Sunday, June 19, 2005

Using AdSense

Some pretty good tips on using AdSense in your blog come from SelfSEO, like this:

Internet users are "trained" to look in certain locations and ignore things that are outside of thier narrow scope of vision. People can look to the sides for information, but the propensity for them to click your ads becomes significantly lower. By putting ads directly "in thier face", you have a greater chance they will click it.

Here's a few more tips:

I use a white background instead of a color background.

I remove the border on adsense so it does not look like an ad and make sure it matches the background.

I keep the Title and the Hyperlink "Blue".

I keep Adsense "above the fold", so they are the "FIRST" things that people see when they arrive at the site.

I try to keep the ads "left" aligned.

I use the 160X600 vertical for people to see when they move vertically down the website page.

I try to place images near the google ads. Images draw the eyes near the ads.

I keep the site concise, clean and focused.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Relationship searches with Grokker

Search engines help you find sites based on relevance to your search topic. For example, if you search on "Blogger Forum" (without the parentheses) you get a linear list of results based on the sites' importance.

Now, suppose that instead of a linear result you could get a 3-dimensional result. Suppose further that instead of a return based on a site's importance in relation to your search topic, you got a result based on the relationship of sites to not only your topic, but to each other. It is a lot easier to see what I mean than to try and explain it. So, here is the same "Blogger Forum" search, but done with Grokker: Once you play with this for a bit, try entering your own search topics.

You will notice that you have relationships that are loosely connected and relationships that are within "neighborhoods" of related topics. You can see that Blogger Users is a neighborhood that includes Blogger Forum as a site and Blogger Family as a neighborhood that also includes Blogger Forum. However, the relationships within each neighborhood is a bit different. If you then click on one of the sites, the relationships change depending on the choices you make.

Warning: you may find you are spending hours investigating these relationships and discovering sites you never knew existed because a new relationship was suggested to you by Grokker.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Getting dropped by AdSense

Now that Google has opened AdSense to a larger base (bloggers), there seems to be more reports of Google dropping people from the AdSense program for alleged abuse.

A typical email from Google goes like this:

Hello xxxx,

It has come to our attention that invalid clicks have been generated
on the ads on your web pages. We have therefore disabled your Google
AdSense account. Please understand that this step was taken in an
effort to protect the interest of the AdWords advertisers.

The Blogger_user_support Yahoo Group has a thread now on the subject:

Just wanted to share that after a 14 day application process, I was approved for Google AdSense and began using it. I was surprised and happy to see the money I was earning. I also began using site meter at the same time and was surprised at the number of hits I am getting per day, about 100 per weekday. However all of a sudden on day 3 of AdSense my revenue was 75% less than before and then 4th day it was zero and 5th day I received an email stating I was booted out of the program.

Their email seemed to be a standard letter in which they accused my account activity as looking like I am using a robot program or an automated ad clicking program or other computer programs to artificially inflate my clicks. Therefore they closed my account and won't even pay me for those 3days. I am miffed and frankly, offended.

How do you avoid being accused of AdSense manipulation? Take a look HERE for a good article on the subject. It goes from the obvious (don't click on your own AdSense links) to the less obvious.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Yahoo guidelines on employee blogging

Now that Yahoo has it's own blogging feature (Yahoo 360), the company has come out with official guidelines for it's employees who choose to blog. Company guidelines are essential since so many bloggers have been fired or otherwise disciplined without any warning in advance as to company policy on the issue.

In essence, the policy states that no employee may blog about any company issue unless the issue has already been made public by the company. This would probably be a given in any standard-form blogging guideline that a company might want to implement. Taken a step further, what about companies that have official blogs?

"Some companies have a two-tiered blogging scenario. On the official level, they employ marketing people such as Microsoft's Robert Scoble and Google's Michael Krantz who are specifically tasked with evangelizing via the short form."

"Meanwhile, well-known employees often write personal blogs in which they have to constantly remind readers that they're not speaking for the company." -InternetNews

So, it can get pretty hairy out there deciding not only what the guidelines should be, but whether the employee is an official blogger, official blogger but blogging on his own time, or just an employee who mentions the company. Three sets of guidelines, perhaps?