Why Removing Ads On Website Improved Its Ad Earnings?!
It seems crazy, right? The idea that your website would actually earn more revenue from showing fewer ads. What if I told you that this would also result in lower RPMs and CPMs BUT higher overall ad earnings. Absurd? Maybe not.
This is the concept John Cole and myself recently explored at Google in New York during Pubtelligence, a Google-hosted event designed just for digital publishers. We took a deep dive into the economics of digital publishing and discovered two things that influenced website ad revenue more than ALMOST ANY OTHER FACTORs.
These factors were visitor engagement and visitor behavior.
We learned that these can both be manipulated and influenced to produce greater ad revenue and better user experiences; however, many publishers may be approaching these subjects in the opposite way that they should be.
Below, I’ll highlight how to improve visitor engagement to increase the value of ads on website spaces. I’ll also show you how to influence visitor behavior to enhance overall session earnings for every individual visitor.
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Using New Google Publisher Data To Improve SEO
Recently, Google rolled out a major update to Google Search Console. This update has equipped publishers with a wealth of new data and information; as well as an enhanced new user interface. This new Google publisher data offers new opportunities for SEO and the development of new popular content.
Since this info just became globally available, there has never been a better time to attack the strategies I’ve listed below. The release of this unprecedented search data to all publishers means that soon everyone will be finding ways to optimize things like organic CTR among top landing pages.
There will likely be software tools built, blogs written, and “experts” reaching out with a whole host of new “services” (sarcastically in quotes for both) related to the new data Google has made available. This data can directly help you improve modern SEO on your website, but the faster you act, the more likely you are to benefit.
Below, I’ll list some of the basic ways you can use this new Google data for publishers.
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Improve Page Speed For Google SEO In Actionable Ways
Google announced the that they will be including mobile page speed as a variable in their mobile search ranking considerations starting July of 2018 (The Google Speed Update). This is actually a small Google SEO update that has already likely been impacting results prior to its official announcement. Google says the update will only impact a very small portion of “slow” sites, but it begs the question, “If I improve page speed, will Google rank me higher?”
This is something publishers have been hearing ad naseum from Google and other major players in the online ecosystem for a while now.
Faster, faster, faster. Mobile, mobile, mobile. This supports platform initiatives in emerging markets, like India, where web speed is a much bigger issue than it is in countries like the U.S.
Here’s the problem.
Most webmasters do not have very good knowledge of how to actually measure site speed (ex. Google Page Speed Tools is not a good way), improve their overall website page speed, or understand what improvements to those metrics actually offer real benefits to visitors and their Google search rankings.
Luckily, I have a lot of information on all of those topics that I’ll share below.
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Why AdSense Ads Aren’t Showing Impressions
This year, there has been an increase in the number of discussions online inside of AdSense forums about why AdSense ads aren’t showing any impressions on certain websites or pages. There are two common culprits that have emerged for this: Ads.txt issues with AdSense AND Google’s recent change to prevent ads from showing on uncrawled pages (Google AdSense Brand Safety update).
Below, I will reveal the nature of both issues and offer complete solutions on how to solve both problems. I’ll demonstrate how to get AdSense ads to show again on pages affected by both potential issues. And Finally, I will offer some tips that will prevent future issues with these problems so that you can avoid any disruptions in your AdSense ad impressions.
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Running Ad Balance Experiments That Actually Work
Google AdSense has recently reintroduced attention to a subject I happen to know quite a lot about. Running ad balance experiments has long been thought by publishers to be directly connected to being able to improve visitor experiences, and with Google now rolling out Chrome ad blocking penalties for sites with ad density violations, the subject has picked up steam once again.
This massive new Google policy change has led to Google also implementing upgrades inside of some of their ad products like Adsense. Tools like Auto Ads, and being able to run Ad Balance Experiments, sounds really good on paper. Less ad density, fewer ads, and the same amount of revenue! Great, right?
Unfortunately, broad solutions to ad balance generally don’t work – and these products have not gotten the best feedback from users. So how do publishers account for ad balance, reduce ad density in light of Google policy changes, and improve visitor experiences along the way without losing any revenue?
Fortunately, I have access to tons of data on this subject that I’ll share below. I’ll highlight the impact these things have on overall ad revenue and other important factors like SEO as well.
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How To Handle Google Abusive Experiences Violations
Starting on February 15th, Chrome will institute the removal of all ads from sites that have a “failing” status for more than 30 days in the Ad Experience Report inside of the Google Web Tools portal. Abusive experience violations that fall outside of the guidelines set by the Coalition for Better Ads (which I’ll get into below) will be what Google uses to identify abusive ad experiences. Publishers will need to be proactive in identifying violations and fixing them.
Google will notify publishers that they have abusive ad experiences on their properties, and if these are not corrected, Chrome will begin blocking ALL ADS (not just Google ads) on that website.
Google is actively reviewing sites, and if the status is “Failing”, the Abusive Experience Report inside of Google Search Console will show samples of ad experiences found by Googlebot on your site that are triggering abusive experience violations. Publishers are being given very small windows to fix these violations (30 days); however, Google is providing a review process that will allow publishers to get back on the right side of things relatively quickly if they fail to do so inside the window.
Obviously, none of this is ideal. Below, I’ll discuss how to handle violations, how to prevent disruptions of ads displaying on Chrome browsers, and how we can avoid more of these kinds of regulations in the future. Continue reading “How To Handle Google Abusive Experiences Violations”
Why Ad Earnings Are Lower In January For Most Publishers
For digital publishers, it’s common to see seasonal ad earnings declining after the turn of the calendar year. Seasonality plays a critical role in both website traffic and website revenue. Digital publishers are most grossly affected by these lower ad earnings in January than in any other month.
The reason for this is two-fold. First, traffic for many sites is lower during this time of year due to a number of factors that affect typical website browsing behavior (people are away from work, out of school, traveling, etc.). Second, ad rates are at an all-time low; as advertisers typically spend the largest portion of their budget in Q4 during the holiday shopping season, and let their budgets dwindle to start the new fiscal year; creating less open auction competition and lower overall ad rates for publishers.
Below are resources to evaluate your seasonal advertising trends, info on why ad earnings are lower in January, and some insights into when you can expect them to go back up on your website. This info will help you discern whether or not your site is being affected more than other sites and recovering from the year-end drop better or worse than other publishers.
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4 Digital Publishing Strategies That Our Top Publishers Used in 2017
One of the most requested topics I get from our regular readers is to share more information regarding what we have learned from the thousands of publishers we work with. While digital publishing strategies vary from site to site, there are a couple of trends we can draw a circle around that worked particularly well in 2017.
I’ll keep some of this information fairly general; while still providing material that is both helpful and actionable. The main reason for this is that all websites are so different that one of the primary things we’ve learned over time is that what works for one website does not mean it will work for another — even if they are similar.
…However, below are some digital publishing strategies that some of our fastest growing and most financially successful publishers leveraged this year to continue their success.
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3 Website Redesign Tips That Will Triumph In 2018
As someone who has been building, managing, and growing websites for more than a decade, there are few things that scare me more than a website redesign. Nothing has the ability to cause more headaches and ruin more hard work than unnecessarily messing up a healthy web property.
Yet… the web was built on content creators and media publishers changing and improving the way they deliver content to readers. This is the reason why we read content off of phones now instead of newspapers. So, what website redesign tips can we use to mitigate an all-out disaster?
Below, I’ll share a few hacks, tips, and strategies that will work really well heading into 2018. We’ll look at some of what the latest data is telling us about visitor behavior and how we can use that information to make our web properties better places to browse.
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Google Search Hack For Increasing Organic CTR & Total Keyword Traffic
What if I told you that more people were using Google search than ever before. Now, what if I told you that searchers are also clicking on less organic results than ever before. It almost doesn’t seem possible, right? Yet, both of these statements are true. Google search is experiencing an all-time low in organic CTR (click through rate); meaning that searchers are less likely to click on organic query results than ever before.
But why? Well, Google has introduced a lot of recent changes to their SERP (search engine results page). This has led to a reduction in the number of clicks available to organic results. Things like Knowledge Graph, the news carousel, images, shopping, and improved AdWords features have taken a real bite out of organic CTR for most high-volume keywords.
While this information might be scary to some publishers, understanding this data can actually open the door for some pretty exciting new opportunities to acquire Google search traffic. Below, I’ll highlight an expert-level hack for increasing organic CTR and increasing the amount of traffic you bring to your website for all of your underperforming keywords.
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