Adsense – Keep yourself up to date on new tools and features – I

There are a number of small  issues that publishers face while using the Adsense account, such as ‘how do i know what ads are going to appear on my web pages?’ or ‘How can I check what sites these ads lead to?’ or ‘How can I stop certain ads from appearing?’ These are all valid concerns, and in order appear on your sites as well as to leverage from all available features, it’s important that publishers are well aware and educated on the Adsense product.

The best way to be tuned in to all new product/feature launches is to visit our Help Center and Adsense blog regularly (Day 8). Today, we’ve listed out some of the cool and useful features of Adsense which will help you further customize the ads that appear on your pages.

Competitive Ad Filter Tool

Although Google Ads are highly targeted, there may be occasions when you don’t want to display particular advertisements -  your competitor’s ads, for example.

The Competitive Ad Filter works by blocking ads that link to specific URLs. For example, if you add example.com to the filter list, all URLs (including example.com/page/article) containing example.com will be blocked.

This is available under the ‘Adsense Setup’ tab in your account, and up to 500 URLs can be blocked.

While filtering is a quick and easy way to prevent unwanted ads from being displayed, keep in mind that filtering decreases the number of ads that can appear, thereby decreasing your potential earnings as well. Also, try filtering just the exact destination URL of the ad and not the top-level domain.

Ad Review Center

The Ad review Center is a tool within our account  that enables you to review placement-targeted ads that may appear on your pages. You can allow or block individual ad groups and advertisers, as well as filter ads by type: text or image.

In order to opt-in to the Ad Review Center, visit the ‘Competitive Ad Filter’ page ‘Adsense Setup’ tab.

Category Filtering

Category Filtering allows you to block ads from certain categories from appearing on your site. Gogole’s system classifies ads automatically and is currently support filtering for english ads, regardless of the language of the site. Ads can be blocked for 5 categories.

Ad Preview Tool

This allows you to preview the ads that may show on any webpage. With just a few clicks, you can see what ads may appear on your new webpages, or make an educated decision on adding Adsnse to your sites.

You can also use this feature to check the destination of ads that are on your pages (to include in the filter tool), preview colors on your page, view sample ad formats as well as select geo-targeted location to view ads that your sites visitor’s from other locations see.

The ad preview tool is available at: https://www.google.com/adsense/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=10005 and currently only works on IE.

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Better Placements of Google Adsense Ads

In an ideal world, the visitors of your site will know exactly what they are looking for and will click on your ads if they find it relevant to their interest. However, every visitor is different, and may not see the relevant ads on your pages because they tend to be blind to the content on certain parts of your page.

How does one know where exactly to place ads so that it catches the user’s attention, but remain unobtrusive?

Get more clicks by positioning the ads well.

The best location for Google ads varies from page to page, depending on content.

Ask yourself the following questions:

What is the user trying to accomplish by visiting my site?

What do they do when viewing a particular page?

Where is their attention likely to be focused?

How can I integrate ads into this area without getting in the user’s way?

How can I keep the page looking clean, uncluttered and inviting?

Step1: Identify high traffic areas of your site

What pages of your site receive the highest traffic? When and where do users spend a lot of time on your site? Will adding a search box to your site help users find what they are looking for?

Find answers to these questions. And make sure that sufficient ad inventory space is available on these pages.

Step2: Use the heat map

Certain locations tend to be more successful that others. This “heat map” illustrates

The ideal placing on a simple page layout. The colors fade from dark orange (strongest performance) to light yellow (weakest performance). All other things being equal, ads located above the fold tend to perform better that those below the fold. Ads placed near rich content and navigational aids usually do well because users are focused on these areas of a page.

Step3: Follow Up

Using Analytics, constantly track the traffic to different pages on your website. Do you see a seasonal spike to certain pages? For example your greeting card pages during Christmas season or investment pages during March-April? Be sure to monitor such changes and allocate additional ad slots to leverage from such seasonal traffic.

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