A term traditionally used to describe the top portion of a newspaper. In email or web marketing it means the area of content viewable prior to scrolling. Some people also define above the fold as an ad location at the very top of the screen, but due to banner blindness typical ad locations do not perform as well as ads that are well integrated into content. If ads look like content they typically perform much better. Google launched a top heavy algorithm to penalize sites with excessive ad placement above the fold.
A link which shows the full URL of the page being linked at. Some links only show relative link paths instead of having the entire reference URL within the a href tag. Due to canonicalization and hijacking related issues it is typically preferred to use absolute links over relative links.
Any attempted form of ad targeting might be targeted toward people who are more likely to engage in a particular activity, especially with ad retargeting. Correlation does not mean causation.
The old name for Microsoft’s cost per click ad network, later rebranded as Bing Ads.
While it has a few cool features (including dayparting and demographic based bidding) it is still quite nascent in nature compared to Google AdWords. Due to Microsoft’s limited marketshare and program newness many terms are vastly underpriced and present a great arbitrage opportunity.
oogle’s contextual advertising network. Publishers large and small may automatically publish relevant advertisements near their content and share the profits from those ad clicks with Google.
AdSense offers a highly scalable automated ad revenue stream which will help some publishers establish a baseline for the value of their ad inventory. In many cases AdSense will be underpriced, but that is the trade off for automating ad sales.
AdSense ad auction formats include
cost per click – advertisers are only charged when ads are clicked on
CPM – advertisers are charged a certain amount per ad impression. Advertisers can target sites based on keyword, category, or demographic information.
AdSense ad formats include
In some cases I have seen ads which got a 2 or 3% click through rate (CTR), while sites that are optimized for maximum CTR (through aggressive ad integration) can obtain as high as a 50 or 60% CTR depending on
how niche their site is
how commercially oriented their site is
the relevancy and depth of advertisers in their vertical
It is also worth pointing out that if you are too aggressive in monetizing your site before it has built up adequate authority your site may never gain enough authority to become highly profitable.
Depending on your vertical your most efficient monetization model may be any of the following
Google AdSense program – sign up as an ad publisher
Google AdSense heat map – shows ad clickthrough rate estimates based on ad positioning.
Google AdWords – buy ads on Google search and / or contextually relevant web pages.
Google’s advertisement and link auction network. Most of Google’s ads are keyword targeted and sold on a cost per click basis in an auction which factors in ad clickthrough rate as well as max bid. Google is looking into expanding their ad network to include video ads, demographic targeting, affiliate ads, radio ads, and traditional print ads.
AdWords is an increasingly complex marketplace. One could write a 300 page book just covering AdWords. Rather than doing that here I thought it would be useful to link to many relevant resources.
Google AdWords – sign up for an advertiser account
Google Advertising Professional Program – program for qualifying as an AdWords expert
Google AdWords Learning Center – text and multimedia educational modules. Contains quizzes related to each section.
AdWords Keyword Tool – shows related keywords, advertiser competition, and relative search volume estimates.
Google Traffic Estimator – estimates bid prices and search volumes for keywords.
Andrew Goodman’s Google AdWords Handbook – costs roughly $75, but is well worth it
Affiliate marketing programs allows merchants to expand their market reach and mindshare by paying independent agents on a cost per action (CPA) basis. Affiliates only get paid if visitors complete an action.
Most affiliates make next to nothing because they are not aggressive marketers, have no real focus, fall for wasting money on instant wealth programs that lead them to buying a bunch of unneeded garbage via other’s affiliate links, and do not attempt to create any real value.
Some power affiliates make hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars per year because they are heavily focused on automation and/or tap large traffic streams. Typically niche affiliate sites make more per unit effort than overtly broad ones because they are easier to focus (and thus have a higher conversion rate).
Selling a conversion is typically harder than selling a click (like AdSense does, for instance). Search engines are increasingly looking to remove the noise low quality thin affiliate sites ad to the search results through the use of
algorithms which detect thin affiliate sites and duplicate content;
manual review; and,
implementation of landing page quality scores on their paid ads.
Commission Junction – probably the largest affiliate network
Linkshare – another large affiliate network
Performics – another large affiliate network
Azoogle Ads – ad offer network focused on high margin / high profit verticals
CPA Empire – similar to AzoogleAds
Amazon Associates – Amazon’s affiliate program
Clickbank – an affiliate network for selling electronic products and information
Some social networks or search systems may take site age, page age, user account age, and related historical data into account when determining how much to trust that person, website, or document. Some specialty search engines, like blog search engines, may also boost the relevancy of new documents.
Fresh content which is also cited on many other channels (like related blogs) will temporarily rank better than you might expect because many of the other channels which cite the content will cite it off their home page or a well trusted high PageRank page. After those sites publish more content and the reference page falls into their archives those links are typically from pages which do not have as much link authority as their home pages.
Some search engines may also try to classify sites to understand what type of sites they are, as in news sites or reference sites that do not need updated that often. They may also look at individual pages and try to classify them based on how frequently they change.