Tag Archives: AdSense

HubPages AdSense Revenue Increasing May Be Worthwhile Yet

As most of you know, I have from time to time thrown a bit of effort into a writers profile of sorts at HubPages as Hub Llama. For the most part, this experiment has served just three purposes. The first, is to determine what if any leverage can be achieved by using HubPages to build backlinks to my other online projects. The second, is to have a sort of catch-all place where I can write quick, unpolished, articles that do not fit into one of my other websites or online businesses. The third, is to experiment with keywords, because HubPages pulls a bit of traffic and ranking on its own, so one can sometimes get a quicker feel for what variations of a key phrase or set of keywords might be the most profitable.

As nothing more than a potential side benefit, I have also followed the possibility that Hubs published on HubPages produce passive income online by themselves, though I have not made this any sort of focus in my endeavors over there.

In order to monitor profits from HubPages and determine whether there is any value in pursuing attempting to make money writing online at HubPages, I have, of course, installed my Google AdSense number on HubPages and linked the HubPages AdSense to Google Analytics. So far, the results haven’t been all that inspiring. It isn’t that Hubs don’t get traffic, they do. The problem is that the ads on HubPages don’t just draw from your Hub’s content, but also, seemingly, from Hubs around them, or from the overall HubPages domain itself.

What that means, when it comes right down to actual AdSense data for HubPages is that most clicks pay very low amounts, even for Hubs that are about topics and similar in content to webpages elsewhere that earn much higher CPC. For example, I often see something like $0.07 for a single click on a newer hub which make analyzing how much each click pays easier. A similar webpage on a related topic on a different site, or on one of my more carefully crafted sites, will pull down something like $0.35 to $1.00 for the same kind of clicks. Add in the fact that HubPages displays your ads 60% of the time, and you have a recipe for some low earnings.

However, today, I happened to notice a single click take down well over $2.00 on a topic where that would be considered a good amount anywhere. Now, that is just the one time, but it does raise the question. If the right topics were written about, and enough of the low-paying CPC advertisers could be filtered out in the AdSense competitive ad filter, could HubPages be a bigger source of monthly income?

We’ll find out soon enough. I’m going to launch my 100 Hubs in 10 Days Challenge soon, and I’m going to hit several “juicy” topics along the way. Between the extra linking, the HubRank pushed inevitably toward 95+, and my own backlinking and promo-ing, there just might be enough sizzle to see some real dollars earned on HubPages.

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Google AdSense Competitive Ad Filter Broken?

Update to the Update (most recent): Turns out that blocking Yield Manager did not stop the ads from appearing either. Eventually, I resorted to searching for other websites on the same topic and waiting for an equivalent ad to appear. When I finally found one on a website that I do not own or have any relationship with, I clicked on it to see where it went. I blocked THAT address which seems to have done the trick.

It is a shame that in its quest for secrecy that Google cannot provide webmasters with a usable way in which to find out who is displaying advertising on their websites. The so-called preview tool that they provide is laughable in both its functionality and the fact that one has to just get lucky in order to get the ad in question to appear in the tool at all.

Update: Although I didn’t get much of an answer to my question in the Google AdSense forums (big surprise), I did some more digging on my own and came up with a likely answer. When using Firebug Firefox plugin to view the source of the offending ad, I was able to see the whole source code for the JavaScript based ad that was being displayed. While I don’t know much about JavaScripting code, I did notice in all of the programming a domain name, yieldmanager.com.

Again, I don’t know much about how JavaScript works, but I am going to assume that yield manager is actually having the ad placed and that when it displays, this bit of code goes out and actually ends up running an ad from the low cost per click paying atdmt.com folks.

On the one hand, that means that atdmt is not displaying ads on my site by paying some ridiculously low ad rate, because the ad actually comes from yieldmanager.com. The problem isn’t so much whether or not the ad pays well, but rather that it is virtually NEVER clicked on. In fact, I got my first click on that tower ad in a long time, and it paid decent. But, if it’s only going to bet clicked once every week, then it isn’t worth it. So, for the time being, I have added yieldmanager.com to my competitive ad filter too.

Hopefully, this will return that tower ad to its previously profitable status and eliminate the wasted impressions generated by this overly generic, non-call to action, advertisement.

Like many other AdSense publishers, I long ago added ATDMT.com to my competitive filter list in order to block their advertisements from appearing on my websites. However, on one of my websites, I’ve noticed that their ad appears repeatedly despite being in the list that is supposed to block them from showing up at all. In fact, on this particular website, one ad from ATDMT seems to appear almost exclusively in the sidebar tower ad.

It is not a matter of giving it time since ATDMT has been in the list for months. In fact, I was somewhat surprised when I went to add the domain name to the competitive ad filter list and found that it was already there. The full domain is supposed to be filtered atdmt.com and yet, an ad from click.atdmt.com shows again and again on different days, on different pages, and in different browsers.

This raises the question, is the AdSense Competitive Ad Filter working properly? Or, is Google using the list as a “suggestion” and continuing to display whatever ad it feels like? Or, are publishers not allowed to block atdmt.com at all?

I’ll be posting a question in the AdSense forums, which is the only form of help available to most content publishers when it comes to Google AdSense. A quick Google search revealed that if this sort of thing is a widespread problem that there don’t appear to be too many people aware of it, which leads me to believe, for the time being, that this is just a singular glitch on my website.

Ironically, the ad in question was brought to my attention not only by the sudden appearance of very low CPC rates on what traditionally provides relatively decent pay per click, but also by the fact that NoScript was suddenly showing in the status bar that it was blocking some JavaScript even though I have my domain whitelisted. Turns out that not only is atdmt.com showing up past my competitive ad filtering, but that it is also running an animated JavaScript ad as well.

Well, off to post my forum question.

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How To Know If Google Certified Ad Networks Ads Are Appearing On Your Website

blocked-ad-google-certified-ad-network-3rd-party-graphic Not long ago, Google introduced the concept of certified third-party ad networks to the AdSense program. These advertisers are approved by Google and then permitted to display their ads on websites within the Google advertising network. AdSense publishers were understandably concerned that these certified networks might not generate as good of ads or as high of click through rate as the Google Ad Network.

On one forum, many webmasters were discussing blocking all Google Certified Ad Networks from running ads on their websites. Some publishers went so far as to say that they had seen their AdSense revenue drop after the third-party ads were first allowed. Some of these same website owners and blog publishers claimed that after blocking the certified ad networks that their AdSense revenue increased back to previous levels.

At this point, one of Google’s unofficial spokesman appeared on the forum and said that whatever they were seeing, it wasn’t likely related to the third-party ads because Google was rolling them out "very slowly" and that it was likely that no certified ad network advertisers were displaying any ad results on their websites yet.

Since Google AdSense is one of the easiest ways to earn money writing online, this is a very important issue for those of use who write our own websites to generate ongoing passive income for the long-term.

Is It Google or Is It Google Certified Ad Network Advertising?

Finding out who the owner of an AdSense ad is, is never easy. It takes a bunch of finesse and a little determination to figure it out. This is because clicking on your own ads to see where they go is a violation of Google AdSense Terms and Conditions, and it is one they take very seriously. Getting banned from AdSense for life is a common penalty for clicking your own ads.

However, there is a way to tell if some ads are third-party ads instead of official Google ads using Firefox and the NoScript Plug-in.

Set the No-Script Plug-in to allow all Google and Doubleclick domains to run Javascript on your website. If you use an ad blocking plug-in like AdBlock Plus you’ll have to allow them in its settings too. Do not allow any of the third-party domains.

Now, whenever you load your own site, whether to check on things or update content, if you see an ad, then it is a Google AdWords advertising network ad. If you see a blocked symbol instead, then you know it is a third party ad. It is a crude but effective way to determine whose AdSense ad it is.

google-certified-ad-network-displayed-graphicLooks like I got an ad from 2mdn.net… 

Hover your mouse of the stylized-f with a circle and the tool tip that appears will say where that blocked Javascript or blocked ad is from. Then, you have concrete proof that Google Certified Ad Networks are displaying ads on your websites. If your AdSense earnings have fallen at that point, you can reasonably suspect that your website is not benefitting from the additional advertiser competition that Google has been touting as the primary benefit for allowing third-party ads on your website.

Get thee to your Google AdSense manager and block those ads. Whether you block all of the third-party ad networks or just the ones that seem to be appearing and lowering your AdSense earnings is a judgment call.


Technorati Tags: ,Google Certified Ad Networks,


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Google Certified Ad Networks Who Are They?

google-certified-ad-networks-questions-graphicGoogle has allowed certain third-party advertising networks called, very benevolently, “Google Certified Ad Networks” to the Google AdSense program. The official party line is that these additional online advertising networks will provide publishers with higher income allowing them to earn more passive income online from the content they publish on websites. The skeptical party line is that nobody sells ads better, or in greater volume, than Google AdWords, and that the 3rd party ad networks have to earn their money by taking a cut of revenue as well, therefore, these new ad networks will only drive down the amount of money webmasters can earn with AdSense advertising on websites.

Who is right?

Unfortunately, that is a pretty tricky question to answer.

Early on in the launch of the third-party ad networks, many webmaster claimed that they saw their revenues and earnings in the form of cost per click or CPC decline. They further claimed that after disabling all of the third-party ad networks that their ad revenue increased back to “normal” levels. That might have been all she wrote, except for at that point one of many unofficial Google spokesmen turned up on that forum and said that the 3rd party networks were being rolled out very slowly and therefore, whatever those guys were seeing was not the result of lower payments from third-party ads. He went on to say that it would be a “mistake” to follow the disabling course of others. Curiously, no other information has been forthcoming sense.

It is difficult to no how much value to give to various forum posts since users are notorious for inflating their importance and income. Reading many user’s posts leaves one with the considered opinion that the author has never published anything other than a handful of token websites in their life, let alone have any sort of ability to provide a valid analysis.

Testing Google Certified Ad Networks Impact On Earnings

Unfortunately, truly testing the impact of Google certified ad networks would require either directly violating Google’s confidentially terms and conditions or violating the rule against having more than one AdSense account. Since AdSense publishers can only enable or disable third-party certified ad networks on a whole account basis, there is no way to turn them off for one set of sites and leave them on for another and then compare the results. To publicly compare results would violate rules against disclosing cost per click and eCPM metrics.

Thus, Google leaves us with no way of knowing whether or not the new 3rd party certified ad networks are good for us publishers or not. Are the Google Certified Ad Networks hurting earnings, or are the new 3rd party ad networks helping earnings? I guess we’ll just have to go ask Mr. Owl.

Who Are Google Certified Ad Networks

The only thing we can see is who the certified third-party ad networks are. If you were expecting to see the names of numerous advertising powerhouses or other well-respected online vendors, you have a surprise coming. Most of the certified ad networks list reads like that starting lineup for the Cleveland Indians at the start of the movie Major League, “I’ve never heard of most of these guys.”

As always, successful AdSense publishing requires diligence on the part of the publisher and webmasters. Monitor your sites and check in periodically to see what ads are showing up. Find out whose ad is on your webpage and add those served by undeserving advertisers to your competitive ad filter where both Google and 3rd party ads will be blocked.

Determining which, if any of the third-party ad networks to block will be much more difficult. For now, monitor your AdSense income and respond to any substantial across the board drop by blocking all 3rd party ad networks immediately.

Remember, this is the holiday season, when AdSense earnings are at their highest. If you are publishing real, legitimate content and honestly building links and authority to your webpages, your AdSense income should be going up through the end of the year, not going down. So, now is the perfect time to over-react. Next year, you can re-evaluate if necessary. And, the good news is that you will have a baseline of data from your “blocked” period to use as a starting point in evaluating whether or not to continue allowing the Google Certified Ad Networks back onto your websites.

List of Google Certified Ad Networks

Here is a list of third-party ad networks as of 11/28/09:

Invite Media
Specific Media
OwnerIQ, Inc.
Adconion Media Group
AudienceScience Inc.
Dapper Inc.
Dedicated Media
NetSeer Inc.
QuinStreet, Inc.
Teracent Corporation
ValueClick, Inc.
Aggregate Knowledge
Collective Media
CPM Advisors, Inc
Efficient Frontier, Inc.
Quantcast Corporation
Rocket Fuel Inc.
Semantic Sugar, Inc.
Traffic Marketplace
Goodway Group
Ad Marketplace
Epic Advertising
Reply! Inc.
Criteo Europe
Criteo UK

If you have any data to share, or experiences to report, regarding 3rd-party ads on your website, please don’t hesitate to comment or email.

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