How To Get Your Google Adsense On

Inside Adsense interviewed Ivan Heneghan, a Dublin-based AdSense optimisation specialist. Here’s what he recommends.

Q. Tell us an optimisation story… have you ever seen a publisher make a small change and see big results?
A. Oh yes, lots of them! But one of my favourites was a science website that was earning about $10 per day. They were using a 468×60 Banner at the bottom of their pages, but started experimenting with two 300 x 250 Medium Rectangles — one placed just at the top of their content, and another placed directly under the main content on each page. They also tried using more blended colours. Things went crazy from there and earnings shot up to $700 per day. Finally, they moved one of the 300×250 Rectangles from the top of their page to a location more embedded in their content. After that, earnings went to over $1,700 per day!
Q. What are the top 3 tips you like to tell publishers?
A. 1. Use wide ad formats. Many publishers find the 728×90 Leaderboard outperforms the 468×60 banner by about 70%. I particularly recommend using the 728×90 Leaderboard, 160×600 Wide Skyscraper, and 300×250 Medium Rectangle.
2. Embed Google ads in your content, and place Google ads at the end of your articles, news stories and reviews. Placing a 468×60 Banner in the typical slot at the top of page, or a 120×600 Skyscraper along the right-hand side of page, work well for cost-per-thousand impressions (CPM) ads. However, for cost-per-click (CPC) contextual advertising, AdSense tends to work best when integrated with your content.
3. Blend your ad colours into your website. After running a test with a bright pink 728×90 Leaderboard on a black background, I learned that complementary colours often work better. Try blending the background and borders of your ads into your site, and use a text colour that stands out but already exists on your site. Blending decreases ad blindness and users are more likely to notice ads that interest them.

It appears size does matter, at least online.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. Excellent topic and you covered it nicely. Adsense is indeed a huge player in the online advertising world and I believe any tips and guides are appreciated. Of course, while millions of publishers are running Adsense, only a handful are making serious money off it. As far as I’m concerned, the best way to make money with Adsense is to develop a website or blog on a niche topic that should also be something you are interested in. Hobby-related sites have the best chances of keeping you, as their webmaster, happy and involved, and this will soon show in the number of visitors and the amounts of money you make.
    Another vital thing to consider is ad style and placement. I prefer to use a similar structure for all my websites – one that was proven to work. I will share this with you as I believe in reciprocal help through free advice – I also learned A LOT from browsing blogs such as this and other webmaster resources on Adsense. Ok, so getting back to ad placement: I love the idea of placing a 120×90 or 160×90 adlink box on the left side menu of my sites, in the top left corner, just below the banner. Have a look at my website, and get more tips on How to make money with Google Adsense and look at the area below the graphic saying “Online money” – it will house a nice 160×90 adlinks box soon after my site receives enough traffic.
    The second good spot to place a 250×250 or 300×250 ad box is in the article text. Loose the border and make the background of the ads the same as your web background (same is true for the adlink placement mentioned above. The final touch comes with a final ad placed at the end of each araticle. Consider the article a path that leads to the final conclusion – exactly where the ads are. You can also place a small graphic image to the left of the ads, so that they are more attractive from a visual point of view.
    By using such an ad placement most of my sites get CTRs of 10%-15% all the time
    Give it a try and let me know if this sort of ad placement worked in your particular cases – I am also doing a study on this which I will eventually publish on my Google Adsense case study
    Best regards,