This week, I will be writing a number of posts (probably 5 posts, although that could change) on the topic of a new project that I started 2 or 3 weeks ago. The project has come close to completion and results are becoming clear, so I thought it was time to write about it and report what I am doing, and what the results of my efforts have been.
It all started a few weeks back when something that had been going on for about 6 months finally hit the fan and I decided that I wanted to see what I could do about it.
What was going on?
Well, putting it quite simply, my AdSense earnings were falling! AdSense is no longer a major part of my income, but still, I hate to be losing or having decreased earnings in any part of my business. Compared to about six months ago, my AdSense earnings have fallen by about 30%. I don’t think it is uncommon, because I have seen lots of write-ups around the net of people reporting that AdSense earnings are down. In any endeavor, there are always winners and losers, but from what I read, there are a lot of losers these days in terms of ad income falling. I finally got tired of it and decided it was time to see what I could do about it.
On the Google AdSense website where you can check your earnings, recently they implemented something new. They call it a “Scorecard”. Although they are not clear, I feel that the score that you achieve on your scorecard determines, at least partly, how much Google will pay you per click on your site. They grade you on three things:
- Revenue Optimization
- Site Health
I usually have a pretty good score on Revenue Optimization. I usually have either 4 or 5 out of a possible score of 5. This category checks things like whether you are using the recommended ad formats and sizes on your site, whether your ad placement is good, that sort of thing. As I said, I usually do pretty well in this category. I often get “dinged” because they say I am not using the recommended ad sizes, but the size that they are recommending does not fit the format of my site, so I will just have to take a small hit on this category. A score of 4 or 5, though, I feel is good, and not a category to concentrate on.
This category has been my downfall. This is where I have traditionally scored quite low. Why am I hit on Site Health? It is always for one thing… site speed.
So, Bob, why don’t you just make your sites faster then?
Believe me, making my sites faster is something that I would love to do! But, it is something that intimidates me. In the past, I would throw more resources at the problem. Upgrade to a more powerful server. Get more memory installed on my server. That sort of thing. It would marginally improve speed, but Google still said my sites were slow. If I checked site speed using a third party service (like Pingdom), the results would confirm what Google was telling me. But, as I said, I felt intimidated. I am not trained in how to set up a server to optimize speed and just didn’t know what I could do to change my predicament. Thus… for a long time, I did nothing. I feel that doing nothing probably contributed at least some part in my falling AdSense earnings.
This category is easy, and one where I have always gotten a score of 5 out of 5. All you have to do is make sure that your pages have a Google+ button so that your articles can be shared on Google+.
It’s probably a bit self-serving for Google to score you only on the G+ button, but it is certainly their prerogative. I mean, they don’t check for a Facebook button or a Twitter button. As far as Social Networking, those two sites are probably more important in terms of the amount of social influence you can have than Google+ is. But, I also understand Google “keeping it in the family,” I would probably do the same. 😉
Anyway, this category was not a concern.
So, looking over this new Google Scorecard, it was fairly clear where I needed to concentrate my efforts. Site health! I got fairly good scores on the other categories, buy my score for site health was terrible. It was time to learn something new, and fix the problem. It was my hope that by vastly improving my site health score, I could make a difference in my AdSense earnings.
Tune in tomorrow and I will explain my thoughts on how to proceed with fixing my speed issues and trying to recover from my AdSense earnings decline.
I will be reading your posts with great interest. As it happens, I was looking at exactly this today. I agree that the Google+ is easy to score high, but the other two are big challenges for me (apparently).
Hi Tom – I already had a plan to e-mail you about this soon. I think that I can help you achieve much better results!
Glad to hear it! I will look forward to your email. 🙂
Watch for something in your inbox over the next couple of days, Tom.
I do think Google puts importance on this, and seem to have gotten better results with the changes I implemented as well.
Though I will say that I see sites that don’t follow Google’s rules, that still get premium positions in the search results. Sometimes it’s difficult to know what they want.
I can’t argue with a thing you said, Randy, you are right on the point!
One thing about Google.. they are consistently inconsistent!