AdSense vs SpamSense: AdSense Tips and Linkworthy Content

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 not just 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.
Published: March 31, 2006 by Aaron Wall in contextual advertising


March 31, 2006 - 2:56pm

Here is a tip that I have learned over the years, that is true of every topic-based website. Serve ads that only provide information on the topic you are covering. I know this can get difficult, but the extra time in finding the right advertisers is well worth it.

If visitors to your site can honestly say that they can learn things from the ads, then it's a win-win situation. So if your website is about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Techniques, then don't serve ads that are non-endemic. The big push these days is to get the nonendemic sponsors, but it is such a bad move because it is at the expense of your visitors.

Instead, push for the topic-related sponsors, such as in this case, Jiu-Jitsu Instructional Videos, Fight Wear and ads for UFC, PrideFight, etc. These are the people that will do the best on your site, and hence pay more for the ads. Your advert's CTR's will be much higher for it.

March 31, 2006 - 5:51pm

Aaron, as usual, an outstanding post. I kinda feel like you wrote it just for me:-)

April 1, 2006 - 9:47am

My thoughts and experiences exactly! Over the last 9 months or so I've been testing and honing my online business strategy. And I agree completely, eye-catching sites (especially blogs - from personal exp.) with nicely integrated ads and quality content tend to attract links naturally (without any form of repayment or even coercion!).

For example, let's say I knock-up a blog about acne. AFTER quality site-design, content creation (100+ pages) and link-attracting stages, ads are integrated and the blog is left grow (link-wise) and reap (financially). And I've found inbound links and income do, indeed, steadily increase with this approach. In particular, I've found polished "mom-&-pop" sites seem to attract links better than overly commercial sites. Additionally, placing the best-quality content on the homepage and atop of each category further increases its linkability. (Using relevant, quality images/graphics too!)

Attractive sites may have a lower CTR, but long-term they may become a greater asset with increased PR/TR and that can be leveraged in other ways. ;-)

With ever-increasing competition and advancement of SE algorithms, I personally think it's only a matter of time before spam and low-quality sites are filtered out of SERPs and replaced by quality, unique content sites/blogs. So this is my overall strategy now: build a quality virtual-real-estate empire (100s of blogs), but with both commercial and proprietary tools. (Creating a VRE the traditional way would be very hard work and take seemingly forever - hence the need for tools!)

So, for me, it's not blackhat vs whitehat, but integrating the best of both to become Goldenhat: creators, of semi automated, high-quality, unique content sites - the way to go IMO!

Great post!

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