In times like these, we know that generating as much revenue as possible is on many publishers' minds. This will be the first of many posts that will hope to explain how to better configure AdSense for feeds to help maximize revenue.
Before going into specifics though, it's important to understand a couple important differences in how your subscribers are different from visitors on your website. If you use an analytics package for your site such as Google Analytics, most publishers will see that a large amount of their traffic comes from web searches. Many of these visitors may have been searching for a certain item, such as one of those blankets with sleeves and a hood - let's call it a shanket. You happen to have written about how much you love your shanket, and let's face it, you know how to write with the best of them, so your page ranks high in search results. That visitor may see an ad for a shanket next to your search result but wants to know more. So he or she clicks and reads your post, which seals the deal on this visitor needing a new shanket. You use AdSense for content, which includes ads for shankets that are matched contextually; the visitor clicks; a shanket is sold; and you earn revenue in the process.
Your feed subscribers, however, very rarely, if at all, get to your content from a web search. On the contrary, they subscribe to your blog because you write entertaining musings about your family life, and occasionally also write about some of the wonderful products you have come across, such as your shanket.
Because of this, the types of advertisers that run campaigns targeted at your feeds are not necessarily the same advertisers that are targeting search users. Instead of targeting keywords that match a search, advertisers wishing to use feed subscribers target placements in the Google Content Network.
How do you ensure that your placements are exposed effectively in the Google Content Network?
That's the easy part. When setting up new feeds on the AdSense Setup tab, make sure you leave the box that says "Create a channel that allows advertisers to target the selected feed." If you are creating a new channel that aggregates all of your feeds or subsets of your feeds that you would like to show to advertisers (highly recommended), make sure by selecting the "Show this channel to advertisers as an ad placement."
In a week or so, these placements will show up in AdWords and some of the other tools used by Google advertisers to target the content network.
Stay tuned for the next installment on Advanced Feed Placement optimization.