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My first is a series of posts about AdSense. Our experience with AdSense, lessons learned, and tips for your own website or blog.

What is Adsense?
Google AdSense is a fast and easy way for website publishers of all sizes to display relevant Google ads on their website's content pages and earn money.
Basically it works like this:
  • Google extracts keywords from you website's content
  • advertisers bid to place ads based on keywords
  • Google assigns ads to pages on your website using some javascript code that you add to each page
  • if a web site user clicks on an ad, then Google gets paid by the advertiser and shares some of that revenue with the website publisher

ProBlogger has been conducting AdSense earnings surveys and based on the November 2006 survey we're in the top 15%, we average about $2000/month. So we earn a decent income just by adding AdSense to our websites. In fact the first month we starting using AdSense back in March 2004 we received a check, and we have received a check each month since then.

But lest you think that was easy Creative Kids at Home started back in 1999 as a means to sell craft kits to kids. Back then we used a library of free craft activities for kids to get links and search engine visitors. We stopped selling kits in early 2005 when the cost of insurance got too high and AdSense was earning as much as our kit sales.

We now have a few hundred pages of keyword rich content. We have good page rank because we encourage linking and provide content that others will link to. And we have a lot of traffic, over a half million page views according to our Webalizer stats. These are mostly search engine related, but we also maintain an email newsletter with over 31,000 subscribers. When we send out a newsletter we notice an increase in AdSense revenue that more than offsets the cost of using our newsletter service.

Some things we do:
  1. We have experimented with placing ads in different locations and formats. We've found the the left side skyscrapper ads perform well for us. Also, placing a block of AdSense links at the bottom of our pages does quite well.
  2. We do not optimize just for AdSense. For example, above the fold we typically have an introductory paragraph of text, our newsletter signup, and under all that a rotating selection of affliate advertising. Our AdSense skyscraper usually goes next to the main content area of the page which is actually below the fold. But since it's next to the main content it has good click thru.
  3. We have picked a color scheme that blends in with the page since most web users automatically ignore anything that looks like advertising.
  4. We do monitor the ads that are displayed from time to time and use the competive ad filter feature of AdSense to filter out ads that don't fit. For example we used to get ads for weddings, and we also filter out made for AdSense sites when we notice them since we don't think it serves our customers to have them click on ads to be taken to some other web site that's not much more than links and keywords and more AdSense ads. Our customers are looking for kids gift ideas or ideas for craft activities for kids. So we want ads that reflect that and for the most part AdSense does a good job of this.
  5. We also watch our AdSense statistics, when we notice advertisers are starting to pay more for ads on our Valentine's Day related pages, we can highlight those pages in our directory pages, and possibly include links to them in our newsletter.
  6. We regularly add new content. Having a monthly newsletter helps. Every month we need to add a few new articles just to have something for the newsletter. We've also branched out from our focus on craft ideas for kids, we now have a sister website for kids science experiments, and we've added games for kids to the main site.
  7. This is just the first post of many about AdSense. If you have a question, just post a comment or send me an email.
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© 2016 Mike Silversides


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 17, 2007 7:16 PM.

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