AdSense Revenue

By August 13th, 2008

Earning money via AdSenseHow much revenue are publishers earning via AdSense? While certain figures are not publicly disclosable, due to Google’s TOS, there are a number of examples and data points that help paint a picture for AdSense publishers:

  • An AdSense optimizer based in Dublin, Ireland, shares his tips and tricks that raised a science Website’s AdSense revenue from about $10 per day to around $1700 a day [AdSense blog]. He offers great rules-of-thumb on AdSense formats, background color, and placement (although we’d like to remind everyone these are just rules of thumb, and we’ve seen plenty of exceptions, so it’s always worth it to test)
  • a straw poll on Digital Point Forums shows that almost 2/3 of respondents are earning less than $10 per day, a quarter earn between $10-50 per day, and 13% superstars earn over $100 per day.
  • a 3-year-old thread on Webmaster World turns up publishers running the gamut in terms of AdSense earnings – $300 per month on an 8-month-old hobby site; $40 per month on a 3000-impressions/month site; a couple of publishers earning $7000-8000 per month. In a more recent thread, 2 publishers said they made the most in 2006, one said that 2007 was his best year, and one said that 2008 was shaping up to be his highest-revenue year.
  • a Washington Post article in 2006 pointed to a few publishers and their reported earnings: PodcastDirectory.com was earning $30,000-40,000 per year via AdSense; Freeweblayouts.net earned its owners approximately $100,000 per year; SeatGuru earns $10,000-20,000 per month via AdSense (half of the site’s total revenue)
  • a thread at HubPages, where most authors earn the majority of their revenue via AdSense, shows a wide variety of earnings. Maddie Ruud earned over $1000 in one month on about 170 pages of content.

So why do some publishers make a negligible amount of money through AdSense, while others can easily quit their day jobs? There are several variables that affect your overall AdSense revenue:

  • traffic volume: the more people that visit your site, the more people that will click on your AdSense ads.
  • traffic type: regular visitors (like blog readers) tend to not click on ads as often as one-time visitors; visitors from search engines tend to click the most, because they are strongly motivated to find information on a topic
  • click-through rate (CTR): the likelihood of a visitor to click on an ad. Solutions like YieldBuild will help you maximize your site’s CTR by tweaking your ad units’ background colors, border styles and colors, formats, sizes, and positions on the page (yes, the right formats and layouts can make a big difference in CTR)
  • revenue per click (RPC): this is the amount of money that Google pays out to you as a publisher per visitor click. The RPC depends on topic (mostly), but there is suspicion that Google uses some sort of publisher quality score in deciding how much to pay out per click. Recent data by YieldBuild shows that AdSense RPCs are growing, broadly speaking.

If you want to increase your AdSense revenue, there are several things you should be doing. First, you must focus on getting more traffic to your site. Currying the favor of the search engines, like Google and Yahoo, by creating high-quality, niche content, and setting up your site for success by following the best “white hat” SEO techniques, will help the search engines pave a path to your site’s door. Matt Cutts, Google’s own SEO spokesperson, offers these whitehat SEO tips for bloggers. You can also consult this article and this one.

To increase click-through, the easiest and best option is to use YieldBuild–you can optimize the variables that contribute to CTR automatically, with one installation. Alternatively, if you like to have a hands-on, tinkering-with-the-engine approach, we suggest following an AdSense optimization protocol of your own design. It might be considerably more time-consuming, and you likely won’t be able to test all the same variables, but your effort will pay off and you should see revenue lift.

Finally, to increase RPC: this is largely a function of topic. Business, financial and health topics tend to have considerably higher payouts per click than do topics like entertainment, celebrities, and photo galleries. Since most sites are generally geared towards a particular topic anyway, there probably isn’t much a publisher can do to change this. But, to the extent that you can choose the additional content you choose to write and publish (which is a good idea, anyway, to attract more search-engine traffic), you might choose to write unique, detailed information on topics that tangentially relate to your site’s topic but also overlap with one of the higher-paying topic areas. For example, if your site is about New York City, you might find that pages on NYC banks and NYC brokerages might turn out a higher RPC than pages on NYC skyline pictures. You can use this method to get an order-of-magnitude estimate for RPC payouts for keywords you’re considering targeting.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 13th, 2008 at 2:22 pm and is filed under Online Advertising. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

6 Responses to “AdSense Revenue”

  1. Danny Gabriner Says:

    The story about the guy moving from $10/day to $1700/day is either lying, or has something missing. Either AdSense was missing from the majority of the pages, or traffic volumes increased significantly.

    You brought up four factors which affect earnings:
    - Traffic Levels
    - Traffic Type
    - CTR
    - RPC

    For anyone starting off, traffic levels are by far the most important factor. Before you really need to get into any sort of optimizing or tweaking, you need enough people. To get this traffic, you need to focus on SEO and other techniques to get people to your site.

    Traffic type is very important, and can be played in two ways. You are right that one-time casual visitors are more likely to click on your ads and gain you money in the short term. But dedicated, regular readers can contribute by linking to your good posts, and thus getting you even more PageRank and traffic.

    Once you have a decent level of traffic, or are making past $10/day in AdSense revenue, it is definitely the time to start testing and optimizing. YieldBuild sounds like a good program, but also following tried and true methods can almost instantaneously show positive impact.

    Finally, in regards to the issue of RPC, it is definitely true that each niche will have its own advertiser marketplace, and generate varying amount of competition and payouts. Not only does RPC change, but the types of readers reading posts on different topics have different tendencies to click on ads. It is definitely possible to try to monitor these markets, and gradually shift your content towards a profitable sector, but make sure that you are knowledgeable about that sector, and can continue to have premium articles that will get interest.

  2. Different Levels And Methods Of Optimization | Optimizing AdSense Says:

    [...] Menayan, of YieldBuild, has a new post that talks about different publishers being at different levels on the AdSense spectrum. The vast [...]

  3. todd frost Says:

    I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

  4. John Says:

    I hear that student loan companies are paying up to $25 per click to get visitors to their websites.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    So you people simply believe what the article says without questioning it?

  6. sarah Says:

    hey
    this is great I want to read more articles Adsense payout is $100. Too high for me, plus they have messed with my ads before on my web site and took them off for some reason.

    sarah

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