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					                                                GooGle AdSenSe CASe Study

                                                Neopets doubled its Google AdSense earnings
                                                through optimization.

                                                The Neopets website first launched it in November 1999, and rapidly attracted
    “We’re pleased with
                                                a passionate following. In June 2005, drawn to the site because of its unique
   Google as a company,                         offerings and target audience, Viacom International’s MTV Networks – which also
    and with the Google                         runs Nickelodeon and – acquired Neopets.
AdSense program. Our next
 step is to experiment with                     Today, Neopets has a membership of more than 30 million virtual pet owners around
                                                the world. The online network generates more than 5 billion pageviews per month and
AdSense for search, where
                                                is available in English, Japanese, traditional and simplified Chinese, Korean, Spanish,
we think there’s even more                      French, German, Italian, Dutch and Portuguese. Although it is primarily a youth-
    revenue potential.”                         oriented network, Neopets reaches a broad demographic, with approximately
                                                40 percent of members under 13 years old, 40% of members 13-17, and 20 percent
              Chris Davis
        Vice President of Sales                 over 18, and a broad age mix making up the remaining audience – all spending an
                                                average of 6 hours per month on The site offers everything from message
                                                boards, games, and shopping to the Neodaq, a fictitious stock market.

                                                Among Neopets’ top priorities is earning revenue on the billions of pageviews it
                                                draws every month. Chris Davis, Vice President of Sales, wields several strategies to
                                                help Neopets capitalize on its loyal following. Among the most powerful tools is User
                                                Initiated Brand Integrated Advertising – activities or games built around advertisers’
                                                products and services that help build relationships and generate revenues with
About GooGle AdSenSe                            Neopets visitors. “User Initiated Brand Integrated advertising is the biggest chunk
                                                of our revenue,” explains Davis. “But we realized it wasn’t taking advantage of all of
Google AdSense is a program enabling            our pageviews.”
online businesses to earn revenue from
serving ads precisely targeted to their site.
Through AdSense, website publishers
can also provide their visitors with site
search and Google web search, earning                “We are always extremely careful about advertising on our pages
revenue through Google ads on the search
results pages. AdSense publishers are a              because of the age of most of our members. There have been no
part of the Google Network, which includes          inappropriate ads from AdSense – the quality has been excellent.
many of the Top 100 MediaMetrix sites
such as AOL,, Amazon,
                                                    We’ve also found that the ads are very targeted. AdSense helps us, and Lycos.                                  provide useful information for members that engenders loyalty.”
For more information, visit
                                                To reach more Neopets followers, Davis began investigating contextual advertising
                                                options, including Google AdSense. A top priority for any ad program he considered
                                                was ensuring that it would deliver ads that were correctly targeted and relevant to
                                                the content on the site. Even more important, ads had to express a community
                                                feeling and meet or exceed Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act requirements.
                                                With these goals in mind, Neopets began running Google AdSense ads.
                                                Davis and his team began with AdSense on a heavily trafficked page where
                                                members go to feed their virtual pets. After a successful initial test, they began
                                                running AdSense ads throughout the site.
GooGle AdSenSe CASe Study

It was very easy to get started, Davis says, but what impressed him most about
AdSense was how appropriate the ads were for his target audience. “We are always
extremely careful about advertising on our pages because of the age of most of our
members,” says Davis. “There have been no inappropriate ads from AdSense – the
quality has been excellent. We’ve also found that the ads are very targeted. AdSense
helps us provide useful information for members that engenders loyalty.”
From the beginning, AdSense has been a key source of revenue. Davis estimates
that AdSense ads on Neopets garner roughly 50 million impressions each day. Davis
and his team have since optimized their AdSense campaigns to achieve even better
results. They used channels and A/B testing to discover that bolder colors that made
ads stand out worked better than blended colors. After making these changes,
Neopets doubled both its clickthrough rate and revenue. “It’s worth the effort to test
and experiment. We’ve found that our optimization efforts on AdSense have had a
substantial positive impact on revenues,” says Davis.
By adding site targeting to the AdSense mix, Davis noticed several positive
outcomes. Site targeting drew more brand-name advertisers and more rich-media
ads that his users respond well to. Even more impressive was a dramatic increase
in revenues. “Our overall revenue doubled as a result of site targeting,” says Davis.
“Now, site targeting accounts for 30 to 40 percent of our AdSense income.”
In terms of AdSense features, Davis appreciates the ability to block competitive ads
and quickly change ad formats and colors to maximize income. He also likes the
excellent service from the Google AdSense team and informative Google blogs that
help him work through questions or issues.
“We’re pleased with Google as a company, and with the Google AdSense program,”
says Davis. “Our next step is to experiment with AdSense for search, where we think
there’s even more revenue potential.”

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