Testing Adsense Ad Placement Quantity


Tired of Making Chump Change Online?

adsense dollarsThere are two schools of thought on Adsense ad placements’ effect on a site’s income.  The first focuses on quantity:  the more ads you have on your page, the higher the chance of a click through.  The other school focuses on quality: you stand to make more money with less clicks if you have less ads.  According to this latter idea, the advertisers’ Google Adwords ad auction operates to your favor since they have to compete even harder for placement on your page since there’s limited spots.  Moreover, the more ad spots on your page, the higher the chance someone will click those crappy <5 cent per click ad spots.

So which school of though is correct?  We suspect that it highly depends on your niche and traffic blend.  Regardless, we decided to test anyway.  We tested one of our more established sites and one of our incubated sites for eventual sale.  Here are the results so far.  We intend to monitor this periodically over the next week and focus on daily snapshots.

The first figure is the Click Through rate.  The second figure is the eCPM.  It is the best way to Adsense performance per page.  Here’s Google’s explanation of eCPM

Effective CPM

From a publisher’s perspective, the effective cost-per-thousand impressions (eCPM) is a useful way to compare revenue across different channels and advertising programs. It is calculated by dividing total earnings by the number of impressions in thousands. For example, if a publisher earned $180 from 45,000 impressions, the eCPM would equal $180/45, or $4.00. However, please keep in mind that eCPM is a reporting feature that does not represent the actual amount paid to a publisher.


CURRENT:  3.85%     $10.20

PREVIOUS MONTH: 6.90%     $7.74


CURRENT: 1.39%     $9.89

PREVIOUS MONTH: 2.66%     $5.75

The good news:  the eCPM is up by 31%  and 72%, respectively.
The bad news:  Click through rate is reduced sharply.  The CTR is down by 79% and   91%, respectively.

Preliminary Conclusion
So far, we’ve only been running this experiment for a couple of days or so, it appears that whatever has been gained by eCPM has been outweighed by CTR loss.   It’s still too early to conclude this experiment since the niches we’re covering with these two sites is known to carry sporadic high value clicks in rotation.  Bookmark this page and check back periodically to see our updates.

Photo Credits: Kevin Dooley


  1. Wagner Reis says:

    Nice experiment!
    I will try this in my site!

    Wagner Reis’s last blog post..O jogo Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 – Dicas, macetes, cheats

  2. Zak Show says:

    That’s pretty interesting! I did this kind of experiment too and what I can say is that in high to medium paying niche, the max of ad blocks for the maximum CPC is 2 blocks, the more you add the less you get. For low paying niche like entertainment including funny images and arcade … you’d better add more ad blocks due to the low CPC.. at least you increase your chance to get ads clicked..

    Just my 2 cents..

    Zak from ZakShow.Com

  3. Jason@Paint Sprayers says:

    Excellent point. It is a little overwhelming to think that you have to generate 100,000 visits in order to generate $1,000 with Adsense. I know there are websites out there that do it, but still that is very little ROI.

    That is an interesting point as far as ecpm. I personally like the less is more approach. I do not know if you are taking into account the ads effects on visitors. But I would theorize that having many ads will result in fewer overall visits. Taking away any benefit you might have gained from it. Later.

Speak Your Mind