How to guarantee Google AdSense always shows revenue-generating ads on your site
Although supporting non-profits is important, you’re correct that you could be wasting a lot of ad views—and a lot of money—by not replacing those public service ads (PSAs) with an alternate ad that generates revenue.Google displays PSAs if your account is still so new that Google hasn’t determined what your pages are about, or if there’s no other ad inventory to display. Filling that space with an alternate ad of your choosing is a great way to ensure you are fully monetizing your web site for every visitor.
The process isn’t difficult and involves uploading an image to your server (such as an affiliate ad, an alternate PSA of your choosing or an ad promoting your site) that will be served automatically by Google when the need arises. I’ll go ahead and break down the process in 9 easy steps
- Select an image ad size that is the same size as the ad you want to replace. If the ad size you want to replace is a 468×60 banner, make sure your replacement ad is sized 468×60.
Create images for each ad size you want to replace. AdSense does not auto-resize ads, so if you serve more than one ad size on your site you need to upload alternate ads in each format.
- Create a new blank webpage for each of your replacement ads. No title or meta information is necessary on these pages, just a small amount of HTML code.
Place on this page either the ad code from an affiliate program (such as a banner from Commission Junction or PSAs from another charity) or create an image ad that promotes your products and link it to your own site’s pages.
- Save this new alternate ad page with a file name you will remember, such as alt_ad.html. You may want to include the actual ad size in the filename if you have multiple alternate ads planned (for example, using alt_ad_468x60.html).
- Once your new ad page is correctly named and formatted, upload it to your site. Make a note of the full URL, such as…
Add a robots.txt exclusion or a noindex meta tag on these ad pages to ensure that Google doesn’t mistakenly index them. Either method will work.
- Once you have uploaded your new AdSense alternate ads, login to your AdSense account and click AdSense Setup and select AdSense for Content.
- Choose your ad type, format, and colors.
- Scroll down to the Alternate Ad or Color section. To provide an alternate ad, select Show ads from another URL and enter the URL of the page containing your ad.
If you’d prefer to just provide a solid block of color in that ad space, select Fill space with a solid color, then select an HTML color code. You can also cause the ad space to disappear completely using a collapsing ad unit.
The point here is to always show revenue-generating ads, so we’d avoid the color blocks and collapsing ad units. It’s always better to show actual ads instead.
- Click Continue.
- Copy and paste the ad code onto your site’s pages.
To view the Google help section dealing with this issue, see How do I implement an alternate ad?
Defining your own alternate ads guarantees that a revenue-generating ad always appears on your site, thereby maximizing your site’s income potential. If you’re monetizing your site with AdSense, we highly recommend setting up your own alternate ads.
This approach also allows you to begin experimenting with new ways of making money with your site. You may find that affiliate ads are more profitable and less intrusive than AdSense.