At a glance, the facts that you like money and other people like free stuff don’t seem to fit well together, right? A sort of secret, though, is that people like free stuff so much they’ll sometimes try to express their gratitude. Also, yeah, there’s the guilt factor.
Bigger is better, right? Except when something’s too big, people view it as obnoxious, and the object in question gets shunned. So if you’re waffling between using medium and large AdSense rectangles, some new info supplied by Google may help straighten things out.
A post on the Inside AdSense blog states, “We took this question to our Optimization Team, who gave us insight into the strengths of each ad format.” Use these tips as a guide, although of course, you should test stuff out on your site to make sure the general rule holds true.
Anyway, the post stated, “The 300×250 medium rectangle is a widely supported format that advertisers often use when designing their branding and rich media campaigns. Using this ad format and opting in to both text and image ads may generate more placement targeting opportunities, which will help drive up competition for your ad space and should lead to higher earnings over time.”
It also noted, “The 336×280 large rectangle tends to have a higher clickthrough rate due to its larger size. It often performs well on text-heavy pages where it’s integrated into the content.”
Good luck using this info to your advantage.
Popularity: 29% [?]
Today’s post won’t exactly look at the traditional ways in which people earn money online – you won’t find the Google gospel off the company’s latest blog post or anything of that sort. Instead, this is the tale of how a guy who suffered through a bad vacation made about $892 off a blog.
Monetization is monetization, eh? And Andrew Sharman used a blog, a Twitter account, and little else besides word of mouth to get a fair amount of both cash and attention.
Richard Savill wrote, “Mr Sharman told . . . how he and his girlfriend Taryn Capewell, 26, were misled when they booked their ‘first proper holiday together’ at a Thomson store in Leicester. . . . But when they reached Tunisia they said they found beer was 3 a pint, twice the price quoted by Thomson; the Sahara was eight hours’ drive away; there was no scuba diving and their room had had two single beds instead of the requested double.”
So Sharman, instead of (or at least in addition to) wacking himself for not doing his own research, wrote a letter to the Thomson travel agency. After he didn’t receive a response, he blogged about everything and promoted the blog on Twitter. Before long, he then found that his blog, and not the Thomson site, ranked high for several “Thomson Tunisia”-related searches.
So Sharman relayed that fact to Thomson, at which point the company gave him a refund covering about two-thirds of the price of his vacation.
If a fool and his money are soon parted, this at least goes to show that blogs and Twitter have the power to mostly reunite them.
Popularity: 30% [?]
Google has upgraded AdSense in yet another important couple of ways this week. After all, if something’s bad, you don’t want to deal with it for half of a workday, right? And it’s bad regardless of how much other stuff you’ve previously deemed bad. So have a gander at improvements to the Competitive Ad Filter.
First, a post on the Inside AdSense blog acknowledged, “In the past, the Competitive Ad Filter sometimes took up to several hours to block URLs you’d entered.”
It then continued, “Knowing you’ve wanted a faster filtering system, we’re excited to let you know that URLs added to your Competitive Ad Filter are now usually blocked within 30 minutes. We hope that this will help you quickly make changes to maintain a positive user experience on your sites.”
The post also stated, “At the same time, a growing number of you have let us know that you’re running out of space in your Competitive Ad Filter. Now, you can add up to 500 sites to your filter list, more than double the previous limit.”
Try not to shoot yourself in the figurative foot going wild with these upgrades; remember that advertisements contribute to your bank account.
Otherwise, well, have fun eliminating bad stuff with greater efficiency.
Popularity: 31% [?]
Sites about farm animals, fat people, and casualties of war should not all feature the same ads. But if they all use the term “cow,” they might. And so Google’s trying to update AdSense’s contextual targeting capabilities for the sake of serving better ads and letting advertisers and you make more money.
A post on the Inside AdSense blog states, “[T]his week, we’ll be rolling out a series of enhancements to AdSense’s contextual targeting capabilities, which will more accurately match relevant ads to webpages. You won’t need to update your AdSense account or ad code, as these changes will be applied automatically. In many ways these types of improvements are par for the course at Google – but I wanted to let you know about the kinds of improvements we’ve been focusing on.”
The post then continues, “Please keep in mind that these changes won’t affect how other types of ads are matched to your sites; for instance, you’ll continue to see placement-targeted ads when advertisers bid to appear specifically on your pages.”
Google’s interested in hearing your feedback if you notice any differences. And hopefully you will, because misplaced ads of the sort we mentioned earlier really don’t do anybody much good.
This might be a good time to do a little research and make sure (if you haven’t already) that your keywords don’t have multiple meanings, too.
Popularity: 32% [?]
Last time, we talked about Twitter as a promotional tool, and ended with a joke about not using it to target David Letterman. It turns out, though, that you might be better off targeting Letterman than a teenager, because new numbers indicate that Twitter isn’t popular among kids.
Note: the fresh report doesn’t challenge the idea that Twitter’s a good marketing tool. So we’re not doing a 180. This is just to help you refine your use of the social site.
Nielsen’s David Martin and Sue MacDonald stated, “In June 2009, only 16 percent of Twitter.com website users were under the age of 25. Bear in mind persons under 25 make up nearly one quarter of the active US Internet universe, which means that Twitter.com effectively under-indexes on the youth market by 36 percent.”
Meanwhile, 64 percent of Twitter’s users fall into the 25 to 54 age group, and 20 percent are 55 or older.
So if you want to try to make money using Twitter, just carefully consider what sort of people it is you’re trying to reach. Martin and MacDonald wrote, “The fact remains that Twitter has grown to be a major online presence and is being driven forward by significant buzz.”
Popularity: 34% [?]
Social media is free insofar as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter don’t demand registration fees of their users. But most people don’t have an unlimited amount of time to spend dropping links on social media sites, and so you might want to use some info posted on the Royal Pingdom blog to decide where your energy will be best spent.
“A quick look in Google Trends confirms how strong Twitter’s media presence has become in 2009,” an article states. “The first thing you notice is the enormous boost compared to previous years (Twitter launched in 2006). It’s like a race car accelerating.”
The post then continues, “That in itself is impressive, but it gets even more interesting when you start comparing it with other big Web properties like Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, and even Google and Yahoo. And just for fun, we threw in Microsoft’s new search contender, Bing, and Microsoft itself.”
As for the results, it’s simple: Twitter beat everything with the exception of Google and Microsoft (and those have been pretty close races in recent days).
So if you’re looking to turn a social media promotion into money, consider focusing on Twitter. Unless your target audience is David Letterman, anyway.
Popularity: 12% [?]