This blog is a modest small-tier blog. It does not get too much traffic (much to my chagrin) and therefore expecting the blog to monetize is too much. However, I have steadily written my thoughts and opinions on this … for the past 7-8 years now.
Looking at such a long time range allows me to study how blogging and blog monhersetization has changed over the years. Especially now with mobile form factors being the main devices that users tend to consume content with.
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?
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!!
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.
Just about a year back, we had a pretty shitty (pardon my french) corporate website. Since my hands were full with setting up FooStor, I did not look at anything else. And all was wonderful, some time after that, a blogger, wrote a post on his blog about how sad the website looked.