Monthly Archives: June 2008

As reported on Blogoscoped.com, it's official, Google's AdSense Referrals program will end the end of August 2008. According to Google, they are "constantly looking for ways to improve AdSense by developing and supporting features which drive the best monetization results for our publishers." To that end Google offers several options for current AdSense Referral publishers:

* Google Affiliate Network: As part of the integration of
DoubleClick, the DoubleClick Performics Affiliate Network will now
operate as the Google Affiliate Network for advertisers targeting
users located in the United States. Similar to the AdSense
Referrals program, the Google Affiliate Network enables publishers
to apply for advertiser programs and get paid based on
advertiser-defined actions instead of clicks or impressions. For
further details, please visit:
www.google.com/ads/affiliatenetwork.

* AdSense for content ads: If you have less than three AdSense
for content ad units on a page, you may wish to replace the
referral ad units with standard AFC ad units.

In Google's email Monday, they suggested removing all referral code from sites prior to the last week in August. In addition, Google suggests saving account information for future reference as AdSense Referral code will no longer function after the last week in August 2008.

UPDATE: http://adsense.blogspot.com/2008/06/were-retiring-adsense-referrals.html

Available by invitation only, Google Ad Planner Beta is a new tool intended to help online marketers identify websites of interest to their particular audience. Google Ad Planner provides marketers with research and allows users to create media plans. In addition, Ad Planners can define target users by demographics and interest. Google AdPlanner allow advertisers to search for websites relevant to their site's visitors and access aggregated statistics for unique visitors, page views and other data compiled about millions of websites in 40 countries. With this information Google hopes advertisers will create and save their own advertising plan using Google.

Data for Google Ad Planner is provided via Google's automated analysis of search query data as well as site visit data. While Google Ad Planner uses estimates, the data provided is accurate for directional trend analysis and updated regularly. Demographic information in Google Ad Planner comes from 3rd party market research, opt-in and algorithms used for improved demographic estimates. Important to note, currently demographic data in Google AdPlanner is available only in the US.

To sign up vist http://google.com/adplanner

Google AdPlanner Main Screen

Google AdPlanner Details

JohnMu aka Googler John Mueller, confirmed Google's use of sitemaps on Sunday and suggests using only quality meta data in xml sitemaps.

In his Google Groups post, John Mueller goes on to mention specifics as to how Google uses meta data in xml sitemaps submitted via Google Webmaster Tools :

URL - According to Mueller, it's best to list only working URLs in xml sitemaps and only the correct version for canonical URLs. For canonical URLs, he suggests providing the "/" version and not "index.html" in his example. He goes on to point out the importance of using the same URL found in the site's navigation and if necessary to use 301 redirects to that same URL when necessary. The navigation issue if important especially if something other than a crawler creates your sitemap. Either way, it's worth testing to be sure your Sitemap URLs are identical to those in the user path (I've actually had near knock down drag outs over this issue). JohnMu suggest only including URLs to indexable content like (X)HTML pages and other documents. In addition he points out, it's best to only include URLs webmastes want indexed.

Last modification date - In his post Mueller points out the difficulty Google can have with determining a "Last modification date" for dynamic sites due to their dynamic nature. He suggests either using the correct time or none at all. John suggests using a "Last modification date" but not "Change frequency" unless webmasters can establish a consistent frequency.

Change frequency - Like "Last modification date", Mueller suggests not using a date/time if the actual one isn't available.

Priority - Mueller suggests not including "Priority" meta data in xml sitemaps unless webmasters feel they can provide accurate data.

In summary, JohnMu suggests sitemap.org XML files that contain URLs for inclusion in Google's index and only those found in the site's navigation. He suggests "Date or change frequency" and "Priority" as optional meta data.

UPDATE: JohnMu has posted additional information over at Search Engine Roundtable in response to Barry's post.

- beu