For those of you that use Adsense as a source of income on your site(s) there was a change made earlier this year that you may not be aware of. A third option for advertisers that effect how ads are placed on your site called interest based ads. But first lets cover the other method.
This is the most used method where ads are placed on your site based on the content you publish. So if your site is based upon say car insurance than the ads will be involving car insurance. Simple right?
Placement is based on where ads appear on your site. An advertiser can list sites he would like to be shown on or for placement based on themes and/or topics they would like to target. This happens when you opt into googles ad networks.
Along comes the new guy, interest based ads. Rather than look upon your sites content to find ads google now looks at the visitor and their web surfing history. Sites they have visited and other search terms they have used. So your site may be based on car insurance, but if the visitor was looking at kitchen appliances lately some of your ads may be about blenders.
Personally I dont think the interest based ads will work well for me. Im sure if you have a general interest site or a news type site then perhaps ads based on viewers history may work. Most of my sites are niche sites based on a subject or product. Therefore most visitors arrive looking for that niche and are more likely, in my humble opinion, to click on ads based on that niche. Not an ad based on a search the did last week which they most likely are not interested in anymore.
Now its not an either or if you are opted in to interest based ads, and you are unless you have logged in and opted out. Most of the ads will be contextual with a sprinkling of the interest based. Looking at last months numbers (under reports select ‘targeting types’) Interest based was 8% of my ads while contextual was 56% (remainder being placement or un matched). But based on those numbers I only had 4 clicks for interest based ads. Now I’m not supposed to give out click though numbers and such but lets say that was very very low and based on the contextual numbers it could have been much higher. Those 4 clicks did pay better than the average click but I’m thinking I could have earned more going there other way.
Now my sites do not get mega traffic so my little investigation could be wrong. I have shut off interest based ads for now to see if I notice a difference and will report back later. Maybe someone out there that gets a ton more traffic or has looked into can comment otherwise.
If you do wish to shut off the interest based ads on your sites (as far as I can tell its all or nothing) log in to your account and click on ‘allow & block ads’, then click ‘advanced settings’ and you will see the option there on the top.
What do you think about interest based ads? good for you or going to shut off?