I’ve had my AdSense account for quite a while now, and also had it display ads on one of my blogs. I just signed up, added the widget and forgot about it. One day I checked my account to find a lucky number of 13 dollars! Wow, I actually made some money! I never took my time to study AdSense, and I realized I’ve been missing out. It was time to learn something.
May 2014 Google launched an online course called ‘Optimizing AdSense’. It is free, and anyone with a valid AdSense account (they ask for your AdSense ID) can register.
The course is entirely online and self-paced.
You start with Pre-Course Assessment to test how much you know about AdSense. No worries, it doesn’t affect your final score or anything. It just helps you to see where you are and to identify the areas you need to study. However, you are free to take the entire course, not just parts of it.
After a short introduction, you are ready to start. The course consists of three Units.
Unit 1: CPM and CPC: Winning Valuable Ads
You learn the key words and abbreviations, and also the basics of creating ads like choosing ad types, selecting ad sizes, allowing and blocking ads, creating targetable custom channels and performing A/B tests.
Unit 2: Clicks and CTR: Designing and Placing Your Ads
This unit is all about CTR, how it is calculated and how you can improve your ad location and choose the right ad color and style.
Unit 3: Impressions: Showing More Ads
In the final unit you will learn how the AdSense Auction works and, mostly important, how to increase ad coverage, improve page speed and fix crawler errors.
Each topic of the course is covered in a short 2-4 min video followed by a multiple choice activity. There are also links to additional resources if you’d like to study the topic further.
After a short wrap-up, you can take the Final Assessment. It consists of 20 multiple choice questions and covers the content of the course. If you listened carefully, you will have no problems answering them.
Once you complete the Final Assessment and score (I believe) 80% or more you get a certificate you can download to your computer. Of course, this is not an official document but it is nice to have some kind of acknowledgement of your efforts.
Here is my certificate. Not sure why it says ‘May 2014’ when I completed it in September 2014. I guess it is the time the course was first launched.
Did the course make me an AdSense guru? Obviously not but it helped me to get a better understanding of how Google AdSense works and how I can use it better. I’ve also learned about some cool tools I didn’t know before like Page Speed Insights. It helps you to evaluate your website speed on different devices, and also gives tips on how to fix issues your website might have and decrease bounce rate.
‘Optimizing AdSense’ is a short well-structured course, and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to go in the world of AdSense.