The Optimization tab

Run experiments in AdSense

Running an experiment allows you to compare one of your ad settings against a variation of that setting to see which performs better. Experiments work by splitting your site's traffic between the original ad setting and the variation, so that their performance can be measured side by side. Experiments help you to make informed decisions about how to configure your ad settings, and can help you to increase your earnings.

You create, monitor and choose the winner of experiments on the "Experiments" page in your account. To view your "Experiments" page:

  • Sign in to your AdSense account, and click Optimization > Experiments.

Create your experiment

When you create an experiment you:

  • Select the original ad setting that you want to compare the experiment variation against.
  • Select which settings you’d like to change for the variation.
  • Depending on the experiment type, choose whether you'd like Google to automatically apply the winning setting for you after your experiment has finished.
    Selecting this option can help save you time, for example, if you're planning to run lots of experiments.

You can create the following types of experiments:

Monitor your experiment

On the "Experiments" page you can see an overview of your experiments which shows their current status and progress, and highlights any experiments that are "Ready to complete" (which is when we recommend you choose a winner).

Status What it means
Running Your experiment is in progress and collecting data.
Ready to complete Your experiment has collected sufficient data and is now ready for you to choose a winner. Learn how to choose the winner of an experiment.
Completed

You’ve chosen the winner of your experiment and your experiment is completed.
or
You decided to stop your experiment without choosing a winner.

Choose the winner of your experiment

When your experiment has collected sufficient data, you can choose the winner of your experiment. We recommend that you wait until your experiment is marked "Ready to complete" before you choose a setting as the winner.

To help you decide the right time to choose your winner, we show you the progress of your experiment. Progress lets you know how many days to go your experiment has before we're confident that either your original ad setting or the variation is the best performing of the two settings. We recommend that you wait until your experiment is marked "Ready to complete" before you choose a setting as the winner. Note that because we calculate progress based on the data that we’ve collected up until now, the number of days to go can go up, down, or stay the same over time.

  • If you choose the original as the winner, then your original settings are retained.
  • If you choose the variation as the winner, then we apply the settings of the variation to your account.

In either case, we stop splitting your traffic, and your experiment ends.

When you're choosing the winner of your experiment, we encourage you to consider the change to RPM as well as the ad session length (where available). Increased ad session length means users are spending more time on your site. If RPM increases but ad session length decreases, or vice versa, it's up to you to decide whether you're happy with this trade-off.

Notes:
  • If you've opted to let Google choose the winner of your experiment, the best performing settings will be automatically applied for you.
  • If your experiment hasn't reached the "Ready to complete" state after 90 days we'll automatically stop it. If you've opted to let Google choose the winner, we’ll revert your settings back to the way they were before the experiment started. Otherwise, you'll have another 30 days to choose the winner of the experiment.

If you have further questions about experiments, see the Experiments FAQ.

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