Tag Archives: Google

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.

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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:

Adchemy
Invite Media
Specific Media
Turn
[X+1]
OwnerIQ, Inc.
Adconion Media Group
Adtegrity.com
AudienceScience Inc.
Dapper Inc.
Dedicated Media
FetchBack
LucidMedia
NetSeer Inc.
QuinStreet, Inc.
ReTargeter
Teracent Corporation
ValueClick, Inc.
Aggregate Knowledge
Atrinsic
Brand.net
BrightRoll
Chitika
Collective Media
CPM Advisors, Inc
DataXu
Efficient Frontier, Inc.
InterCLICK
Media6Degrees
MediaMath
OpinMind
Quantcast Corporation
Rocket Fuel Inc.
Semantic Sugar, Inc.
TellApart
Traffic Marketplace
Triggit
Goodway Group
Ad Marketplace
VivaKi
AppNexus
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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Relevant Backlinks vs Unrelated Backlinks – Does It Matter For Improving Google Search Engine Ranking?

related-links-unrelated-links-comparisson-graphic A lot of information floating around the search engine optimization world is either old news. A lot of the so-called accepted wisdom is based on flimsy, or even non-existent, research. And, much of the search ranking conventional wisdom repeated, again, and again, on websites and blogs isn’t actually relevant to the most common scenarios.

So, when a disagreement between colleagues regarding the importance of relevant backlinks versus backlinks from sites that are not relevant arose, we looked around at trusted resources and found that they all said the same thing. In order for links to be worth counting toward a website or page’s Google PageRank or toward its search engine ranking, they had to come from relevant sites. However, we realized that, oftentimes, this bit of information came coupled with SEO strategies and tips that we knew were no longer true; if they were ever true.

Thus, the question remains. Does it matter that a page’s incoming links come from other websites or webpages that are related to the subject matter that they are linking about?

Google Search Ranking Algorithm

To understand why this question matters, and to be able to use the data found in the answer, it is important to have a basic understanding of Google’s search algorithm that ranks those results you see listed on the page after doing a Google search.

The search results page, or more specifically, the order that links are displayed on the search results page is sometimes known by the acronym SERP or Search Engine Ranking Page. The order those links are displayed in can be very important depending upon what is being searched for, and what the goal of the website on the other end of that search link is. Microsoft’s Bing Search Engine’s blog says that in researching how people use search, they found out that people stopped looking in much detail at the results after #5, and in many cases, after looking at just the top 3 results.

In the online advertising world, Internet marketers claim that the #1 position on a Google search can be worth anywhere from three times as much, to ten times as much traffic as the #2 position. They will also tell you that anything below #10 isn’t worth having, since it won’t be on the first page.

Whether any of this is true or not, is irrelevant to out question here. However, what is important is to know that the results that appear on any given SERP are not listed at random, nor are the listed alphabetically, nor by date, or any other non-discriminatory method. Rather, pages are listed in order based on how well they match up with the term entered into the search box on Google’s home page. These terms are known as keywords, even when they are actually a key phrase.

More accurately, the webpages listed high on Google search results pages are ranked based on how well they score on a secret algorithm that Google uses. The intention of that algorithm is to determine which one of all the webpages that match the query is most likely to provide what the searcher wanted to find. The reality is that a very small number of easily manipulated parameters determine the order from top to bottom of every Google search query.

One of the most important of these parameters is how many links point to a given website using the exact words entered into the search. This is by no means the only criteria, but it is very important.

Obviously, this evaluation can be very easily gamed. A determined webmaster or online ad salesman, need only create a million links on a dozen of his own websites to earn the #1 ranking over more legitimate websites.

Fortunately, the raw number of incoming links, or backlinks, is not the way rankings are scored. In fact, since the paper with the original ranking strategy that led to the found of the Google company and its famous search engine, much time and resources have been devoted toward determining which links should not count, which links should count more, which links should count less, and so on.

Thus, our million link creating Internet Marketer will get nowhere with his strategy.

However, the core of every search ranking improvement effort, or SEM engagement is building more links. They just can’t all come from your own websites, or from just two or three websites, or all from the same article.

Theoretically, one of the criteria for determining how much a link should count for is how much the site providing the link is related to the site receiving the link. The idea is that a website about Credit Cards would be more likely to provide "good" links on topics related to credit cards, like banking, loans, credit scores, and credit card reward programs. On the other hand, a website about plumbing would not be a good source to get information about financial topics.

Whether or not this concept is valid is open for debate. However, virtually any SEO consultant or SEM consultant (or whatever else they call themselves) will tell you that Google believes it, and thus related backlinks count for more than unrelated backlinks.

Do Related Links Count More Than Unrelated Links?

It is technically impossible to ever say with 100% certainty that something does or does not count at all in the Google ranking algorithm. However, what can be demonstrated is what features have so little value that they are easily pushed off of what determines the rankings of webpages under real world conditions.

In this case, it seems that whether or not a link comes from a related webpage or website is of so little value that its affect cannot be replicated in the real world! Instead, a host of other factors carry so much more weight that restricting oneself to only related backlinks is foolish.

That is not to say that getting links from spammy or MFA (Made For AdSense) sites is good. These sites can pass some of their negative marks on to your site, especially when they form a large number of your incoming links. However, a link to your home mortgages website from a legitimate site about Mickey Mouse collectibles will end up being worth every bit as much to your website’s PageRank and search engine rankings, that you shouldn’t bother finding related sites. Instead, just collect all the links you can.

Add those incoming links up with your other SEO optimization efforts, and your site’s rank will increase faster. Soon your website could be a high-ranking Google search result.

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How To Delete SubDomain Permanent Redirect 301 .htaccess file

The HubPages experiment continues to be a success, though I haven’t seen any of the incoming links show up in Google WebMaster Tools yet. I’m sure that with the size and volume of HubPages, that it can take a while for the Google Spider to make its way around to indexing everything. The best thing to do is to point some more links at each Hub in order to get the indexing to happen faster. As an added bonus, that should also eventually drive more traffic and PageRank to those Hubs.

One of the reasons I like publishing writing on the HubPages is that it gives me a place to post some of my writings that are useful, informative, or otherwise quality writings, but that otherwise have no real home.

For example, yesterday I published a Hub about redirecting traffic via the .htaccess file on your webhosting account using something known as a 301 Redirect. A 301 Redirect tells both visitors and the search engine robots that the content has been permanently moved to a new location.

There are htaccess tutorials and example code all over the Internet. Unfortunately, most of them are specifically about how to move either a whole domain, or how to move a single page or directory. There isn’t too much out there about how to delete a subdomain with 301 redirect.

When I wanted to change from blog.financegourmet.com to www.financegourmet.com/blog/ that is exactly what I was looking to do. It turns out that it isn’t as simple as just getting the right htaccess code. There are a couple of other little tricks and gotchas you need to get right as well in order to make everything go smoothly.

When I finally got it right, I wrote up an article to help other writers with using .htaccess files to remove a subdomain. The only catch is that it doesn’t really fit in my usual publishing locations, so I wrote it up as a Hub and published it on HubPages. It is linked up above to get maximum SEO benefit, so go check it out. Then, do me a favor and add it to your delicious bookmarks, and any other social networking sites you use.

Technorati Tags: ,,,301 Redirect,Permanent Redirect,Preserving PageRank

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