I started this wish-list with Gmail, but Adsense is
actually a bigger itch for me. Unfortunately, while many of these
features and changes would be reasonable in a perfect world,
Google may not be implementing any of them soon because
they don't want to make things any easier for the cheats and crooks
who are constantly bedeviling them with click fraud. Therefor,
my very first wish for Adsense is that they stop paying per click
and only offer impression based advertising.
Of course they can't do that, because most advertisers want
CPC (cost per click) ads in spite of all the fraud. It's
a strange world, isn't it? Advertisers know that there is a lot
of click fraud, but they don't like CPM except in the biggest
and most prestigious venues. So that's unlikely to change very
much (although Google has been selling some CPC ads through Adsense).
So, while I'm waiting for hell to freeze over, I'll just continue
with my gripes. The next sore point is time stamping of Adsense
reports. Usually, this is unimportant because I'm more
interested in month to date income than what's happening today, but
sometimes I do have reason to see what's going on right now. Adsense
will tell me that, but there's no "as of" time stamp, so if
for some reason they are lagging behind (which doesn't happen often,
I admit), I have no idea how current the report really is.
The biggest issue I have with Adsense is reporting channels. This
is an Adsense feature where I can add a "channel" identifier
to ads that Adsense reporting can track. This can either be by URL, or I can define custom channels
for my own use. For example, I might tag all 2004 articles with
a "2004" tag, 2005 writings with "2005" and use that information
to judge how age affects ad income.
You are limited to 200 channels, which is a little annoying,
but more annoying is that URL breakdowns should and could be automatic.
I bet larger Adsense customers can get full breakdowns of performance
by URL, but we little folks can't. I'd be more than happy to
pay for that kind of report; I don't expect Google to give me breakdowns
on thousands of pages for free.
But it's the custom channels that really get me foaming at the
mouth. I use custom channels to try to figure out how to get
the best results from Google advertising. That's what Google
tells you to use them for, but they sure don't make it easy. First,
I have to "define" the channel. Why? Adsense already knows
my account, so you'd think it would be easier for all of us if
I just made up my own channel identifiers and let it go
at that. I'd also like to have "sub-channels": I might
assign all 2004 articles "chn2004" but specific page might
be "chn2004-linux" and so on. That would let me break down
data much more completely.
I'd also like automatic stats on ad types: link ads vs.
text ads vs. image ads, broken down by size. Which types
perform the best? Now I have to tag them individually, and
of course because there are no sub-channels, that conflicts
with other tracking I want.
As noted, Google probably resists some of this to avoid
helping the fraudulent click folks, and resists other reporting
because it's too expensive, but I'm sure there have to be solutions
to those issues.
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© 2013-07-05 Anthony Lawrence