I have run a single Google AdSense ad in each entry in my full-text RSS feed since May of this year. I’m apparently not allowed to discuss clickthru rates, so let me just say this:
Despite getting a rather decent amount of traffic for a personal blog, I cannot buy a pack of bubblegum with the revenues I’ve earned from ads in my RSS feed. In fact, I’d be surprised if I could buy a single gumball.
This comes as rather a surprise me, not to mention a disappointment.
The ads were unobtrusive but still noticeable. And more importantly, I found them to be generally pretty relevant (nicely targeted) as well.
Since I’ve now removed the ads from my feed, I am free to talk about them without worrying about incenting clicks and jeopardizing my account. So a few questions come to mind:
1) If the ads had been less subtle, would more people have clicked?
2) Is it a demographic thing (people reading RSS feed = geeks = non-ad-clickers)?
3) Was the presence of these ads annoying enough to some to get them to unsubscribe? (Probably not, since I don’t show any drop in subscription or clickthru rates)
I recall reading on the Web that many others were having similar bad luck with their AdSense feeds for RSS. I wonder if anyone has actually had GOOD luck with these ads.