Google launches Machine Learning for AdSense

Google AdSense has been around for more than a decade and a half now, this along with DoubleClick for Publishers allows website owners to monetize their traffic.

One of the key challenges in this was to figure out the optimum ad placements without impacting readability and user experience of the site. This trade-off that the publisher had to do was to decide on the different ad slots to create on the web page, and then balance that with the Revenue Per Thousand Impressions (RPM) metric that the digital advertising industry is so familiar with.

In order to help publishers out, AdSense had experiments where you could test different ad layouts and figure out the best layout to monetize the site.

So what has changed now?

Machine Learning.

This is the applications of artificial intelligence which gives programs the ability to discover new rules and learn from experience without additional programming. So that means, for newbie publishers instead of having to figure out by themselves what ad formats work and what ad placements work for them, you can apply machine learning and let the platform learn on its own.

What that means, is that the publisher is now free to focus on content, and let the AdSense platform figure out the best way to monetize that content on the ad network.

Caveat Emptor

With every new feature, comes a series of disclaimers. Machine Learning requires a lot of data to get things right. If you are a small site such as this blog, then it will take a long time for AdSense to optimally figure out the right ad formats and the proper ad placements.

Having said that, here’s a very simple way using which you can get started with Auto Ads in AdSense.

Setting up Auto Ads

Auto Ads in AdSense
Auto Ads in AdSense

In your AdSense console, in the Ads section you will now find a Auto ads menu item. Click on this, and get started with the setup wizard that’s present there. If you want to know how to embed the Auto ads code in your site, Google also has a helpful support article here.

That’s it! Once the code is setup in your website, you choose the formats you want to add (I chose everything) and let it run.

So far, the results haven’t been that great. However, time will tell if applying machine learning gives great benefits for the publisher.

What benefits should one look at?

Ultimately, it boils down to increasing the aggregate Revenues per thousand impressions metric (RPM). That’s what I’d look at, I would also look at the Click through Rates (CTRs) to go up.

Top 5 topics on the BFG this year

When 50% of your traffic comes from the top 10 posts, it’s time to take note of those posts. I took a look at how the blog has been progressing the last year or so, and here are the posts which have done the best.

Surprisingly, some of these posts are older than a year or two. Just goes to show that evergreen content still exists!

Thankfully, there are some posts in there which I have written this year.

  1. Connecting MySQL to Excel using ODBC Connector – Wrote this in 2013, and still going strong. I had faced problems connecting MySQL to Excel and had decided to document how this is done. Never thought that this post would account for 10% of the traffic on this blog every year since!
  2. Traffic due to Analytics spam – Over the past 2-3 years, I had started documenting wierd patterns in my Analytics. Started off as a thought experiment on how Bots can be used for Referral Spam. On further investigations, we also realized that the origin of these spam bots from Samara Oblast, and this tactic was also used in the U. S. Presidential campaigns.
  3. Gaming always works – I have slowed down on writing about this, but the amount of content that people search on how to get better at gaming is always high. Surprisingly, I did not write a single article on this topic the entire year. Over a period of time, I plan to phase this out … however, until then, there’s always a sliver of traffic via these old articles.
  4. The new martech tools is a hot space and I had covered a couple of these tools, right from upgrading Google Analytics script to using Data Studio and Google Optimize. Over the year, this is one area where I want to write a bit more … technical pieces even.
  5. From gaming to Game theory is one of the shifts in the blog, and I am loving exploring the intricacies of this in real life scenarios. Once again, the Google Search algorithm proves that if you are willing to work for it and write good, solid, original content, you can generate traffic. Of course, the age of this domain also helps!!

9 Blog Promotion Tactics [Infographic]

A picture is worth a thousand words. Not for a SEO professional though!

I love infographics. Not only are they a beautiful way of driving home a point, but also people remember the key takeaways from visual media much more as compared to text.

These are some interesting tips to promote your blog, and I have to say that I am guilty of not following all of them.

Continue reading “9 Blog Promotion Tactics [Infographic]”

Correctly using the Read More tag

Read More tag

As a blogger who has been writing for the past 5 years or so, I was always confused about the Read More tag. This is a tag that you will find in your WordPress editor besides the Toolbar Toggle button.

Why would one want to insert their content with this tag? Wouldn’t it fill up your blog content with such intermediate tags and break the reader’s flow? Let’s go find out how to correctly use the Read More tag.

Continue reading “Correctly using the Read More tag”

Creating a personal blog

Blogger logo

So, a lot of us like to blog, and of course would it not be super cool if we had our own blog url and all the jazz effects at of course a minimal of a cost.

Well, now we can. And even the most basic of a computer user can go ahead and have his personal url blog … here’s how you do it.

  1. Go to a domains seller. I bought mine from Aalphanet. Needless to say, you will have to register first.
  2. Search for an available domain eg- kidakaka.com
  3. If available, go for the kill, purchase it. A .com comes for somewhere around Rs. 450.00 per annum, a .in comes at half the price.
  4. Once that is done, buy the Manage Domain rights for your domain. This costs an additional Rs. 45.00 per year.
  5. Now start a blog on the blogger platform
  6. In the Settings->Publishing->Advanced settings, go to the your own domain name, and provide the same.
  7. The complete instructions are given here, but this is what you do simply –
    1. Enter you domain name in the Advanced tab
    2. In your Manage DNS section of domain dashboard, make a CNAME entry for your domain to point to ghs.google.com
  8. It should take an hour and two and Voila!!

The blog now is hosted on the blogger platform, but the url is yours. A customized personal blog for less than Rs. 500.00 a year.