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All I want for Xmas is for Google to..Adsense


© February 2006 Anthony Lawrence

I started this wish-list with Gmail, but Adsense is actually a bigger itch for me. Unfortunately, while many of these features and changes would be reasonable in a perfect world, Google may not be implementing any of them soon because they don't want to make things any easier for the cheats and crooks who are constantly bedeviling them with click fraud. Therefor, my very first wish for Adsense is that they stop paying per click and only offer impression based advertising.

Of course they can't do that, because most advertisers want CPC (cost per click) ads in spite of all the fraud. It's a strange world, isn't it? Advertisers know that there is a lot of click fraud, but they don't like CPM except in the biggest and most prestigious venues. So that's unlikely to change very much (although Google has been selling some CPC ads through Adsense).

So, while I'm waiting for hell to freeze over, I'll just continue with my gripes. The next sore point is time stamping of Adsense reports. Usually, this is unimportant because I'm more interested in month to date income than what's happening today, but sometimes I do have reason to see what's going on right now. Adsense will tell me that, but there's no "as of" time stamp, so if for some reason they are lagging behind (which doesn't happen often, I admit), I have no idea how current the report really is.

The biggest issue I have with Adsense is reporting channels. This is an Adsense feature where I can add a "channel" identifier to ads that Adsense reporting can track. This can either be by URL, or I can define custom channels for my own use. For example, I might tag all 2004 articles with a "2004" tag, 2005 writings with "2005" and use that information to judge how age affects ad income.

You are limited to 200 channels, which is a little annoying, but more annoying is that URL breakdowns should and could be automatic. I bet larger Adsense customers can get full breakdowns of performance by URL, but we little folks can't. I'd be more than happy to pay for that kind of report; I don't expect Google to give me breakdowns on thousands of pages for free.

But it's the custom channels that really get me foaming at the mouth. I use custom channels to try to figure out how to get the best results from Google advertising. That's what Google tells you to use them for, but they sure don't make it easy. First, I have to "define" the channel. Why? Adsense already knows my account, so you'd think it would be easier for all of us if I just made up my own channel identifiers and let it go at that. I'd also like to have "sub-channels": I might assign all 2004 articles "chn2004" but specific page might be "chn2004-linux" and so on. That would let me break down data much more completely.

I'd also like automatic stats on ad types: link ads vs. text ads vs. image ads, broken down by size. Which types perform the best? Now I have to tag them individually, and of course because there are no sub-channels, that conflicts with other tracking I want.

As noted, Google probably resists some of this to avoid helping the fraudulent click folks, and resists other reporting because it's too expensive, but I'm sure there have to be solutions to those issues.


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Fri Jul 5 09:30:50 2013: 12208   TonyLawrence

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I eventually got all my Xmas wishes. Adsense reporting is very powerful now, you can define URL channels and if you need even more, it's tied in to Analytics also.



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