Over the years there have been numerous changes inside Google’s AdSense network. Some good, some not so good, and some that rocked the blogosphere. But change is inevitable, especially when it involves the Internet and blogging.
There are plenty of bloggers who make a very good living with nothing but AdSense on their blogs. You could be one of them.
AdSense is still one of the most popular ways to monetize your site probably because it’s so easy. You don’t have to worry about coding in links or adding your affiliate ID, you just copy and paste the script and you’re done.
The most difficult aspect of AdSense – keyword selection – has also become easier within the last couple of years.
In the past, you had to do extensive keyword research to find the keywords that were getting the most traffic, with the least competition, and had the best click through rates and payouts.
These days, Google’s search algorithm has minimized the need for all that research.
Google’s Intuitive Search algorithm uses the searcher’s own preferences to trigger the ads they see when they visit your blog.
If they’ve recently clicked on an ad for roof repair then they’re going to see roof repair ads when they visit your blog, even if your blog is about baby care. By showing readers relevant ads no matter where they are on the Web, click through rates increase.
Now, this search feature only works if the searcher is logged in to their Google account and if they haven’t disabled the option. (Disabling the option typically isn’t a concern because most users don’t even know it’s available or that it’s even happening.) So, what happens to the ads when your visitor isn’t logged into their Google account?
Then the ads are triggered by the keywords you use in your content. This also ensure that the visitor is seeing relevant ads. If they weren’t interested in ads for baby care products they wouldn’t be visiting a baby care blog.
Either way, whether they’re logged in or not, Google’s updates have improved ad relevancy, which mean increased click throughs and more money in your pocket.
The one downside to these changes is that blog owners have lost a lot of control over the ads that appear on their site. In the past, you could search for keywords with higher payouts, use them on your blog, and by using the right keywords in your content you could trigger those higher paying ads to appear, thus increasing your overall income.
These days, you can still search for those expensive keywords but since it’s your visitor’s search history that triggers the ads now, you’re really just wasting your time.
Additionally, it used to be you could find these golden nuggets, long tail keywords that had no competition, a high number of searches and advertisers who were willing to pay out the nose. Those golden nuggets are long gone and click bid rates have dropped since there’s so much competition out there.
Your time is much better spent doing basic keyword research and then spending the rest of your time producing top-quality content.
While click rates may have dropped over the years and the competition has grown, there are still plenty of bloggers who swear by AdSense and make a very good living with it.
So don’t pass it over when you’re looking for monetization options. Remember – it’s easy to use and it’s still one of the most popular methods in use.