How to Avoid Smart Pricing to Make Money Online with Adsense

Here I am, back again at this How To Make Money Online SEO Hints blog with some more insights into the world of how to make money online, plus some SEO hints thrown into the bargain. In this post, I’m actually going to take a look at a massive mistake I’ve been making with WordPress blogs that have Adsense on them – this blog included. This post is therefore all about how to avoid smart pricing to make money online with Adsense, only more of it!

I’ve only recently noticed this stupid mistake on some of my own self hosted WordPress blogs, through seeing it on one of my own WordPress mu installations.

Here is a short story so you’ll understand what is happening and how it dawned on me.

WordPress Multi User (WPmu) blogs are those that you’ve probably seen or even used yourselves by creating your own free blogs on sites like blogetery, blogdrive, freewebs etc. Or even hosted one yourself to enable friends to create their own free blogs on your host. Well, part of the reason you do it is so that you can take a small percentage of the earnings from the blogs hosted on your WPmu using a revenue sharing system. It works for Adsense, eBay, Kontera or any other monetization method that you can program to take a slice of the earnings in return for providing a free blogging host. Hub pages do it too, by the way.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I have a WPmu host that I actually switched the Adsense revenue share off, because I didn’t want to get my account smart priced by serving ads on an un-optimized blog owned by someone else. Blog owners, therefore get to keep 100% of their Adsense earnings, which is nice for them and if they’ve optimized their free blogs properly, then they’ll make some decent money from them. I also have several blogs hosted on my own WPmu, some of which I have adsense on.

Over the last week or so, I’d noticed a distinct fall in my Adsense revenue and on closer inspection found that instead of getting my usual 50c-$1 or more clicks, I was now getting 5c clicks. Yep, I’d been smart priced.

But how could this happen? All my blogs were optimized through the roof. Well, I thought so, but it seems I was not entirely right. The first indication I had that I might have missed a real howler of a mistake was an inadvertent search through Google that turned up a privacy policy page on one of my (low competition niche) WPmu blogs. I clicked across to see what it was doing in the SERPs in the first place and got a nasty shock to see the page with its generic Privacy Policy also displaying the Adsense block with some nice PSAs (Public Service Ads)!

Oh Crap!

Further investigation revealed more misery. The mean, one paragraph “About” page was similarly displaying PSAs. Single posts and the homepage, of course were showing normal ads, but the damage was being done by serving ads on “Pages” as well as “Posts”. This is something that is set into the WPmu installation for each theme and means a ton of work to remove it from each installation. Mmm, I have more than one of these babies.

A quick way around this was to create a few themes specifically for Adsense that didn’t make use of the revenue sharing programming that only I (as Admin) could use with my own publisher id hard coded in. That got me round the problem of showing ads on “Pages” and all should have returned to normal. But it didn’t.

There was more stupidity to unearth. Which brings me back to my self hosted WP blogs and this one in particular. Yes, I also found to my amazement that I was serving ads on my Privacy Policy and About pages here too. I’ve just removed the Adsense code from the “page” file. I was about to call it a day and write this important post (because I’m willing to bet I’m not the only one to make this mistake), when a final glance down the page solicited a double take from yours truly as I spotted the Adsense 160×600 skyscraper staring back at me from the sidebar at the foot of the page.

Yep, you guessed it. The sidebar is coded to work with not just “Posts” but “”Pages” too. More scope for smart pricing!

So, here’s how to avoid smart pricing by serving ads on non-relevant pages in self hosted WP blogs. Don’t ad your code to the page.php file and don’t put it in the sidebar either.

That way, you ensure that your ads are only served on optimized post pages, where you’ve written your nice long, keyword rich posts which are carefully SEO’d to ensure not only good placement in the SERPs (with a ton of relevant links) but being served the most relevant Adsense ads for your blog’s keywords and for your post.

Of course, you may have written a highly keyword rich and relevant privacy policy of your own… but if you have, then you are in the minority here! Are there any nasty surprises lurking in the depths of your WordPress blog? Better go have a look just in case!

Terry Didcott
How To Make Money Online SEO Hints


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