Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

My AdSense Secrets

In the comments on This calls for a celebratory beer some of you asked what my ‘secrets’ are to getting lots of money through it. While they’re not ‘secrets’ as such these are the things that I imagined contributed:

1. Having good search engine rankings

Most of the adverts, I imagine, are clicked on by people stumbling across internal pages as they’re browsing, rather than regular readers. Most people will find these internal pages through search engines, so it’s important that your site is well-ranked by the likes of Google, Yahoo and MSN. I have a PageRank of 6 for the main page. One good way of getting a high ranking is by having lots of inbound links, and way to get them is…

2. Having lots of ‘good’ content

If people find what you have to say interesting, then they’ll link to you. That will improve your search engine rankings. You can, of course, have lots of stolen content and then spam your way into the search engines but this the more ethical and fun way to do it. The more content you have, the more pages will be indexed and the more visitors you get. I have nearly 5000 pages on here – some with more content than others, but all are, in theory, indexed by Google.

3. Have search-engine optimised pages

Your pages won’t appear in search engine results pages if the search engine spiders can’t work out what’s in them. Use clean, semantic markup, with proper logical headings. Stick the entry title in the page title, and in one of the header tags – meaningful titles also help. Use page filenames that make sense – 2005/10/my-first-entry/ is better than article.php?id=67. The latter is especially bad as Google tends to ignore pages with question marks in the URLs – look into URL rewriting to produce something more friendly; Apache users can start here. Also, in the case of Google AdSense, if the GoogleBot can understand your content it’ll produce more relevant adverts which are more likely to be clicked upon.

4. Place the advertisements wisely

Don’t inundate your visitors with advertising, but make them prominent enough to be noticable. They should be in the first screenful of information on an average screen size. If you put too much advertising up then you’ll look like a sell-out and it may alienate your regular readers who are the ones more likely to link to you (and therefore maintain that all-important PageRank score), so keep it to a sensible level and select colours that match in with your site design. Don’t hide them away or make them difficult to read as otherwise no-one will click on them.
That’s my advice. If you go with Google, you may also want to consider another additional advertiser – by default, when Google cannot show a revenue-making advert (because it can’t find anything that complements your page content) it’ll show a ‘Public Service Ad’ which will not make you any money. However, you can change this so that it shows other adverts which may make you more cash.
If you have anything more to add, please post away in the comments.


  1. Yup, it’s all pretty straight-forward really. Most of the work you can do yourself – good HTML, content – but the eluvsive pagerank you can’t. Well, not directly. Like you mentioned content. Content content content & links links links == revenue & a successful site. Easy-peasy… so why am I only just getting to 100$ in 4 months?? haha

  2. you forgot the big stick to make people click those links. I get lots of hits and appear fairly high on search engine traffic but don’t get many click thru’s 🙁

  3. Andy: Maybe the ads aren’t relevant enough, or you’re attracting the sorts of audiences that doesn’t click on them. Also, none of your ads are in the first screenful of information so they don’t stand out enough for people to notice them.

  4. Actually you can remove PSAs into AlternateURL ads. You get a 50% payout and every click goes paid :D. Not bad really.

  5. Seeing how well you did with google adsense I’ve now added them to my blog. So far, I’ve earned a grand total of $1.88

  6. I have a PageRank of 6 as well, and yet I have earned exactly $0.00 from AdSense. In fact, I only have 69 impressions, which is odd given that my site receives about 400 visits/day. I don’t have the ads above the fold, but I’m surprised the impressions aren’t showing up.

  7. Those are very useful tips. Keep up the good work 🙂