So, I think most people know my abhorrence for the Content network. I have not had much success with it in the past and the ROI, typically, is sub-par. That being said, I know there have been improvements in the targeting, purging of click fraud, etc. since I made my last attempt at achieving Adsense 'nirvana'. That being said, I received and interesting e-mail from the Adsense Team the other day. It started out with:
We noticed that you're not currently using AdSense for search, which means you may be missing out on revenue from your pages.Ah, yes. Google trying to convince me to spend more of my hard earned dollars! What a surprise. But the 'new features' line caught my eye so I read on:
• Site Search: We've heard that many publishers are concerned about users leaving their sites through Websearch, and so now you can choose to provide just site search. You can also host the search results on your own pages so that your users can find the information they're looking for without leaving your site.
• Improved indexing of your pages: We've recently improved our indexing technology so that you can provide a more enhanced Site Search experience for your users. AdSense for search will now index even more pages of your site, as long as we’re able to crawl them, so that your users will see more results from your site in your AdSense for search results.
• Vertical Search: You can also allow your users to search across multiple sites you select - this could be a network of sites that you own or other related sites that you think your users might find useful. If you write book reviews on your blog, for example, you can use vertical search to specify a list of online bookstores for users to search through.
• Refining searches with keywords: You can tailor your search results and ads to the content of your site, since search terms can have different meanings in different contexts. Let's say you manage a site about yoga - you can enter keywords such as 'yoga,' 'exercise,' and 'meditation' so that when a user searches for 'mat,' the search results and ads will be more related to yoga mats and less to commercial floor mats. (You can see an example of this in our video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEwxC9hrxM4 .) In our experiments, we've found that this tuning has led to an increase in earnings for publishers.
• Selecting ad location: Now, you can decide where to place your
ads on search results pages -- whether it's at the top, bottom, or right side of each page. We recommend placing ads at the top and right side of the page, as we've found this monetizes the best for publishers.
So, I am intrigued - this blows away the content network options of even a year ago! Anyone out there have any thoughts, experience, case studies, numbers, etc? Should I dive back into the content network?
PS. If you'd like to learn more about the new features available for AdSense for search, visit www.google.com/adsense/afs