New AdSense Matched Content Ads

I started getting emails from Google saying that my sites are eligible for “Matched content.”

According to Google, Matched content is “a free recommendation tool offering you a simple way to promote your content to your site visitors.”


By switching on the “Monetize with ads” feature you can also display targeted native-style ads.

Ah ha! Now, I understand what is going on.

New AdSense Ads Mimics Outbrain and Others

You have probably noticed at the bottom of many websites you visit there are some ads that are different than the others. Instead of advertising products, these ads suggest other stories or webpages you can read. Here is an example from the hyper-monetized Denver Post website.

matched content ads google adsense

I don’t know exactly how those ads work, or what kind of revenue they generate, but you can bet that Google, the king of all online advertising sees dollars that are getting away, and they aren’t going to stand for that. This new product offers a similar design and setup, but with a twist to make it more friendly for publishers.

How Google Matched Content Works

Unlike the Outbrain-type ads that send readers away from your page, the Matched content ads are pitched by AdSense as a way to keep readers on your site. The idea is that those “ad” spaces are filled up with links to other webpages on your own site. In fact, Google notes that it will ONLY match the same site, even if you have several websites on the same Google AdSense account.

Now, you can “opt-into” monetizing these matched content ads, in which case Google will replace one or more of your own site’s matches with an ad. The idea is that a particularly well-matched ad would draw more targeted visitors (Good for Google and advertisers), while a less well-matched ad would be ignored in favor of your own content (If they stick around maybe they’ll click a different ad later). Whether this is good or bad, depends on how you view your content.

Obviously, AdSense has no interest in people NOT clicking ads, so look for the whole don’t-monetize option to go away in favor of monetized, or nada.

How To Use Matched Content On Your Site

How to setup Matched content on your site is pretty much the same as for any ad. You create a new ad unit. You pick Matched content and then you name the ad and chose your options for how the ad is displayed. Then, you copy and paste the code onto your page where you want it to display.

Google recommends you insert the Matched content ad units directly below your content, or in the sidebar.

The matched content ads DO count as an ad slot toward your ad limit. After I pasted in the code on some pages, the last ad on pages that were at the maximum number of ads already the page went blank.

A Matched content example, or sample Matched content ad looks like this. The two things highlighted in yellow are the ads. The rest are links to my own articles, on that same site.

matched content sample example

How Well Does Matched Content Work?

What you really want to know is can I make more money with Matched content ads?

I don’t know yet, this is the first day I have them set up, but I’ll keep an eye on them and then post back when I have some data.

10,000,000 AdSense Impressions

Today, I got a fun little message from Google AdSense on my AdSense dashboard telling me that I had my 10,000,000th Lifetime Ad Impression last week. It doesn’t appear that I get anything for that feat (other than the accumulated earnings made along the way), but unlike other metrics I see from time to time, this one feels good.

However, it feels like I should have more money for all those ad impressions. 🙂

10 million ad impressions

Somehow, I’ve never really noticed the “All Time” option on the Google AdSense reports, but this notification made me take a closer look. Those 10 million ad impressions came from around 3.8 million page views, and resulted in close to 85,000 clicks. It’s hard to draw any conclusions from that considering that the webpages that make up those statistics, and even the AdSense program itself, has changed quite a bit over the last two or three years, but even if it doesn’t affect any strategies or plans, it is still fun to look at.

Now, I know that 10 million impressions isn’t really much for a content company or other corporation, but considering my business is a one-man operation run from my basement home office while working as a freelance writer, freelance web developer, and work at home dad, well, I think 10 million impressions is pretty, well… impressive.

Of course, the goal is to get to $10 million in earnings, not 10 million impressions, so there is a lot of work to be done going forward. Blogs need update, websites need refreshed and expanded, apps need developed, newsletters need written, and services need sold, but for now, we’ll take a little bit of time to celebrate a job well done, so far.

confetti celebration


So, what’s next?

I’ve been revamping some of my online empire, and building up my freelancing business. I’m working from a new overall strategic vision that combines the two as a single business entity. From there we can move on from six-figures and start shooting for seven. Stick around, and we can take the ride together.

Happy 10,000,000 page views to me.


AdSense Experiments Microposts

Earning money with AdSense relies primarily on getting enough traffic to make it work. If you get enough traffic, most of the rest works out on its own. Of course, that isn’t necessarily true for a large, multi-writer, website, but for us writers looking to make money writing online on our own, that’s how it works.

Check out my article about whether Credit Karma is legit or not.

Getting traffic is an ongoing effort. There are many ways to get traffic, but one of the most self-sustaining is to rank highly enough in search engine rankings to get traffic from people looking for your information. There are a lot of factors that go into search rankings, or SERPs. The most important is the number of links pointing at your individual pages. These are called backlinks, and Google and Bing count them to rank your page.

micropostTo keep people from making junk backlinks, the search engines have a lot of different filters, and value different links from different sources. They also tend to not rank certain types of webpages, including those that are very short. Some say that nothing under 300 words will generally show up. Others say 500 words is the minimum.

Either way, if you aren’t looking to rank that particular page, then does a smaller post still have value?

Certainly, a small post can have value for your readers, and it may be that search engines do count them for other factors, such as the “freshness” of your site, or even the backlinks that come off of those posts.

I wrote about microposts over on my freelance writing blog, but since they have the potential to increase earnings, I thought I’d put some thoughts down here as well.

I’ll keep you posted.


AdSense Earnings Drop During the Day

Over the last year or two, I’ve moved a lot of my efforts and focus to my more passive income type earnings online, versus just concentrating on my online freelance writing business. One of the facets of making money writing online is advertising. The simplest online ad system is Google AdSense.

AdSense Earnings Adjusted Same Day

Google’s AdSense program has a lot of moving parts. However, recently, I’ve noticed an uptick in a certain quirk related to earnings.

First, Google adjusts your earnings as an AdSense publisher all the time. The most noticeable adjustment occurs every month when your “Estimated Earnings” is converted into the actual earnings they are going to pay out to you. On the second or third day of a new month, Google will post the actual amount you are getting paid. This number is almost always smaller than the estimated earnings you have been shown all month long. For me, it’s usually a pretty insignificant amount, a rounding error, really.

falling adsense earningsDuring the month, if your ad clicks are particularly worthless not converting well, you may be “smart priced” which is a fancy way of saying that the amount you are getting paid per click will be lowered. This keeps advertisers from trying to cut off certain publishers and potentially costing Google revenue. There is no notification that you have been smart priced, nor is this really something talked about on the publisher (AdSense) side. It’s actually something more readily mentioned on the advertiser side (AdWords). Either way, it’s real and it happens, but it usually requires comparing time frames to see it happen.

Honestly, I don’t really have a lot of experience with Smart Pricing. Either it’s been happening to me from the very beginning, or it just doesn’t happen to me enough for me to notice.

AdSense Earnings Dropping Intraday

What I haven’t seen a whole lot of, in my experience, has been Google adjusting your earnings in real-time, or within the same day. However, lately, I’ve started to notice downward earnings adjustments on some of my accounts.

Check out my look at whether Credit Karma is a scam.

To begin, let me just admit that I check my AdSense account a lot. Honestly, I probably check it too much. On the other hand, it’s so easy to just make a quick click in between projects, phone calls, or meetings. I don’t take the time to necessarily drill down into the data, but I do like watching the amount of money I’m earning online go up and up. I also use channels, ad groups, and site by site reports to keep a rather detailed eye on which sites are making what money, and when.

Which brings me to today’s issue.

Recently, I’ve noticed that sometimes a particular website will report something like $67 for the day so far. Then, 30 minutes later, when I check the same channel on the same website, the earnings will have dropped to something like $53. The RPM will have dropped too. Again, I haven’t drilled into this phenomenon a lot (yet), because this is when I’m supposed to be earning money online by doing other stuff, but it would appear that the CPC has been revised downward, not the number of clicks.

What is odd about this is the time frame. I’ve never seen these almost real-time adjustments before. Typically, you either get a lower CPC and you never really notice it unless it is less than previous days, or they adjust your earnings down at the end of the month. I’ve never known Google to lower your earnings midday like this.

I’ll have to do some more digging, I guess.

Has this happened to anyone else? Am I finally being smart-priced, and this is just how it looks? Has Google updated the way AdSense works so that it make quicker, smaller adjustments during the day rather than bigger. all at once adjustments at the end of the month? 

Leave a comment if you have thoughts.