Avoid Mistakes To Increase AdSense Earnings
All site owners want to know what top publishers are doing to increase AdSense earnings. However, its often all the things that they avoid that allows them to extract more from their AdSense account than others. Here’s our list of top trouble spots that the top webmasters we work with consistently avoid.
In fact, you may be surprised to learn just how impactful some of these things are. We’ve learned over time that understanding what you should avoid with your AdSense account is actually the roadmap for deciphering exactly what you should be doing to increase AdSense earnings.
Top publishers the world over are often doing the exact same things to optimize their site, but many others with similar sites (and traffic), are missing out on major AdSense earnings that the top publishers are seeing on a monthly basis. Here’s our list of top trouble spots that the best webmasters we work with consistently avoid.
1) They avoid bad ad sizes
It’s really important that you follow the AdSense rules on ad sizes and device types. If you aren’t sure what is allowed, check out this chart. Make sure that every ad which you create is allowed under AdSense policy! It’s also worth noting that sometimes an ad size can be allowed by AdSense, but not appropriate in the location you have placed it.
To give an example, it’s fine to show a 320 x 250 Medium Rectangle on Mobile. But, top publishers think carefully about putting it at the top of the page — will the combination of this ad and your header / title push content below the fold?
Ad placements and sizes play a huge role in ad earnings. The best publishers know how dramatic this is and they know how to find the right ones that maximize AdSense ad earnings. We wrote more about ad sizes optimization here.
2) They mitigate risks with AdSense
Google says that ads can only be placed on sites that are rich in content. The buzzwords are ‘unique’ and ‘relevant’ – so ask yourself, does this content I’m about to put ads on providing real value to my readers? If yes, is it original? If your content isn’t providing value to your readers based on your keywords then ad serving may be disabled on that page.
If you are found to be scraping content from other websites and not attributing sources, Google is committed to following the 1998 Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA). This means that they may even stop serving on your account altogether if you are found to be infringing copyright.
This a major thing that publishers are always concerned about. We see it all the time. One slip up and you could be gone. That’s why its so important to make sure your within the rules at all times. The best publishers out there always have their bases covered.
So as a rule: write from scratch, make your pages relevant, and think of ads as being secondary to content!
3) They monitor user-generated content
You are responsible for all of the content on your site – everything on a page that you place AdSense codes on must comply with Google’s Terms of Service. This includes
This includes user-generated content; like comments. If you enable a comments section, it’s a good idea to enable a Keyword Filter that can catch obvious non-compliant content. It’s also a great idea to install a manual approval for each comment that is posted. Manually approving each comment can seem like a big task— but it’s important to be in control of the content you are serving ads on.
One way to avoid having to trawl through too many comments is to have a CATCHPA test or some other method of verifying a ‘real human’.
4) They Think Carefully About Ad Placements
It’s important to know which pages cannot display ads — such as exit pages, error pages, and login pages. But apart from avoiding a violation, you also want to make the most out of each ad!
Think about your user’s behavior. The ad placement that might work brilliantly on a content heavy page might not have the same increase in AdSense revenue on a page with a naturally high bounce rate. The important thing is to try out different ad placements and find what works best in different areas of your site.
5) They maintain only one AdSense account
You are not allowed to have more than one AdSense account under one payee name. If you have a number of sites that are under your control (and not, for example, being managed by you for somebody else) then these must be registered to the same AdSense account.
This can get publishers into a heap of trouble. We’ve seen good publishers make this mistake and lose the ability to make income from AdSEnse because of this. Be smart. Only maintain one AdSense account.
6) They don’t put AdSense ads in iFrames
You can’t put AdSense ads in iFrames! This is because when an ad is placed in a frame separate to a site’s content, it reduces the ability of the Google crawler to track and target that content. See ‘Ads Implementation Issues’ here for more info.
This is a basic thing but many webmasters find it to be an easy way to insert ads. It is always a bad way of doing things, and publishers who abandon this and begin using best practices will always increase AdSense earnings.
7) Their content is family friendly.
This is a much more difficult one to judge as standards; as what is considered ‘adult’ varies culturally. A hard and fast rule is would you be comfortable with a colleague seeing you browse your own site? It’s best to always play it safe and make sure that your content adheres to AdSense’s Adult and Mature policy.
8) They know which ads to block
AdSense allows you to block ads from being served on your site- by advertiser URL, by category, and by Ad Network. This can be really useful if, for example, you want to make sure that your competitors don’t advertise on site- but be wary!
Setting too many of these blocks can lead to no ads being found to serve particular impressions. The best advice is to only block things which would be entirely unsuitable for your users- try to avoid blocking according to personal preference.
9) They have backup ads
Leading on from the point above, there may not always be an ad available to fill your inventory. It’s a really good idea to have a backup ad in place to make sure that an impression is never wasted.
You can even use an HTML page to make a clickable image ad! If you don’t have one of these backup ads then Google will simply show a transparent space.
10) They avoid too many AdSense codes
See this advice from Google on how to approach ads on a page. The limit used to be three, but now they are putting this into the publisher’s hands to decide. With great power comes responsibility.
The safe rule is to ensure that ads do not outnumber the percentage of space occupied by content on the page. Many sites are outside of compliance of this; yet still in compliance of the old “3 per page” policy. This is something that good publishers are staying on top of.
It’s also important to check what your users can see the site from their viewport. You can’t have more than one AdSense ad visible on screen to a mobile user at any one time- if you don’t know what your site looks like it might be an idea to take a look using Developer Tools. This allows you to refresh your screen and see how your layout / ads change according to the size of the viewport- very useful!
Wrapping it all up
If you want to increase AdSense earnings one of the best ways to do it is by avoiding the most common mistakes publishers make. Following these basic rules will give you the tools to increase revenue; while avoiding the risks of losing your AdSense account.
Dave Taylor has been involved with the Internet since it was known as the ARPAnet and has decades of experience as an independent online publisher. Dave owns multiple online businesses and websites. You can check out his site AskDaveTaylor.com or find him on social media as @DaveTaylor to learn more about how he sees emerging technology.