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Positioning your Adsense Ads


Once again the response to my post yesterday to Positioning your Adsense Ads has been quite amazing as people have emailed and left comments asking for further details of what the ‘secret position’ is to place ads on a blog that will magically double earnings overnight.
Perhaps I’ve created a monster in the past week or so here in telling people how much I earn. Since then I’ve been quite overwhelmed by the attention – emails, comments, instant messaging – all on levels I’ve not experienced before from a post. I guess people want to make money from their blogs! I can’t blame them I guess – I’m obviously interested in that too.
So what is the magical, secret position to put your Adsense ads? Someone even emailed me tonight offering to pay me to reveal the secret. Hmmmm – maybe i should hold an Ebay auction and offer the information to the highest bidder!
No – I’m a nice guy – you can send cash if you want to but I’m not into secrets and am always (well usually) happy to share what I know. The ‘secret’ was simply to move my ads down from the banner position into the actual post itself. At the time Adsense only allowed one ad placement per page, these days they allow three (like I have on my blog here) – so now you can actually keep your banner ad and also put one inside your content.
So why do ‘in content’ ads work better? The answer is pretty obvious – in fact its quite literally staring you in the face as you read this…..you’re reading this….your eyes are trained upon the content of this post. What better place to put ads than the place your reader is pretty likely to look? Now keep in mind that different websites and blogs tend to have different results when it comes to where their readers eyes are drawn to (see this fascinating blog for some studies on this) but it is generally accepted that the first paragraph of content is generally reasonably well read of most pages.
Of course there are some who argue that this isn’t an ethical thing to do – putting text link ads into the content of a blog – I’m not going to get into that argument here except to say that in my opinion blog readers are usually smart enough to tell what is content and what is an ad (the Ads by Goooogle lable is enough for me). All I’m saying here is that in my opinion and experience, the positions that generally get the highest click-throughs are within the main body and content of your blog.
I’m not really telling a massive secret here – if you look at most of the top earning blogs out there you’ll find that most of us are using the same strategy with our ad placements. There are slight variation on the theme between us but check out some of these blogs use of ads within content and you should see what I mean:
  • Engadget – ads placed after a post and before comments on individual pages and between posts on the main page.
  • Digital Photography Blog – ads here are within content at the top of posts. Another ad can be found at the bottom of posts before comments.
  • Mobile Tracker – ads at the end of posts and before comments on individual pages and between posts on the main page.
  • Gizmodo – ad at the base of each quote on individual pages and between posts on the main page.
Of course they are all variations on a theme but there is a pretty common theme there i think.
I will say this however – not all blogs are the same and each one of my blogs vary in degree to which they prove this point. Sometimes the click through rates between blogs vary incredibly despite the fact that the ads are in exactly the same position. Obviously its not as simple as just sticking an ad into the content of your blog – its worth experimenting and tracking your results. What works on one blog will not always work on another.
In my next post on this topic I’ll answer the question – ‘can you have too many adsense ads on a post?’ and ‘when does more actually = less?’

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