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April 26, 2005

AdSense adds heat map to their optimization tips page

AdSense has now added the heat map to their Optimization Tips page. This is the same heat map I talked about after visiting the Googleplex for the Google AdSense Bay Area Forum.


Certain locations tend to be more successful than others. This “heat map” illustrates these ideal placements on a sample page layout. The colors fade from dark orange (strongest performance) to light yellow (weakest performance). All other things being equal, ad placements above the fold tend to perform better than those below the fold. Ads placed near rich content and navigational aids usually do well because users are focused on those areas of a page.
Many of my experiences on many sites show this to be a fairly accurate representation, but of course, not all sites are made alike. But it is a great reference tool for AdSense publishers who are still utilizing poor placement on their sites.

Posted by Jenstar at April 26, 2005 10:20 AM

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Hi Jenstar, I agree this is really useful but I can also see that some publishers will lose the plot and go overboard on positioning their ads bang in the middle of their content. This can deliver short term gains at the expense of building a loyal visitor base. It's also worth mentioning the formats Google recommends:- "The formats we've found to be the most effective are the 336x280 large rectangle , the 300x250 inline rectangle , and the 160x600 wide skyscraper".

Posted by: William Charlwood at May 6, 2005 09:37 AM

We use AdSense as our primary source of revenue. Certainly the idea of putting ads front and center occurred to us. In fact, the idea of having category "sponsors" was an early part of our business plan.

But if you want to have an ongoing relationship with your users/members (we call them neighbors), you might look at things differently.

So we have ads on the right hand side. Only. And whatever is over there has no effect on how we serve information to you.

If we're in business a year from now, well, that was the right decision. If not, well, don't do that. But it certainly makes us feel better about our site.

Posted by: James Deibele at May 6, 2005 10:23 PM

since starting my blog in Feb, I've had 3 clicks in total on my adsense ads. quite rediculoous actually. if u have any suggestions, i'd sure like to hear them.


Posted by: eKapa at May 12, 2005 08:11 AM

I am reading this blog. I find it quite amazing. I have seen this heat map before, and was quite underwelmed by it. I have placed ads in the heat map area suggested, and walked through creating DOZENS & DOZENS of blogs. Traffic seems incredibly random. So I wrote a program so I could update and ping these giant number of blogs daily and multiple times. My hits have increased DRAMATICALLY, but clicking still follows the pattern of a random walk. Theoretically the more traffic and blogs you have, the more clicks you should generate. But that ain't necessarily so. It just seems the more consistent your traffic and clicks become. Some of my best days I did not blog and ping at all!


Posted by: Christopher Dixon at May 15, 2005 10:41 AM