Revenue: Adsense & Forums? Placement is Profit

Ted S

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Ted S submitted a new Article:

Revenue: Adsense & Forums? Placement is Profit

It's no secret that Google's contextual advertising program, "AdSense", is shaking up the very foundation of traditional internet advertising but when it comes to AdSense on a forum community, all things are not equal. For many forums, AdSense has meant the first reliable revenue stream that actually performs well while keeping users popup free but for many forums, poor placement and bad planning is holding back AdSense earnings and dampening their potential.

Incase you don't already know, AdSense is not a new concept but instead is simply taking an old concept of context based ads and moving it to a whole new scale. Harnessing the same power used to run Google's main search engine, AdSense spiders publisher websites to obtain a list of targeted keywords based on a sophisticated yet secretive algorithm. What we do know is that AdSense works by the page and fast; on large sites newly created pages with focused content can start receiving targeted campaigns within minutes. For forums this means that if your overall theme is Sports but you have a thread about digital cameras you'll get digital camera ads on that page. Google's spidering process may not be perfect at picking up keywords or showing an array of ads but compared to the static, off-target banner it's a god send. Deploying AdSense on an otherwise untargeted website doesn't just mean a rise in results; it's a whole new league of conversions. To put things simply, users like content, users like quick shopping links and when you target the links to what the user is viewing you've got a match made in heaven.

Looking back to forums however we see a major problem. Stock software like vbulletin, phpbb, ikonboard and so forth have a hundred different features all of which clamor for screen space leaving little room for ads. For most webmasters AdSense placement is done in the same fashion as old banner ad placement -- this is the first mistake for AdSense is no banner. Because of the text format of AdSense ads and the amazing level of content targeting the goal of AdSense is not to treat the ad like a banner but instead to treat it like content which means putting it in a place where users are looking for content. This doesn't mean you want to trick a user into clicking the ad; on the contrary, you want them to acknowledge that it is an ad but by embedding it in content the hope is that they are interested in converting on the ad and not just performing a blind click to visit some...

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GeorgeB.

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May 6, 2004
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This was a great article first off.

I think it would have been even more beneficial to ad links to some of the hacks or style mods you used to make the changes. Or maybe even included a few quick instructs. I am an adsense success story. I made enough my first time out to actually get a check from google and the clicks keep a coming. Thing is that all from one ad placement on my front page. I'm hoping to double my monthly revenue (ok so im pushing my luck) by adding ads in other places that are within googles terms of use. Below posts before the quick reply, etc.
 

traderx

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Sep 25, 2004
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I would like to learn how to place the ad right after the first post and only the first post.... any help?
 

kilcher

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Jan 17, 2004
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I've only skimmed the article but I didn't see the archive mentioned. I make more from the AdSense ads in my archive than I do on my board.
 

Ted S

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kilcher,
You are absolutely right, the archive is a great place to use adsense. I guess I need to update my article to reflect this better.
 

vprp

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May 27, 2004
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I totally agree with this. The number of page views for my archive is small compared to my forum as a whole but it still generates more revenue than everything else combined.

Putting AdSense after the first post is nice but the Archive is even more important.
 

TheWebJunkie

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Feb 21, 2005
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very nice article ted thanks for taking the time to write it and share the great info with us :)
 

Sniper

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Jul 21, 2004
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hey Ted

how does the second post advert do? would you say you make a decent amount from it?

i would agree with your placement on the left...
 

Ted S

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Feb 19, 2004
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Does it work? Well, it brings in some revenue... if it's your only adsense placement on the page it will bring in a nice amount of revenue. Will you see a ctr that is anything like what your archive has (or even a skyscraper on your page), probably not. In my experience it's a good thing to have, especially for guests, as it brings in a little money here and there while also offering an incentive for people to register and sign in.
 
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