This guest post is by Kevin Muldoon of WordPress Mods.
Google AdSense has been in the news a lot over the last month, for all the wrong reasons. Many top AdSense publishers such as Zac Johnson and Spencer Haws have had their accounts banned and their last month of earnings withheld. And Google won’t give a specific reason as to why any particular account—including either of these—has been banned.
Despite its critics, Google AdSense remains a reliable source of income for many bloggers and website owners across the world. Earlier this year, the developers released a tool that helps you check your earnings more easily and track the performance of your ad zones. The AdSense Publisher Toolbar is an official Google Chrome extension that adds a publisher toolbar to your Chrome browser. It also adds an overlay to your advertisements so that you can see exactly how they have been performing.
I’m surprised that Google hasn’t been promoting this extension more heavily as, in my opinion, it’s vital for anyone who makes money online using Google AdSense.
The Publisher Toolbar
Once you’ve installed the extension in your Chrome browser, you will see an AdSense icon at the top right-hand side of your browser (to the right of your address bar). Once you have authorised the extension to log in to your Google account on your behalf, clicking on the icon will display a menu that shows your AdSense earnings. (Note: I’m not 100% sure of Google’s policy of displaying earnings etc., so I’ve used its screenshot instead of taking one of my account.)
At the top of the box you can see today’s earnings, yesterday’s earnings, earnings this month, and earnings from last month. The bottom half of the box shows your top five performing custom channels and top Five performing URL channels. Your lifetime earnings via Google Adsense are also shown at the bottom of the box.
The Publisher Toolbar was obviously not developed as a replacement for checking your stats through the main Google AdSense website, however it’s perfect for anyone who wants to quickly check how their AdSense websites are performing without logging into the main site.
The in-site ad overlay
The second, and arguably its most useful, feature of the Google Publisher Toolbar is the in-site ad overlay. Once you’ve installed the toolbar and signed into your account, the extension will place an overlay over all Google Adsense and DoubleClick advertisements on your websites.
When you load one of your website pages, your Google Adsense advertisement will be displayed as it normally would.
Then, a second or so after the page has loaded, the ad overlay will be displayed. The overlay places a see-through black box over all of your AdSense advertisements. The name of the ad zone is displayed at the top of the overlay, and at the bottom you can see how much that particular zone has made today, yesterday, and over the last seven days.
What does this all mean?
In a nutshell, it means that when you are browsing your websites you can quickly see which ad zones are performing well today, yesterday, and over the last week. I’ve found this to be a really useful tool when optimizing the ad positions of my Google AdSense ads, as it highlights which zones are under-performing and which zones are making the most money.
The great thing about this feature is that you can see the performance of each ad zone while you are browsing your website—you don’t need to log in to some external location to view your performance.
If you make money online using Google Adsense, I encourage you to try Google Publisher Toolbar out as it makes checking stats a breeze. Unfortunately, the extension is currently only available for Google Chrome but hopefully in the future we will see this available for other browsers such as Opera, Fireox, Safari, and Internet Explorer.
Kevin Muldoon is a Scottish webmaster and blogger who currently lives in South America. His labour of love is WordPress Mods; a blog which focuses on WordPress Themes, Plugins, Tutorials, News, Modifications.