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Make AdSense Auto Ads Compete With Manual

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AdSense auto ads

Google AdSense offers “auto ads” as a way of taking away any worries about ad location, size, colors and other factors that impact performance.

“With Auto ads, you place one piece of code on all pages across your site. Auto ads will then scan your site and automatically place ads where they’re likely to perform well and potentially generate more revenue,” Google says.

Website publishers will find this option in their AdSense account by clicking on Ads on the left column. Click on “Get Code” and place the code between thetags at the top of each page on the site. It may take about an hour for the ads to start appearing.

Auto Ads are a way of letting Google take charge of the process. But can Google do a better job of placing ads than a website publisher? In some cases, yes; in other cases, no.

So there is a benefit to publishers if they experiment with using both Auto Ads and manual placement. An auto ad won’t appear in or near the same location as a manually placed ad.

Auto Ad Analytics

Tracking AdSense auto ad performance is easy. In the account, click on Ads in the left column. In the middle at the top, note that the default tab “By site” is next to the tab “By ad unit”. These two tabs will start offering data about performance after the code begins its work.

Scroll down and click on the square graph icon on the right for site performance. Although the default is seven days, it’s better to look at the 30-day results to get a more accurate trend.

The resulting view will show Impressions, Clicks, Impression RPM, Active View Viewable and Estimated Earnings. The numbers that matter the most is Impression RPM.

Improving Auto Ad Performance

Publishers can take a couple of possible actions if the impression RPM for auto ads is higher than the RPM for manual ads:

  1. Decrease the number of manual ads to see if there are too many of them, which may result in overkill and diluted earnings.
  2. Look at the RPMs for individual manual ads to see which ones perform better and which ones perform worse than auto ads. Try moving the poor performers to new positions or change their size.
  3. Increase the number of auto ads using the Ad Balance tool. To get there, click on Ads and then Ad Balance. But note on that tool the graphic for “better user experience range” for the “ad fill rate”. Take Google’s word for it and don’t increase the fill rate too high. My account is set at the 70 percent fill rate and serving 99 percent of the time. A fill rate at 100 percent will still show ads, but many of them are low quality, embarrassing and will hurt the credibility of my sites.

Trying going to the other tab at the top of the report, the one that says “By ad unit”. It will show which ad units are performing better or worse than auto ads.

Making the 2 Options Compete

Some publishers complain that auto ads don’t work well for them, but performance depends on many factors including time and effort. That’s why publishers should analyze and adjust both the manual and auto ad options over a period of at least 30 days if not longer before jumping to any conclusions.

Google doesn’t always place the ads in a position that is attractive on a site, so it’s wise to avoid using only Auto Ads and ignore design and user experience.

In time, both manual and auto AdSense ads should start to perform nearly the same. This balanced, competitive approach will maintain site integrity and appearance while maximizing revenue.

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