Study and follow the
Do not jeopardize your participation in the progam.
- NEVER, NEVER click on your own ads.
Never instruct others to click on your ads.
- Do not tell any friends or family members about your
websites that have AdSense on them - they may try and "help
you" by clicking on your ads, which can result in you being
rejected from the program, with no recourse. Google can
easily detect abnormal click patterns and IPs, etc. It may
sound extreme, but it has proven to be good advice.)
- DO NOT encourage clicks.
DO NOT place images next to Adsense ads.
DO NOT draw undue attention to the ads. No arrows, no
"Sponsored Links" is the ONLY acceptable text for
CONTENT - DO NOT
place prohibited content on your web pages. Read through the
list to determine content that is not allowed.
MATERIAL - DO NOT
steal copyrighted material and place it on your web pages.
Not only will you receive a "Duplicate Content" penalty, but
you may receive a DMCA Cease and Desist order. If you get a
couple of these, you are going to have a tough time getting
your content indexed in Google.
ADS - When using the
"Get Ads" feature, specify "Text Ads Only". Image ads are
CPM ads, and pay very little - typically, ten for a penny.
JUST ONE image ad wipes out 3 or 4 higher-paying text
ADS - The default
condition is to serve CPM ads to everybody. Email Adsense to
"opt out" of low-paying CPM ads. This will help you
to make more money, because your high-paying PPC ads will
not be displaced by low-paying CPM ads.
ADS - Avoid Public
Service Ads which literally pay nothing. If you are getting
PSAs, check for "poison
words" on your page, which can
result in only PSAs being served. Also, sometimes called
"stop words." If you cannot identify any poison words,
consider specifying "Alternate Ads" in your "Get Ads"
ADS - Personally, I do not
specify alternate ads, since I consider the lack of Adsense
ads a personal failure - either in keyword selection, or in
page quality. I keep changing things UNTIL I no longer see
the PSAs. Google has paying ads for just about
- Do NOT use borders.
Make the ad background color the same as the page background
LINK - Almost
always, use the standard blue color for your
Link. This works best
overall, since most visitors easily recognize it as
THE "link color."
COLOR - Use the same
color for your ad text that you use in your body text. This
aids in blending the ads, and makes them look more
COLOR - I like
green, just because it adds a little "color". Try other
colors, too. Many prefer grey.
- From time to time, try changing your Adsense ad text
colors to see if there is any improvement in CTR. If there
is not, change them back to your old colors.
BLOCKS - Use only
ONE ad block per page.
The 250x250 is best (IMHO), since
A. It shows a maximum of 3 ads, and
B. the text is
In general, the fewer the ads shown on your page, the more
you will receive per click. Google will serve you the
highest-paying ads first, then lesser-paying ads, as you add
more and more ads. Google can also serve ads which have
high-CTR rates, but pay very little (1 to 3 cents). You must
filter these out. Arbitrage publishers create the highest
CENTER - Place your
single ad block at the top of the page, just below the
title, near the center of the page (
just like this
page - removed for low performance).
Try other positions, to see if your CTR improves. Try the
extreme left (menu-like) and extreme right (Google-like).
Use the positioning that provides you with the highest CTR.
Always place your ads "above the fold".
LINKS - Try Ad
Links. I find them to be poor performers, but your
experience may be different. Many publishers have good
success with them. It all depends upon your site, subject
and implementation. Try them at the very top, and at the
very bottom of your page.
- Assign one Adsense reporting channel to EACH page, so that
you can observe the performance of each page. You cannot see
the results of individual changes, if you use the same
channel on multiple pages. This is especially important for
your best-performing pages, which should be studied the most
The higher your CTR, the more money you will make. Use the
channel to determine the change to your CTR, when you make
any page change. Let your CTR be your guide.
If you hit the 200 channel limit, disable your
lowest-performing channels (pages), to free up room for new
channels for testing. Luckily, I have been granted 500
BOX - Add an
"Adsense for Search" box to your index page, so that your
visitor can quickly find what he/she is looking for on your
site, AND the Internet.
In addition, you can get paid, if your visitor clicks on the
Many publishers place an "Adsense for Search" box on every
page. You may choose to do the same. For me, this is
- Use the Adsense Blocking Filter to block those ads
which you find offensive, have spelling errors, or are MFA
(Made For Adsense, of Made For Ads).
Block all ads from the giants, which pay very little, such
as amazon.com, ebay.com, shopping.com, and target.com.
I also block ads which go from the specific to the general
(less focused). For instance, if my page is about a heart
diagram, I block ads for "diagrams" in general, which pay
very low. No one who is looking for a heart diagram wants to
see any other kind of diagram!
TEST - Do not
believe everything that you are told. There are many
misconceptions. You must find out for yourself, what works
best on your pages. Sometimes, what you think is best, may
not be true. Keep an open mind.
DIFFICULTY - While
you are testing, Google is testing too! Do not confuse the
results of YOUR changes, with changes made by Google! WATCH
what Google is changing at the same time that you are making
changes. Google switches ads all the time. Be aware that any
performance change may be due ENTIRELY to the ads that
Google is currently serving you, and may not have anything
to do with your changes.
TIME - Don't jump to
conclusions. One day is always inconclusive, due to random
variation. There are definitely day-of-the-week variations.
A week is a much better length of time to evaluate any
change. But sometimes, the result of your change is SO BAD,
that you don't have to wait a week. If the results are
terrible, then switch back right away. There is no sense in
throwing away money.
PAGES - Sometimes,
you may have a VERY popular page, but the Adsense ads
perform terribly, no matter what you do. It may be that
Google simply does not provide good ads for the page. It may
be that the subject of the page simply does not generate
clicks. For instance, webmasters don't click - we have been
trained (terrified) into not clicking anything.
ADSENSE - It really doesn't
matter what the reason is. You must remove the Adsense from
that page. The huge number of impressions that do not
generate clicks, will pull your CTR and eCPM stats WAY DOWN.
This will result in you being paid far less per click on
your other pages, and you will make a lot less money. Google
rewards high CTR, and punishes low CTR.
This situation has occurred with my most popular pages. I
have gone back and forth with adding and removing AdSense.
The result is always the same. Poorly performing pages must
be removed. Several of these pages will never see AdSense
again, because they are a huge detriment to total income - a
millstone, holding all the others back.
You don't have to believe me. Just try it yourself.
Strive to raise your CTR (legally), and keep it high. That
is the nature of the game.
Optimization for AdSense
- Use the Verdana font on your page, especially near your
AdSense ad block. This helps the ads to "blend in", and
therefore appear more natural on your page. Use a font size
similar to the font sizes used in the Adsense ads.
Google is now experimenting with changing the AdSense fonts.
I am seeing the Verdana font replaced with what looks like a
Times font. Google is trying other fonts, such as
Comic Sans MS (reported to be abandoned due
to complaints) and Times New Roman. This throws a
monkey-wrench into your SEO optimization. One cannot
optimize fonts (blend), when Google is experimenting and
changing them. We must all figure out what to do about this.
- Update frequently. Google loves fresh content. Fix any
errors that are found.
ROT - Periodically run a
link checker on all your web pages. Fix all broken links
that are found. Either remove or replace every one of them.
A webpage with a lot of old, broken links is considered to
be of lower quality, because the webmaster has not kept it
up. A free online link checker is Dead-Links
IMPROVEMENT - Try to
make each page better and better. Add new information as it
FACTOR - The Adsense
algorithm contains a "quality" factor. In general, the
higher the quality of the web page (and CTR), the higher the
quality of the ads served.
- Run a spelling checker. You can be penalized for poor
- Poor grammar can reduce the perceived quality of a web
page. Top advertisers prefer to advertise on high quality
LENGTH - In general,
I believe that a page with 500 words is judged a better
page, than a page with 100 words. What is the ideal length?
I don't know. I think it can vary. But the more excellent
the text, the better.
My own personal speculation is that 400 words might be a
good minimum, and 10,000 words is far too many. My largest
page is 6,000 words, and that is too long (an archival tome
is an exception). All my other pages are much smaller. Break
up very large pages, into smaller, more readable pages. This
allows you to place additional, more targeted AdSense
Optimization to ensure high
placement in the SERPs.
TAG - Make it brief
and accurate. Do not load with keywords.
TAGS - Provide
appropriate meta tags for each page - your Description Meta
Tag should be brief and accurate, and your Keyword Meta Tag
should only contain words which appear in the body text of
your page - limit to 10, or 5 is even better.
- Reduce outgoing links to only the very best. Too many
outgoing links can cause a page to lose focus, and distract
your visitors from clicking on the Adsense links.
- Some blogs use grey text on a grey background, which
is the worst case for readability. This actually PHYSICALLY
HURTS my eyes. There is no reason to do this, except
laziness, because it is an application default.
Unbelievably, some very prominent bloggers still do
Use black text on a white background, if you aren't sure
what to do. OR, as a minimum, at least provide sufficient
contrast so that JUST READING the text is not a difficult
SOURCE - Organic
traffic is best. Strive for high SERP position in Google. Do
not concern yourself with your MSN or Yahoo position. They
provide little traffic.
TEXT - Choose your
"Alt Text" for images carefully. I get more traffic from
just Google Images, than I get from the total traffic from
both MSN and Yahoo combined. Think about THAT!
Provide an XML RSS feed for your visitors, so that
they can easily read your new content. Feedburner is a good
way to do this, but I couldn't get it to work, so I just
linked to my RSS
page. I'm done with RSS - the
only thing it does is help thieves to steal your content. No
more RSS for me.
- Carefully select the keywords you want to target for each
page. Keywords that pay the most are those involving money,
such as attorneys, credit, insurance, loans, medicine,
mortgages, and real estate. However, these keywords are the
most competitive, and therefore the hardest to rank for in
If you have difficulty getting highly-targeted ads, then try
the Adsense feature called "Section
Targeting." This will cause
Adsense to serve you the ads that are relevant to the
keywords that you want targeted, and ignore nearby
Google provides an excellent source of keywords at -
- Use Google
Analytics on every page to get
important information about your visitors.
- We frequently hear about sites that have been banned,
due to "invalid clicks" and "click-bombing". If YOU get a
warning, or get banned, you must jump through hoops, and
provide your log files to Google, in order to prove your
HOWEVER, if you are using Google Analytics, Google ALREADY
HAS this information, and already knows just what is going
on. I consider this to be very important, since Google can
far more easily determine that YOU are not responsible for
any transgressions. Use Analytics for information, AND for