Tuesday, October 24, 2006

AdSense Heaven?

OK, some of you may already know about Google AdSense. Wow! What a great idea! Well... actually it really is. But there is a catch... You need to provide high quality content to your site so you can:

  1. generate more traffic on your site (more visitors)

  2. get higher CPC (Cost-Per-Click) ads on your site

1st will increase your CTR (Click-Through-Rate) on ads, therefore your revenues, and 2nd will increase the revenues per single clicks. Thus combined you can make a great deal of money just by running the site.
However, providing such site to the public is challenging. And don't cheat! Follow the TOS (Terms Of Service) "by the book" or you will for sure get banned.
There are a number of articles describing how you can optimize CTR by following some rules like:
  • positioning of ads on the page - there are researches that indicates the hot-spots for ad clicks

  • blending the ads into the page by manipulating the color scheme in which the ads are shown (such as the ones on my business site)

  • ... and not last, lots of experimenting

I suggest for a beginner to look first into the official Google AdSense FAQ and forums. They provide all those tips in details.
Now the "heaven" part... If you surf the Internet you will find lots of sites that sell you stuff for "increasing" the revenues on AdSense. Such "products" are:
  • books and articles, usually collections of how-tos (some of them refered as "the black book of AdSense", which show you all sorts of tricks that are in clear violation with TOS)

  • software for site promotion and monitoring (which may be violating the TOS, thus get you baned)

  • ready-made sites or site collections, "already optimized for AdSense" (which by the way, Google knows about and will eventually get you baned)

  • affiliate programs that will increase your site rank (which may for the moment, however Google is "hunting" those type of sites and... assigns them negative ranks, so in the end your rank is lowered)

And they are many more out there. They all look fancy and promising and most of all they look "fool-prof". This is not the case. There is no such thing as an "AdSense Heaven" coming from such products. Most of them have a single purpose: find fools to click on the ads in their pages and buy they products (all which will only generate revenues to the site owners, not to you). Google has all sorts of algorithms that raise red flags to the teams in certain cases, such as:
  • sudden increase of site traffic

  • spikes in CTR (normal variation is OK, spikes almost always raise red flags)

As my recommendation, read first the official AdSense forum. Look at others problems and transpose them in ideas and warnings for your own site. A red flag from Google is a very bad thing for your whole program. Better to avoid it.
And the golden rule is: do not spend time optimizing AdSense revenues, spend this time optimizing your site content, writing good quality articles and satisfying visitors/customers. Do not get blinded by the shining descriptions of whatever third parties. Chances is that if they are not listed by the official AdSense documentation they are in direct violation with TOS. Good quality sites generate in the end good quality ads, with high CPC and high CTR.
However! Some products may be 100% legit! So, do the necessary research before, and if in doubt mail Google or ask in the official AdSense forum. Better safe than sorry!

No comments: