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Tips on Advanced Placement of Google AdSense Ads

Tips on Advanced Placement of Google AdSense Ads
Posted on Mar 1, 2009 by Stephen Owens
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Once Upon a Time I used Google AdSense, and I have just added Google advertisements back into my site. I am doing it in a much more elegant way this time than just throwing them up on every page.

I was reading on BinaryMoon about placing AdSense content based upon the blog post date. His theory comes down to; the older the date of the post the more ads you serve up. I thought well shoot that's a great idea, reward the loyal readers by not crapping up the new posts with ads. So I implemented the time lapse ad technique here.

I never really liked having a bunch of ads just littering the site. Too many ads always seems to make the blog hard to read, and that sucks.

Placement of Post Date Based Ads

Therefore, new blog posts have zero ads and after a few weeks the site puts one ad in the post, then after a few more weeks another add, and finally a third ad after a period of longer extended time. I also put a tower banner to the side as the viewer goes back through older blog summaries. Ben's idea on this is that people who use search engines to find the old content are more likely to click on the advertisements. I am gona give it a shot.

I created a PHP function that takes the date of the post, the size of the ad, and the time lapse in days. I use this one function to serve up all the AdSense content everywhere on the site. The function figures out if the post fits the date range then decides if it should display the ad or not. My PHP for getting the difference in dates is simple and looks like:

$date1 = time(); //today date in seconds
$date2 = strtotime($blogPostDate); //date of post in seconds
$dateDiff = $date1 - $date2;  //difference in seconds between dates
$daysDiff = floor($dateDiff/(60*60*24)); //difference in days between dates

Content Targeting

I already had content targeting in place, which is surrounding your code with the Google ad section start and end that tells Google what content the AdSense advertisements should be based upon. The HTML code for this looks like:

<!-- google_ad_section_start -->
Page content to use for ads goes here.
<!-- google_ad_section_end -->

So a big thank you to Ben at BinaryMoon for the idea on posting ads based upon time lapse.

Color, Position, Text, and Images

Tracking your peformance of the ads is important on increasing performance. In your AdSense account create channels for each one of your ad positions. Such as:

AdAtTop
AdInContent
AdAbsoluteBottom
TextLinksInContent
etc...

That way you can track the click through. When you change the ad in the header, for example, you can track your total click through at the header position, and not just the click through on a particular ad. Also experiment with text vs. image ads and track the click through. Using channels will help you gauge the effectiveness of the ads. Also try different types of adds for different sections of your site. Just because image banners at the top work on the home page, you may find that text links work better in another section of your website.

So change up your ads and try combination. Ben thinks a week is a good test period. I think it more depends upon the traffic your site is getting. A couple hundred unique visitors a week then a week is good enough, but if you are only getting a hand full of visitors in a week you may need to run your tests for a longer period of time.

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