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Will a "Optimized" Template help my Adsense Earnings?

Updated on October 21, 2011

Understanding Why People Click On Adsense Ads

For every good thing I like about Adsense as a publisher there is an equal bad thing. For example Target it now displaying Adsense on there website, perhaps this has been going on for some time but I have not noticed because I never look at Target Online. What this says to me as a publisher is that Adsense is OVER SATURATED If a company like Target who is a big box discount retailer is so worried about profit that they are willing to send customers away from their site and to some other site to make a few cents per click their business model is FAILING.

What this says to me as a publisher is that the over saturation of Adsense will result in more and more BANNER BLINDNESS as people get used to seeing those ads everywhere. One bad experience off to some crappy advertisers site and the use of the Ads will decline. Sure Google is pulling in nearly $10 Billion a quarter in Advertising Revenue ($2.6 Billion from Adsense in the last quarter) and that places them in Exxon Mobile Territory for profit, but is the model really working for Advertisers? Is it working for Publishers? Or is it just working for Google.

Much of that is open to debate, but what matters to Publishers really isn't the Big Picture as much as how much can I make from my little niche website using the Adsense Publishing model and should I be using a Template to increase my clickthrough Ratios.

Will an Adsense Optimized Template Help?

The answer for someone who knows how to place Adsense and maximize it's potential is NO, the answer for someone who does NOT know how to place Adsense ads for maximum click through might be yes. But the real kicker is how do you know if it will work or not? If you believe the person selling the template of course it will work. Who would sell a product template that didn't work? Spend your money and find out! More on this below for those who keep reading.

A little Case Study Preface and Background about Adsense

I signed up for Adsense when it first came out in 2003. And it was Amazing! The first day I made something like $70 and all I had done was put up some ad blocks and in random fashion knowing nothing about what I was doing with the program. Over time that income grew to several hundred per day as I learned what to do and how to do it. And no not using Hubpages, it wasn't around back then. And no not on just one site. But moving on. The point is only to show that I have been using Adsense a long time and made a fair amount of money. I have had MILLIONS OF AD IMPRESSIONS from which to draw my conclusions about Ad Placement.

I'd also like to say one other small thing about testing. Jon Leger a pretty good Internet marketer who has pulled in excess of $40,000 a month with Adsense created a product called Adsense Gold which no longer works because Google changed their API. But when it did work it allowed you to test Adsense campaigns based on Link Colors, Sizes, etc. It really gave the information you needed to micro manage your Adsense Account and squeeze every last dollar out of it. It's from my use of this product over the year and a half I had it working that I base many of my conclusions and strategies. That coupled with personal experience based across a wide network of sites in a variety of micro niches.

The Case Study on Adsense Templates

I have a site in a niche based on Products. I also have another site based on Services. Both sites at the time of testing were ranking well in Google and pulling similar traffic. Both sites used the EXACT SAME TEMPLATE and the EXACT SAME COLORS and for this discussion even more importantly the EXACT SAME AD SIZE, PLACEMENT AND ADVERTISING COLORS.

Now this Case Study is not based on anything scientific nor was it or will it be published. It's just the kind of testing I am always doing to tweak my Adsense earnings.

And here are the results... given everything identical besides the niche (All traffic was SEO Organic based on keyword phrases) my click through on the product site exceeded 5% and my click through on the Services site was less than 1%.

I tested this template on both niches over several months before I moved one of the sites to a different template all together. And no matter how I changed the colors and the placement, as long as the niches were different the basic ratio of click through remained the same. This tells me that CONTENT and USER INTENTIONS are what matters NOT the Template.

The only time a Template will matter is if you are doing it wrong to begin with. A well designed Adsense Template does nothing more than FORCE people to put ads in Specific places, it does not and can not CHANGE USER INTENTIONS.

Conclusion: Focus your efforts on content and matching you content to USER INTENTION. By this I mean make sure the Ads you are displaying match why your Target Audience visits your site in the first place. In my example of Product vs Service the first group was actively looking to research or buy a specific item and Adsense offered lots of ads based on their specific intention. In the Service Niche they users were comparison shopping and a lot of the Ads did not match the intention of their visit because they were not tightly focused or matched to the keyword phrases.

So go buy a template if you think it will help force you to place your ads in a specific location or just make it easy for you to manage, but if you really want to increase your click rate and income you had better make sure you choose the right niche and that your Ads contain content which matches the intentions of your visitors.


Submit a Comment

  • glassvisage profile image

    glassvisage 6 years ago from Northern California

    Great information that every Hubber should know! Thankfully the automatic placement of the ads on my pages work well enough for me :)

  • Aceblogs profile image

    Aceblogs 6 years ago from India

    Well i am learning a great deal about Adsense from hubpages as i am new to this world. Your hub had been very informative. Thanks

  • Stigma31 profile image

    Stigma31 6 years ago from Kingston, ON

    good hub, thanks for the information, voting up!

  • MikeNV profile image

    MikeNV 6 years ago from Henderson, NV


    As I look at my own Adsense Block at the top of this page at this point in time I see the followign Ads:

    Make Money Online

    Make Adwords Rock

    Invest in Stock Markets

    So it's actually pretty targeted by theme.

  • MikeNV profile image

    MikeNV 6 years ago from Henderson, NV

    One of the reasons for having ads which are not targeted that well is that Hubpages is now using sub directories and Google tends to look at accounts as a whole. Sure they still crawl page by page, but so many of us write about all kinds of different topics that are not related.

    And because Google is using both IP and Cookie tracking to follow peoples "click paths" as they go from site to site they will display ads based on what they think the person wants based on what they were previously looking at. So lots of un targeted Ads. Make sense yet?

    So the Ads you see are likely different from the ads that another visitor would see on your sites.

    Conversely when you are running your own site on your own domain in a highly targeted niche or theme based site your Ads will tend to be more accurate. Sure there is still GEO Targeting and click path following going on, but still more targeted.

    One of my biggest frustrations for me is that I live in the Las Vegas area... So I have some sites that are based on the Vegas Travel market which I plug in my User Profile. But when I want the Adsense Ads to show Hotels or Cars or Flights or whatever for Las Vegas GEO IP Tracking will show ads based on where the user is.

    So if a user is looking at my site based on Las Vegas they will likely see Hotels based in their own HOME TOWN. Yikes. I don't want that, but that's just the way it is.

    Learning the ropes with Adsense takes time, effort, testing and patience.

    As to your question about picking Ads... well sort of, but not really. You can block certain categories and choose to opt in or out of the 3rd party content network participants. You can also place code on your pages to tell the Adsense Bot to look specifically at the content between the code... but that can take up to 2 weeks to work and even then Google may choose to display whatever they want.

    Good questions though... thanks for the comment.

  • LindaSmith1 profile image

    LindaSmith1 6 years ago from USA

    I am curious. Most adsense ads are not even relevant to your site, blog, hub, etc. Can you pick adsense ads? If so, how?