AdSense · January 5, 2007 3

Track your AdSense Ad Clicks to further maximise on your returns

If you didn’t know, clicks on AdSense Ads can be effectively tracked and recorded providing us with further insight into the inner workings of AdSense. Google Analytics provides us with really useful tools to track AdWords statistics, but totally lacks any tool to work in conjunction with AdSense.

However, there are loads of third party scripts which can help you do the same, even up to the extent of linking the AdSense clicks to your Analytics account. Some of these scripts are hosted on remote servers and the host provides you with tracking facilities free of charge. This is an easy option for beginners. On the other hand if you’ve got considerable working experience with web-servers, there are scripts which you can install to record the clicks and store the statistics right at your site.

A simple search using the keywords “track adsense click” will fetch you links to thousands of sites displaying their click-track wares.

Note: Tracking your AdSense clicks doesn’t violate the Google AdSense TOS in any way as long as the tracking script doesn’t modify the original Ad Code or it’s behaviour in any way.

There are pros & cons to both methods … However, using a third-party service to click makes you susceptible to the following disclosure …

  • Third party sites are able to track pages in your site which perform the best
  • Following up on that the best performing keywords on your site are revealed to them too
  • If the data for the last two aspects are considered over a long period of time, it can help your competitors to easily setup pages that can outperform you

This doesn’t mean in any way that these third-party companies WILL SURELY reveal and/or utilise this data against you… however, it’s quite a likely possibility. It takes quite a lot to worm your way up to the top spot on a search engine and stay there. Why simply give it up this way !!

On the other hand, if you use a script that monitors and stores all the click information locally, you can use that to further boost your sites ranking / performance. Among the distinct advantages are …

  • Detailed performance reports on individual pages on your site
  • A breakdown on the Ads clicked as well as the originating pages for such ads
  • The ability to track the exact number of Ad clicks on all pages across the domains/subdomains that you have

You may not be realizing the true earning potential of your site. By recording which ads are clicked, on which pages, and monitoring how those visitors came to your site – which search engines and what search terms they used, and so on – you can optimise your site to earn more money by getting more clicks. Used wisely, this tracked data can be really helpful in optimising the pages with the maximum paying / effective keywords and boost up your AdSense returns by a good margin. It’ll also be highly indicative of what exactly the visitors are looking for in your site and allow you to add more of such content and / or pages, causing them to spend more time there. You can also attract more visitors using different keywords.

The ad clicks can only be tracked if you have some sort of mechanism on your site to track the outbound clicks to advertiser’s site. Ad programs like AdSense behave a little differently – all the clicks first go to Google’s website and are then redirected to advertiser’s website. This is done so that Google can record clicks from your website.

For AdSense, the outbound clicks can be tracked by recording outgoing clicks to googlesyndication.com. These can not be tracked directly by server-side scripts as these clicks occur in the client’s browser. Hence, some sort of script must be used at the client side to track such clicks. The best solution is to use JavaScript based scripts.

Call me paranoid but my personal preference is to install a tracker script right on my site – so that all my data stays safe with me. This required you to have direct access to your own web-root as well as the ability to create MySQL databases in some cases (for storage of data). I’m going to list a couple of the best scripts / resources here.. just take your pick.

  • AdSense Tracker script for IE – shows you how to link the clicks to Analytics. Doesn’t work with Firefox.
  • Free AdSense Tracker from SEOBook – also links to Analytics.
  • Tracking AdSense clicks with Analytics – very detailed and illustrated tutorial on how to achieve this.
  • Contextual Tracker – this one’s my Hot Favourite. While the setup instructions are a little cryptic, once installed, this provides you with it’s own custom GUI to track the clicks. Also has the ability to report to Analytics. Moreover, this scripts tracking ability isn’t limited to AdSense, but covers Yahoo Publishers Network as well as some Polish contextual ad providers.
  • AdLogger – this one’s a great tool too and has a Click-Fraud Prevention feature. It keeps a track of clicks made by individual IPs and if any visitor is found to click on too many ads together it disables the ads totally to prevent the visitor from clicking on them any further.

I’ve just started using Contextual Tracker and so far really like it. I should be able to come back in a couple of days time and add more on this topic.

Till then, let me know if this was worth a read 🙂