Many affiliate and AdSense sites make their goals so obvious that it likely hurts the linkability of their websites. Sometimes you can still get a fairly solid clickthrough rate on your ads while still having a site that is much easier to link at than the typical SpamSense site.
The few biggest keys I would suggest to increasing your income per pageview without hurting your linkability would be:
- Build decent topical authority and a good link profile before worrying about getting as much money as you can out of visitors. Links are a currency, and without them your other options and earnings potential are at best limited.
- Less ads on the homepage than the rest of the site - for many sites (even many entirely legitimate ones) the bulk of the link popularity flows in through the home page. In some cases that link popularity is self reinforcing to where people search for your main topic, find your site, and then link at it. Making a quick proper impression in those cases is huge. That link popularity makes your other pages more authoritative.
- Adding a search box is easy incremental income without increasing your perceived ad weight.
- Blending adlinks into navigation or near images can help improve CTR.
- A skyscraper ad on the left column where navigation usually is can pull a great CTR without making the whole site look spammy, so long as the site looks like its main goal is to push the ads.
- A skyscraper on the right hand column probably won't make much because that is a traditional ad location.
- If you control your page width it is easier to integrate high CTR ads than if you use fluid designs.
- If you put ads in the content area near the top of the page, if they go left and the content floats right around it that looks pretty spammy. If you float the content to the left side of the ads it can still get a decent CTR without looking anywhere near as spamtastic.
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