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A list of tips was published at the official Google Adsense blog Inside Adsense which should help maximize revenue potential. The tips are to turn custom channels into ad placements which will highlight parts of your website to advertisers, to enable text and image ads on your website and to use the 300×250 medium rectangle because many advertisers use this specifically when creating rich media ads.
I’m using ad placements for a while with no obvious result whatsoever but it could be rather site specific. If I recall correctly those ads can then be booked directly at the website. It is not working at all for me but it does not cost anything and it could work for your website.
The second tip is a no brainer as well and I’m using this setting for a very long time. Image ads are mainly paid on a CPM basis while text ads on a CPC basis. Remember that the best paying unit is shown which could be either, so activate both.
To know why Adsense is essential for your content sites is to know first how this works.
The concept is really simple, if you think about it. The publisher or the webmaster inserts a java script into a certain website. Each time the page is accessed, the java script will pull advertisements from the Adsense program. The ads that are targeted should therefore be related to the content that is contained on the web page serving the ad. If a visitor clicks on an advertisement, the webmaster serving the ad earns a portion of the money that the advertiser is paying the search engine for the click.
The search engine is the one handling all the tracking and payments, providing an easy way for webmasters to display content-sensitive and targeted ads without having the hassle to solicit advertisers, collect funds, monitor the clicks and statistics which could be a time-consuming task in itself. It seems that there is never a shortage of advertisers in the program from which the search engine pulls the Adsense ads. Also webmasters are less concerned by the lack of information search engines are providing and are more focused in making cash from these search engines.