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Thanks Google AdSense Team

Google AdSenseYesterday I received an email from the Google AdSense team. The email advised that I was under utilizing ad space on my site. Apparently they had gone though one of my sites and noted that I was only using two Google ad units when I could actually use three.

In their email they included the standard heat map of the best place to insert ads on a site. They also linked to their blog post about how one AdSense user realized a 200% income increase by inserting additional ads.Google Heat Map

I’ve received such emails before and ignored them (silly me). This time I decided to take an objective look at the site in question with the intention of making changes.

Here’s what I did

The reason I only use two ad units is because I don’t want visitors to the site to think they took a wrong turn and ended up on Times Square. In addition to my two AdSense units (one at the top of the blog post and one at the bottom), I also had a Chitika ad in the right margin.

I also have two Amazon products listed in the right-hand margin, which, in my opinion, is more than enough advertising. I really didn’t want to insert anything more because I didn’t want a spammy looking site. Therefore, if I included more AdSense units, something else had to go.

Analyzed my Statsoogle 200 x 90 Link Ads

To make an informed decision, I looked at my monthly Chitika earnings for the site. On average that site earned between $8 and $10 a month from Chitika (nothing to write home to mom about, but much better than a stick in the eye).

I decided to risk my $8 to $10 monthly haul and remove the Chitika ad. It was a pretty big ad (300 x 250) and took up quite a bit of real estate. Instead of the Chitika ad, I inserted a Google AdSense 5 link unit (200 x 90). BTW, AdSense allows 3 ad units and 3 link units (and two searches) per page. I chose the link units because they are smaller and less intrusive.

In addition to the 200 x 90 link unit I inserted another link unit below the header. This link unit is 728 x 15. It too is not intrusive so I was able to streamline the site’s appearance by removing one ad block and inserting two less intrusive potential revenue sources.

Google 728 x 15 link ads

Measuring Success or Failure

If the two ad units combined earned in the vicinity of 30 cents a day, I’d be financially whole and I’ve regained a bit of screen real estate to boot. Imagine my surprise when in less than 24 hours the new addition to my website exceeded my Chitika monthly earnings. I’m almost embarrassed to tell you that I spent a large portion of my day checking and double-checking ad unit performance.

Impressed with the earnings increase, I added similar units to one other blog. Although the second blog’s earnings weren’t as impressive as the first, it realized a 21% uptick in earnings  (the first blog’s increase was 47%).

I’m sure you know how I’ll be spending my time today. Yep, I’m going through all of my blogs to add the AdSense link units. You might want to put this task on your “To Do” list too.

{ 17 comments… add one }
  • Bill Swan September 2, 2011, 9:41 am

    The one thing that always, and still, worries me is what happens if Google shuts you off? Or if another Panda comes romping through? Don’t get me wrong, going with Google is probably a good bet; but like writing for just one client or site, I still believe having only one ad service can lead to the same problem.

    • Felicia September 2, 2011, 10:04 am

      Absolutely, Bill. That’s exactly why I’m working so hard on a few books and other self-created income sources. I’ve been through Panda and the content mill downfall. I’d rather not go through it again.

      That being said, I’ll take all I can from Google while the getting is good. 🙂

  • Deanna September 2, 2011, 10:53 am

    Thanks for this post. I thought we were only allowed 3 ads per page total – didn’t know about the link units. Will try this too. Google must like you – I’ve never received an e-mail from them explaining this.

    • Felicia September 2, 2011, 12:04 pm

      LOL. Don’t know if they like me so much. I think it’s all about the dollars and cents. 🙂

  • Ignatius September 2, 2011, 12:23 pm

    Getting the ads up without having the site look spammy is one of the toughest challenges we face on our websites. I really appreciate your input on the link units. I tried them briefly, but, after reading your article, I think I may have used the wrong design. I think I’ll give them another try. Thanks!

  • Michael September 2, 2011, 3:56 pm

    Congrats on the increased income. Definitely is important to not have a site be more ads than content, but I find that people tolerate ads better than many think they will. I think we have accepted that in order to get free, quality content we have to deal with some ads. And sometimes I even find ads helpful. Sometimes I’ll click on an ad and I’ll learn something new and find myself glad that the ad was there. Plus I’m helping the site owner who has provided the content that I was enjoying in the first place.

  • Jackie September 2, 2011, 4:36 pm

    Wow! That is impressive! I’m just starting to learn about Google Adsense and discovered that you have to choose between pay per click and “impressions”. I had originally assumed that the only way to earn from Adsense was the pay per click option. Have you tried both of these options? And, if you did, was there one that you preferred? Thanks!

    • Felicia September 3, 2011, 7:51 am

      Jackie, that’s news to me. I just configure the ad size and color and put them on my sites. Some ads pay per click and some by impressions. I didn’t know we could choose.

      • Jackie September 3, 2011, 11:07 am

        Oh, I must have misunderstood how the ads work. I checked out some library books about wordpress and I thought they said that you had to choose between adsense ads when you sign up. But the books are a few years old, so if you haven’t had to choose between impressions and pay per click then I just read the info wrong.
        Thanks for clearing that up for me!

  • Ken Muise September 2, 2011, 11:49 pm

    Just because it is on topic (I think) I actually got a tweet from someone today that said “Hi, I’m (whoever it was) visit my blog and click ads”!

    I replied back with “bad bizness, partner. The G’s gonna’ take you out.” He came back with “mind your own business. your blog sucks”. LOL!

    Ah, well…

    • Felicia September 3, 2011, 7:53 am

      People like that are the ones that complain when Google shuts them down.

  • Joni September 4, 2011, 2:02 am

    LOL. One of the first things that I had to get used to when I began joining forums, blogs, etc. in the 1990’s was the childish comments made from grown-ups. Many people are thoroughly defensive. I felt like I was on the playground in 3rd grade again.
    Of course another helpful post Felicia.


  • Crystal Watts September 5, 2011, 10:23 am

    Does anyone know how to get the Google Ads to display on Smartphones like Android?

    • Felicia September 6, 2011, 5:59 am

      Crystal, I’m not expert when it comes to mobile devices, but there is an option in AdSense to set up ads for mobile devices. Apparently I must have set something up (quite by accident), because on occasion my AdSense earnings display clicks/earnings from mobile devices. That’s something I’ll have to investigate further.

      If anyone else can shed some light, we’d appreciate it.

  • Diana - Living in Washington DC September 9, 2011, 11:25 am

    I also received a similar email from Google regarding a popular page on my website. I haven’t made any of the suggested changes yet. I was afraid of making my site look spammy, but I think I will. I have nothing to lose 🙂

  • Debra November 9, 2011, 8:29 pm

    I’m glad I ventured here tonight. I was trying to add affiliate ads to my blog on wordpress.com & was disappointed to find out they won’t let you. Now I’m lost; not sure where to head next. Whereas I want to blog, I want to earn extra money on it also. Any ideas?

    • Felicia November 10, 2011, 8:44 am

      Debra, try a Blogger.com blog. They allow ads and affiliate links.

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