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Google Adsense

4 Mistakes Could Reduce your AdSense Income Right Now

The internet is filled with advice about optimizing your blog for increasing subscription, social media sharing, number of comments etc. However no optimization works in isolation. So when you optimize your blog for maximum RSS subscriptions, it has got an impact on other aspects like number of comments you get or your adsense income. The mistakes that I talk about in this post, were committed by me while trying to optimize the blog for something else.

1. Too many adsense blocks in the page

Most people believe that more is better. They try to put as many adsense blocks as possible in the hope that it will increase the probability that the user will click at least one of the blocks.

3 adsense blocks will mean close to 15 text link ads. Not all niches have 15 advertisers fighting for a place on your page. If there are not enough relevant advertisements for your page, then the remaining advertisement is filled up with irrelevant advertisements that tend to pay way lower than other advertisements.

If you have a decent Click Through Rate (CTR) but much lower earning per click compared to the average for your niche then you may be suffering from this issue.

2. Using the same adsense account on new blogs

I hope you have already heard of the issue called “smart pricing”. This is a situation where Google decides that the quality of your visitors is not good enough for the advertisers and hence lowers the bid amount for your pages. While no conclusive proof is there (same as for most other aspects related to adsense), most experts believe that smart pricing is an account level issue.

So when you place adsense blocks on a new blog that does not have enough content, it may result in a lowering of earning from your more established blog due to smart pricing.

3. Too much distraction for the user

Each outgoing link on a particular page is a potential competitor of the advertisements in your adsense blocks. All those facebook like buttons, retweet button, links to your own pages and links to your friends blogs are competing with the adsense block for a click from your user. The user can either click on one of the advertisements or he can click on one of the several other options that you provide him. So all those announcements regarding a free giveaway or the extra large subscribe to rss buttons may be reducing your CTR and hence your adsense earning.

I am not suggesting that you should not link to your own posts or attract the user to your subscription box. But please be aware that they are reducing your adsense earning for the current month (hopefully the long term benefits will compensate it) and hence make the change after weighing the pros and cons carefully.

4. Too much confusion for adsense bot

This issue happens because of our eagerness to write catchy headlines. Please do not forget that the ads to display on your website are determined by a bot with the help of an algorithm. All those smart jokes that you use in your post may be confusing at best or misleading at worst for the adsense bot. That is what gives rise to complaints about irrelevant advertisements.

A little thought before publishing the post can greatly reduce this problem. So if you were going to write about “gifts that I think are cool for your pop”, then you may try “best father’s day gift ideas”. Trust me adsense bot is going to love you for being so nice.

I shall love to hear your thoughts and learn some more tips from you. Please share your thoughts on the topic in the comments section below.

Binaryday is an internet marketer and is currently involved in the education sector through a blog about phlebotomy certification exam. These tips are based on his experiences of working with adsense over several niches.

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{ 54 comments… add one }

  • Nonoy October 12, 2011, 10:01 am

    WOw; Thanks a lot for this information; other than the fact that I believe my blog has been smart priced by Adsense, I think it’s my low paying niche that makes my adsense earnings so slow to increase; I’ve got a travel blog; I believe travel niche these days is a low paying niche; I’ve proven it even though I can’t monitor what particular posts the clicks are coming from, I know that my high paying clicks come from consumer electronics, finance, real estate and web dating; my travel blog also posts about these niches from time to time; although it’s a travel niche blog, it’s a personal blog of mine; so I can post whatever I wanna post.

  • Selina April 28, 2011, 7:09 pm

    Binary,
    I am not a big adsense user but this is definitely some good information to have as my sites move towards being authority sites and when the traffic is huge I will sprinkle some of those ads in there.

    Does anyone know if too many adsense blocks can prevent you from getting ranked or from your PR increasing?

    Selina

  • Lisa December 3, 2010, 1:29 am

    Yep! I definitely have been using the same account…I am going to try a new account to see if this helps boost my earnings. Great post..thank you!

  • Udegbunam Chukwudi December 1, 2010, 10:00 am

    I’m used to playing around with only use two units. One above the fold and another in the sidebar but I’m trying out 2 in the sidebar and 1 above the post to see if it will boost or reduce my earnings ;-)

  • Alex Wise November 26, 2010, 2:34 am

    Great tips. I’m definitely going to re-work my adsense after reading this :)
    Alex Wise recently posted..Tasmania Stream – Daytime Long Exposure PhotographyMy Profile

  • john November 11, 2010, 2:04 pm

    Too much distraction I think is a big thing. People are so involved with social media that won’t think about clicking on a ad before they like something.

  • Usama November 10, 2010, 1:44 pm

    Thanks for the tips. Very useful.
    Usama recently posted..Free Report- How to Become a Creative EntrepreneurMy Profile

  • teatree November 9, 2010, 10:16 am

    I found that my Adsense income really increased when I blocked those Groupon ads (using the competitive filter function in Adsense. It pays to keep an eye on what types of ads are being served up and blocking the irrelevant ones.
    teatree recently posted..Some thoughts about pagerankMy Profile

  • TJ McDowell November 8, 2010, 11:19 pm

    I hadn’t heard about the smart pricing debate. I guess it makes sense. You could probably run a quick test where you compare your click earnings with a friends if one was established and the other was new. I’d definitely be interested to see some hard research on this.
    TJ McDowell recently posted..Canon 5D Mark III Feature WishlistMy Profile

  • Jasmine November 8, 2010, 3:36 am

    You are right, in our eagerness to increase the clicks sometimes we put too many ad blocks not realizing that this may lower the pays per click.
    Jasmine recently posted..Top 5 PrestaShop Fashion TemplatesMy Profile

  • Alex November 7, 2010, 11:45 pm

    I think you have mentioned some great tips. You are right putting up a lot of links and ad blocks may confuse the visitors as to where should they click. It is really important that we put our Adsense Advertisements in a targeted manner

  • Michael Aulia November 7, 2010, 11:17 pm

    True – if you give too many things for the readers to click, chance is that they will not click the ad. But if let’s say, it’s the only thing that is clickable on your post, then they might click on it :)
    Michael Aulia recently posted..Download Video Converter Pro for FreeMy Profile

  • Harsh Agrawal November 6, 2010, 8:22 pm

    I strongly agree on your first point.. Placing lots of adsense spots doesn’t mean more earning..
    Long time back I had all 3 ad units on a single page and later on I moved to 2 and after that one/…
    By placing one ad unit and making it targeted for advertisers its yielding me better result…
    Harsh Agrawal recently posted..How to Find Trending Topic Using Google Insight SearchMy Profile

    • Karan Labra November 7, 2010, 9:55 am

      Nice stratergy!
      Will look forward to replicate it!

  • Henway November 6, 2010, 3:47 pm

    I think one of the big mistakes ppl make is not creating descriptive URLs… The Adsense bot seems to look for keywords in the URL and if there’s no keywords there, it’ll display an irrevelant ad in most cases.
    Henway recently posted..Weight Loss StoriesMy Profile

  • Steve November 6, 2010, 11:02 am

    some definite great tips for a better adsense. Being clear and not confusing seems to be the big theme. With the automation involved you have to let the computer know what is really there
    Steve recently posted..Turn that Frown Upside Down- How to Be Happy with YourselfMy Profile

  • Karan Labra November 6, 2010, 4:38 am

    Well I never thought about the affect of the headlines I use on the ads that are shown.
    I generally thought about the tags I use and the keywords in the text.
    I do place my keywords in my title but I try to make them catchy, and I think that’s why I seldom get weird ads.

  • Richard November 6, 2010, 12:16 am

    Actually, most of these are good tips for any kind of advertisement, not just adsense. It’s not good to cluster too many ads on your blog. It becomes distracting and sometimes annoying. People are also becoming ad blind nowadays, so the more ads you put on, the more they ignore the rest of your blog. In many cases, less is more.
    Richard recently posted..Timesaver Tips- Streamline Your Blog for Guest PostersMy Profile

  • Murray November 5, 2010, 2:15 pm

    But isn’t against terms to have multiple Adsense accounts setup? Just wondering.

    Also, don’t forget about sectional target – a little snippet of code to make sure you’re targeting your content and not all your sidebar stuff.
    Murray recently posted..5 Easy Ways Businesses Can Save MoneyMy Profile

  • Kimi November 5, 2010, 12:46 pm

    OH, i did not know that having a same account for many blogs can reduce our earnings. Are you sure about it?

    I am running in one blog though.

    In my blog, my earning is getting more as i always experimented the ads positions.

    Affiliate marketing is indeed more advantage if you can sell, but adsense is still favourite, especially for asian people, where 1$ worth one day salary (at least in my home country).

    Thanks for the awesome lists above binaryday, will look and pay attentions to those spots!
    Kimi recently posted..Google Adsense Beta- Try The New Adsense InterfaceMy Profile

  • ZK November 5, 2010, 11:02 am

    Certainly these are helpful tips but I think with the problem you should also provide the perfect solution.
    ZK recently posted..Two Resources to Take Your Blog to the Next Level 25 discount My Profile

  • Sujith November 5, 2010, 8:44 am

    Good article.
    To get high CTR, ad relevancy is important. Several factors affect the ad relevancy such as structure of pages, theme, related posts, popular posts, tags etc.
    Sujith recently posted..How to configure WiFi Router EnGenious ECB 9500 to extend your WiFi networkMy Profile

  • binaryday November 5, 2010, 7:36 am

    @Justin,

    If my post gave an impression that lower traffic blogs result in smart pricing then that is my mistake. I actually get maximum amount of my earnings on blogs that get less than 500 visitors a day. It is not about the traffic but having enough content on the blog to engage the readers better. So I will not put my advertisement on a blog till it has at least 5-6 posts in case of a niche blog and may be 30 or so posts for a general purpose blog.
    binaryday recently posted..Secrets of the most popular posts of BinarydayMy Profile

  • Peter November 5, 2010, 7:19 am

    Nice post, but I think that AdSense for authority blogs is history, as the revenue from them is really low and there are better monetization methods. If we talk about autoblogs than for sure AdSense is an important revenue stream. I think that the key to benefit from AdSense is to know the right keywords, where the income is higher and then adjust your content around those keywords.
    Peter recently posted..7 Steps to Leverage Your Content for Link Building PurposesMy Profile

    • binaryday November 5, 2010, 12:07 pm

      I do not agree that adsense for authority blogs is history. I think it is a question of which one works best for your style. I as a person like to create a blog, get traffic and then make money by sending those traffic to other people who have got products to sell to them. Works perfectly for me because I do not like the selling part.
      binaryday recently posted..Secrets of the most popular posts of BinarydayMy Profile

    • Jarret November 5, 2010, 11:02 pm

      I’ve never really gotten into Affiliate marketing, but I have tried Adsense as well as a number of CPM Ad Network across a fair amount of traffic. Compared to CPM ad networks, Adsense doesn’t do too badly in some cases.

      For CPM Ad Networks, they really only want U.S. traffic. Any thing else pays a negligible amount. In some niches like my sports blog, Adsense does horrendous because there few relevant Ads. The few that there are pay a really low CTR rate.

      Some of the CPM networks I’ve tested like Banner Connect, Value Click Media, Burst Media, AdAgency, etc have pretty low CPM rates even for U.S. traffic. There’s also issues with low fill rates for them too.

      I guess the key for Adsense is whether or not it works for specific niches. For the health niche, it works quite well.
      Jarret recently posted..Does Red Pepper Promote Weight LossMy Profile

  • Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach November 5, 2010, 3:01 am

    Hee hee.

    I never use Adsense anymore – the return on it is ‘way ‘way ‘way less than other affiliate products/my own infoproducts.

    It was great in its day, but for me, that horse just doesn’t sing anymore.
    Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach recently posted..The Chuck Norris Guide To Proficient Protecting Of Your Site From Rabid VarmitsMy Profile

    • binaryday November 5, 2010, 6:48 am

      I think affiliate products are the way to go if someone is good with it. Personally while I have been really good at monetizing niche sites with adsense, I have never managed to convert my affiliate sites much. These posts are for people who are yet to migrate to affiliate income.

      • ZK November 5, 2010, 4:32 pm

        @ Barbara

        If you have tried affiliate and earning than adsense is simply not for you.

        No one would like to go semester 1 after semester IV.
        ZK recently posted..Two Resources to Take Your Blog to the Next Level 25 discount My Profile

      • AJ November 9, 2010, 2:58 am

        I agree completely, the real money is in affiliate programs. However, for some sites affiliate programs don’t work very well. I was checking out the CNN website today and saw it was filled with adsense – this is a good example of how adsense may be a better choice over affiliate programs.

  • Lennart Heleander November 5, 2010, 1:55 am

    Hi Binaryday,
    The position of ad on the page is very important and that the page doesn’t look like a flashing Christmas tree. But a very good article.

    • binaryday November 5, 2010, 6:51 am

      Lennart,

      Thanks for appreciating the article. I agree with your point that the ad position is important. However I am confident that most people who monetize their blogs are already aware of it. This post focused on changes that we do to increase RSS subscribers, blog comments etc which may result in a reduction in the adsense income.

  • Isabel Rodrigues - Pro Blogger Journey November 4, 2010, 10:47 pm

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful Post. I quiet agree with your point 2
    Isabel Rodrigues – Pro Blogger Journey recently posted..How Often Should I Post On My BlogMy Profile

    • binaryday November 5, 2010, 6:52 am

      I know. I have lost quite a lot of money before realizing that particular mistake :(

  • Tuan November 4, 2010, 10:47 pm

    Very helpful tips, binaryday.
    I talked about the smart pricing problem before as it really affected my site. I used to place the maximum number of ad blocks on my blog (3 ad unit + 1 link unit on the same page) and it didn’t work as I expected.
    Another thing I am worried about is the contextual ads and placement ads, the placement ads really bring nothing to my blog but it is appearing most of the time.
    Tuan recently posted..iPhone 5 NFC for Remote Computing and Mobile PaymentMy Profile

    • binaryday November 5, 2010, 6:56 am

      I just went through your post about how to avoid smart pricing and I must say that it is quite a good one on the topic and I have gone through many of them while researching the problem in my own accounts.

  • Suresh Khanal November 4, 2010, 10:44 pm

    Oh ya, pretty convincing – the smart pricing – I never thought of it earlier. I have a few different sites on different niche and I’m using same Adsense account for them all. It may be affecting the pricing. But can I get multiple accounts on Adsense? I gess not. What can be the solution, if it is so?

    Adsense performs wide differently on different niche and I’ve started to believe that it won’t work for a blog ‘about blogging’ or MMO niche. Readers are already ad-blinded!

    Thank you Binaryday (?) for the great post and wonderful suggestions. Valuable.
    Suresh Khanal recently posted..Don’t Use Adsense on Your Blog- Will YouMy Profile

    • binaryday November 5, 2010, 7:03 am

      @Suresh,

      I agree that it is not possible to get multiple accounts for adsense. Tips to avoid smart pricing while running multiple blogs is a topic that deserves a complete post for itself. I will say that having an idea of the right monetization method for the new blog even before you start it will be helpful. If some niche is best monetized through affiliate product then go for that. If some other niche has a lot of visitor but very few buyers then may be a PPM ad network is what you should use.

      Thanks for the kind words.

  • Mani Viswanathan November 4, 2010, 4:04 pm

    Nice tips. Probably would be useful to me when I get an adsense account approved successfully :P
    Mani Viswanathan recently posted..Do your keywords tick all the right boxesMy Profile

    • binaryday November 5, 2010, 7:28 am

      @Mani,

      Wish you good luck with your adsense approval. I think your site will be more than 6 months old in another 1-2 months. You already have some really cool content with good number twitter activities. Should not be a problem to get into adsense.

      Btw most of these tips other than smart pricing applies to any other advertisement network as well.

  • DiTesco November 4, 2010, 3:47 pm

    Solid tips and I agree with all of them, including that of “smart pricing”. While my version is different, it has the same end result which is to hurt your adsense earnings in the long run.

    And BTW, the number 4 tip is extremely important and if used well will deliver not only less confusion from bots but increased earnings as if your research is done well, you should be also optimizing for higher CPC ads.
    DiTesco recently posted..Share Multiple Links In One Click With BridgeURLMy Profile

    • binaryday November 5, 2010, 7:31 am

      Thanks for the appreciation. I have been studying the smart pricing issue for quite some time now but I will not pretend to know it 100% because I know that Google is too intelligent for me. Please share your views about the topic so that I can get to know that topic better.

  • Justin Germino November 4, 2010, 3:37 pm

    Never considered or thought about the “smart pricing” for using the same AdSense account on both older and newer blogs at the same time. I don’t tend to see this at all, as I typically see much higher payout per click on a site with much less traffic.

    Another killer of AdSense is if you use competing advertising mechanisms like Kontera, Infolinks or Amazon Affliate ads on the same posts as AdSense, the ads will all compete with each other.
    Justin Germino recently posted..Logitech Wireless H760 ReviewMy Profile

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