Google AdSense - Getting Relevant Ads to Display on Your Site
Google's advertising network consists of two parts; AdWords for the search network and
AdSense for the content network.
AdWords - Advertisers wishing to purchase advertising on Google's search engine results pages
(SERPS) and those of Google's partner networks, must bid on keywords relevant to the products
or services being sold. When a user performs a search on Google using a phrase such as "large
dog beds", Google will display ads from AdWords advertisers whose keywords match the search
phrase criteria. In a highly competitive market, keywords can get quite expensive. That's not
ideal for advertisers, but it's very good for publishers.
AdSense - Webmasters, called publishers, can display those ads within their web pages. When
visitors click on the ads, the publisher gets a portion of the keyword's bid price. This can be very
lucrative if a webmaster can write content to attract those costly ads.
Anyone can embed the necessary code within their web pages to display AdSense ads, but there's
somewhat of an art to getting the right ads to display. Google's pretty good at figuring out which
ads to display based upon information extracted from the web page. However, sometimes
irrelevant ads do get shown because the information Google's looking for might not be presented
in the manner it requires. Therefore, chances of someone clicking on an ad for anti-virus
software while reading an article about large dog beds are remote. No clicks means no money, so
the first order of business is...
Getting Relevant AdSense Ads to Display
Your article's content must be interesting to your readers, but at the same time you must also
ensure that AdSense clearly understands what your content is about.
If your site is a standard HTML site, then title, description and keywords are set using meta tags.
On WordPress blogs, the settings are listed below.
Page Title - While catchy page titles like 'A Soft Spot for Fido' will attract visitors, they don't
steer AdSense in the right direction. If your article is about large dog beds then the phrase 'Large
Dog Beds' should appear at the front of the title and can be optionally followed by something
catchy. Google utilizes the first 60 characters of the title. On a WordPress blog, the title will be
your post or page title.
Page Description - Your main keyword phrase should be near the front of the description.
Google utilizes the first 160 characters of the description. On a WordPress blog, the description
will be your excerpt.
Keywords - Focus only on the keywords that relate to your article. If you include other
keywords, make sure they are closely related and support the main keyword. On a WordPress
blog, keywords will be your tags.
Headings - These are the H1, H2, H3 tags within your post. Keep them relevant to your main
topic, but do use them because Google does. On a WordPress blog, they are available in the
Page Content - The body of your article should contain your main keyword phrase early on in
the article and again in the very last sentence. Don't excessively repeat the same phrase. Let the
words flow naturally, but consider a keyword density around 2-3%. That is, for every 100 words,
your main keyword can be mentioned two to three times, but always maintain a natural sounding
dialog. Consider using singular or plural versions of the main keyword. Your page should also
contain phrases that support the main keyword. It not only makes for more interesting reading,
but also helps emphasize to Google that your content is indeed about large dog beds. Google is
very smart at figuring out how words relate to each other so don't be afraid to use similar words
that describe the same thing.
Domain Name - Your domain name can play a big roll in attracting the right ads. Include
keywords that describe the main focus of your site. If your site is about dog beds, the phrase dog
beds should be included at the beginning of the domain name. DogBedsGalore will attract
relevant ads, whereas CreatureComforts would not.
If you follow these simple, but necessary guidelines, you should have no problem getting
relevant ads to display.
Still Not Seeing Relevant Ads?
It may be due to a new feature Google recently added to AdSense. Log into your AdSense
account and click on AdSense Setup, then Ad Review Center. Scroll down to the bottom of the
page to the 'Allow and Block Google Certified Ad Networks' section and click on the 'change'
link. These are additional ad networks that may be displaying ads on your site. Remove them by
moving them from the left panel to the right panel. Then check the box on 'Automatically block
new Google certified ad networks'. Click Submit to save. This should take effect within a few
hours, but definitely within 24.
Google says these additional ad networks can bring more revenue to your site, but at the time of
this writing I'm not convinced. I have a fitness website that performed wonderfully at displaying
targeted ads. Then suddenly my ad revenue dropped and I noticed the ads displayed on the home
page were ads for data retrieval and high end business software, although internal pages still
displayed relevant ads. After some research, I was able to determine that it was due to a specific
word in my domain name. It wasn't until I turned off the Google certified ad networks that I once
again had relative ads displaying.
AJ Farro is a retired programmer and creative consultant for a variety of websites and blogs.
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