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A Few Mouse Clicks to 62% AdSense Earnings Increase

Maybe it’s a bit early to share my latest discovery, but a few clicks in my Google AdSense interface resulted in a 62% earnings increase.

If you’re an AdSense publisher, I’m sure you’re familiar with the warning atop of your AdSense account. The warning tells you that your ads are displaying on unauthorized sites. The warning looks like this:

After seeing this warning for years (It seemed like years), I decided to look into it a little further. After all, AdSense had emailed me a few earning increasing tips in the past, I might as well see what this warning is about.

Horse before the Cart

I’m going to back up just a bit for those AdSense publishers who are not aware of the authorized site feature.

To prevent unscrupulous scrapers, spammers or other villainous fiends (sorry, was watching an old cartoon this weekend) from stealing your AdSense code, placing on their sites and clicking the heck out of the links to get your account suspended, AdSense implemented the Authorized Account feature. You can find the feature by clicking on Account Settings  link located on the upper left-hand section of the Home page.

Once on the Account Settings page, scroll down until you see Access and authorization. There is where you set the authorization preferences. I learned the hard way that it really works.

One of my sites consistently received clicks, but I never received earnings. It took me months to realize I had not included it as one of my authorized sites. I lost quite a bit of income for that little oversight.

Unauthorized Sites

If your account is anything like mine, after your list of authorized sites, you’ll see a few sites and IP addresses that are not authorized. The sites look like this:

www.google.com.sg
webcache.googleusercontent.com
translate.googleusercontent.com
www.bing.com
74.6.238.254
74.6.117.48
www.google.ca

These sites are search engine cached pages. I researched the two IP addresses listed and they belong to Inktomi Corpation (aka Yahoo). In other words, they are legitimate cached pages of your blog/website. These are not spammer sites.

I always ignored the warning until I decided to get to the bottom of it all. I found this on the AdSense Known Issue site:

Message for Unauthorized Sites Persists on Homepage
Details: When using the authorized sites feature, any sites that you haven’t authorized will trigger an alert message on your home page. We currently consider any framed or cached pages to be unauthorized, including when a user searches using Google Images and your site is displayed via frame. We encourage you to add framed and cached URLs of sites you trust to your authorized sites list. We’re investigating ways to improve this feature.

After reading that, I decided to add the sites to my authorized list (always check the IP information before adding an IP address to the authorized list).

Results of Adding the Unauthorized Sites

I did this research around midday on Thursday of last week. That means half of my Thursday’s earnings are based on the old authorization list and half on the new. Not wanting to jump to conclusions, I waited a couple more days before performing an analysis.

Here’s the scoop. My AdSense earnings from Thursday to Sunday of this past week are 62% higher than they were for the same period of time the week before.

Milk, Spilling, Crying and Such

When I realized how much money I had consistently left on the table I thought about crying over spilt milk, but what good does that do? I’m happy that I made the changes and am encouraging you to do the same if you haven’t done so already.

I love it when small changes yield large results!

{ 18 comments… add one }
  • Ken Muise November 22, 2011, 8:04 am

    Wait…what now? I currently have mine set for “any site”…so do I have to change mine or am I goog?

    LOL…I’m confused early!

    • Felicia November 22, 2011, 8:54 am

      If you have yours set for any site then you don’t really have to make a change. But, I would suggest that you individually authorize your sites. This stops the bad guys from stealing your code and putting your account in jeopardy.

  • Crystal November 22, 2011, 11:34 am

    Thanks for this info, Felicia. For the authorized sites, do we enter the URL, IP address or what?

    • Felicia November 22, 2011, 11:59 am

      Enter your URL with or without the www. I notice that some of my sites I use the www and others I don’t.

      • Crystal November 22, 2011, 2:02 pm

        Thanks, Felicia – I noticed that three of my sites have the www and one doesn’t, so that’s how I entered them. Hope I didn’t forget any:)

        • Felicia November 22, 2011, 2:43 pm

          Even if you do forget a site or two, you can always add them later.

  • Lisa Russell November 22, 2011, 11:21 pm

    Bummer… I didn’t have any alerts in my adsense account 🙁

    • Felicia November 23, 2011, 7:24 am

      Lisa, Sounds like you might have your account set to allow all sites.

  • LilyRose November 24, 2011, 12:03 am

    Felicia, this is serious genius! I actually looked at my Adsense today and wondered for the umpteenth time about the unauthorized sites. I ignored it as usual, for the same reasons you have. Then I decided to check NJFM today and found this post. Thank you so much 🙂

  • Reena November 25, 2011, 8:50 am

    Thank you for the information, Felicia. When I logged into my Adsense account today, I didn’t see any alerts, but a bunch of crawler errors. Have no clue on how to work with them. Any suggestions? Have a great holiday.

    • Felicia November 25, 2011, 11:15 am

      Oh, those lovely crawl errors. I’ve got quite a few of those too. The Inside AdSense blog recently had a post on how to handle them.

      I’ve put that on my next week’s To Do list (right after I finish Kindleizing my latest book).

  • Michelle November 29, 2011, 4:58 pm

    very imformative thanks Felicia..

  • Reena December 13, 2011, 10:19 am

    Hi Felicia,

    I wish I was not so lame when it comes to all this jargon. Saw a yellow banner across my Adsense page and saw cn.bing.com as an unauthorized site. Now what? 🙂

    • Felicia December 13, 2011, 11:35 am

      LOL! Reena, don’t feel bad. We are all learning.

      There should be a link next to cn.bing.com to edit your settings (I think). Click on it to add it to your authorized sites and save your settings.

      I can’t give exact instructions because I already clicked my link and added my unauthorized sites and don’t remember if the link said “edit” or “add” or some other linkable text.

      • Reena December 13, 2011, 12:58 pm

        Thanks for the response, Felicia. I do see an authorize link. But how do I make out if the site is spammy or not?

        • Felicia December 14, 2011, 7:07 am

          Reena, I shared all I know about this topic in the post. You’ll have to decide whether or not you want to authorize them.

          • Reena December 14, 2011, 9:35 am

            I am confused because the site is Bing Chinese search site. Although I am OK with Bing, I am a bit skeptical about the Chinese thing. Don’t understand the intricacies of the Internet. But nonetheless, thank you for all your help. I really appreciate it. 🙂

          • Felicia December 15, 2011, 7:56 am

            It’s a judgement call. I authorized search engines from other countries. Only time will tell if it was a mistake.

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