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Google AdSense Suggestions Don’t Always Make Sense

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AdSense suggestions

Google AdSense periodically offers suggestions on how to improve AdSense performance. Unfortunately, AdSense suggestions aren’t always good ones.

Site publishers who use AdSense to make money should consider the suggestions carefully. Testing is critical in determining whether to continue using them.

These optimization tips appear in several prominent ways. The first is on the account, usually in the upper right corner via an icon that looks like a bell. Anyone who clicks on the icon will go to a page with the suggestions, which range from improving mobile performance to the usage of new types of ads.

New suggestions or notifications will appear in a red circle.

The second tactic for getting suggestions is via email. Those suggestions come randomly in some cases. In other cases, they come in the form of a monthly performance email.

Another prominent way is via the Optimization tab on the left navigation column. It displays Opportunities, Experiments and Labs, some of which are under the control of the publisher and some under the control of Google.

AdSense Suggestion Examples

Two examples show how AdSense suggestions are useful sometimes and not useful other times.

Not long after Matched Content ads became available, Google sent me a suggestion that I implement them, which I did. After a month or so, I finally gave up on them because they produced little in the way of revenue. They far underperformed the link units that I removed in exchange for the Matched Content ads.

One year later, I tried again, and this time Matched Content consistently outperformed the link units.

It shows the suggestions aren’t always right, but it doesn’t mean if they are at that time they are wrong forever. Periodic testing is a good idea.

I can’t say I had the same results with mobile anchor ads, which are fixed at the bottom of mobile screens when someone visits a website that has them.

Three periodic tests have produced the same results, which showed little in the way of revenue. That being said, performance of certain ad types are site specific.

Some publishers report good results with anchor ads and others report bad results.

This lesson also says that AdSense suggestions are useful for some sites but not for others. Even though I have had three failures, I’m willing to try again.

Testing All Ad Types and Positions

A test of an AdSense suggestion is a good opportunity to test existing ad types and positions.

Publishers will find it helpful to review the RPMs of all of their ad positions to see which ones perform well and which ones don’t.

Testing can include a change in size, ad colors and ad locations. The test should last at least several weeks to get a good trend.

Shorter tests are subject to confusing variations such as seasons, holidays, advertiser activity, etc., that may give misleading results.

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