Secret To Earning More With AdSense

by derek on August 31, 2007 · 44 comments

No, I don’t have the magic pill for instant AdSense riches.
Nor do I really know if what I am about to tell you will hold true for your site.
But I have noticed something that seems a little counter-intuitive when you think about trying to earn money using Google AdSense.
Secret to Earning More with AdSense
On my personal finance site, I’ve noticed a few times that I seem to earn more money with AdSense the less frequent that I post new content.
When I sit down and prepare posts to be published each day of the week, I may receive a click here and there. But when I only post once or twice during the week, I seem to receive more clicks through AdSense.
Consider the last few months of AdSense earnings and the number of posts:

  • March – $22.75 (24 posts)
  • April – $22.87 (17 posts)
  • May – $29.72 (15 posts)
  • June – $19.09 (13 posts)
  • July – $24.17 (11 posts)
  • August – $34.09 (10 posts)

As you can see, with the exception of June, I’ve earned the most money in the months with the fewest number of posts. So why does this happen?
Post Less = Earn More?
While there are many explanations and influences on the quantity of clicks, I always seem to notice a handful of clicks come through when it has been a few days since I have updated my site.
One explanation could be that people arrive at the site to read an article and when they do not find an abundance of new posts, they decide to leave the site by clicking on an ad.
Another explanation could be that the displayed ads are more targeted when there are less frequent updates. When you have new post after new post, your ads may be displaying links that aren’t relevant to the most recent entry but were relevant to the post from a few days earlier. By letting each post have the top spot for a few days, you may have more targeted links that result in more clicks.
It is also quite possible that neither of these explanations are even close to what is really happening but I have noticed that the longer gaps between posts often result in more ad clicks.
Should You Change Your Posting Schedule?
Based on this seat-of-the-pants “secret” that I just revealed, I would not rush out to change your posting schedule or frequency. For those that are only looking to make some money with AdSense, you might want to experiment to see if you have similar results to what I have seen but I don’t recommend this for anyone trying to build their blog and community of readers.
My goal with my personal finance site is not to make money with AdSense, although it is certainly a nice perk, as I am trying to deliver quality content that might help at least one person learn a few things about eliminating their debt. The only reason that the number of posts has declined is because my time has been limited to where I cannot post as much as I would like.
With the decline in the number of posts, I’ve noticed that the AdSense earnings haven’t really been negatively impacted and if anything have actually improved. I’m certainly not going to complain about that but I thought it was rather interesting to see.
Have you ever noticed a similar trend on your site?

Stay In The Loop!

Subscribe to the Derek Semmler dot com feed via RSS or Email to receive notifications when new posts are published. Follow the WordPress ninja on Twitter too!

{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

Ad Tracker August 31, 2007 at 11:31 pm

That’s wild!
If I were you I absolutely could not live without studying the daily reports to see if the majority of clicks are coming on days with a post or days without a new post.
Of course, what are you going to do, kill your blog to make an extra 25 cents a day? NO.
Still very interesting, thanks for sharing 🙂

Reply

derek September 1, 2007 at 12:13 am

Lol, that is exactly what I have been doing. 🙂
You’re right that acting on this information is most likely not going to be in the best interest of your blog, although the statistics may show where a healthy balance lies between posting frequency and ad earnings.

Reply

simon September 2, 2007 at 11:26 am

i still working out this adsense thing..

Reply

Rose Sylvia September 2, 2007 at 11:52 am

Both of your theories are most likely correct and I’ll add one more. Demand on Google’s servers is increasing faster than they can add capacity.
Any change made in an AdWords account (where the advertisers create the ads that end up on your pages) can reduce impressions for hours and sometimes more than a day. That could also be contributing to the variance in income you’re seeing.
Note that Internet traffic has a specific pattern so when you post could also affect your Adsense results. I avoid making changes in AdWords accounts on the best sales days and make major changes on the weakest traffic days to minimize the effect on sales.
For most sites, traffic is highest on Sunday evening and Monday and gradually decreases through the week, with far less traffic on Fridays, and Saturday being the weakest. (The exception would be a site related to something you do on Friday or Saturday such as entertainment, sports, or movies.)
Unless you edit your older posts, once a post has been up for a while the targeting should be established and that factor is less likely to be influencing your income.

Reply

derek September 2, 2007 at 9:26 pm

Rose, thank you for the outstanding information! Your response is practically worthy of being a guest post here, lol.

Reply

Saman Sadeghi September 3, 2007 at 4:30 pm

Those are some great points – I always thought that traffic would slow on holidays too, but they seem to be busier then normal days! 😯
But that’s just my experience…

Reply

Ad Tracker September 2, 2007 at 12:03 pm

Wow Rose! Great answer! Thanks for sharing your expertise.

Reply

goyin September 2, 2007 at 12:04 pm

well, i would believe in explanation 2 before 1, just because i’ve never heard of anyone clicking on an ad to leave a page.

Reply

Rose Sylvia September 2, 2007 at 2:57 pm

Thanks Ad Tracker – much more like that and then some to come as I use my new blog to free up more time for blogging.
Goyin, any time someone clicks on an AdSense ad they leave the page. They may open it in another window or tab or choose to come back; however, they have, in effect, “left” the page.

Reply

Rose September 2, 2007 at 4:36 pm

I don’t use adsense on my blog and I just added it to my website so I would not be the best one to ask this, but interesting findings.
By the way who was top commenter last month?

Reply

Nick September 2, 2007 at 6:12 pm

I would bet we are going to get an entire post about the commenter results!….and maybe some link love too!

Reply

derek September 2, 2007 at 9:28 pm

Rose, I’ve got some work ahead of me because I refreshed the page yesterday before grabbing a snapshot of the final numbers for September. I’ll have to go through the comments to see what the final tally was but I know you were up there!
I’ll hopefully have everything figured out to do my link love tomorrow for all of the top commentators. 🙂

Reply

Rose Sylvia September 2, 2007 at 4:57 pm

One suggestion I’d like to make to bloggers is about AdSense positioning. I know that most advice you read says put it at the top; however, I believe that isn’t the best strategy.
Many already have an issue with monetizing sites. Although there is certainly nothing wrong with doing it, having ad ad be the first thing a new visitor sees can give an incorrect first impression that you’re only “in it for the money” and reduce the credibility of your true purpose for writing.
On a more practical note, I ignore ads at the top because I know why I came there. When I finish reading the article I never scroll back up to look for ads and doubt many others do either. I may click on an ad at that point, though, since I’ve finished reading what I came to read.

Reply

Nick September 2, 2007 at 6:10 pm

That’s an interesting case study, but I think I’ll keep doing my two posts per day. I have noticed how the adsense ads are not always relevant to the top couple of posts though. It’s as if the adsense ads take a day or so gather what you are posting about and by then there is something new in the top spot.

Reply

derek September 2, 2007 at 9:31 pm

@Rose :: You’re right that ads being plastered all over the top of the page can push people away. It makes sense that at the end of a post would work but I haven’t experienced that in my own tracking. For me, the best performing location is the 300×250 spot within the content of a post. Thanks for sharing all of your insight!
@Nick :: Absolutely, I wouldn’t let ad results influence your posting schedule. With frequent updates, I imagine the ads might be off unless you stick to the same topic from post to post.

Reply

Rose Sylvia (flyingrose) September 2, 2007 at 9:57 pm

Amazing that there are two “Roses” here in one thread. It was a very rare name until recently and now we’re everywhere! Since the other Rose was here first, I’ll put flyingrose on my comments.
I use flyingrose at http://SearchEngineForums where I moderate the PPC forum and when I post other places online including http://Sphinn.com – Danny Sullivan’s awesome new site. I know some of you are there; highly recommended to everyone.
I’m no expert on AdSense. My comments are only based on logic and what I know about usability. It ads in the middle of articles work best I wonder if that means most the people who click on them don’t finish reading your blog post OR they’re just more likely to see them, finish reading, and then go. Have you done any experimenting with how far from the end of a post you place them?
I use AdSense but I’m so busy with AdWords that I haven’t done any optimizing for it yet. The best AdSense person around is Bill Hartzer – read what he writes if you want the best tips.
Thanks for the warm welcome; I’m new to blogging and I suspect that I’ll be someone others either love or hate. I’m just different and very verbose – too much so for some people’s taste. 🙂

Reply

derek September 2, 2007 at 10:05 pm

Lol, I’ve got a few people in my family named Rose as well so the name is familiar to me.
BTW, I noticed that you added this article over at Sphinn so thanks for that. I’ve never given that site a try but might have to look into it.
Different and verbose – have you met Damien Riley? (Just kidding Damien!) So far I like what I am reading on your site and in the comments here so hopefully you’ll become a regular!

Reply

Diego Scataglini September 2, 2007 at 10:31 pm

Thank you for the article

Reply

Rose September 2, 2007 at 10:50 pm

Google took a capture of your blog on as Sep 1st 2007 04:02:32 GMT. I was top commenter with 22 comments.
* Rose (23)
* Derrich (18)
* Damien Riley (16)
* Saman Sadeghi (16)
* Leo (13)
Hehe 🙂
Look it’s war of the Roses. 🙂
Sorry to go off topic here.
Bows out of the discussion.

Reply

Rose Sylvia (flyingrose) September 3, 2007 at 1:20 am

I haven’t run across Damien yet. Sphinn looks like “the” place to be in you’re interested in online advertising in any form plus blogging and social networking too.
I don’t think I’ve run across Damien yet; hopefully I will soon. I have much more to post and I’ll be visiting here and the other Rose’s blog too.
It is a genuine pleasure to “meet” you all.

Reply

Matt Arnold September 3, 2007 at 8:09 am

I’m curious as to how the earnings have increased. Especially as the summer months usually result in lower earnings (more people on holiday unless you have a summer niche).
Possibly new/better ad placement? Blending of Ads?
If you’ve done nothing to them, the only thing I can think of is your blog maturing over time, getting more unique visitors, resulting in better payouts per click?
I’m not quite sure. Congrats though! 🙂

Reply

derek September 4, 2007 at 9:30 pm

On my finance site, I haven’t really changed the ad placement in quite some time and the blending has been the same as well.
There have been more visitors lately and that might explain some of the difference. I’ll be spending some time to review my AdSense and Analytics accounts to see if I can find any other explanations.
Thanks for stopping by Matt and welcome to the site!

Reply

Bill September 3, 2007 at 1:20 pm

Very interesting article. Maybe too many posts to a blog in quick succession confuses the AdSense and it does not know the type of article to display? I’ve observed on my site that AdSense tends to “stableize” a day or two after an article is posted.

Reply

Rose September 3, 2007 at 6:16 pm

Just wanted to let you know I sphunn this post. 😉

Reply

Tonoose September 3, 2007 at 9:03 pm

I only lasted one week on ad sense when I was kicked off and banned for life, I believe. I’m up to 12 blogs and more web sites than I can count, so I feel it’s AdSense’s loss, not mine.
But it’s nice to hear people are actually rolling in the dough just becuase surfers click on ads in a blog.

Reply

Saman Sadeghi September 3, 2007 at 10:38 pm

My question is: why is it that you “only lasted a week” – Google is pretty lenient as long as you aren’t committing click fraud….

Reply

Tonoose September 4, 2007 at 6:45 am

That was the weird thing, they never actually said what I did wrong, although I did get them to review their decision. I’m still on the outs. It’s been so long, I had to search my own blog to find out what I said about it. Here’s my take on it:
http://uncletonoose.blogspot.com/2006/03/googles-adsense-making-no-sense.html

Reply

Ad Tracker September 4, 2007 at 8:09 am

Tonoose – You answered your own question in the comments on your blog. You said you got interested in an ad and clicked on it.
You absolutely cannot click your own ads. Period. If you wish to see where an ad is going you may download the “Google AdSense Preview Tool”. If you use it properly you can check out the advertisers on your site without penalty.
It is a well published fact that Google is ruthless on fraudulent clicks.
I do understand where you’re coming from though. I’ve seen 1 or 2 interesting ads on my site and had to remember to use the preview tool to investigate.
Derek – I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to hijack your thread 🙂

Reply

derek September 4, 2007 at 9:45 pm

Ad Tracker, no need to apologize as I think the discussion that has resulted is amazing! I love it.
With regard to clicking your own ads, it is clearly against their policy but I know that I have had two instances where I accidentally clicked an ad on my own site. I had notified Google immediately and they responded that they are aware and will not count the click.
It appears that Google takes the step to ban an account when they see a large volume of clicks coming from the site owner or maybe another isolated IP address. With that said, I would never recommend clicking your own ad as it is best to avoid any potential issues.

Reply

Tonoose September 4, 2007 at 10:00 am

I was quite clueless at the time. Now, it’s water under the bridge. I don’t lose any sleep over it. Derek, I’m glad I found your site … cruising on Technorati, I think.

Reply

derek September 4, 2007 at 9:46 pm

Tonoose, I’m glad to see you that you found your way here as well and hope to see you around more. Welcome!

Reply

Rose Sylvia (flyingrose) September 4, 2007 at 2:27 pm

Ad tracker said “You answered your own question in the comments on your blog. You said you got interested in an ad and clicked on it. You absolutely cannot click your own ads. Period.”
And that IS correct; however, it is also an unnecessary trap for new AdSense users and an example of black and white thinking on the part of Google that serves no-one and should be changed for the betterment of all.
If you operate a niche site that usually means you are interested in that niche. If AdSense is working well that means ads for products and services the site owner will be interested in are going to appear in their pages.
As an advertiser (I specialize in managing PPC accounts full time) that site owner is not only who I want my ads to reach they are also highly likely to use their site to tell others about them.
So, as an advertiser do I want the site owner to click on my ad if they’re interested? Of course I do! They’re my best potential cheerleader and client.
Do I want to avoid click fraud? Of course. Do I want to discourage site owners from inflating their AdSense checks by clicking on every ad on their site? Of course. Can’t we do both. Yes, we can.
There is a huge difference between a site owner who clicks and clicks and clicks on ads and one who clicks on some now and again because they’re genuinely interested. Google’s algorithms could easily tell the difference.
Once again, intent and perspective are everything. If you believe everyone is a potential thief you immediately label them guilty and ban them for life.
If you have a clue and realize that site owners may sometimes actually want to buy from the advertiser and clicking on the ad right there is easy and figuring out how to get to that site without clicking on it is hard you’ll assume they’re innocent until proven guilty and write your algorithms accordingly.
It is easy to figure out the best path:
Does it serve the greater good and not intentionally harm anyone? Apply that test to this question:
How does having a site owner click on an ad for a subject they’re truly interested in affect each of those involved:
Google – good for revenue
Site owner – good for site owner
Advertiser – good for advertiser
Unanimously good across the board.
Could Google easily block the IP of the site owner and not compensate them for the clicks while still allowing them to visit those they’re interested, thereby giving the advertiser free bonus traffic?
Answer: YES
Earth to Google? Think!

Reply

derek September 4, 2007 at 9:47 pm

Rose, you make a very interesting point as I know there have been a handful of times where I have seen an ad that I would be inclined to click on if I knew it was not against policy.
Thanks again for the great insight!

Reply

Ad Tracker September 4, 2007 at 3:17 pm

Rose – I don’t mean to argue and God forbid I defend Google (I’m seriously considering firing them)but Google actually encourages site owners to check out the ads on their sites. They just require you to use the Preview Tool.
I check ads all of the time but I do it by the rules and I’ve never had a problem.
With AdSense you just have to understand the rules of the game before you get involved.

Reply

Rose Sylvia (flyingrose) September 4, 2007 at 4:38 pm

@ AdTracker:
I know that and YOU know that but new AdSense users don’t and they end up getting banned when they didn’t do anything wrong. The preview tool wasn’t originally there so those who already had AdSense accounts didn’t have it at first. It was added later – or maybe I didn’t know about it until later.
There IS a difference between clicking on ads to increase your own revenue and clicking on the ads belonging to advertisers you really want to visit.
I agree that people need to understand the “rule of the game” – my point is that Newbies don’t know what is important in the flood of new things they have to learn. Something as important as “if you do this you’re banned for life” needs to be made REALLY obvious!
Just as many sites now won’t let you continue if you don’t read the TOS (and how many understand that legaleze anyway and still don’t read it?) – it is the EXPERT’S job to make what is important clear and obvious.
That information should be so obvious that it cannot be missed and explained in a manner that someone who knows NOTHING can understand. By the number of people banned it is clear that needs improvement.
If you read what Uncle Tonoose wrote in his blog at http://uncletonoose.blogspot.com/2006/03/googles-adsense-making-no-sense.html
you’ll see that he had not intention of committing click fraud. Banning him is not good for anyone. This type of behavior is why people think they have to be perfect and are miserable.
One wise person on their deathbed once said, “If I had it to do all over again I’d make more mistakes, faster.” (Sorry – I don’t remember who and have not been able to find it online – if you know please send me the attribution for it – thanks.)
This is ABSOLUTELY true. You learn vastly more from your mistakes than from being cautious and never making any. Corporations, employers – everyone – would do well to start rewarding the behavior that is most beneficial instead of beating us over the head.
The carrot works far better than the stick for almost everyone – and consistent encouragement and kind words work even better!

Reply

Ad Tracker September 4, 2007 at 6:24 pm

OK
Derek – Thank you for your patience.
I think I may blog about this later and let Derek have his blog back for now. 🙂

Reply

derek September 4, 2007 at 9:50 pm

@All :: Great conversation! I love the dialog going back and forth and apologize for just getting into it now as I’ve been away from the PC for a bit.
There have been some great comments and I truly enjoy everyone sharing their experiences and thoughts. Thanks!

Reply

Living Off Dividends & Passive Income April 7, 2008 at 1:44 am

Tonoose,
I remember i got banned one week after adding adsense back in 2005. I was basically clicking on every ad 100s of times to see when they were going email me saying to stop. unfortunately they emailed me saying that i was banned for life!
I emailed them a year later explaining that I’m a programmer and I was actively clicking on the ads just out of curiosity to see what they would do. (i didn’t know they would ban me for life) Surprisingly they let me back in the program and i’m very careful about not clicking on the damn ads. In fact I have adblock installed so I don’t even see them (very handy since I personally hate ads anyway!)
Living Off Dividends & Passive Income’s last blog post..How I Made $2,667 In Passive Income In March ?08

Reply

Johnnie@Auto Insurance June 19, 2008 at 11:11 am

So Derek, what made you decide to give up on Adsense? Was it because you make more from affiliate programs? I use to create all kinds of sites to try and make money with Adsense, but once i started working with affiliate programs, Adsense just didn’t seem worth it anymore.

Reply

Cancel reply

Leave a Comment

{ 5 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: