Google Penguin Update: Does it Affect Your Blog?

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A few months ago, the Google Panda update shook the blogging world.

Many webmasters found their blogs had either moved up or moved down. Some found their blogs knocked off the Google entirely.

This week, Google has introduced yet another update: The Google Penguin update.

Have you noticed a significant change in your traffic over the last few days? If so, this may be Google Penguin at work.

If you’ve noticed a drop in traffic or want to inoculate your blog against potential harm, read this article carefully. [Read more...]

Get Paid More with Google Adsense

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Increase Adsense IncomeThis is a topic I’ve been meaning to cover for a while, and after answering a related question on Yahoo Answers, I thought it was time to go into some details.

If you’ve been dabbling with Google Adsense and wanted to know how to maximize your participation, this might just help. You don’t simply have to paste Adsense code in and hope for the best…you have more control than that.

Here are 9 things you can do to improve your Adsense income, but let’s start with the most important thing first…

Your Subject Area Matters

A lot of people start a website on a topic they’re excited about and hope to monetize it with Adsense, but then are disappointed to find out the payout per click isn’t very high. Well since your payout is determined by CPC (cost per click ) in Adwords, you know that your payout is directly related to how much the advertisers are spending on the ads. And how much they are paying is directly related to the subject of the ads. Different niches command higher ad prices than others, so if you’re starting a knitting blog and expecting a high payout on each click, it’s probably not going to happen.

Here is an infographic from 2011 that claims to show the “Top 20 Most Expensive Keywords in Google Adwords”. This will help you, as a rough guide, find subject areas that will command a higher payout on each click.

Once you have your subject area down, here are some other methods to try. By the way, the content below includes excerpts from our “Ad Networks – Boosting Your Income” PLR bundle (only 13 licenses remain and it is retiring on April 30, so use coupon code aprilretirees to get it nice and cheap).

1. Block Unrelated Advertisers

Browse your site regularly and see what kind of ads are appearing. If you see ads that are unrelated to your site appearing or ads that detract from the user experience, take them out using the “block ads” feature.

Block ads in Adsense

2. Blue Links

People are used to seeing links in blue. They’re used to seeing links underlined. These two in combination can tap into existing user psychology to make it more likely that people will click.

Some people say that it’s better to use your site’s main colors in the ad rather than use the traditional blue. It really depends on the site. Sometimes traditional blue will outpull a blending strategy, while at other times blue links are what works.

Test it both ways.

Use blue links in Adsense

3. Use Custom Channels

Channels can be a rather difficult concept to understand in the beginning. In most split testing systems, you have a Variable A and a Variable B, you test them against one another and see who wins. Channels don’t work like that.

An ad can have any number of properties – It can be square, it can be red, it can have Times New Roman as its font and it can be placed in the main content area. Another box might have a completely different set of properties.

By tagging your ads with all their various properties, you’ll be able to see exactly which properties work better than others.

Use Adsense Channels to Test Different Elements

For example, you might find that all red ads perform better than blue ads. However, you wouldn’t know that if you simply tested Ad A versus Ad B. Instead, you might have ads A, B and C running concurrently, and after several tests you find that all ad versions tagged with color Red outperform those tagged with color Blue.

In other words, channels allow you to spot patterns across a wide range of different variables, instead of forcing you to test one ad against another.

Learn the channels system as well as you can and split test often. The more you test, the better your chances of finding a winning system.

4. Test Ads in Prominent Places

The highest CTR ad for most people is to place a large block ad above the fold, right inside the text of the content. For example:

Prominent Adsense Ads

5. Google Heat Map

Google has provided us with a heat map of where people’s eyes tend to go when they’re on a content site. Using this heat map can help you figure out where the best places to put your ad units are.

The darker the area, the more attention it gets.

Just because an area is lighter doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put ads there. Just expect to earn less than an ad unit in the center. For strategic reasons, many sites choose to put ads on the sides rather than in the middle, where it would get more clickthroughs.

6. It’s Not All About Squeezing out Adsense Dollars

The sites that earn the most from ad networks are also the sites that pay the most attention to long term customer value. Rather than trying to squeeze every last drop of revenue out of every visitor, it’s also important to make sure that everyone who visits your site has a good experience, so they’ll come back again, tell others and link to your website.

Placing ads in prominent spots will help you get more clicks; but try not to sacrifice too much of your design aesthetics.

7. Use Google In-Page Analytics

One way to figure out both what’s working right now and what could be improved is to use click tracking technology.

Click tracking technology shows you exactly where people are clicking right now with their mouse. This allows you to see where people are not clicking, as well as places where they’re clicking that you might be able to place ads.

Sometimes people click on the strangest places. Places that you simply wouldn’t expect if you didn’t have click tracking installed. By figuring out where these places are, you can monetize them. If you go into your Google Analytics account, you can use this feature and it will show which links are being clicked on most.

8. Test Different Media

AdSense allows you to choose between just text ads, just image and flash ads or a combination.

Types of Media for Adsense Ads

You never know what will really work for your site until you try them. Some people find that image ads vastly outpull text ads for them, while others find the exact opposite.

9. Blend vs. Contrast

There are two main approaches you can take with your ads. You can try to make them blend in as much as possible into the rest of your site’s design, or you can make them stand out.

Some sites work better with the first approach, others with the second. Again, you really won’t know which works better than the other without testing it.

Avoid “Just Set It and Forget It”

Many people approach Adsense as something they can just paste into their site and forget about. Certainly can do it this way and earn some cash. However, there are plenty of simple things you can do and test to improve your earnings immensely. It’s your business and it’s worth the time.

The sites that earn the most from ad networks are also the sites that pay the most attention to long term customer value.

Rather than trying to squeeze every last drop of revenue out of every visitor, it’s also important to make sure that everyone who visits your site has a good experience.

People who come to your site and find great content are much more likely to come back again. They’re much more likely to link to your site as well, resulting in more backlinks.

Placing ads in prominent spots will help you get more clicks; but try not to sacrifice too much of your design aesthetics

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A Few Email Statistics and Resource Roundup

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Email StatsYep, it’s that topic again. Email.

Email marketing has been the subject the two of us have been talking about this month for a couple of reasons.

1. We Want to Help You:

Yes, we’re running a ghostwriting special to help you build your list. The details are right here for you.  Just note, this offer expires in a few days, so if you can use our help, we’d love to hear from you.

But more importantly, here is another reason… [Read more...]

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How to Turn Your Blog Into a Dependable Resource

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Some blogs are designed for readers to only read the front page. While other blogs are designed to be resources.

These resource-type blogs are referred to time and again by people in their niche.

People continually link to the blog’s content, even months or years after the content has been published.

These kinds of blogs tend to get massive traffic from the search engines.

What is it that separates the typical blog from these resource-type blogs? How can you turn your blog into a dependable resource? Read on. [Read more...]

Give Your Readers What They Want - WITHOUT All The Hard Work - Pre-made fully-illustrated step-by-step tutorials make it easy to sell your products, build your list and grow your business. Click here to learn more.

22 Things Send to Your Email List

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IdeasWe’ve been talking about email marketing a lot this month since we’ve been helping our clients with their email content.

However, we haven’t addressed one of the biggest questions people have about using email.

And that question is:

“What should I email to my list?”

Well, let’s answer that one right now. It doesn’t matter what niche you’re in, there is always plenty to share with your list. Never let writer’s block keep you from using something as valuable as your mailing list.

Here are some ideas for you. 22 ideas, in fact… [Read more...]

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