Making Adsense Ads relevant on a blog

I received this email today from a blogspot user

Sarah, I’m hoping you have advice for me about my Blog. On my “homepage” Business & Technology Reinvention the adsense ads have low relevance to the content on the page. But when I open an individual post the adsense relevance is excellent (for example Winning Against Big R&D Spenders)

Given that most of my traffic comes to my home page I’m concerned that the low relevance ads dilute the focus of my Blog. Do you have any advice or suggestions to improve?

David

Google, via it’s MediaPartners bot and Googlebot, are very effective at reading a page, nutting out the essence of it and returning the correct ads.

They seem to have a blindspot, though, when it comes to blogs which use Blogger or Blogspot blogs – as these seem to attract more than their fair share of ads for other blogging systems.

Now, this might be because the other systems are bidding highly for any users on blogspot but I would have thought that the filters would be able to differentiate between content and the structure of a site.

But do they dilute the focus of the blog?

They probably don’t do much harm but… if the ads are too prominent they may distract the reader as their content isn’t relevant and may annoy. The risk is that they discredit your information if your target audience is not blog friendly.

In David’s case this is a very real concern since he’s aiming at entrepeneurs and senior business people who may consider blogs to be toys for kids and geeks.

So, how can you get around this?

First of all, I’d recommend getting away from BlogSpot. The benefits outweigh the convenience of the tool.

Assuming that’s not an option then the page needs to be optimised as fully as is possible – but again, the reason people use it is because they don’t want to get into all that techie stuff.

So, onpage optimisation is all that’s left.

  • Remove any buttons or links to blog directories (with blog in their alt text or url) that aren’t providing a decent amount of inbound traffic. Even the links to Technorati, which I have too, probably scream “this is a blog” to the filtering software.

    Don’t know who is actually providing traffic? Start tracking your hits!

  • Use html markup to identify the key phrases. If you can make them bold use <b> and if you need a bit of discretion use <i> and change the stylesheet so that italics text look normal. This will tell the spider that the word is important, yet not labour the point to your reader.
  • Don’t use the Adsense for search options, they seem to frequently be off topic when used on blogs. On forums they seem amazingly good – so there must be something in the underlying structure there. Personally I’d never click on the “strip search ads” so I consider them to be page junk, while I do click on the proper ads. Because I don’t use them I don’t have the ability to check the CTR, I’d be interested to hear if they actually work 😉

Don’t forget you can block advertisers

And you can have your own alternate ads.

Don’t be afraid to block competitors but remember that they list can be unwieldy. Just blocking because they’re off topic probably won’t get you far.

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Sarah King Written by:

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2 Comments

  1. bschneider5
    December 7, 2005

    I have often wondered why my blog has so many “Blog ads”, when I really don’t discuss blogging in my blog. I think the only thing left for me to do is actually remove the technorati link from my sidebar, and put it on another page with my other links. Thanks for the post Sarah.

    I also wonder how much weight the domain name carried as fas as ads go. For instance, “Bradsblog.net” has “blog” in it, so would that generate more blog ads?

  2. bschneider5
    December 8, 2005

    I found this list on another blog(I forgot it) stick it in your competetive ads filter and it will eliminate a lot of blog ads:

    blogexplosion.com
    blogger.com
    blogit.com
    bloglightning.com
    blogomonster.com
    blogpulse.com
    blogs.com
    cohit.com
    dailyluxe.com
    flavorphoto.com
    fotothing.com
    gemstream.com
    myblog-online.com
    netwinsite.com
    newcommblogzine.com
    peachpit.com
    person.com
    squarespace.com
    starware.com
    stellarmag.com
    21publish.com
    blogging-bonanza.com
    newsfirerss.com
    rsscache.com
    sitelutions.com
    weblogone.com

    I just put it in mine tonight an will see how it works!

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