There’s no doubt that Google AdSense is the unchallenged leader in PPC advertising and hence the default choice for any publisher/blogger to get started with blog monetization. When it comes to the publisher coverage, available distribution channels, ad design, ad serving, reporting capabilities, earning potential and overall simplicity, what have you; Google is the best and the biggest! However, there are a number of features and services that the publishers would love to see in AdSense which would make it the perfect PPC platform.
There are a few good things that some of the other PPC advertising services provide which I thought would be a good addition to AdSense’ feature list. The following are some of my thoughts along the possible AdSense feature enhancements:
Google recently introduced the selection of limited font types and sizes for their publishers. However, the rendering of the font size is not consistent. This is the first thing that they have to fix and probably provide font size selection as in pixels rather than small, medium and large. In addition, it would be great if they introduce a few more font types (e.g. Georgia, Helvetica) that are web designers’ favorites. At the moment they support only basics font types i.e. Arial, Times New Roman (do we need this?) and Verdana.
Custom ad sizes
This is one of the things that Bidvertiser supports whereby the publishers have the option of designing a custom ad block (you get to choose the width and height). When I was using Bidvertiser extensively, I found this feature to be very useful.
Number of ads
At the moment, the number of ads to be displayed in each block is automatically decided (except for linkads) by the ad serving logic. I must admit that, most of the time, Google is right about it. However, sometimes a 250×250 square ad block shows two ads while there’s enough space for a third one. This is one of the things that they could leave it to the publishers.
Google recently introduced the Categories filter feature. But I thought, categories are something that the publisher should be able to select rather than omit out from a list. Of course, the context awareness is almost always guaranteed but selection would make ad designing (especially for multiple sites in a publisher account) easier. Another advantage here is the possibility to select best performing categories.
Pick and choose Advertisers
Just like the case of categories, many PPC advertising services (e.g. Adbrite, Pepperjam) give you the chance to choose your advertisers. Google, while trying their best to keep the advertisers and publishers interest, does not give the opportunity for publishers to decide their advertisers. Perhaps this can be a little expensive if you have to do it without affecting the performance
Category-wise reporting, is something that can be provided once category selection is in place. This is definitely something that will create a win-win situation for advertisers as well as publishers. Otherwise, the AdSense reporting is pretty good – thanks to channel-wise and adblock-wise reports.
AdSense APIs is something that is available only for big publishers (blogs/sites with more than 100,000 page views per day) at the moment. AdSense APIs provide excellent user experience via fully customizable Google ads. It would be great if Google can start providing AdSense APIs for mid-size publishers – perhaps those with 5000 page views per day – as well.
Custom channel usage by advertisers
I am not sure if the custom channel description and position information is really utilized by advertisers. When I tried to advertise via AdWords recently, I saw that there’s very limited possibility for advertisers to choose ad positions and there was no way one could get to see channel description. How’s Google planning to use this information effectively?
Google Analytics linking
Recently, Google provided an option to link Google Analytics and AdSense accounts. I am wondering whether this was done with any good intention because this exposes the publishers’ internal details such as pages per visit, bounce rate, time on site etc to the AdSense intelligence data. I get a feeling that it is being used only to identify click fraud and ban publishers. Instead, if the Analytics data is used to propose the best performing ad types and categories for the publishers, it would really be a great addition and a good reason for this linking.
I feel that the publisher approval process needs to be a little bit relaxed like it used to be in the past. Of late, even some good blogs with great content but not older than four or five months, do not get approved.
At the moment, the Google AdSense ban can come at anytime without citing a proper reason. Sometimes it could be due to real click fraud but manytimes it is caused due to click bombing or due to some undesirable content (by mistake as well) appearing on the pages. In either case, there has to be proper reason provided with sufficient proof before banning publishers.
Over to you
What I just mentioned some of the things that would make Google AdSense the greatest ad platform ever for the publishers. Have you thought about any shortcoming or nice-to-have feature of Google AdSense? If so, please share the same here.
(Even if there are some shortcomings, let us not forget that Google AdSense has really provided an easy and effective mechanism for thousands of bloggers and publishers to earn money online)