8 Key Takeaways from Official Adsense Optimization Expert

This article shares some key advice I got from an official Adsense optimization specialist. I just got off a phone call with a member of the Adsense optimization team, who called to help optimize Adsense on our site to get higher earnings.

The call lasted about 20 minutes and the Adsense specialist reviewed our site in real time and made the following suggestions … some for optimizing earnings and some problems to be aware of and it was truly great advice to make most out of Adsense.

1. Monetize Homepage

You might know we usually do not place any ads on the homepage. Since the homepage is the most commonly visited page, he advised we should add a 300×250 rectangle ad in the sidebar on the homepage and see how it works. 

2. Review Ad Placements

He advised the current ad placements above and below the content were good. He advised we could add upto 3 ad units and could add a sidebar 300×600 large skyscrapper also. But since the site would look cluttered with ads, we both agreed it could be avoided.

3. Above-the-fold Ads Penalty

I informed about the Above the fold ad penalties which were striking bloggers and asked if we might be affected. He advised that the algorithm affected sites which stuffed many and all ads above the fold and our placements should not cause a Google penalty. We should try to fix Google Panda/Penguin issues.

4. Ad Link Units

We often use ad link units, and asked about usage of same. He advised that text/image ad units had a better user experience than link ad units, yet we could consider adding a link ad unit below content to see how it works.

5. Beware of Dropdown Menus

We have a main navigation bar on the top of the site. He advised us to be careful that the drop down menus should not obscure the Adsense ads as that would violate the Adsense guidelines.

adsense dropdown obscure

It is a common mistake and can easily be overlooked. So the dropdown menus arrangement and dropdown height should be studied. The current 2014 theme is a responsive theme and the navbar collapses into a menu button on mobile screens, that is less of a concern there.

6. Use In-content Ads Safely

He advised we should keep at least a 5px distance from the content so that the ads are not confused with the content. Blending ads should not be such that it incites clicks in the garb of content.

7. Advertisement Labels

If the ads are so closely placed that they can be confused with content, he advised we can add the text ‘Advertisements” over the ads so that there is clear understanding that these are ads to avoid accidental clicks.

8. No Sticky Ads

Sticky content is getting popular wherein you can fix any html site component such that it stays in the same position in the browser window,  despite scrolling (easily done with Bootstrap). I asked if sticking ads is allowed – and he said it violated terms of service and should NOT be done.

Follow up …

The conversation was followed by  an email with the suggested advise and a request to perform the changes and see if earnings improved.  Adsense team performed a similar optimization review last year also and they truly give great advice.

Google Adsense is the main income source of this site (and we also blog lots of Adsense tips) and I am thankful they take all this care such that publishers can make more money online.

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About the Author: P Chandra is editor of QOT, one of India's earliest tech bloggers since 2004. A tech enthusiast with expertise in coding, WordPress, web tools, SEO and DIY hacks.