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Google Adsense Interest based advertising: an experiment

Following this post: Google Adsense Interest based advertising: what’s the problem? I made an experiment with two websites, let’s name them “website A” and “website B” . I de-actived the interest based ads for one week (so the ads have been displayed only on a “contextual” base), than activated again for another week.

Website A: highly targeted one. All the pages have one single theme. People come to this website because they want to find information related to the theme. They are coming from search engines only through a very limited set of targeted keywords.

Website B: a website with no clear theme. Basically, each page has its own theme. People come mostly from search engines, through specific searches.

Here are my findings:

Click through rate (CTR):

  • for website A: the click rate was 2,39% in the “contextual week” and 2,23% in the “interest based week”
  • for website B: the click rate was 2,77% in the “contextual week” and 3,05% in the “interest based week”

Page eCPM:

  • for website A: “Avalue” during the “contextual week”, -7% during the “interest based week”
  • for website B:  ”Bvalue” during the “contextual week”, +2% during the “interest based week”

So, the conclusions are crystal clear. Use “interest based advertising” when your website doesn’t have a general theme (for example if you run a local search directory, a free classifieds website, a news website etc.) and use only  “contextual” advertising when you run a highly targeted website.

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed it, please comment or share this post.

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11 Responses to “Google Adsense Interest based advertising: an experiment”

  • Gwen:

    Oh this is so true. I’ve really had more success with Adsense on sites that don’t have a theme. The only problem is that the differences in click dollar values differ widely. I can have one cent clicks one day and one dollar clicks on another day…

  • Glen:

    That is very nice findings.

    I had no idea that the theme or no theme in this case could affect your Click Through Rate and CPM

  • TI:

    Oh this is so true. I’ve really had more success with Adsense on sites that don’t have a theme. The only problem is that the differences in click dollar values differ widely. I can have one cent clicks one day and one dollar clicks on another day…

  • zx:

    nice tips mate.hope i can be adsense publisher too lol

  • Here’s my worry for interest-based advertising (if that’s what is causing the ad to follow me around), I have no intention of clicking on the ad again. This means the publisher is losing a possible click. If this happens on a grand scale shouldn’t users be clicking less and publishers ending up with less money?

  • Paul:

    I remember clicking on a google ad (not on my site!) …. After visiting the site through the ad … I have seen that same ad follow me all around the Web i.e. on sites with adsense.

  • great article. i do have a site with adsense but don’t make much money. i am planning on building a few more to see if i can make some more.

    my goal is 20 sites.

  • Looks interesting. But I think one should try a bigger sample. What say?

  • Top Twenty: the websites used for this experiment have over 5000 unique visitors / day.

  • Kris:

    Thanks for the tips Lucian, totally agreed.

  • I have the same problem with Adsense .Though i am not clear about the theme or no theme issue but my sites ppc varies day to day & i read someone also having the same problem.Its complicated though.