Adsense LinkUnits Cut My Earnings in Half

I wondered what the deal was with my adsense revenue the past month or so. Ever since I added Adsense linkunits to the top of my site, my revenue has been cut in half.

If you’ve found something similar going on, here’s why:

Currently, the first ad unit on a page always shows the top ads that win the ad auction. Also, if there aren’t enough ads in our ad inventory to fill all of the ad units on a page, the first ad unit on the page will display ads first. This is why I recommend using custom channels to determine which of your ad units has the highest CTR, and then placing that ad unit first in the HTML code.

For the purposes of this post, the first ad unit on the page is defined as the first instance of the ad code within the HTML of the page. Keep in mind that the first ad unit in the source code is not always the first ad unit that your users will see when the page finishes loading in their browser. For example, if you use DIV tags, our system may recognize an ad unit which users see at the bottom of the page as the first ad unit.

The above came directly from the Adsense team (found thanks to

Maybe it’s time to tweak your Adsense again.

Update: I’ve since removed most of the ads on my site. I’ve left some which are on highly trafficked pages. My revenue came back to normal. Chalk one up for staying focused and keeping in a niche.

[tags]blogging, adsense, google adwords, ads, blog, monetize[/tags]

Nate Ritter lives in the Pacific Northwest (U.S.), popularized the #hashtag and creates web applications for a living. He also does miles and point hacking to enable cheap travel for his family. More here →

8 Comments on "Adsense LinkUnits Cut My Earnings in Half"

  1. It’s Nate :)

    And this is because you have very low converting ads in your account.

    If you have websites that have a very low CTR, stop using Adsense on them, or use them in another Adsense account (you can have a company, and a personal account, without breaking the TOS).

  2. nate says:

    Woops, thanks Cristian. Fixed that .org/.com typo.

    Do you have any suggestions for higher dollar per click on sites such as this (ones that have a lower CTR)?

  3. Affiliate programs ? :)

  4. nate says:

    Yea, I haven’t gotten into those too much quite yet… but your advice gives me a little more motivation. Do you use affiliates much? Commission Junction or something else?

  5. A CJ account wouldn’t hurt.

    But just a tip: If you sell cars, don’t put affiliate programs for hosting in your website.

    If you have a blog and blog about Adsense, then put the Adsense affiliate banners.

  6. nate says:

    Good tip Cristian! Thanks! And thanks for the dialogue/comments.

    I’d love your advice on any other posts I have regarding adsense, etc in the future too. I appreciate your expertise.

  7. geniosity says:

    It’s a bit strange that the link units have cut your ad revenue in half, except for point:

    The more ads you have, the higher the possibility that lower cost ads will be clicked

    But, I’ve found that adding link units to my site and putting them at the top left (as a menu structure) actually increased my total earnings. They might be lower-cost per click ads, but I’ve had a MUCH higher CTR on those ads than ANY other ad on my site…

  8. nate says:

    Yea, I had a higher CTR, but lower overall total. I think because people didn’t click on the link units. They clicked on the other ones further down the page.

    I think a different theme for this blog would probably help, too. So, I’m looking around again.

    Thanks for the comment geniosity!

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