Dec 5, 2007 114 reads by Navneet Kaushal

Contextual ads clearly requires a different type of optimization from traditional graphics and banner ads. Focusing your site specifically for contextual ads will often result in higher search engine rankings because of the added targeting effort. This panel will look at various optimization and utilitarian methods of engineering a site specifically for contextual based advertising.


  • Detlev Johnson


The panel kicks off with the first speaker from the panel, Jaan Janes – Senior Vice President, Business Development, Pulse 360. Jaan discusses about his company Pulse 360 and what they do.

Its all about relevancy, for which he shows examples:

  • Good examples: Examples of his company
  • Bad examples: Some of Google's deeds.

How important are your ads? Many sites have irrelevant and far too many ads which affects other sites. Buttons, banners widgets end up only being clutter.

Tips for Sponsored Links:

  • Shows Ads: Big companies have ads that are clean and no-nonsense (WSJ, USA Today, MSNBC).
  • Audience First. Don't be vague, your ads should be based on both audience and general topics.
  • Experiment & tinker around. Mess with color and have fun with experimentation.
  • Experiment with ad placements & types. Place it in different areas and see the size etc.
  • Bottom of the page means bottom of the barrel. Avoid sponsored links!

Jaan plugs in a new Vertical Adnetwork.

Second speaker of the discussion is Aaron Wall, Author, SEO Book.

Difference between Optimization & Overkill

  • Based on format it can be useless to the user.
  • Create authority and monetize backfill content
  • Avoid floating advertisements left at top in content area
  • Site has to sell itself
  • If you try too hard ads cost you links
  • Perception of quality during SE reviews
  • Careful with navigation

Short Tail Sites

  • A few spots up in the organic SERPs can make a difference in earnings
  • Infest in SEO
  • Your site should be easy to link to
  • Effective site design
  • Wait to monetize
  • Support featured content

Long Tail Sites

  • Core pages must be clutter-free
  • Blog readers do not click many ads
  • Incorporate ad channels to find out where the money is
  • Site structure
  • Link equity push at top earning sections
  • Less link equity at lower earning sections
  • In cases of popular articles, link deep internally
  • Delete advertisements from very poor performers. If things look better, put them back
  • If you engage in link baiting, do not fear from adding links to successful pages

Page Optimization tools

  • Analytics is your friend
  • Definitely mix up keyword usage
  • Page with more content matches more keywords
  • Experiment with an array of terms
  • Use Goolge adWords' tool which tells what page it is relevant to

Advanced Tips For Optimizing Contextual Ads

  • Filter ads
  • Ads can be turned off by members
  • Use ad inclusion based on ads
  • Link Building
  • Purchase links that are associated with best earning pages
  • Syndicate your content and link deep to best pages
  • Own the best keywords
  • Build a second page to get a double listing
  • Build authoritative documents or
  • Spin out sites
  • Build your own product
  • Plug for SEO Book

The last speaker of the panel is Matt Daimler, Founder, The Guru Group LLC. Matt shows an Airline seating. He pulls out a 2001 Page which features AdSense. Apparently, they ran 100-200 per day and not the usual 100-200 ads they did per month.


"View Bids" tool to find what the CPC buyers needed. After which include content or keywords based on those.

  1. Networks use content of page to show ads
  2. Only 1 Google Ad per page allowed, no wide skyscraper, so far.

Impressions over last 5 years:

  • 1 Wide Sky – Shows some increase
  • 2004-2006: A new design was introduced. For the contextual ads, new content and navigation were introduced. The aim was to try and get desired ads into the site.


  • Repeat keywords
  • Wide sky was available in 800×600 resolution
  • Ad was located right in the centre of website activity


As the site was created with just 1 Google advertisement per page, the design structure had usurped all the available tables which resulted in low keyword density. In the case of 1 Wide Sky, 1 Sky, 1 Half Banner, the impressions mushroomed. After tripling the impressions the CTR and CPM dropped by 80%.

Matt pulls out a list of 8 Advertisers and CPC.

Level 1 Publisher gets Level 1 Advertiser

Level 2 gets the middle and Level 3 gets the bottom

When more ad units were added, the CPC changed. All these levels dropped while level 3 received quite a few PSA's.

Diversification was needed:

  • The team incorporated a direct advertiser in lieu of Google ad Blocks. After signing up some leading advertisers, it even appeared in Google and in Direct.
  • AdSense & Overall Daily Revenue
  • Based on the graph, Google ads lessened while different ads showed up.


  • Adsense impressions and revenue fell. The impressions were too ahead while also including too many adverts.
  • In 2006, the company did a redesign.


  • The site was upgraded to CSS
  • In the site was added, more features, a menu, new content etc
  • Incorporated a more sucessful Google ad types (med rectangle)
  • Ensured that at least 1 full ad was in 800×600
  • Ensured that wide sky was seen in a 1024×768
  • Experiments with link units, integrated into Navigation. This was successful and has remained so.

Matt shows a graph about AdSense Impressions

  • Results showed an increase of 5x the number of impressions.
  • CTR fell about 20-30%
  • eCPM fell minutely.
Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of PageTraffic, an SEO Agency in India with offices in Chicago, Mumbai and London. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic as one of the most awarded and successful search marketing agencies.
Navneet Kaushal
Navneet Kaushal
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