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Comments August 9, 2009

Board Advertising Options: Google Adsense Part IV

Filed under: Advertising — Dave Rathbun @ 7:54 pm Comments Off 

As I wrote about earlier the revenue mix from Google Adsense has started to shift more from Content to Search. For January 2009 search has provided 63% of the revenue. For December 2008 search was 64%. For six full months of 2009 the search process has provided over half of my Google revenues and it has much less impact on my boards. (If you use Adsense, you may notice periodic page load lags as the javascript tries to “phone home” to get appropriate ads for the page.) As a result, I have turned the content ads off on every site I manage except for two. I am going to eventually work towards removing the ads from those sites as well. I will leave the search option in place.

Google Adsense Replacement

On my largest board I have only ever had content ads on the bottom of the page. For the most part the ads worked quite well; when we started talking about cheese in one topic we started seeing ads for cheese on the bottom of the page. :lol: But cheese isn’t what my board is about, and I’m thinking that I have enough activity to do something different.

My current sponsor program allows each sponsor to share the banner space on the top of my board. Initially it was one banner for a set number of calendar days (weeks). Now it’s a shared space with rotating banners so I can easily add (or remove) sponsors from the rotation. But I think the concept of renting out the space on a more dedicated basis might have merits and that’s where my next experiment is going to go.

Sponsored Forums

This is not a new idea; many boards do it. But the implementation in my case might be a bit different. What I am considering launching (probably around the end of this year) will be a text-only forum sponsorship. The existing sponsors will retain the banner space at the top of the page, so there will only be one banner on the page at any given time. But by offering text ads on a per-forum basis, I hope to attract sponsors that are interested only in part of my board as opposed to the entire thing.

I plan to start out with the exclusive weekly booking for this new feature. For one thing, that makes life very simple. Every single page view for a specific forum will show the sponsor for that forum. The booking starts on a specific date and ends on a specific date. By doing this the billing becomes quite simple, and the coding is easy as well. If the program works, then I can expand it. If not, I don’t think I will go back to Google, but will look for some other alternative.

The bottom line is that the bottom line for Google has reached the point where the cost of having it (user opinions, page load times) isn’t providing enough benefit in the form of income to continue using it. It’s time for something different.

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