One simple change that could increase your AdSense earnings

In this article I will show you one simple settings change you can make on your AdSense account which could increase your AdSense earnings on your niche sites.

When conducting research for my niche sites I will look for keywords with a certain number of searches and a reasonably good cost-per-click value for the AdSense ads I will be placing on the site (I use the free Google Keyword Tool for this) and once I’ve found what I like I will built a site around those keywords.

How AdSense is meant to work for niche sites

These are niche and very specific sites so the people who visit my sites are not randomly surfing but actually searching for information on the niche I’m covering and as such I’m hoping that once they’re on my site they may decide to click on an AdSense advert which will be relevant to the niche and earn me some money.

That’s the way it’s supposed to work, and that’s what I love about AdSense. If I’m searching for ‘cheap laptops’ then you can be sure that AdSense will display adverts for laptops, but this isn’t always the case as AdSense is a little smarter than that and has knowledge of all the other sites you have been visiting so if you visit my niche site on ‘cheap laptops’ you may actually be served with adverts that are completely irrelevant. An example is that when I use my computer after my fiance has then I will find my searches are littered with AdSense adverts for ‘shoes’ instead of those for ‘cheap laptops’ because Google uses Interest-Based advertising as well as Contextual advertising to determine what adverts to show me.

Why I turned off Interest-based Ads

To me it makes perfect sense to turn off interest-based advertising and only use contextual advertising on my niche sites as the whole method of choosing keywords based on visitor numbers and Cost-per-Click (CPC) and then creating a relevant website relies on that website serving ads related to that niche and the keywords I chose. It makes sense doesn’t it?

By looking at my Performance Reports>Targeting Types I can see that one of my sites does earn some money from interest-based ads but the majority of my sites earn nothing from interest-based and all their money from contextual, but the fact is that Google is still placing the interest-based ads on my site which means I am losing out on potential clicks to contextual ads which are not being shown.

The one benefit of interest-based ads to note is that the average CPC is often slightly higher than that of contextual ads but the CTR is half of what it is for contextual ads, so they are getting far less clicks which means the higher CPC counts for nothing.

You may want to check your own reports before disabling interest-based ads, and please realise that this setting will come into effect for your whole AdSense account and therefore all the ads no matter what sites they are on.

To opt out of interest-based ads do the following:

  1. Sign in to your AdSense account.
  2. Visit the Allow & block ads tab.
  3. In the sidebar, choose Advanced settings.
  4. Click the checkbox next to the Interest-Based Ads Preference so that it reads “Ads based on user interest categories are not allowed to show.”

By doing this and opting out you will decrease the number of ads competing to appear on your website and so if you’ve picked a niche with very few advertisers then you may decrease your potential earnings and few ads will be shown. This is a possibility but if you’ve done your research correctly then you should be fine.

Monitoring the changes

I think it’s important to keep an eye on your earnings along with clicks and pageviews to ensure that your sites are not effected by this change, but it’s easy enough to opt back in if you are adversely effected by only showing contextual ads. I only made this change yesterday but will let this run for at least the rest of the month to see what effect it has but I have a firm believe that it can only be beneficial and should increase my earnings and the number of clicks.

Could this one change earn you more money?