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Sep
30

The Post-Farmer Way To Do Ad Sense

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What’s All This About?

For some of you reading this the headline might be a bit confusing. However if you’ve been taking notice of previous posts  from Sam & myself  you’ll know a little and especially if you’ve  been on many of the IM forums that are out there you cannot fail to have to have heard about how Google randomly decided some months back to change their algorithms (ok what’s that ? – in basic terms the way they rate sites and therefore show in search information) – and lots of sites literally fell out of the rankings almost overnight

Ad sense Sites – Hit Especially Hard

Everybody knows somebody whose Ad Sense site got kicked out of the SERPs following the Google Farmer/Panda Update.  Even people who had sites full of good, useful content that was not duplicated anywhere else online suffered.  The Update was supposed to get rid of lousy, low-quality, duplicate content sites, so what givesAfter thinking about all the people I know who got hit hard by the Update, I’ve come to the conclusion that some of us were just unlucky.  But the Update certainly means new rules for how we do Ad Sense.  Let’s try to learn a few lessons here and adjust our campaigns accordingly.

User Experience

According to Google itself, Farmer/Panda was supposed to favor sites with a ‘good user experience’ and penalize those without.  That means that if yours didn’t provide a good user experience, you’re in trouble.  Pretty vague language, but one type of site that definitely got smacked were those that are MFA (made for Ad Sense).  The lesson here is that we need to review the basics of good web design a little bit and try to make our sites clean, visitor-friendly and easy to navigate.

Cut Down On Ads

Most of the sites that got hit hard were ones with ads plastered into every nook and cranny.  We need to limit the number of ads we have on our sites, and be especially careful with third party ads.  Make sure that your ads-to-content ratio favors content. 

I know it sounds weird – if you limit your ads, how are you going to make money?  If you’re afraid that cutting the ads is going to cut into your profit, consider the fact that nobody’s going to see your site if Google hates it.  Wouldn’t it be better to go sparingly on the ads and stay on the first results page?

One more thing about ads – don’t put them above the fold.  Keep them below your banner and as low as you can stand to put them.  Ads above the fold scream MFA.

Watch For Duplicate Content

This was the whole point of the Update actually – to get rid of sites that used duplicate content.  The term ‘Farmer’ refers specifically to sites that farm out content.  Use only original content from now on and make sure your content isn’t being lifted and used somewhere else.  If it is, track them down and file a DMCA to get it removed so you don’t get penalized.

Content Counts

There are two lessons to be learned about content.  First of all, quality content really counts now.  You might want to upgrade.  Go for longer articles, keep the promotional-sounding stuff out of it, and stuff them with more useful information.  It also might be a good idea to give them a more personal touch.  Google likes content that sounds real.

Basically, you don’t want your site to look like a content farm.  A content farm has lots of pages, each with a short article that doesn’t give a whole lot of information, and the article topics are not all totally related to each other.  Focus your sites a little bit more and make sure they’re really useful for visitors.

Socialize More

Google is paying more and more attention to stuff that gets shared on Facebook and Twitter, so get your social media mojo working.  If you’re already doing it, crank it up a notch.  Those are back links that mean something.

Stay focused on long term goals and not quick sales.  If you use your sites to establish authority and brand yourself with readers, you’ll weather any kind of updates Google hits us with.  And you know they’ll strike again!

That’s it for today guys

Toby Russell

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