I’ve fooled around with Google Adsense for a while and while it’s certainly been a great way for publishers to earn some coin, it leaves a little to be desired as far as reporting goes.
Currently you can use “channels” to determine which ads are performing the best. This works fairly well, but let’s say I want to add a different channel for each blog post to determine how adsense for each article performs. The only way to do this is to manually create a new channel for each post and then maintain the adsense channel code for each post. If you already have multiple channels per type of ad (or location of the ad), you’d have to create multiple channels per blog post. This is not feasible, especially for blogs that post frequently.
Here are a couple suggestions for Google to implement for Adsense.
1. Develop and Release an Adsense Publisher API
There is already an AdWords API (for advertisers), but no Adsense API (for publishers). The API should have support for managing channels and reporting.
This would enable someone to create a WordPress Plugin that used the Adsense API to automatically create a new channel for each new blog post and use that channel in the Adsense code for that post. You could then track adsense performance by post without lifting a finger.
2. Allow Publishers to Tag (or Categorize) Ads
With tagging all the rage of late (del.icio.us, Flickr, stocktickr), why not allow Adsense ads to be tagged? The problem with the current solution of using channels is that each ad can only contain at most one channel.
Wouldn’t it be great if Google would allow publishers to add multiple tags per ad that didn’t have to be created ahead of time? Because you could add multiple tags to an ad, you could do much richer reporting in Adsense. For bloggers, you could create plugins that automatically tagged the ads in each post with a page location tag (top, left, sidebar, etc), a tag that identified the post, and a tag that identified the categories that you applied to the blog post.
This wouldn’t only be useful for blogs – any data driven site that wanted to have deeper insight into their ad performance could do so far more easily that is available with the current version of Adsense.