I’m one of the few lucky publishers to get invited to Google’s Adsense event held at Chicago’s Google office on July 21 2010. The impressive Google office at 20 Kinzie, Chicago showcased the cool geeky workplace culture with bean bags in conference rooms. All of Google employees wore gray colored “Adsense in Your City” T-shirts for easy identification to have casual chit-chat during breaks. The session started at 2.00 PM and ended around 7.00 PM. Around 40 plus publishers might have attended this event. Christian Ashlock, the four year experienced Adsense manager in Google gave small welcome intro. Made clear that Adsense team works totally independent of SEO team and would not answer any publisher SEO questions.
Sneak Peek of what’s new in the New Adsense Interface :
I started using new Adsense interface like a week ago. The presenter showed few tips on category of ads to block from optimization center. The good takeaway from this presentation is placement targeting from Ad Review center. Once set up this will enable advertisers to easily find the website niche either by keywords or by description. Once advertisers finds websiste they can directly bid for ads making the publisher earn more money this way instead of Adsense displaying ads from the inventory on the aticle contents.
Double serving of ads were big discussion topic where Adsense team wants to know if same ads are shown in multiple places on same page. This might be bug in Adserving code that Google team wants to know if publishers or users repeatedly sees this issue.
In the new Adsense reporting interface the earnings are not from 1st of month but from last paid date which was inconvenient for many users. Google took the feedback notes.
Many more new features are still work in progress like iGoogle kind of layout with competitive analysis & home gadgets.
Google Analytics – (Using Insights to Improve Performance)
Christian Ashlock showed us what to look for when using Google Analytics ? Mainly top adsense content, Bounce Rate (exit page). To look into exit page contents and make user experience better by providing a search box at the end of the page to keep user n the same website. Below page fold to maximize the revenues by putting a link unit or text ad unit.
Some users asked why Adsense and Analytics data were not matching ? There was no clear answer I can make it from the team.
Additional Tools: AFS & Webmaster Central
Adense for Search (AFS) CPC rates are much higher than custom search. It was observerd on one study the rates are as much as 35% higher. Google seems to have different indexing and crawl rate for website when AFS is used in website. This crawling is local and independent of the website’s indexing and crawling on internet Google search.
Two AFS boxes are allowed on website. The more the length of the box the result is better.
For SEO and website errors it is encouraged to use Webmaster Central.
Some users notified too many website links appearing during first week of May, which some other users shared it may be because of May 1 Google Caeffine update.
Doubleclick for small publishers
Doubleclick is promoted as it makes publishers life easy by directly selling ads as publishers can decide how to use website real estate place. Three options – 1) Close Up Space 2) Adsense Ads 3) House Ads. 100% Preempt.
The website is Google.com/dfp/SB. Register and get more details from the support sites.
Top Optimization tips
The three best performing ad sizes are 300 x 250, 160 x 600 and 728 x 90 leader boards. The best CPC rates observed are Avove page folde, Near navigational items and After articles or content.
Always the very first Ad pays more. Make sure the Ad is loaded first and is visible to the user on above page fold.
To get more tips the publishers were asked to opt in for performance suggestions in Adsense account.
Publishers were given free food and cocktails while waiting for one-on-one optimization sessions. The chefs made variety of items to make sure they cover vegans like me at the event. I was able to get non alcoholic cocktail of water melon, canada dry and some other mix, which was good for severe Chicago heat.
one-on-one optimization sessions
I was lucky to get a 30 minute face time with Adsense manager Christian Ashlock. This by itself is a long post and will do it some other day.
Google T-Shirt is the souvenir for filling up the survey.
Overall a very good productive session and sneak peak into Google Adsense team. I wish they do such kind of sessions often so publishers can feel be part of the Google when they make money for Google through their sites.
To sum-up, Hope you get something from this write-up, If you happen to attend these events please do share your experience that can benefit other publishers.