I often overhear publishers talk about how their Adsense revenue is dropping significantly over previous years, or even dropped from the previous quarter. Seasonal CPM fluctuations are common in the online ad business and most publishers are aware of this, but some publishers can’t understand why their Adsense revenue is dropping, especially in Q4 as we get closer to the Christmas shopping season, as this is supposed to be the most lucrative time for publishers.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it seems that right across the internet, ad revenue is dropping as the online advertising field gets more crowded with networks springing up everywhere, competing for ad buyers, and trying to offer buyers more for less.

But all is not lost! When your Adsense revenue is dropping, there are some things you can do to increase your Adsense CPM or your earnings overall. A lot of the time, publishers have forgotten all about Adsense once they installed the Adsense tags on their website, and just expected the earnings to roll in at the same level as before. That used to be OK to do, but now, I suggest publishers take a more active approach to managing the Google Adsense ads on their sites. Here are some recommendations:

  1. Read the Google Adsense help documentation for their tips on best ad positions, and put your ads in those positions.
  2. If your ads are already in Google Adsense’s recommended optimal positions, temporarily change the ad positions on your site to less optimal positions (as long as the new positions are compliant with Google terms of service) and see what happens to your CPM. Sometimes just moving your ads to a new place will get them noticed by users who had visually tuned them out when they were their previous positions.
  3. Experiment with running text ads only.
  4. Experiment with running image ads only. Our experience with forums is that text ads can often pay better when run in forum content, in between posts, but don’t take our word for it… Tinker!
  5. Change the ad’s font size or font.
  6. Try a different Google Ad network! We are a Google AdX rep, and joining the FORUMCAST publisher network will allow you get ads from Google Doubleclick Ad Exchange (AdX). Google allows publishers to run 5 AdX ads on a page compared to Adsense’s 3 ad maximum, so you will earn more in that respect because you will be running 2 more Google ads per page, even if your CPM remains relatively the same. Additionally, FORUMCAST uses AdX’s awesome channel targeting capability to fine-tune the way your site is perceived by buyers. We can also create publisher profiles on the AdX network for your site to make sure your sites’ best features are showcased to potential ad buyers. This, we believe, will increase your CPM over time.
  7. If you are a forum publisher interested in joining the FORUMCAST ad network, contact us, we’d like to help you earn more.