Site optimization to increase traffic is usually segmented into two parts:
- New traffic acquisitions
- Website enhancements such as optimizing ad placement, navigation and/or content on your website.
There are risks to consider for both. It’s important for you to be selective about the optimization specialist or agency you choose to work with, and always verify their optimizations before placing ads on your site.
1. New traffic acquisitions
If you suspect there’s invalid activity on your site, the best thing you can do is remove the ads on your page while you investigate the case. Put ads back on the page when you are confident that the source of invalid clicks is no longer present.
Before you decide to work with any website optimizers we recommend the following:
- It is best to ask for recommendations from webmasters that you personally know and trust or search for well-known optimizers with good reputations on the web. If possible read what others have written about them on forums before proceeding to work with them.
- If you decide to go with an optimizer based on their reputation on the web, ask for examples of sites they´ve optimized. The sites should be as similar to yours as possible based on your content vertical, demographics, number of visits/month, etc.
Best practices for working with a website optimizer
Optimizers should let you know about all the sources and means of driving traffic to your website. The most dangerous is a suspicious traffic source that generates invalid clicks on your ads which may lead to your account being disabled. Please remember it’s your responsibility to monitor and evaluate the traffic.
Suspicious traffic may violate various Ad Exchange policies under "traffic sources" such as:
- Usage of automated bots which imitate user behavior
- Purchase of unrelated traffic from unknown networks
- Participating in paid-to-click programs
- Receiving traffic from unwanted email or software applications.
If you decide to use new methods to increase traffic to your site, we recommend using channels so that you can separate the new traffic source and monitor the traffic performance. You can also isolate and monitor different paid traffic sources by using Google Analytics. Once you have channels and Analytics set up you can run reports to evaluate the traffic performance. If you find traffic to be unusual, invalid or low performing, stop acquiring the traffic immediately and remove the ad code from pages that are impacted. This will reduce the chance that you violate the Ad Exchange program policies.
Best practices for promoting your website
Do not promote your site (or let anyone do so) using policy violating techniques:
- spam emails
- comment spamming
- creation of fake forum profiles
- posting links on link farms and "private blog networks", link exchanges and social network spamming.
Comply with the following rules while using online advertising to promote your site:
- If using AdWords, the AdWords landing page quality guidelines should be met.
- The ad itself must not be misleading. For example, if my site is about frying pans and the AdSense ads on my site highlight frying pans for sale, it would be misleading to tweet a link to my site with the text "Great deals on frying pans.” This is deceiving and a form of encouraging users to click on the ads since the content on my site does not talk about frying pan deals or sales so visitors would be driven to the ads on the page.
2. Website enhancements
Optimizers should be aware of the Ad Exchange policies and the Google Webmaster Guidelines and optimize your site without violating any of the policies or quality guidelines. If any of the following optimizations are done, your account may be at risk of being disabled.
Google ads, search boxes or search results may not be:
- Integrated into a software application (does not apply to AdMob) of any kind, including toolbars.
- Displayed in pop-ups or pop-unders
- Placed in emails, email programs, or chat programs
- Obscured by elements on a page
- Placed on any non-content-based page. (Does not apply to AdSense for search or mobile AdSense for search.)
- Placed on pages published specifically for the purpose of showing ads
- Placed on pages whose content or URL could confuse users into thinking it is associated with Google due to the misuse of logos, trademarks or other brand features
- Placed on, within or alongside other Google products or services in a manner that violates the policies of that product or service.