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New Google Adsense Case Study - jkOnTheRun

jkOnTheRun, a CNet Top-100 blog authored by James Kendrick and Kevin Tofel, is the latest candidate for our Google Adsense Optimization series. Our previous reviews covered websites of Guy Kawasaki, Scott Hanselman and Rashmi Bansal. is one of best destinations on the web for all things related to Tablet PCs, Mind Mapping software, OneNote and Ultra Portable Mobile Devices like the Vista Origami or Sony VAIO UX Micro PC. Updated with useful content several times a day.

The site owners are using Adsense for Content, Adsense for Search, Amazon Affiliate program and PayPal donations for monetizing their content.

As you can notice in the screen capture above, there are two Adsense Units - the 160x600 Ad on the left sidebar and a 468x60 Ad immediately after the blog post. The Adsense for Search box is way down in the left sidebar.

Is that the best layout for Adsense units ? Maybe not. Let's look at some of reasons:

1. The 160x600 Google Ad on the left sidebar will be served with the highest paying ads (CPM or CPC) but since that unit is located in one of the sidebars, it may be missing the staring eyeballs.

2. The 468x60 Ad unit is probably enjoying the highest CTR because it's placed in a very strategic location - just below the content. However, 468x60 has been around since ages - visitors are likely to recognize it immediately and may therefore be ignoring it.

3. Google had added video and Flash formats to their Ads that are quite attractive. Unfortunately, the 468x80 format is not capable of displaying the video formats.

4. Adsense for Search box is below the page fold which reduces visibility. Secondly, the search code is an old implementation that sends visitors away from the main website.

Here are some of our recommendations / tweaks that may help jkOnTheRun generate higher Adsense Revenue without changing the website layout:

1. Replace the 468x60 with wide rectangle format like the 300x250 - that's the most popular format with advertisers and supports even video format. Another reason is that rectangles get a better CTR than banner ads.

2. Remove the 160x600 Google ad from the left sidebar and move that to the right sidebar. This ensure that the highest value ads are made available to the 300x250 rectangle which we added in step 1.

3. Move the Search box above and place it at a more visible location. Most visitors would look at the top right corner space for the search box.

4. Use Google Custom Search instead of Adsense for Search. This custom search engine can be integrated in the main website so visitors stay on your site for a longer duration and you still make money from their searches.

5. jkOnTheRun is missing a great source of revenue - an Adsense Link Unit. They can consider placing either a vertical Adlink unit in the sidebars or a horizontal Adlink unit just near the date header. It can work wonders in lot of cases.

Related Reading: Google Adsense Tricks & Tips