Pete Freitag Pete Freitag

AdSense Optimization Tips (from google)


Google recently held a webinar for AdSense publishers. They gave out some adsense optimization tips that they have gathered over the past few years. The transcript is pretty lengthy, so here's the summary:

  • Ad Location - "the middle, above the fold location perform best." Also "if you have an article page with a long body of text, the bottom of that article is actually pretty successful"
  • Ad Formats - "the top three formats are the 336x280 that you see on the page; the 300x250 medium rectangle; and then the 160x600 wide skyscraper." Additionally "the wider ad formats are doing better than the other ones and the reason is that they actually take up fewer lines. And so with every additional line, you have a chance of losing that interested user."
  • Ad Colors - Pick colors that blend well with the site. Matches the background color, and compliments the site. Make them feel like a part of the site. They give an example where a customer went from blended background to yellow, and clicks dropped 65%
  • Ad Blindness - if the colors stick out too much, readers may immediatly identify them as ads and not even look at them. Also frequent readers may stop reading ads so you could alternate positioning and colors to get their attention. "The more you blend in with the site, the less chance that ad blindness will occur."
  • Experiment - this was a big theme in the webinar echoed by all experts. Use channels to test different colors, positioning, and formats to find out what works best. They show that you can more than double your revenue just by finding the right color, position, format combo.
  • Image Ads - If you want to maximize revenue they recommend turning them on. I personally disable them in my account, because I find them too distracting/annoying to the user. Yes you may increase your CPC, but you will probably decrease impressions over time.
  • Link Units - Don't take up much space, and also "allows the user to refine what they're interested in. So if they may not be interested in specific ads on your page, they might be interested in a particular topic, and by clicking on a link unit and a link in the link unit, they'll be able to specify that they're interested in that specific topic and get a lot more options and variety on the ads that might appear." I also bet google remembers what they click on and then tries to generate better ads for the page... just my speculation.
  • AdSense For Search - You can use this for your site search, and you get a percentage of ad clicks.
  • Focus on Content - Duh!
  • Don't click on your own ads - One of the callers asked the question "I was just noticing that someone asked about clicking on their own ads and it says you're not supposed to. And I don't remember reading that. And I occasionally do click on the ads... So is that detrimental in some way?" - I can't believe they said that to google. Google's response was: "Yes, that's sort of chief among the terms and conditions".
  • Impression Counter - Google confirmed that Page Impressions are counted when a public service ad (or alternate ad url or color) is displayed.
  • Your site is unique - all these things may not matter, the best location, format, and color is different for every site. So again, go experiment.

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AdSense Optimization Tips (from google) was first published on July 21, 2005.

If you like reading about adsense, google, optimization, tips, or advertising then you might also like:


Tim yang also has a good writeup of the tips here:
by Pete Freitag on 07/22/2005 at 5:48:15 PM UTC
by ritesh on 09/14/2005 at 11:50:14 AM UTC
Like the article. Pretty informative. Use it.
by Matt on 11/20/2005 at 5:51:42 PM UTC
Nice and succinct. There are few places with good tips online. Here's one of my favs which will supplement the good work Petes done:
by Matthew on 04/30/2006 at 3:08:36 PM UTC
I have recently launched the site

by SimplyImageHosting on 10/29/2006 at 10:39:00 AM UTC
I would have really liked to go to that seminar! But just based on my own experience I agree matching the colors with the background is key. Making the ads feel like part of the whole website reduces ad blindness and improves, not worsens the experience a person has visiting your site. I use a combination of image and text ads, because it seems people are attracted to differnent things on different days. It helps keep my website looking fresh. Mark
by Mark on 11/15/2006 at 8:22:31 PM UTC
I have been experimenting with many different combination of adsense ads on my website: The one that seems to work best for me is the 300x250 medium rectangle.

Has anyone use Chikita minimalls at all?
by dean on 11/22/2006 at 3:18:25 AM UTC
Try if you want to get paid from AdSense but you don't have a website.
by Danny on 12/22/2006 at 3:26:24 AM UTC
Pete, this a very handy adsense tips. Nice and helpful to many Adsense followers.
by Efren's MoneyMakingIdeas on 03/30/2007 at 12:45:04 PM UTC
Theis site uses google adsense in an iframe loaded via an ajax request when you view a podcast episode's comments. Pretty cool.
by Podcast Lover on 04/27/2007 at 11:00:01 AM UTC
Free Adsense tools at
by Techgag on 05/11/2007 at 7:15:00 AM UTC
A lot of Google AdSense affiliates are expelled from the Google AdSense Income for click cheat. These Google AdSense affiliates attempt to have their AdSense account reinstated. However, most of them failed in their attempts. Consequently, they are permanently expelled from the Google AdSense Payment Scheme.
Google does never reveal any accurate information on how they specify click cheat. They do not make known their proprietary click cheat detection know-how as well. Consequently, affiliates would not be able to report any click cheat actions on their website.

However, Google does provide with general sorting of invalid clicks. It may be a good proposal to learn how Google classifys invalid clicks and how they spot out click fraud.

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by Andre Lee on 05/15/2007 at 12:30:15 AM UTC
tip and trick adsense.
by kaizen on 12/17/2007 at 4:45:17 PM UTC
Best advice above : Experiment!
by Zeliem on 02/25/2008 at 10:41:27 AM UTC
you should try out this automatic clicker. Not for adsense but another company.
by Jay on 03/13/2008 at 2:44:30 PM UTC
Thanks for the tips! AdSense is great, but lately I've been making more with Chitika. In fact, over the last year I compiled some statistics of my earnings and I actually earned twice as much with Chitika compared to AdSense. For those of you curious about Chitika, check out this Chitika review:
by Tom on 05/13/2008 at 1:43:26 AM UTC
goog post, please learn me hot to filter adsense
by udien on 01/24/2009 at 7:52:53 PM UTC
nice tips...
by ridwanessa on 11/14/2009 at 8:27:48 PM UTC