Sunday 29 July 2007

Adsense Features

Let us look into some features that are given by adsense which make a publisher’s life a hell lot easier.

1. Channels:
Channels are primarily used to determine which type of ads or what pages are earning the most adsense revenue. Channels offer a deeper level of analysis than that provided by overall revenue reports. Channels allow to break down reporting to monitor the performance of sites, sections of sites or even individual ad units. Each time a channel is created, AdSense records impressions, CTR, CPM and earnings statistics for that specific page or ad unit. There are 2 types of channels that can be set up.

a. URL Channels: These can be used to track the performance of adsense for content. URL channels cannot be used for adsense for search. A URL channel can be added by simply giving the URL of the website on which you are using adsense. The URL being given can be a partial one or a complete one. Depending on the URL given this is how Google understands what to track:
example.com track all pages across all subdomains
sports.example.com track only pages across the 'sports' subdomain
sports.example.com/widgets track all pages below a specific directory
sports.example.com/index.html track a specific page

It should be noted that entering your domain without the 'www' will allow you to track the performance of any subdomains, including www.domain.com and, for example, forums.domain.com. By entering www.domain.com as your domain channel, you will track all pages below www.domain.com only. Any activity on forums.domain.com, or on any other subdomain, will not be tracked with this domain channel.

Note that so as to track your website using URL channels no change is required in placing the code on the website, just adding the website URL is sufficient.

b. Custom Channels: These can be used to track the performance of adsense for content as well as adsense for search. Custom channels can be used to provide answers to questions like:

• Which ad colors, formats and placements are most effective on my site?
• Which ad units are the highest earners on my home page?
• Do my ads perform better with or without a border?
• How does revenue for each of my adsense for search boxes compare?
• Are ad units generating more revenue than linked units on my pages?


To get the most out of custom channels, it is best to track each and every ad unit. This way one can have a core set of reports that you can use to aggregate data from all your ad units or to combine in different variations to gain deeper insight into your site's AdSense performance.
Another very important feature of custom channels is that one can make it available to advertisers for targeting (this feature is present only for adsense for content). That is once you make a custom channel available for targeting, advertisers will see your custom channel in the list of websites on which to place ads. Thus it is very important to give proper names and descriptions to custom channels as advertisers will decide to choose a channel so as to place their ads by looking at the name and description of the channel. Also if the name of an existing custom channel is changed, any existing advertiser bids for that channel will be lost.

A total of 200 channels for adsense for content (URL channels + Custom channels), 200 custom channels for adsense for search and 200 custom channels for referrals can be created. Note that so as to track your website using custom channels code needs to be generated for each of the ad units (in the process of generating the code snippet, one can associate a channel name to it, thereby a new attribute called ‘google_ad_channel’ is present in the code which is responsible for tracking that particular ad unit.).

2. Competitive Ad Filter
This is a feature given by Google so that no web site owner loses traffic to his competitor’s website. As my competitor’s website will more or less have the same keywords as those of mine, there is a very high possibility of my competitor’s ads being displayed on my website and vice versa. If I want to avoid my clients from going to my competitor’s website, through an ad displayed on my website, I can specify my competitor’s URL so that Google will not render ads of that URL on my website.

3. Site Authentication
Adsense basically works by determining the content on a website and rendering ads that are most suitable to that content. Determination of the content of a website is done by the adsense crawler. But what if a website needs authentication? How will the crawler access a website and determine its content?
So as to address this issue, Google has introduced the ‘Site Authentication’ feature. Thus website owners whose websites require authentication can also place ads on their website. This is the method one has to follow so as to utilize the site authentication feature:
.
Enter these 4 attributes:
• Restricted directory or URL
• Authentication URL
• Authentication Method (Get, Post, Plain HTTP)
• Login and Password.

On saving you will be redirected to Google’s webmasters tools and prompted to verify that you are the owner of the website. This can be done in 2 ways: either by uploading a specific file to a specific location that is given by Google, or by adding a meta tag to your website. Once this verification is confirmed by Google, all the pages of your website that are login protected will receive proper targeted ads as the adsense crawler will be able to access them.

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