Tag Archive for adsense

Google Adsense Refreshed

After around 6 months of beta testing and constant feedback from Adsense partners it seems the new platform is finally ready for primetime with the rollout occurring globally across all Google Adsense accounts.  But as in a number of previous updates, Google Adsense does allow you to return to the old Adsense interface for the moment but it is a good idea to start migrating over your reports and management to the new interface. The invitation to try the new Google Adsense is shown below but you can also click “no thanks” and skip straight to the old interface.

The new platform is meant to offer publishers much more control and deeper insights into your websites revenue, much more control over what is displayed and even more assistance with testing and optimising your Adsense.  You can now view graphical reports in your account, compare Adsense performance over time and quickly find the more important pieces of information. The requirement to add a 2nd pop-up ajax welcome screen seemed a bit redundant but once I closed the welcome screen shown below I was suitably impressed with the refresh as it was well overdue.

The first thing you notice is the home dashboard has a bulk of information you require such as earnings estimates, account alerts, performance summary, quick reports and saved reports.   The Adsense payments section has been cleared up and provides a much simple view on what amount is unpaid, what method will be used to pay it. It is also great to see last issued Adsense payment showed on the same screen with the ability to view all your finalised earnings and payments and export to CSV to send off to your accountant or book-keeper.

AdSense Earnings Reports

My Ads Section
The my ads section is now much more structured and splits up the 4 main Adsense products on the left hand menu with more products such as mobile content shown below. Each of the Adsense products can now be expanded to show sub settings including custom channels specific to that AdSense product. You can type to filter by custom channel or via by Adsense ad unit name which makes it easier for enterprise users or those with a large network of websites to better organise their inventory. You can now also see a bit more detail for each Ad Unit under Summary where it shows you what custom channel it is currently advertised under which can help understand and confirm you are adding the code for the correct Ad unit to your page.

AdSense My Ads

Hide Old Ads?
While it doesn’t seem that you can yet delete Ad units you can now hide Adsense units but with a simple click you can easily show “idle” or “hidden” ad units if required. You just have to click the hyperlink below the Ad unit and it’s done, you can even bulk hide ads via the actions button.

Hide Adsense Units

Allowed & Blocked Ads
The ad review centre seems much more open and transparent with the new interface and you can quickly see what number of advertisers are always allowed, how many advertisers you have blocked and have you enabled auto-approval to run ads immediately. The blocking options are also much more visible where you can see quickly what number of sites you have blocked and what sensitive categories you don’t want showing within your Adsense units.

Allow Adsense

Adsense Performance Reports
The new Adsense platforms has reports that most people who are used to AdWords or Google Analytics will simply fall in love with, as well they are simply awesome.

AdSense Reports Graphs

Custom Channels Performance Reports
If you want to have an understanding on how your Adsense is performing, you can select date period and select the items that you wanted displayed on your graph. The chart is dynamic and you can select just one of the following or multiple or all of them so you can begin to look for trends.

  1. Estimated Earnings (Your account balance for the time period selected. )
  2. Ad Unit impressions (Queries column shows the number of times an ad unit on your site requested ads be displayed.)
  3. Coverage (Coverage is the ratio of requested ad units or queries to the number that is returned to the site. )
  4. Clicks (Ad clicks)
  5. CTR (Click thru Rate)
  6. CPC (Cost per Click)
  7. RPM (Revenue per thousand impressions)

The cool thing about the new Adsense platform is that once you have picked your date period and what items you want graphed, if you want to work in more detail you can now click to export to Excel CSV or save the report for viewing later.

Products Performance Reports
This is a great report for quickly comparing how each of the Adsense products is delivering you and you can click each to drill down to view the activity via day units.

Ad Types Performance Reports
You can now get a better idea on which types of display ad are earning you the most money for your websites, but this is also important feedback to advertisers who are considering advertising on your website. You can view the performance of the following

  • Text
  • Flash
  • Image
  • HTML
  • Dynamic Image

Ad Sizes Performance Reports
This report is one of the most important for websites looking to test and optimise their earnings based on ideal Adsense unit size so you can know quickly compare which maybe generating impressions but not the average number of clicks. Just above the totals there is a line that shows your averages so you can quickly see if a particular unit size is performing above or below average and change it.

Bid Types Performance Reports
This is more important to larger accounts that have a larger mix of CPC and CPM bids but still provides an interesting set of data if you have both. Its likely the CPA from Google Affiliate platform will eventually be added back in along with CPL with the click to call/phone tracking features that are coming.

Targeting Types Performance Reports
The majority of your Adsense earnings will likely come from the automatic Contextual placement rather than the manual placement but it does provide a good insight into the quality of your content and website if there is a growing number of impressions around Placement targeting.

Ad Units Performance Reports
This is where you realise that maybe your ad units could be better categorised to make this report a bit more useful, but you now have a simple edit link where you can adjust and tweak the units details to offer better reporting.

Review of Performance Reports
The platform has moved a fair bit forward from version2 to the current version3 and much of the reports does make the platform a lot more friendly for preparing client reports straight from the interface so there might be a renewed push around Adsense partners in 2011.

Basically I love the new interface but some users of the old platform do have some complaints that certain data that used to be easy to find now takes up to 5 clicks to find it and there are some side issues such as how quickly you can see how today is doing against yesterday.  The comparison element is very important for those using AdSense so hopefully what look like dashboard modules can be customised and new ones added as you can in Google Analytics soon but I think the clean design will lead to an influx of Adsense users ready to get rich…

Top 1000 websites incorrect

Google Adplanner LogoGoogle has released their July 2010 stats from the 1000 largest websites worldwide.  The stats are based on unique visitors using the same data advertisers can measure and research in their Ad Planner platform.  The websites listed feature only top-level domains and exclude adult sites, other ad networks, certain Google sites or those sites who dont have publicly visible content. The other point is that a majority of those websites listed as having advertising available are using Google Adsense or Doubleclick Ads to serve their on site advertising.  Looking at the list in detail it apparently around 12% of the world’s top 1000 websites don’t have advertising which did seem a little strange so I thought I would explore this in some more detail.

Google Chart

The first site I wanted to explore was ESPN which is one of the world’s top sports networks and ranked #99 in the world’s top 1000 sites as listed by Google with around 21,000,000 unique visitors in July and was listed as having no advertising.  I would be very surprised if ESPN didn’t have any advertising if you have such a large audience and perfect demographics for beer & liquor advertisers.  It did take a little time when the website to notice where the content was due to the 2 huge Miller Lite banners occupying around 2/3 of the homepage, but maybe this didn’t count as advertising? Ok so the website doesn’t use DoubleClick or Google Adsense to serve ads but it’s still features advertising just not currently served by Google.

ESPN Go Ads

Looking at Twitter.com which is ranked #15 in the world’s top 1000 sites as listed by Google with around 96,000,000 unique visitors in July was also listed as not having advertising.  Twitter has long had its small definition ads as shown below “Twitter for Android” which are clearly advertising as are the Promoted tweets and the more powerful promoted trends which was heavily used by Disney to promote Toy Story 3. While these require the ads to be purchase direct from Twitter and cannot currently be purchase through any of Google’s marketplaces it does show that the list isn’t accurate.

Twitter Promoted TweetsLet’s look at a more mainstream website that is not in a social media or consumer focused, so Whitepages.com was ranked #305 with around 9,700,000 unique visitors in July 2010 and was also listed as having no advertising.  You can see that there is advertising on the home page but once again it’s not served by Google Doubleclick or Google Adsense so that is why it was likely listed as not having any advertising.

Whitepages Ads

Whitepages.com being a fairly aggressive website when it comes to monetisation, you can see that they have a number of different ad platforms competing for the same space, so this must clearly show that there is no place you can buy space on the site. With one single click on their Find Locations feature its clear that this top 1000 list is once again not accurate as I have seen Whitepages.com are serving Google Ads shown in the screenshot below just underneath the Bing Maps business locations.  To make it easier to spot the Google Adsense ads i’ve market them out with a large red box and a red arrow and so its clear that you can buy space with Google Advertising tools and shows their has no advertising list needs to checked again, just because the ads aren’t on the homepage doesn’t mean the site doesn’t accept advertising by Google.

Whitepages Google Ads

PlentyofFish is listed as #874 on the top 1000 list but is also listed as not having advertising, which is strange as that is how the site makes its revenue.  The dating site is free and relies completely on advertising revenue for its profits and it only took a few clicks to see a Google Adsense banner.  The top 1000 list seems to almost punish websites that don’t show their Google Adsense or Doubleclick ads on the homepage by listing them as not having advertising.  It’s clear that once again the list is not accurate as the screenshot below shows “Ads by Google” so its even serving Ads on the Google content network.

Plenty of Fish

I was looking for a high-profile site that is revenue focused so I picked Boston Globe’s Boston.com, which was my first pick.  The first thing you can see is that there are a number of advertising banners available that you are able to buy advertising space with and the top banner actually is running on ads served by the DoubleClick platform.  This is a another example to show that the July list is not accurate if you are using it as your sole resource to decide what websites you should be targeting in your media planning.

Boston.com Ads

The best option is to use the actual DoubleClick Ad Planner platform and build your own list specific to your region or industry, as taking short cuts and using out of data information like the July 2010 list will lead to poor decisions and may mean that you miss opportunities. The July list is incorrect but it seems that the listings on the ad planner platform are correct and upto date.

Facebook Connect Ads Showing

Google Adsense has moved towards a dominate position with its expanded support for trusted third-party networks to use its Adsense platform but its latest ad was game changing.  Google has always run a walled garden around its ad networks but as more features and technology are imported from DoubleClick such as a more powerful Small Business Ad Manager it looks promising for advertisers.

Google has started heavily promoting the external Google certified ad networks will start to appear on Adsense pages, with a promise of increased earnings for its Adsense partners.  The inclusion of a advertiser like Facebook is likely to accelerate the adoption of the Google Adsense network as a defacto standard for publishers.

If you want to learn more about what is a Google certified ad network check out the YouTube clip below.

The Facebook connect ad I saw was running on my Ideal Marketing blog and shows a sponsored placement of Facebook Connect, promoting KISSmetrics Facebook fanpage.  The placement was quite relevant and also stood out from the typical ads and the nature of the ad made it appear much more interactive and more likely to be clicked.

The fact that the Facecook ad has a better call to action, means that advertisers get more clicks and those websites running Google Adsense get much more revenue for their content.  But the question is now will websites remove the static Facebook links and replace them with Adsense in the hope of receiving Facebook placements? Also does this mean that more Facebook features and technology will begin to populate Google Adsense ads or is this just a test?

It is now clear how this will impact on Microsoft PubCenter beta network, which is slowly expanding in reach and websites included in its content network but it might have to move quicker.

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YouTube animated Ads

YouTubes move towards increasing its profitability around youtube-bad adsincreased ad placements might have take a step too far.  While YouTube recently diffused some YouTube myths admit to trying to get the highest monetised number of views not cover a certain % of videos.

Can the placement of animated ads across video really be the best option for web usability? It is likely that these animated ads get the best CTR rates what is best for the advertiser may not be best for the audience.

The interesting point is that the ad being shown in the picture is not relevant to the Alice in Wonderland HD trailer.  The Google Adsense system is not completely faulty as the Lasoo “toy” ad is quite suitable given the likely target audience that will be attracted to this Disney movie.

Most could assume that the typical audience for Disney movies dont seem to be a good match for high end $999 Nikon Digital SLR cameras, and the display ad is not based on previous search behaviour.

Google’s Marketing Cycle helps Business

Google has also recently tried to help kick start small business with a $75 AdWords stimulus package.  They understand that in this current economy advertising is becoming exponentially harder for marketers.  Google has also helped with a newly released portal Google for Advertisers where they help educate SME business about the benefits of online marketing.

Google has started to work to help SME business use their AdWords systems with a fun “worst case” case study pet stick.  This “worst case” case study website covers the typical marketing cycle a business would experience if using Google for their online marketing campaign.

worst case study

Google for Advertisers start with helping business defining their marketing strategy, where they can define objectives, audience and message.  Google offers SME some tools to provide insight into what people are searching for, what sites visited and what they do on your site.  There are other online solutions and specialist marketing organisations who can provide more consumer details combined with demographic and other profiling data, but Google provides a good base level.

campaign circles

Google then moves to the next step in the cycle providing SME with the tools to create ads using their Display Ad Builder.  This tool provides some standard and basic templates for creating some interactive ads it does not take the place of a marketing agency or a creative graphic designer.  The Display Ad Builder tool makes the options for building ads to display on the content network quick and painless.

The next step in the marketing cycle is the media planning and buying options for your campaign.  Media buying is where Google uses its extensive user data to allow business to hyper-target specific media channels or networks.  This does not take the place of specialist marketing agencies or media buying agencies that provide much more detail and you can benefit from their experience.the marketing cycle

The final step in the marketing cycle is optimising and tweaking your campaign to ensure the maximum return on investment.  Google provides some of the industries leading technology which provides marketers the ability to optimise campaigns by offering a number of tools such as Google Analytics and Website Optimiser.  These tools offer a number of advanced features that often require a web analytics specialist to setup and configure to ensure you get the most out of your data.  Many digital agencies employ staff with experience setting up complex features such as tracking flash & video, ecommerce transactions and advanced tracking, so if you are unsure speak with them.  Another option for small business is to buy a book to teach yourself more about Web Analytics.

google search consideration funnel

Google for Advertisers presents the campaign information in a fun colour coded timeline that allows for simple and quick navigation.  Each part of the campaign process contains links to related Google product’s and a quick link for more detailed information.

Overall the site does a wonderful job in organising all Google’s solutions, marketing products and up to date information in one location.  It also has a great section where advertisers can stay in touch, with product news, help forums, email, webinars and blogs.

While Google for Advertisers does help to educate business and marketers more about Google products and online marketing it does not replace the added value provided by Search Marketing Companies and Digital Advertising Agencies.  Many marketing agencies have contacts and account managers within Google that assist them when they are planning, designing or launching your campaign.  So if you find that your online strategy is not performing maybe its time to speak with your marketing agency and find out how they can help your business.

So if you want to learn about Google for Advertisers before Google launches their new portal AgencyLand later this year.

Google Adsense to tweet

While companies struggle to make their fortunes overnight with social media campaigns using two of the larger platforms Facebook & Twitter.   According to AdAge Google has played the first mover card and allowed some accounts to show recent tweets to displayed across its Adsense platform.  Most people would think one of two options is this the first step for a collaboration or a takeover by a bigger brother?

The new possible benefit to Twitter and its users is they will eventually reach an extra 27.88% of websites that are running the Google Adsense platform. This new alpha test allows the Adsense box to display the last 5 tweets from @turbotax and offers a massive increase in live and fresh content  and likely welcomed by many websites running Adsense.

I would be interested to see which accounts have been selected and what was the selection criteria as @turbotax only has around 1800 followers, would this test been better on an account with a larger following? Based on Dell’s recent disclosure that they generated around $3 million in sales in 2007 from Twitter is this market going to become more important for business?

The issue is that does this mean spam bots can now start tweeting fresh content and feeding them into parked domains running Google Adsense? While any rollout of new features is welcome the biggest issue is if this is something that will benefit website visitors or just making Adsense more appealing to Advertisers?

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