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Adsense Tips for Bloggers 6 – Relevant Ads

Posted By Darren Rowse 23rd of September 2004 Adsense 0 Comments

This is part 6 in a series of posts on increasing AdSense revenue for bloggers. The full series is Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7 and Part 8.

Revenue = high readership + high paying ads + relevant ads + well placed and designed ads

The third element of our Adsense equation is that of relevant Adsense ads. It is all very well to rank high in search engines to generate high levels of traffic, but without relevant ads that relate to the content of your blog you are not likely to generate much in the way of click throughs.

Let me give you an example. Recently I was asked to help a fellow blogger who has struggling with his Adsense ads because whilst his content largely focused upon the topic of ‘health care’ – most of the ads being served to his blog were focused upon ‘blogging’. He was getting quite reasonable traffic levels and had a reasonably high paying topic (there are some good health care ads out there) but as you’d expect, people coming to a blog about health care did not click on ads for blogging software and services at a very high rate. The challenge was to get his ads reflecting the content of his blog.

Another fellow blogger had the problem of not getting ANY ads being served to his site. Instead of paying ads all he was getting was the public service ads that Adsense serves when they couldn’t find any relevant paying ads (these pay nothing).

How do you get relevant ads? Here are a few things to try.

Make sure there are ads available – My friend who didn’t get any paying ads served was focusing on a key word for which there was no or very few ads. A simple way of checking this is to do a search on Google for the key word you are targeting. If they don’t serve ads on their own search results page its an indication that such ads are scarce – if not non existent. They way we got ads on my friends blog was to experiment with other related keywords. He didn’t have to change the focus of his blog – just the way he described his topics. For example if there are no ads for ‘bed linen’ try ‘blankets’, ‘sheets’, ‘quilts’ etc. Experiment with different combinations until you find something that works.

Increase your Keyword density – The more you use your keywords the more likely you are to get ads on those topics. Its not common knowledge exactly how the Adsense bot decides what ads suit your content best (if someone knows feel free to post it in comments below) but it’s a pretty safe bet that if you put you keyword in your title, at least once in your first paragraph and then scatter it throughout the rest of your page that you’ll convince the Adsense bot of what your topic is. It MAY also be helpful to include your keywords in the URL of your page (Moveable type can let you do this – ie look at the URL of this page – it incorporates my title and therefore some keywords). It MAY also be worth putting your keywords in outward links, bold, italics etc. All of these strategies also help optimise yor blog for search engines which won’t hurt either.

Examine your Sidebars, menus, header and footer – It is not just your main content that the Adsense bot searches to find the topic of your page, but also your other areas. When I looked at the healthcare blog that was getting ‘blogging’ ads I noticed that he had the word ‘blog’ in his title, three times on his sidebar and once in his footer. It was also in his URL and he also used the word quite often in his content. My recommendation was to remove the word from as many of those places as possible and to increase his health care keywords. The ads improved their relevancy almost immediately.

Stick to one topic per page – Obviously this may not be feasible on your front page – but attempt to keep each individual blog entry/post as highly targeted as possible. I’ve noticed that some people often include two or three topics in one entry – this will confuse Adsense’s bot so split them up into two entries.

Block irrelevant Ads – Sometimes despite your best intentions Google just gets it wrong and serves your ads that have nothing to do with what you write. If you’re getting some repeating irrelevant ads block them. Adsense lets you do this to quite a few sites and its easy to do. I have a number of ads blocked, some because they are philosophically not consistent with what I write about, but mainly because they just are not relevant to the topic of my blogs.

Ask Adsense – If all else fails notify Google Adsense of your issue. Of course they are busy people – but Google prides itself on being responsive to its users. I’ve emailed with queries a number of times, once on an issue of irrelevant ads, and every time I’ve had positive results from my query. You’ve got nothing to loose – shoot them an email!

If you do all of the above you SHOULD find Adsense serves you with relevant ads. In conjunction with the other elements in our equation this will contribute to increased click throughs and hopefully higher Adsense revenue. Next in this series on maximizing Adsense revenue is a post on Well Placed and Designed Adsense Ads.

Read the full series at Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7 and Part 8.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. Adsense Tips for Bloggers 6 – Relevant Ads
    Revenue = high readership + high paying ads + relevant ads + well placed and designed ads The third element of our Adsense equation is that of relevant Adsense ads. It is all very well to rank high in search…

  2. Relevancy of ads seems to be something hard to come by.

    Perhaps I am trying to be to broad in my work and need to narrow the keywords down. One question I do have is: Should there be a section where we have

    keywords this, that, other

    in some ways like the naughty picture people do.

  3. Don’t forget that google can’t read graphics.

    I found that in a few sites where I was using Webstyle to produce the template of the ad. If I wasn’t careful then I ended up with a great looking page, but all the main headings were produced with graphics.

    All of my ads were being based on my text content. And I found that after having the sites title, subtitle and menu system etc – all these had the main keywords of the page but google couldn’t see them. I found that I natually didn’t use the keywords as much when they were already in the titles.

    So I converted a few of the graphic logos and menus to regular text and started getting more relevant ads right away.

  4. I think if you want to get relevant ads you have to make a serious thinking on it because flooding keywords just won’t make it. Example like : if you want some cancer-related ads(which usually high-paying) to your website you simply write a passage or article of around 30% of the words in it is the keywords then you should already have a pretty good result of getting ads.

  5. Good point re: the invisible items on the page. I made changes to the Title and Footer and increased the income from my adsense campaign by 300%!

  6. kunjachan says: 01/31/2006 at 12:32 am

    really koool article..how can I make my blog:
    a success story? any suggestions?? somebody can review it?

  7. yesnow i am concentrated on my marketing my site. Yes the keyword is very important. Wordtracker is very useful.

    Malaysia Store: http://www.malayshop.com/store

  8. Great articles!

    I posted my question on Part 3, but I realize now it would be more appropriate here.

    How do you feel about Blogger’s feature that allows you to add your AdSense account to your Blogger account and generate ads that Google automatically determines to be relevant by searching the text in your most recent blog post?

  9. I run a blog on Blogger and have signed up for AdSense. For the number of visitors I get, it seems to work well enough. Well, the other day I was poking around on the AdSense website and noticed they have introduced a the tags


    The idea is that you can tell the AdSense bot what content the ads should be targeted at, and what to ignore. To read the full details, check out Google’s page at https://www.google.com/adsense/support/bin/answer.py?answer=23168

    Hope this helps someone along the way!

  10. The tags are and which are simply comment tags. I guess the comment form interpreted them as comments and didn’t display them above.

  11. Really good tips!. I add tag just the same with the keywords, in end of articles. I hope I could increase CTR of my websites. let me see the results in next couple of weeks.

  12. Thanks for the tips… i’ve just setup adsense on a blog after reading this http://cheesecakefactoryrecipes.blogspot.com/2007/08/ive-been-looking-for-cheesecake-factory.html

  13. Thanks for another great tip. I’m new to bolgging and find the medium exciting and challenging. Newbies need people like you to help to explain the details of improving the quality, access and monetisation of blogs in general. Keep up the good work.
    Zee Harrison

  14. I have used this method of section targetting and it works I believe – have you guys ever used it or simply havent heard about it?

    Section targeting is pretty simple, all you do is surround the content that you’d like to emphasize with specially formatted HTML tags. Here is an example:
    this content that you want to target goes here
    You can also de-emphasize certain portions of your content using a very similar method:
    the content that you want to ignore goes here
    As a blogger using Google’s Adsense program, there are some special considerations you should take into account in order to best target ads on your pages and therefore maximize profit.
    1. You can sue the ‘weight=ignore’ targeting code to tell Google to ignore the content in your sidebar as you will have other category links and stuff there which are not directly relevant to that particular post.
    2. Use section targeting to tell Google to focus more on the content of your article which will work well if your Adsense block is near the content. If you Adsense block is near the comments then you can tell Google to focus on the comments.
    3. Wherever you employ section targeting code, make sure to include a significant amount of content within the tags. Google indicates that there may be a penalty of less relevant ads or Public Service Announcements if you don’t include large chunks of text between tags. But you can use multiple sets of tags – say first two paragraphs and last paragraph of the content and then the comments.

    Target Adsense is a free plugin for WordPress, created by MaxPower, which gives you the option to automatically target the content you have written on your blog as well as provide a way to target only specific portions of your content using the post and page editor.

  15. Thanks for the great suggestions in this series. I’m still pretty knew so I’m taking in everything I can find.
    You mentioned having key words in your url and that MT can do that. I think you will find that WordPress also allows you to set your url to a number or set it to reflect the title you use. I have mine set to the title but didn’t realize how important that could be.
    Thanks again

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