Experimental Adsense Format?

I just came upon the Adsense format below:

Three text links appeared below the regular ad unit. If you mouse over the text link, I find the link to be in the format of ‘javascript:gurl(‘XXXXXX…XXX’)’. I used Google Blogsearch to see if anyone has noticed this type of display, and didn’t find any mention. Wondering if Google is testing a new Adsense for Content format that combines an ad unit with a link unit?

It’s now OK to run Adsense with other contextual ad programs

Jennifer Slegg reported in Jensense.com that she has confirmed with the Google Adsense team that it’s now okay to run Adsense on the same page with other contextual ad programs, provided that they do not resemble or mimic Adsense ads. She also wrote that Adsnese policy will eventually be updated to reflect this change.

Relaxing this restriction shows that Google is confident that Adsense is superior to the other contextual ad programs out there. It remains to be seen that other contextual ad programs, most notably YPN, will relax their own restrictions.

Google updated its Adsense Program Policies

Google updated its Adsense Program policies yesterday (you can find the updated policy here). As usual, Jennifer Slegg at Jensense has a good summary on the changes.

To me, the interesting things to note are:

1. The policy itself is now readable. :)

2. Formalizing the ban on placing images next to Adsense ads to entice clicks. Google announced this ban last month, but I am still seeing a lot of Adsense publishers using this technique.

3. Copyrighted material. Google is now specifically banning sites that steal other people’s content from displaying Adsense. If you find your own content stolen and posted on a page that has Adsense ads (trust me, that can be a very unpleasant feeling), you can notify Google per directions found here, and Google will act on it.

Google asking for feedback on Adsense / Google Analytics

Google is soliciting feedback on how Google Analytics can help webmasters be successful in AdSense. The feedback is running on Google Groups, so you’ll need a Google account (if you are using Google Analytics, you already have one), and your comment will be public.

Back in SES San Jose, I asked some of the Google people on the possibility of tracking AdSesne clicks within Google Analytics. At that time, I did not get anything definitive. I am glad to see that Google is offering this ability now. Personally, I’d like to see how clicks on Adsense ads correlate to the entry source (referring domain, keywords, etc). That type of information would be very helpful in telling webmasters which channels they should focus on optimizing.

Adsense Experimentation

I’ve experimented with two Adsense placement strategies during the past month:

1. Putting graphics on top of Adsense units. There has been a report that employing this technique can quadruple Adsense CTR by 4x. That was not the case for me. In fact, my CTR took a small dive.

2. Adding a second ad unit on pages. I found the total earnings for pages with 2 ad units actually declined. So again, this strategy did not work for me.