Feb 21, 2009

Google AdSense Case Study

ScienceDaily.com earns 66% of revenue from AdSense programs. Case study : ScienceDaily magazine : www.sciencedaily.com

Major scientific breakthroughs from universities and research institutions used to be well-kept secrets, known only to top scientific journals. That is, until 1995, when Dan Hogan launched ScienceDaily magazine (www.sciencedaily.com). Soon after Hogan began publishing daily news headlines and stories on topics such as science and technology, health, and the environment, he was inundated with requests from PR staffs at research organizations. They wanted to share their scientists' discoveries with the general public by posting press releases and news articles. Right from the start, Hogan's daily science news site was a hit.
"Google provided great suggestions for ad format and placement, helping us optimize our results." Dan HoganOwner
To leverage his success in publishing, Hogan began searching for ways to garner advertising revenue. He tried a variety of online advertising networks but came away disappointed. "We tried other ad networks, but the ads weren't very targeted, so earnings were low," says Hogan.
This unsatisfying outcome led Hogan to explore contextual advertising in depth. He heard about Google AdSense on forums and Internet news sites and was interested because its sophisticated contextual matching seemed ideal for ScienceDaily.com, a content-rich site.Hogan tried Google AdSense for content, filtering ads for suitability based on reader feedback. A large segment of readers are young high school students preparing reports for science class, but other visitors vary. AdSense gives Hogan a high level of content control to ensure that ads are scientific and tasteful to appeal to a mix of readers.
It was easy to get started, Hogan says, even with setting up sophisticated ad filtering, but the real value of AdSense was apparent once the ads began running. Using AdSense for content, Hogan matched his own site's color scheme and content, maintaining a presence as a serious science daily. "The ads really match our articles," he says. "For visitors, the AdSense ads are a useful extension of our content. That's what's great about Google AdSense—the ads are appealing and appropriate."
To add to this positive outcome, Hogan is making money. "All revenue for ScienceDaily comes from online advertising, with AdSense generating 66 percent of total revenue." In addition, the effectiveness of Hogan's cost-per-click ads on AdSense is four to five times that of the other ad networks.
"The ads really match our articles. For visitors, the AdSense ads are a useful extension of our content. That's what's great about Google AdSense – the ads are appealing and appropriate." Dan HoganOwner
Once money started rolling in, Hogan began looking for ways to optimize the performance of Google ads on his site. Based on Google's recommendations and his own testing, he moved ads from the bottom of pages to the directly below articles. Average eCPM immediately jumped by 10 percent. "Google provided great suggestions for ad format and placement, helping us optimize our results," says Hogan.
In terms of AdSense features, Hogan appreciates the ability to block competitors' ads, change ad formats and colors to more closely match ScienceDaily.com, and access reporting features that enable him to stay in touch with where he's earning more and adjust his strategies accordingly.
Impressed with the initial results of AdSense for content, Hogan recently augmented his efforts by adding AdSense for search, another variety of AdSense that enables publishers to expand their revenue options. With AdSense for search, Hogan can provide readers with the power of Google search, and at the same time generate additional revenue to support his site.
"AdSense for search performs extremely well. It gives us an exceptional click-through rate of 10 percent and generates 10 to 20 times the clicks of a job search service we've tried," he says. "Plus, by using Google site search, I can now drive traffic to content on ScienceDaily that visitors might not find otherwise."
In all, Hogan has found that Google helps him help others who are interested in the latest science and technology breakthroughs. "We offer an invaluable service to students, technologists, or even people with diseases who want to know about medical breakthroughs," says Hogan. "AdSense in all of its forms has been a great way to compensate us for our efforts. We've been extremely pleased with how AdSense is working for us."
About Google AdSense
Google AdSense is a program enabling online businesses to earn revenue from serving ads precisely targeted to specific web content and search pages. With service levels ranging from online sign-up to dedicated support management, a broad range of sites profit from AdSense. Thousands of Google advertisers also benefit from AdSense by gaining exposure on sites across the Google Network, which include many of the Top 100 Media Metrix sites such as AOL, About.com, Amazon, Ask.com, and Lycos. For more information, visit www.google.com/adsense.

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