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Using meta tags to influence your AdSense ads

AdSense Optimization Boot Camp Tip #5 

Yes, meta tags definitely lost influence in the search engines years ago after spammy webmasters turned them into a keyword stuffing paradise… and yes, stuffing payday loans 87 times in your meta tags did work once upon a time.  But since then, people have definitely become lazy about adding meta tags to their site, because its SEO value is greatly reduced compared to days gone by.  If you want to know more about the SEO value of meta tags, read Do you really need meta tags?  You bet for a crash course.

However, one perk that meta tags have going for them is that there is evidence that they help influence the type of AdSense ads that appear on your site, which can be great for publishers who are suffering from ads that are too broad or just not quite targeted enough to the content of the page.

It is worth remembering that meta tags are only an influencer to help target ads to content that is already on the page.  So stuffing mesothelioma into the meta tags of a puppy dog site won’t mean you will show those pricy mesothelioma ads instead of dog related ones.  But if your article is about dog food, using meta tags can help steer the ads to be super targeted to dog food (which would result in more clicks because they would be so targeted) rather than just dog ads in general, which could cover everything from dog food to puppy mills.

So it is worthwhile to make sure your description meta tag is spot on, and do your keyword meta tag at the same time.  However, Google has said when it comes to search, they generally ignore the keyword meta tag, it does have its uses for tagging purposes.

Need a crash course in creating your description and keyword meta tags?  They go in between your <head> and </head> tags, and beneath the <title></title> tags.

So for example:

<HEAD>
<TITLE>Your page title goes here</TITLE>
<META NAME =”description” CONTENT=”A short but specific blurb about what the page is about.”>

<META NAME =”keywords” CONTENT=”keyword1, keyword2, keyword 3, keyword4″>
</HEAD>

Also in this area, you want to add any other relevant tags you need such as NOODP or NOYDIR.  And be careful you aren’t inserting anything spammy.  Make sure they are on target to the page and site, and do not insert repetitive keywords, once is enough, or perhaps twice if it is part of a keyword phrase as well.

Yes, adding meta tags can be an extremely boring and tedious job, especially for those sites that have none.  But it can be especially useful for those who have some targeting issues that other methods don’t resolve (I will be covering some of those methods this month as well), not to mention some slight SEO value, which is better than none :) 

Happy meta tagging! 

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8 comments to Using meta tags to influence your AdSense ads

  • Rob

    Although I’m a devout user of META tags –especially to create an enticing little blurb below my links in Google SERPs– I’ve never heard of using the META description tag to influence the relevance of Adsense ads on your page. With all due respect, what do you base this on?

  • Rob – Lots of testing on both my own sites and client sites. I have spoken about this tip at conferences and have also heard back from those who heard it at one of my sessions, tried it, and it improved targeting issues.

  • I had SEVERE ads mismatching. I did try adding meta tags-but now I think my problem is specfic to me (Adsense seems to be pulling from my entire blog somehow). So I’m switching to non-conent ads for a while.

    But if you use WordPress, the All in One SEO plugin will make adding meta tags and descriptions a lot more managable.

    BTW Suziki’s trackback from Japan says “Add meta tags in the forefront of marketing sense affect advertising” I was translating and then remembered Google has a translate tool…

  • […] We tried several tricks recommended by Google and bloggers but to no avail. Eventually, we resorted to good ol’ keyword meta tags by writting a stored procedure that automatically injected tags from radar’s Tag Clouds into keyword metatag for a page hosting it. We didn’t pin too many hopes on a quick exit from Google Sandbox but rather hoped that Yahoo and other guys will bring us a bit more traffic and quality of AdSense ads will improve (the keyword meta tags still could influence AdSense). […]

  • Dear webmaster,

    I have put meta tag codes in my blog. Can I add other meta tags? Will it be verified by Google AdSense term and conditions?

    Thank you very much for your information.

  • I am editing meta tags for every page. I do not know does it really much influence the ads shown, but I am satisfied with ads relevance.

    Is there any recommendation about number of keywords used?

  • I have used same meta tages all over my site and revenue was decent. One day, I felt this is messing up the entire site and removed them. Revenue decreased 3 times. Now, I put my meta tags back and still not able to increase my earnings :(

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