bad samaritan last in line for the nobel peace prize. first in line for pie.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Where to put your Adsense ads

There are statistics about where it's best to stick PPC ads on your blog, to maximize click throughs. You've all seen the infamous Google heat map, which other PPC services also use as a guide. But my results differ slightly, from one blog to the next, and I have a theory. I have one blog that people really read and comment on. The visitors are deeply involved in that site, and close to half of them are regulars. They don't come there to be distracted by ads, and my PPC on that site doesn't do very well, really. I have some other blogs that are mostly reprint articles people use to research one topic. Then they're outta there. PPC does nicely there, in the traditional Google heat map spaces. I tried something with the blog that actually has its own interested readership - I put the ads halfway down the sidebars. According to the heat map, that's a pretty lukewarm placement. But my thinking was that it usually lands the ads at the bottom of one article and the top of the next - where people are taking a little break, and might very well respond to an ad of interest. And my PPC on the site has improved noticeably. It's hard to say for sure whether I was right. My visitor numbers have also been improving noticeably lately, so maybe that's the only reason for the change. Further experiments will see whether moving and changing my ads around frequently helps or hurts.


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$1 Million in AdSense Earnings

They are calling him the million dollar man. Jason Calacanis recently revealed in his blog that he is on track to earn a million dollars from AdSense over the year ahead. And if that number doesn’t wake you up and have you sitting on the edge of your seat, consider for a moment that he reached this level in less than a year. His company only started using AdSense in September 2004. Calacanis runs Weblogs Inc., a network dedicated to creating trade weblogs across niche industries. And he’s quickly proven that AdSense is a credible advertising partner. As their network has grown, so has their AdSense revenue. In January 2005 they earned an average of $580 per day. In March it was $737. In May it was $1,585. One day in July, just before he made the blog entry referred to above, they earned $2,335. Remember that is just for one day. If they can take that daily average to $2,740 they’ll be earning a rate of $1 million for a year. And Calacanis predicts that reaching daily earnings of $3,000 or even $5,000 is quite achievable.

That’s quite an achievement. Keep in mind that Calacanis has 103 bloggers on the payroll and nine staffers. Even so, many webmasters would give an arm or a leg to have even a third of that. Google’s AdSense has been revolutionary. It has become firmly established as the darling of the online advertising industry. Although rumors are heard of major competitors launching a similar service, AdSense’s premier position seems secure for now. In essence, AdSense has made it possible for almost anyone with a web site or blog to earn some revenue from advertising, without having to employ sales people or spend precious time searching for advertisers. AdSense works like this. Webmasters sign up for an account in just a few minutes. They receive a small snippet of code to include on their web pages. Google will then automatically serve advertisements that are relevant to the content on the webmaster’s pages. When someone visits the webmaster’s site and clicks on one of Google’s AdSense advertisements, the webmaster earns a fee. Advertisers can pay anywhere from five cents to a hundred dollars per click, and the webmaster receives a percentage of that fee.

Many webmasters are content with earning five to ten dollars from AdSense to cover the cost of web hosting. But many, unsurprising, have higher ambitions. At a popular WebmasterWorld forum, participants share tips and encouragement on reaching a goal of $300 per day from AdSense. So it is no wonder that Calacanis created quite a buzz when he made his million dollar blog entry. Google have proven once again that they excel at designing innovative Internet services. If you are in the web industry and have not yet used AdSense, then perhaps you should try it out. Or if you are already using it, perhaps Calacanis’ impressive results will encourage you to track the performance of your AdSense units more closely, fine tune their positions and formats, and take your earnings to a new level.


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