Cracking the Adsense Code
Copyright © 2006 Kim Roach, All Rights Reserved
Google Adsense has empowered web publishers of all shapes and
sizes to make money from their web sites. Whether you own a hobby
site that gets 100 visitors per day or a popular finance portal
that is flooded with millions of visitors per month, you can
benefit from the Google Adsense program.
Simply sign up for a free account, grab your Adsense code and
paste it up on your website. Well, it sounds good anyway. In
reality, that's not the whole story. Maximizing your adsense
earnings requires a little more care.
Fortunately, you can quickly increase your earnings by reading
every word of this article. I will cover the basic necessities
and also reveal advanced tips that you won't find on every
digital corner. So, if you're looking to put more money in your
pocket with a few tweaks of code, I urge you to read on.
As you are reading, keep in mind that Google is actually one of
the best resources for finding information on Adsense
optimization. Think it's hard to believe that Google would give
good advice? Well, it makes sense when you think about it. The
more you make as a publisher, the more they will make. Google has
a big incentive to help you perform well. Not to mention, they
have tons of data to research what works best.
So, for much of my research, I took quite a few tips from Google.
But don't worry, there are also some advanced tips here that
Google will probably never reveal to you.
Most Effective Ad Formats
In general, wider ad formats tend to outperform the taller ads.
This is because the wider ads are much easier on the eye.
According to Google, the following ad formats result in the
highest number of click-throughs:
Tim Carter of AskTheBuilder.com increased his revenues by 20
percent after placing the large rectangle (336×280) in the upper
left corner, positioned within his articles.
Text links are another ad format that often work well. Using text
link ads, you can create Adsense ads that blend in seamlessly
with your navigation.
For an example of this, go to www.dealofday.com.
Tim Carter saw an 18 percent increase in his revenues after
placing link units in the upper left corner under his site search
Number of Ads
Multiple ad units can sometimes help optimize your performance.
This is especially true for pages with lots of text, forums, and
However, it could possibly lower your revenues as well. When you
show more ads, the ads that are placed lower on the page often
have lower bid prices than the ones on top. Therefore, you must
test the number of ads on a page to see what works best for you.
When using multiple ad units, make sure that the ad unit with the
highest click-through rate appears first within your HTML code.
This will ensure that your prime real estate is occupied by the
highest paying ads. You can use CSS positioning to get your
highest paying ads placed in the location with the highest CTR.
Ads that blend in with the colors of your site generate the
highest click-through rates. In most cases, it is best to use the
exact same color scheme for your ads that you use on your web
site. To see some good examples of this, check out:
By using ads without background color or borders, your ads
seamlessly integrate with your content.
Keep in mind that blue text links seem to perform best for Google
Adsense. Blue is the assumed color of links on the Internet.
Therefore, our pyschie expects links to be in blue.
However, you may want to rotate your colors every once in a while
to spice things up. This way, your visitors don't get used to
your ads, which can cause banner-blindness.
Just like in real estate, location is the key to success with
Adsense. Fortunately, Google provides us with a heat map,
(tinyurl.com/ld8d2) showing the best spots for ads.
One of the best places for your Adsense ads are at the top-left
of the page. Because people are used to seeing navigation on the
left side of the page, the eye naturally gravitates to this
section of your web site.
Many studies have been performed to see how the eye travels
across a web page. You can see a demonstration at
poynterextra.org/eyetrack2004/main.htm . Knowing how people view
your web site will help immensely when optimizing the placement
of your ads.
In addition, you should also place your Adsense ads next to rich
content and navigation elements. These ads often do well because
users are focused on those areas of a page. You can see examples
of this at Ezinearticles.com and Lockergnome.com.
As you can see, these sites have placed their adsense ads next to
search boxes and navigation links.
Keep in mind that you shouldn't change the layout of your site to
fit the ads, but rather use the ad formats that best fit with
your site layout.
Many publishers have started using images around their ads. As a
result, many of them have doubled their revenues.
One of the most successful implementations of this techniques is
to use the 728×90 leaderboard with 4 thumbnail-sized images above
each ad. You can see some good examples at:
Of course, you can't use images of blinking arrows because this
would be enticing visitors to click. However, it is perfectly
acceptable to place related pictures beside your ads.
For example, if you have a page about laptops, you could place a
leaderboard with 4 laptop images above each ad. In this way, you
are using images to complete the story.
In fact, Google is currently testing an ad format that would
blend images together with related text ads. It seems that even
Google thinks that images are a good idea to bring attention to
ads. To see an example of the Google ads in beta, go to
If you have a forum, I hope you are monetizing it with Adsense.
Many people include Adsense within their web site, but when it
comes to their forum, they simply let the ball drop. Forums can
definitely be an extra source of income when optimized properly.
To find out about the best placement for Adsense within forums, I
went to Google for some advice. To my surprise, they also have a
heat map for forums (tinyurl.com/d7xsr) .
One of the best ways to monetize your forum is to place Adsense
directly within the threads. To see an example of this, go to
advises that you place a skyscraper above the fold on the left
side of your forum and they also suggest placing a leaderboard
directly below the top navigation and below the first post.
If you are looking for additional ad space, you can place a
horizontal link unit near the top of the forum, just below the
The next Adsense tactic is one that isn't talked about much.
However, when used appropriately, it can be extremely powerful.
If you own an newsletter list, then you could easily leverage
that list in order to earn more Adsense revenue. Whenever you
send out your newsletter, simply link to an article on your site
within the email. By doing this, you can draw people to your
Adsense pages and easily increase your Adsense revenue.
This is one of the best things about building your own list. You
are able to direct traffic to any place at any time.
In the end, the key to increased revenues is testing. Not all
sites are the same. You have to experiment to find out what works
best for your particular site. What works for one site may not
work for another. Only by testing can you find out which styles
encourage your visitors to respond.
Kim Roach is a staff writer and editor for the SiteProNews
(www.sitepronews.com) & SEO-News (www.seo-news.com)
newsletters. You can contact Kim at: firstname.lastname@example.org