AdSense Publisher Scorecard: Best Tips & Practices

Adsense Scorecard optimization tipsAfter an interesting Hangout with AdSense Folks on 18th June at Google+, Susan Wojcicki announced about an interesting new feature called Publisher Scorecard that has been added to all AdSense accounts and the scorecard summary chart can be seen under the Home Tab. Scorecard is a tool that gives greater insights to Publishers to compare how well their Ad settings, Website load time and content is performing compared to other Publishers using AdSense as the contextual Ad network. It displays a summary of three important categories which includes Revenue Optimization, Site Health and Google+ button Integration. Each category is scored on a scale of 1-5 blue dots that indicate your performance rank or level. In today's tutorial we will learn every basic detail of this great scoring tool and will learn how to optimize our websites and blogs to increase the overall AdSense earning. Lets jump straight to this fun ride and make better money with AdSense!

What are the Scorecard Categories?

Adsense scorecard categories
Above is a screenshot of my AdSense Account. You can clearly see the three important bolded categories which are further divided into sub categories:
1. Revenue Optimization:
By Revenue Optimization we mean improving anything that increases your overall Page CTR and RPM value and boost your earning. We received two 2/5 blue dots here and a yellow icon that indicates that this section needs improvement. It can be optimized by making three major improvements and that are:
(a) Using Recommended Ad formats
These recommended formats are often 336x280, 300x250, 728x90 or 160x600. If you are running any Ad formats other than these then please upgrade them immediately.
How to Improve it?
To improve this section use recommended ad formats that I mentioned above and you must keep your Ads above the fold. I would suggest to keep a 336X280 Text/Image Ad just below Blog Post tiles and a 728x90 big banner just below your blog header. Add a 160X600 skyscraper to your Sidebar.
Please make sure to keep your web design such that these ads may appear above the fold. The visitor must see the ads when your site loads without having to scroll down. Use the following App by Google to test if your ads are above the fold or not:
Adsense best Ad Locations
We recently developed a Plugin called AdSense Booster to add AdSense ads just above the excerpt/read more tag. This plugin was developed for blogger blogs. But you can get the same functionality even in wordpress by installing Quick AdSense Plugin.  I must tell you that our earnings increased by 40% after we installed this simple plugin which is now available to even blogger users and we are using the same plugin to  show a 468 X 60 Ad just below the opening paragraph. You can see it live in this post just below the first paragraph.
(b) Enabling both Text and Image Ads on this formats.
I would suggest that you must enable this if you haven't already done. AdSense bot knows best when to display Text or Media Ad based on the content on your site. If you are choosing just text ads or image ads then you are loosing the opportunity of an optimized Click through Rate.
How to Improve it?
Go To My Ads Tab inside your AdSense account and then click the "Edit ad Type" link below your Content Ad units. Choose the option Text & image/rich media ads as shown below:

text and image ads in adsense
Do this for all your AdSense for content Ad zones.

(c) Reduce Crawler Errors

This is one major section which people often underestimate and this returns in low earning. I always strongly recommend our clients to do a through validation of both their site HTML structure and robots.txt file. You must let the AdSense bot to crawl and scan your content the easiest way possible and don't block its way with Messy Fancy Scripts.
If you check our scorecard we received a green Tick which shows an  Excellent Score. To reduce crawler errors first make sure all Jquery scripts that you use are placed within the <head> and </head> tags. Clean up your site HTML structure and remove  any script that is increasing your site speed and causing the browser to crash.
Google has a list of crawlers for different tasks such as for detecting images, videos, smart phones or AdSense Ads. In order to make sure you allow AdSense Googlebot to crawl your site you must give it rights to do so by adding the following line in your robots.txt file:
User-agent: Mediapartners-Google


See our robots.txt file as an example.
Note: Blogger users have this added by default. Wordpress users may manually add this.

2.  Site Health
Here as usual Google expects you to improve your Page speed Performance. Matt Cutts did announce on April 2010  that Page Load time would be a deciding factor for websites to rank higher on SERPs. They went so far that they even introduced PageSpeed tools last year which helps you to reduce load time of your webpages. An interesting and complete tutorial is linked below:
Yes we score too bad here as we received a red alert. Which of course is justified because I love the blog to look professional and stand apart. Here we have never listened to Google because we tried our level best to reduce the load time but Google never seemed like getting satisfied! :p I guess we would need to remove some further widgets and images to cut down the Page Load time.
How to Improve it?
Here are some quick and proper ways to reduce load time:
  • Use CSS3 features to  create backgrounds, gradients, drop shadows and don't use Images. Create elements using CSS3 as much as you can.
  • Use small image patterns for backgrounds and scroll them vertically or horizontally instead of using large and big images
  • Use CSS Sprites to reduce http requests. You will find severa
  • Place all Javascript in one place and one file
  • Place all stylesheets in one linked file
  • Remove useless Plugins and Widgets
  • Never compress CSS nor JavaScript! Even I used to recommend this before but when we talk of site maintenance you will get confused figuring out the compressed code. So please never make a mess out of your code. Keep it well indented and structured.
3. Integrate Google+ Button on your sites
Well how can Google forget promoting their Social network. So yes you must make sure to add Google+ buttons on your site to ensure you get maximum number of +1 recommendations because believe it or not social sharing votes does count a lot.
How to Improve it?
Simply add a GooglePlus button inside your posts and your sidebar. Also create a Google+ Fan Page. Read the following delicious tutorial to get things going.

Scorecard Symbols and Indicators

Following are some interesting details about the various symbols used in your scorecard chart. You can find more help and details on scorecard at Google Groups

1. Following are the three important Scores symbols and their description

Score   Description
excellent scorecard Excellent! No need to make any changes to this category.
improvements needed - scorecard Improvements suggested. You are advised to make some further improvements to this item.
needs improvement - scorecard Needs improvement! You must or may take quick action to optimize this item

2. Following are some symbols that would appear after you make the suggested changes.

increase in blue dots - scorecard This category’s score has increased by one or more blue dots up to four blue dots.
decrease in blue dots - scorecard This category’s score has drop down by one or more blue dots down to three blue dots.
item score improvement This item’s score has gone up from “Needs improvement” to “Improvements suggested”.
item score gone down This item’s score has gone down from “Improvements suggested” to “Needs improvement”.

Need Help?

I guess we covered every single tip and almost all best practices used to make sure you monetize your sites well and improve your CTR and RPM value. If there is anything we emphasize a lot to our clients after SEO then it's the site Design and then Monetization. Please give extra care to how appealing your site design is. You have the right to make it eye-catching by using all Fancy Jquery effects but please be assured that sometimes you need to sacrifice for the sake of a bigger gain. This is one reason why Wikipedia is so ugly yet so powerful.
It's time for some home work, we will do ours, you do yours!. Let me know for any help needed. Peace and blessings buddies. :)

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  1. Thanks a for this tutorial. I wanted to know it as soon as possible because I saw it when I logged into my Adsense Account.

    Admin of Mauritian Techie

  2. Thanks Mohammad , Publisher Scorecard seems to be an awesome feature. I was searching for it and i found it here. Thank you for the share.

    Kunal Ganglani

  3. Me thinks someone should only run one ad unit and one link unit on your site - am seeing it work in one of my sites - and perhaps - i will give details when i compare the performance

    1. @Peter

      You can add upto 3 Ad units and , 3 Link units and two search boxes. doing this wont give you a bad scorecard Rank as long as you have added the code I provided above for robots.txt file

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Mohammed, Can you tell me how mush CTR is permissible? I am running a website and my CTR is 4% and CPC is only 0.5 > How i can increase my CPC?

    1. Bro your CTR is very good don't worry about it and to increase your CPC you must focus on high paying keywords :)

    2. @Mohammed

      Dear your CTR and CPC as ankit said is surely impressive. However I have never believed in the concept of high paying keywords and instead believe in increasing the overall weightage of your pageviews. Add Plugins that may help you make your visitors stay longer on your pages and also increase post frequency and quality length to improve search traffic. These things would put a significant change.

      Note Install our AdSense CTR Booster plugin to increase your overall earnings by 40%. Try it!

  6. You explained it in proper way. :)

  7. Wow ! great tips.. thank you very much... :)

  8. Thanks for sharing this post, though i have not yet been approved by Google adsense but im working on it on my blog

  9. Great post great work keep sharing like this :) and i want to know that how to install Quick AdSense Plugin in blogger?

    1. Dear there is no such plugin for blogger. It's available only for wordpress users.

    2. There is one now!

      We recently released the AdSense CTR Booster Plugin. You can install it! This will add a Content ad unit just above the Read More Tag.

      Further to place ads below post titles, below posts or anywhere else. Simply search for MBT tutorials using our search box.

  10. such an amazing article. Thank you very much for your help.

  11. Hello Mustafa Brother sorry for off topic but last night i was searching funny videos on YouTube when i see a video in which you were shown. I want to confirm that is you. please replay soon

  12. Salam Muhammad
    My Google page speed is 85 out of 100 is it good or not

    my blog

  13. Sir mea ne electrical ke hawle se blog bana ya hae.or mea 79 posts publised ke hae, mea ne ek lafaz be copy nahy kya hae. Mgr mea jab be adsense ko apply karta ho to "insufficint content" ka jawab ata hae.sir plz help

    1. Hey Sikandar,
      Dear this problem comes when our blog is non English blog. Try to write posts in English or if already they are in English language the try to focus on lengthy posts at least of 400-500 words.
      Hope it'll work for you.
      Best of luck!

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. To reduce crawler errors first make sure all Jquery scripts that you use are placed within the head and head tags. Clean up your site HTML structure and remove any script that is increasing your site speed and causing the browser to crash.

    When i removed Jquery scriptsas to mentioned my Adsens earning reduced

    Today so far $0.01

    Yesterday $0.05

    What to do what happened this???? help me please

    1. Dear one should never judge and compare metrics or eanrings on day to day basis. You must comnpare the result of one week with another. Only then you would be able to draw a possible trend.

      If you have done as guided then it is an excellent move. TRaffic fluctuates on daily basis. As you said your earning is 0.05, then I believe on average you are receiving at most 200-300 unique visitors per day which is quite less so first build up the traffic volume and then you will come back here saying that your earnings are now $20-$50 a day! :)

  16. It's is helpful for me.Thanks for these tips make money blogging :-)

  17. I never cared about Google Adsense Scorecard. Don't know why they are forcing me to use Google Plus. It gives very bad feeling when I login to my Adsense Dashboard and see that my card rating is just 1 out of 5. But who cares ! I am getting much more without caring suggestions from Google. I think this scorecard needs some improvements.

  18. Crawler errors report
    Blocked URLs:

    how to solve??help me..

  19. Good article and i really appreciate but please clear one things. AS you said to put ads above the fold while you know google penalize many blogs bcoz of ads above the fold, so now what to do?

  20. Very helpful man as I'm also currently writing a site which helps Sri Lankans to earn money from internet. It is very good as reveal and showed us these steps in Adsense.

    Internet Money
    Blogging Industries

  21. @Mohammad Mustafa Ahmedzai
    I am adding ads on sidebar 300*600 large skyscraper but you recommend that using 120*600 skyscraper .......which ads is better..

  22. Good Post

  23. I used to have the Site Health showing up in my Adsense account, but recently it disappeared. Any idea how to get it back? It might be because I upgraded to the new Universal Analytics script, but that script is supposed to track page speed as well as the old script...

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  28. I was looking tonight for some helpful write ups for increasing adsense earnings. After reading couple of posts , I got to read yours. Let me tell you that I never bothered clicking on Revenue Optimization feature. I was ignoring it. Now I realized how important is that.
    Nice and informative post really.