kontera do, but with one major difference. These are real HTML text links instead of javascript based links. That means these links will flow PageRank from sites. Much like the original Text Link Ad servce, this is a link buying service, the difference is that these links will be within the content of pages.

Google and other search engines have always frowned upon link buying schemes, and will obviously not like this one either. In fact, Google’s Web Spam Guru, Matt Cutts sent TechCrunch a harshly worded email stating that Google does not approve, saying: “Google has been very clear that selling such links that pass PageRank is a violation of our quality guidelines.”.

With MediaWhiz’s other product, Text Link Ads, it is pretty obvious that the links are paid. The links were put into the sidebar of pages and grouped together. I’m sure Google could pretty easily discount links like these. Since this new service embed the links right into the content of pages, they will be much harder for search engines to detect.

So, although this is a new money making opportunity for bloggers, be warned that Google will be on the lookout for these links.

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Google Working on AdSense Filtering

Google did something yesterday that they rarely do, give us a glimpse into new features that they are working on. They posted an entry on the Inside AdSense blog about ad filtering and mentioned that they were working on better filters:

We’ve heard your feedback about how quickly filters take effect and the ability to block specific categories of ads, and we’re working hard to improve our current controls and provide more powerful ones in the near future. Over the next couple weeks, we plan to improve the speed of your filters, and we’re working towards filters in the future that will take effect in less than an hour. We’ll also continue improving the Ad Review Center, giving you ways to block entire categories of ads in addition to individual ads. We are also working on ways for you to establish guidelines for the type of ads that will be acceptable to your users, so you can “set it and forget it,” while feeling comfortable that users will have a good ad experience.

I’m sure much of their feedback was about Propostion 8, a controversial issue in California that seeks to ban gay marriage. Californians surfing the web before the election on Tuesday saw a lot of ads supporting this proposition. I saw them on my own sites and quickly used the competitive ad filter to stop them.

Many publishers who use AdSense often complain about ads that are inappropriate for their sites, so hopefully these new filtering techniques will help.

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Google Adding AdSense Statistics to Analytics

Google has announced some major upgrades to its analytics service. They have added:

Advanced Segmentation – allows you to isolate and analyze different sets of visitors
Custom Reports – allows you to create and save specific reports
Motion Charts – allows you to visualize data over time
A New Dashboard – new quick access to more data on the front page
A Data Export API – will allow custom application or websites to do more analysis or visualization of analytics data

And finally the new feature I’m most excited about…
Integrated Reporting with AdSense
This is something I have been hoping they would do for a while. For a while, I have been using a script that attempts to track AdSense clicks, but it was not as accurate or detailed as what will be available from Google. Here are some useful things you will be able to do with this new data.

Track Which Traffic Source Pay the Most. It is nice to know where you good, revenue generating traffic comes from. If you know that search engine traffic bring better revenue then links from other sites, you know to concentrate on SEO. If other types of sites bring in more revenue per visitor, it is a good idea to concentrate on getting links from those sites.

Track Which Pages Bring the Most Revenue. If some pages on your site bring more revenue per page view than others, it is a good idea to get traffic to those pages. Point your own internal links to these pages and get links from other sites to those pages. Also if you notice that certain types of content bring in more revenue per page view (e.g. product reviews versus how-to articles), you know that creating more of that type of content would be a good idea.

There are some more detail in an Inside AdSense blog post.

Google is rolling out the feature over time into publishers AdSense account, so look for it next time you log in. I haven’t gotten it yet, but I can’t wait.

Update: Here is the official Google Support pages about Adsense and Analytics integration

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Starting a PPC Campaign

I have dabbled in using PPC advertising to drive traffic to my sites, but now I am getting ready to do it for real. This will be for the main site that makes money for us. 75% of that revenue comes from a single affiliate program. About another 20% comes from AdSense, and the remaining 5% comes from other affiliate programs.

I have been doing some reading about PPC and here is the plan I have come up with.

Set Up Tracking
I currently use Google Analytics for my stats. I am adding goals to keep track of affiliate clicks, AdSense click and email list sign ups. I am also adding code to modify the URLs of the affiliate links when the user has come from a PPC ad so I can see which sales are actually from the PPC campaign.

Keyword Research
I’ll start by creating a keyword list for a single product. (All the product are similar, so it should easy to extend the list to other product.)

Here are some sources for keyword research I have come across. I’ve played with most of these before, but this will be the first time I will use them seriously.

I plan to go mostly for mid to long tail keywords to begin with. Once I have a list I will group them into related keywords. Each group of keywords will be used for a different campaign.

Create Landing Pages
For each group of keywords I want to come up with at least 2 initial landing pages for with significant differences on them to do A/B testing.

Setting up Campaign
I’ll set up the campaigns in AdWords. I’ll need to come up with ad variations for each campaign to test out the effectiveness of the ads.

Monitoring and Tweaking
Now its time to monitor everything. Which campaigns are getting the best ROI? Which specific ads do best? Which landing pages get the best conversions? Based on the results, I’ll start tweaking things.

Finally, I can start the whole process over again for each different product.

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