How one Google Adsense settings doubled my CTR!

by rayan
72 replies
  • SEO
  • |
I have been using XFactor adsense strategy for about 5 months and always wonder how best can we maximize the CTR. And out of curiosity, I change one of the settings in my adsense account for a week to test out and I am delighted by the results =)

The setting is: Interest Based Ads. If you are doing micro niche, I would strongly advice you to turn this setting off! After disabling this setting, I have seen an increase in CTR, one channel even close to double (from 15% to 26%). This experiment is conducted without any other changes to the ads.

To change the setting, go to your google adsense acount under account settings, click edit the interest based ads and choose the disable option.



I have also attach 2 screen shots showing some of the improvements before and after.

BEFORE
Total Average CTR (on 8 channels) = 5.59%

AFTER
Total Average CTR (on 8 channels) = 8.3%

Edit: I removed the actual screen shot showing my adsense account due to the advice of the kind Warriors =)

Important Note
Before you go and change the settings, please understand this sharing is based on my personal observations. And I highly encourage to only change this settings for your adsense account if you are targeting micro niches.

Anyone has similar experience to share?
#adsense #ctr #doubled #google #settings
  • Profile picture of the author AllanCollins
    Awesome tip! Thanks.
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  • Profile picture of the author Joseph Then
    Do you know that you're violating the TOS of Adsense by displaying all your CTR?
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  • Profile picture of the author Ernie Lo
    Has anyone else tried this..results?

    I may have it wrong but it sounds like turning the setting off would make the ads less relevant?
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    • Profile picture of the author Fraggler
      Originally Posted by Ernie Lonardo View Post

      Has anyone else tried this..results?

      I may have it wrong but it sounds like turning the setting off would make the ads less relevant?
      In theory, it will make the ads relevant to what the user is searching at present.

      If a person who is usually interested in cats starts look at dresses, they want to see ads about dresses - not cats.
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    • Profile picture of the author Filter
      Originally Posted by Ernie Lonardo View Post

      Has anyone else tried this..results?

      I may have it wrong but it sounds like turning the setting off would make the ads less relevant?
      Yup, I tried it about 6 months ago on an arcade site I own (don't ask!) and can confirm CTR increased by about 65% and eCPM by about 10-15%

      As Fraggler said, it shows ads relevant to the content on your site rather than ads that Google thinks is relevant to the user based on their browsing habits

      Cheers
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  • Profile picture of the author Underground SEO
    Great tip there, also it is against googles TOS but I doubt they will find out to he honest! Might be an idea to get rid of the screenshots though to be sure
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  • Profile picture of the author Ernie Lo
    Thanks guys *runs off to change setting*
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  • Profile picture of the author DrGUID
    Wow, great tip - I'll give it a go!

    I've noticed more and more of these ads - I wonder if they are messing up our stats? If someone visits a low value site then goes to a high value site, will low value ads show up on the high value site?
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  • Profile picture of the author unlimitedwealth
    Great share.

    Just changed my settings as well. Make sense that ads should be relevant to the micro niches and not the browser past behavior. Very logical.
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  • Profile picture of the author visit_faraz
    Okay, just made those changes now.
    Will know the difference in a day or two.

    Thanks,
    Faraz
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    • Profile picture of the author Intrepreneur
      Originally Posted by visit_faraz View Post

      Okay, just made those changes now.
      Will know the difference in a day or two.

      Thanks,
      Faraz
      How?

      I do not see this in the setting page in my adsense account.

      Thanks
      Signature

      Owner easiery.com

      Started in 2009 now working on the above project.

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      • Profile picture of the author kevlah
        If you are having trouble finding the option in your AdSense account -

        To opt out of ads that are based on user-interest categories:
        1. Sign in to your AdSense account.
        2. Visit your My Account tab.
        3. Go to the Account Settings page.
        4. In the Interest-based Ads Preference section, click edit.
        5. Select the button marked Do not display ads based on user-interest categories and save your changes.
        (as per the AdSense support centre, but I haven't enough posts to post a link)
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  • Profile picture of the author misterkailo
    Besides learning about XFactor method, this is another extremely helpful post! I will switch option and let you guys know my results as well!
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    • Profile picture of the author blogginginc
      Might this be, because when you have this setting on, many times just NO ads show up?.

      Just wondering. In my case I always have this off.
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      • Profile picture of the author inter123
        I am not going to change anything for the time being because click through rate is high.

        A question for the OP or others: what was the efect in terms of payment received after changing the option to 'Do not show ads that are based on user-interest categories'?
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        • Profile picture of the author jimkirk1943
          Originally Posted by inter123 View Post


          A question for the OP or others: what was the efect in terms of payment received after changing the option to 'Do not show ads that are based on user-interest categories'?
          Can i ask what makes you think there will be any effect ? Why should there be do you know something or have read something that makes you think there will be a effect in payout ??
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          • Profile picture of the author inter123
            If your website is on gardening and the user has a big interest in cooking then there will lots of ads on cooking. The cost per click is going to vary depending on niche.

            Gardening might be paying £2 while cooking might be £0.50. With cooking ads, the payout is going to be less, I am assuming.

            (Unless I totally misunderstood what the OP is talking about).

            Originally Posted by jimkirk1943 View Post

            Can i ask what makes you think there will be any effect ? Why should there be do you know something or have read something that makes you think there will be a effect in payout ??
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            • Profile picture of the author rayan
              Originally Posted by Filter View Post

              Yup, I tried it about 6 months ago on an arcade site I own (don't ask!) and can confirm CTR increased by about 65% and eCPM by about 10-15%

              As Fraggler said, it shows ads relevant to the content on your site rather than ads that Google thinks is relevant to the user based on their browsing habits

              Cheers
              Wow, that's a great improvement! I think this setting is a MUST for arcade websites =)

              Originally Posted by DrGUID View Post

              Wow, great tip - I'll give it a go!

              I've noticed more and more of these ads - I wonder if they are messing up our stats? If someone visits a low value site then goes to a high value site, will low value ads show up on the high value site?
              Yes, you are right. And it has vice versa effects as well. If you have a low value site and it will display high value ads if your visitors are coming from there.

              Originally Posted by ahefner33 View Post

              I just want to bring this up and get some others opinion but does this interest based ads thing make any sense on Googles part? I just don't see how placing ads from previously visited sites on a site that you are CURRENTLY interested in could benefit the publisher, advertiser or Google. My mind set is if I am looking at a page about basketballs, I am interested in basketballs, then and there, not cruise vacations I was searching a day ago to help my mother in law find. Any thoughts?

              Hefner
              Till date, I find that it does more harm than good for my sites but I believe it really depends on the type of sites that you are running. Some site owners may find it better to have this option enabled..

              Originally Posted by Intrepreneur View Post

              Under account settings I do not see this?

              I chose account settings from the left hand column in my account. I'm on new interface.
              Have you found it? It is under Account >> Account Settings. Look for Interest Based Ads settings.

              Originally Posted by visit_faraz View Post

              Okay, just made those changes now.
              Will know the difference in a day or two.

              Thanks,
              Faraz
              Look forward to hear from you =)

              Originally Posted by misterkailo View Post

              Besides learning about XFactor method, this is another extremely helpful post! I will switch option and let you guys know my results as well!
              Cool! Let us know how it goes for your sites!

              Originally Posted by blogginginc View Post

              Might this be, because when you have this setting on, many times just NO ads show up?.

              Just wondering. In my case I always have this off.
              I have the many ads shown all the time several are relating to other niches before this setting was enabled. If you have this setting OFF for your site, you may want to turn it ON to test (if you are not targeting micro niches) and see the results.

              Originally Posted by inter123 View Post

              I am not going to change anything for the time being because click through rate is high.

              A question for the OP or others: what was the efect in terms of payment received after changing the option to 'Do not show ads that are based on user-interest categories'?
              My payment increased by 25% to 50% averaging across all 8 channels. I guess it is because I run profitable niches site (in terms of Adsense clicks) and really cannot allow other ads to take away my valuable space =)
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  • Profile picture of the author Ernie Lo
    Hmm I may change it back soon, my profit per click decreased big time.
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    • Profile picture of the author Joseph Then
      Originally Posted by Ernie Lonardo View Post

      Hmm I may change it back soon, my profit per click decreased big time.
      I believe we should let it run for about 5-7 days before we make any conclusion.

      I see an increased in about 1% CTR for myself but that's just one day. I can only conclude after 7 days if this setting will help me.
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    • Profile picture of the author jimkirk1943
      Originally Posted by Ernie Lonardo View Post

      Hmm I may change it back soon, my profit per click decreased big time.
      How can you tell that so quickly ?
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      • Profile picture of the author Ernie Lo
        Because after changing it my next clicks were lower than ive ever had before.



        Originally Posted by jimkirk1943 View Post

        How can you tell that so quickly ?
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        • Profile picture of the author jimkirk1943
          Originally Posted by Ernie Lonardo View Post

          Because after changing it my next clicks were lower than ive ever had before.
          I only ask because my clicks are always up and down i belive the advertisers pay different amounts per click at different times of the day i dont think i monitor my clicks so closely that i could tell in a 24 hour period if my clicks where paying less or not maybe i have to watch things more closely
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        • Profile picture of the author jimkirk1943
          Originally Posted by Ernie Lonardo View Post

          Because after changing it my next clicks were lower than ive ever had before.
          Think your right Ernie screw that i was doing fine before today ha ha
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          • Profile picture of the author mejohn
            I just changed my settings. My normal CTR is around 6%. I will post my results.
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        • Profile picture of the author Fraggler
          Originally Posted by Ernie Lonardo View Post

          Because after changing it my next clicks were lower than ive ever had before.
          From what you have been saying in some of your previous threads, Ernie, you aren't getting many clicks yet so it will be a bit premature to judge. The change in eCPM could have happened regardless. I would wait a week to get enough data before comparing the positive or the negative of the change. You will want at least 100 clicks to get a decent idea.
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          • Profile picture of the author Ernie Lo
            Fair enough, I'm willing to try it again when I get more clicks.

            This is what happened... changed the setting

            and my next few clicks were only 15 cents each.

            Where previous to changing the setting....I was averaging 0.50 - $1+ per click

            But I see your point I could of gave it more time I agree



            Originally Posted by Fraggler View Post

            From what you have been saying in some of your previous threads, Ernie, you aren't getting many clicks yet so it will be a bit premature to judge. The change in eCPM could have happened regardless. I would wait a week to get enough data before comparing the positive or the negative of the change. You will want at least 100 clicks to get a decent idea.
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  • Profile picture of the author nettech
    Right, settings changed, lets see what happens!
    Signature

    Thanks
    Zaheer

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  • Profile picture of the author jimkirk1943
    Ok i`ve just changed it back i too have never hads such low paying clicks scary !! But i`ll follow this thread to see what happens with you guys !
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  • Profile picture of the author Vexo
    Thanks for the tips will try it now
    Signature

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  • Profile picture of the author kokkada
    I think this tips will increase CTR but it reduces click value. You chance to get less value click.

    I suggest all warrior forum members to avoid this tips...
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    • Profile picture of the author slimjim2010
      Banned
      [DELETED]
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      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
        You need to carefully test this yourself before getting too excited. I gave it a try and my CTR did not change but my payments decreased.

        When I changed it back the payments went back to higher amounts.

        It might work better for some types of sites than for others - but don't just look at CTR - look at the profit, too.

        kay
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  • Profile picture of the author misterkailo
    My CTR is reduced and average cost per click was also reduced. I think it is better not to change it. For example, if someone was visiting a plastic surgery or lawyer website, and then came to my niche site that pays about 25-30 cents per click, I might get clicks that cost over $2+ because it is an ad about plastic surgery.

    After changing it, one of my site was getting about 4-5 cents per click, but before the change, it was averaging about 50 cents per click.
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  • Profile picture of the author misterkailo
    I don't believe in coincidence, but simply changing it back to interest-based ads for me has increased my CTR back up to 24% for today. Yesterday, I turned it off for the whole day to see if there is any improvements in CTR and cost per click, and it was 13% and the cost per click was about 22 cents per click.

    I'm not saying turning it off is a bad idea, but it is only good for certain niche. If you are doing XFactor style stuff, then turning it off is a very bad idea.
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  • Profile picture of the author mejohn
    After day one, my ctr and pay are both up just over 50%. Too soon to tell for sure, but I will continue to report as time goes on.

    Are you around, John from XFactor? If you were to try this with your Adsense account, we could know pretty much for certain if this works on a large scale or not.
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  • I have a lot of sites with good ctr and click prices up to 7EUR, I've turned this thing off and will report you results after 1 week
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  • Profile picture of the author lisaann
    I really appreciate this tip and that Rayan brought it to my attention, but my earnings dropped about 3 to 4-fold with just this one change.

    So do be careful with it. I get a lot of traffic and Adsense clicks so I was able to figure this out over about a 3-day span. If you're not getting much traffic I'd leave this test alone for now. I was shocked to see my earnings drop as much as they did just by checking off a tick box.

    Lisa
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  • Profile picture of the author cagliostro
    Guys it is impossible to tell the difference in 2-3 days. You need at least a month to be sure.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      If I make a change for 72 hours and my income drops quite a bit - I'm not going to wait a month. Especially not when the numbers return to "normal" quickly when I change it back.

      If you were to try this with your Adsense account, we could know pretty much for certain if this works on a large scale or not.
      This is a setting you should test for yourself - rather than proceed on the results of someone else's testing. It may work for some niches - may not work for others.

      kay
      Signature
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    • Profile picture of the author lisaann
      Originally Posted by cagliostro View Post

      Guys it is impossible to tell the difference in 2-3 days. You need at least a month to be sure.
      You're kidding right? Some of us get hundreds of clicks per day. Easily enough to test this out in 2-3 days.
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  • Profile picture of the author tahersaid
    Thanx I will test this
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  • Profile picture of the author misterkailo
    I am with Kay King on this one. I am not going to wait a month because this change has hurt my CTR from 24% to half of that, and clicks were no more than 20 cents.
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    • Profile picture of the author unlimitedwealth
      I am into micro niches. Here's my results.

      - CTR went down
      - Earnings went down as well

      While it seems that it is quite logical to set the ad to be relevant to the micro niche topic we are targeting but i don't think adsense engine behind this work in the manner we perceived.

      So got to stick back to things that work.

      Nice experiment though.
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  • Profile picture of the author Filter
    Well, a very interesting set of results here. In the interest of testing, I'm going to do the reverse and turn mine back on for a few days (has been off for 6 months) and see what happens....
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  • Profile picture of the author Toby.T
    I am getting no clicks on my 30-40 uniques a day for the last week. So ill switch it up and see if I can get a click.
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  • Profile picture of the author nettech
    OK, I'm going to throw a spanner in the works here.

    2 days and I've noticed a slight increase in CTR. The CPC is a little higher too but what is interesting is my overall earnings are slightly lower not sure how that works out.....strange huh???
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    Thanks
    Zaheer

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  • Profile picture of the author TheChanger
    Originally Posted by rayan View Post

    I have been using XFactor adsense strategy for about 5 months and always wonder how best can we maximize the CTR. And out of curiosity, I change one of the settings in my adsense account for a week to test out and I am delighted by the results =)

    The setting is: Interest Based Ads. If you are doing micro niche, I would strongly advice you to turn this setting off! After disabling this setting, I have seen an increase in CTR, one channel even close to double (from 15% to 26%). This experiment is conducted without any other changes to the ads.

    To change the setting, go to your google adsense acount under account settings, click edit the interest based ads and choose the disable option.



    I have also attach 2 screen shots showing some of the improvements before and after.

    BEFORE
    Total Average CTR (on 8 channels) = 5.59%

    AFTER
    Total Average CTR (on 8 channels) = 8.3%

    Edit: I removed the actual screen shot showing my adsense account due to the advice of the kind Warriors =)

    Important Note
    Before you go and change the settings, please understand this sharing is based on my personal observations. And I highly encourage to only change this settings for your adsense account if you are targeting micro niches.

    Anyone has similar experience to share?
    Thanks for the tip. I discovered this option earlier today while exploring my Adsense account. I will change this setting ASAP.

    Thank you,
    Gordon
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  • Profile picture of the author Joseph Then
    OK guys, here's my findings:

    My CTR increase by 1%+ only but my overall earning drops by 40%

    That's not good. I changed back to my original settings and my earnings came back to 'normal'.

    So, it seems like it work for some guys and it may not work for others.



    Let me do a little exploration:

    80% of my sites are information sites. ie. They are not products-related. Perhaps information-based adsense sites don't work well with the recommended setting?

    Post your results if your earnings dropped and if your sites are mainly information sites.


    Perhaps those who had an increased in their CTR are product-related sites?

    With a little discussion, we may find something really interesting here...
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    • Profile picture of the author lisaann
      Originally Posted by Joseph Then View Post

      OK guys, here's my findings:

      My CTR increase by 1%+ only but my overall earning drops by 40%

      That's not good. I changed back to my original settings and my earnings came back to 'normal'.

      So, it seems like it work for some guys and it may not work for others.



      Let me do a little exploration:

      80% of my sites are information sites. ie. They are not products-related. Perhaps information-based adsense sites don't work well with the recommended setting?

      Post your results if your earnings dropped and if your sites are mainly information sites.


      Perhaps those who had an increased in their CTR are product-related sites?

      With a little discussion, we may find something really interesting here...
      Hi Joseph,

      I hope things are going well for you ...

      My sites are mostly information sites as well and as I stated in an earlier thread I noticed a very big decrease in profits. Everything went right back to how it's been when I changed it back.

      Lisa
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      • Profile picture of the author Joseph Then
        Originally Posted by lisaann View Post

        Hi Joseph,

        I hope things are going well for you ...

        My sites are mostly information sites as well and as I stated in an earlier thread I noticed a very big decrease in profits. Everything went right back to how it's been when I changed it back.

        Lisa
        OK, another warrior with drop in earnings because of information sites. Anyone experience the same thing?

        For those with an increase in CTR and earnings, do you run information sites?
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  • Profile picture of the author Filter
    Well as I mentioned in my original post, I get the opposite result of most people but the same result as the OP.

    I turned the interest based adds ON and though it's only been one day, so far my CTR has DROPPED 70% and my eCPM has DROPPED 60%

    It's costing me a chunk of money but I'm going to let this run for at least a couple of days to fully test it and report back.

    (This isn't an info site, it's an arcade site.)

    Cheers
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    • Profile picture of the author unlimitedwealth
      My CTR and earnings are back to normal level after reverting the setting to interest based.

      During the experiment period, my eCPM dropped by half. Some clicks are miserable < 10 cents.

      I believe by setting it to interest based, it gives adsense much flexibility to include more advertisers to bid for the same spot, thus higher eCPM.

      Personally I do not think ads displayed will be too far from the topic which the website is targeting.
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  • Profile picture of the author Zeus66
    Here's the thing, guys and gals.... believe it or not, Google's looking out for you as Adsense publishers! They want you happy, just like they want their advertisers happy. They win when that's the case. It's a money decision, regardless of your personal feelings about Google as a company. And trust me, I have many problems with them overall. But not as an Adsense publisher.

    I suspect anyone seeing big increases in earnings after doing what the OP suggests is either getting only a few clicks anyway (which means the sample size is too small to make conclusions) or they have target-poor content and were showing ads that weren't quite hitting the mark to begin with.

    It's highly unlikely that Google's going to set something in your account as a default as it relates to which ads show on your pages that would hurt your earnings potential. I think you need to keep that in mind and think long and hard before you monkey with the settings.

    I'm not messing with this, although I do appreciate the OP reporting his results. A drop for even 2-3 days can mean hundreds of dollars in my case. My wife needs her next pair of new shoes. Know what I mean?

    John
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  • Profile picture of the author Toby.T
    I am just starting out with my new site and this thread has confused me what to do. Not getting any clicks after I turned it off...and none when its on.. what should I do?
    I think to be safe I will put it back on.
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    • Profile picture of the author Ernie Lo
      Just put it back on if its working out better for you.

      At least you tested and came to your own conclusion rather then just hear say.


      Originally Posted by Toby.T View Post

      I am just starting out with my new site and this thread has confused me what to do. Not getting any clicks after I turned it off...and none when its on.. what should I do?
      I think to be safe I will put it back on.
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      • Profile picture of the author Toby.T
        Originally Posted by Ernie Lonardo View Post

        Just put it back on if its working out better for you.

        At least you tested and came to your own conclusion rather then just hear say.

        Cheers good to see another aussie internet warrior.
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  • Profile picture of the author Street Jammer
    even i getting better ctr these days xfactor adsense guide is a helpful one
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  • My earnings from micro niche sites drop by 90% in the last 2 days.. I'm switching this feature back to normal...
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  • Profile picture of the author Filter
    For what it's worth, here are my final results. I turned interest based ads on for several days and my results went thru the floor. I'd never had such low numbers since starting this site.

    I turned them back OFF yesterday and my numbers are higher than I've ever seen them. CTR up 185%, eCPM up 210%! Maybe I flushed out all the bad ads? :-)

    So with the mixed results from other Warriors, and as a few here have already suggested, it really is a site by site and niche by niche thing. Test it at your own risk.

    Cheers
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    • Profile picture of the author valkerie
      I have a few niche sites, so I turned this off to see what if anything changes. Will report the findings back, but the different responses have been interesting.
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  • Profile picture of the author mejohn
    Still too early to tell, but after seven days with the new setting, my CTR is up 10%, and my earnings are up 34%.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sarah Russell
    Makes sense - I'm definitely going to try this out! Thanks for posting
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    • Profile picture of the author r3bb
      I'm going to try this out as well. Within 10 minutes after making the change I can tell that the Adsense Ads seem to be much more relevantly targeted to my niches, which makes me super happy... Now I'll just monitor the CPC and eCPM. I'll let you guys know how it turns out.
      Signature

      Blog author at Cory's Story, the story of how one dog conquered canine epilepsy.

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      • Profile picture of the author warfore
        I have validated this change and it works well. I have seen a significant jump in CTR and earnings.
        Signature

        Regards,

        Tony

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  • Profile picture of the author nandu26
    Can you please tell me what you mean by the term "micro niches"
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