12 September 2011

Targeted link units bring in 25% of MyPlayCity’s online revenue.

Targeted link units bring in 25% of MyPlayCity’s online revenue.:
MyPlayCity.com offers more than 350 full-version, downloadable games, all for free. Ksenia Kazak, director of marketing and PR, shared her experience with growing MyPlayCity’s revenue and improving AdSense performance just by adding link units to their pages.

Inside AdSense: Tell us a little more about MyPlayCity. When did it launch?

Ksenia Kazak: We created the site in 2006, and today have more than one million visitors daily. We offer casual games, which are easy to play, small, colorful and suitable for all ages. None of our games have time limits, and users can download them and play for as long as they want, for free. It’s great for our users, because gamers usually have to pay for their games.

IA: How do you use AdSense on your site?

KK: We’ve used AdSense from the very beginning – it was a clear choice for us. We’ve used features like AdSense for search, AdSense for feeds, and we recently implemented AdSense for games which has worked really well for us. From time to time we’ve tried using other ad networks, but they haven’t worked as well as AdSense – it is our main source of revenue.

IA: Why did you decide to start showing link units on your site?

KK: We learned about adding link units as we were setting up AdSense on our site. We’re always eager to try new things, so we decided to give link units a go. We learned that we could add up to three link units in addition to the three AdSense for content units we already have on each page, so we decided to give it a shot.

We wanted to ensure the site would stay user-friendly and create a positive user experience. So, we thought carefully about ad placement, as it’s important to us to emphasize our content and build a loyal user base that will keep coming back. Following recommendations from the AdSense team, we implemented a wide 728x15 format with four links on the top and bottom of the pages.

IA: What were the results? Would you recommend this strategy to other publishers?

KK: The link units are very efficient in terms of revenue – they bring in 25% of our total online revenue. The ads are quite targeted and they generate a huge user interest. Compared to our other AdSense for content ads, the link units perform very well. With this additional revenue from link units, we’ve been able to add more games to our collection. We’re able to improve our site and bring in a larger audience that’s increasingly loyal.

In terms of placement, our link units at the top of the page perform well, as users are more likely to see them there, yet they do not distract from the page content. At the same time, the link units also work really well at the bottom of the page, as users tend to scroll down to change the language of the site. It’s another opportunity for users to find the links. The AdSense team recommended using four link units instead of five, since the font is larger and they are more visible to the user.

I’d recommend other publishers adding link to their sites, as they are an excellent solution in limited space. They take up very little room, but the revenue is significant.

If you’d like to add link units to your site like MyPlayCity, sign in to your account today.
  1. Once you’re signed in to your AdSense account, click the “My Ads” tab in the new AdSense interface
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the ‘size’ drop-down and select your link unit size. We recommend trying one of our top-performing sizes: 728x15, 160x90 or 468x15
Once you've updated your pages, link units will appear immediately. If we haven't yet crawled your page, we may initially show your alternate ad or a 'View ads about' search box in the link unit.

Some additional link units tips and best practices from the AdSense team:
  • Try wider formats with fewer links – for example, 728x15 (4 links), 160x90 (4 links), or 468x15 (4 links).
  • Effective placements include the top of the page (after navigation and before page content) and at the bottom of the page (at the end of an article). Horizontal ad link units usually work better for this (728x15 and 468x15 formats).
  • If the horizontal format is not adapted to your site, you can use vertical formats (such as 160x90 or 200x90) to fill small spaces in the sidebar. Or try wrapping text around the ad units inside an article to serve as a content breaker.
Posted by Jane Brinkley - AdSense Optimization Team

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