Quick AdSense Plugin Settings to Install AdSense Ads in WordPress

WordPress blog and website owners frequently use the AdSense ad program from Google to monetize their visitor traffic. However, it is very complicated to dive into the actual WordPress code to program the AdSense ad code into your WordPress property. Instead, you can use a plugin like Quick AdSense.

I personally use Quick AdSense on WritingShares.com and have been pleased with it. However, the programmer is not only a programmer, but his English is not super, either. Thus, it can be difficult setting up Quick AdSense. I recommend it, but just follow my instructions to set up AdSense on pages and posts.

By using these settings, you will have 3 ads on each page. Note that I do not include an AdSense ad in my sidebar or header or footer. The sidebar is almost pointless as an AdSense area. While the header and footer may get some clicks, putting your ads near the actual content of the page generally produces better results. As such, I recommend using these settings for increased AdSense revenue potential.

You first need to have the AdSense ad code. On my site, I use a 336 x 280 square for all three ad blocks. Get this from your own AdSense account.

Next, you need to install the Quick AdSense plugin. A link to the plugin’s home page on the WordPress website is included at the bottom of this article.

Once installed and activated (WordPress will ask you if you want to activate it after installation), you will see a “Setting” link. Click on that and follow the settings instructions below to set up AdSense ads with Quick AdSense.

 

 

Near the top of the settings page, choose to place up to 3 ads on a page. You could make this only one or two, but do not make it more than 3 if you are using AdSense ads only. You could include more than 3 if you are placing other advertising with this Quick AdSense plugin, but do not make more than 3 ad blocks for AdSense because that generally violates Google’s ad-placement policies.

Put a checkmark for “Beginning of the Post,” “Middle of the Post” and “End of Post.” Select Ads 1 in the drop-down box for the beginning of the post, Ads 2 for the middle, and Ads 3 for the end.

For Appearance, I personally put a checkmark for posts, pages and the home page. I leave the categories, archives and tags blank. The reason for this is that these pages may have a very small amount of information. Although probably not against the rules, it is arguably against AdSense TOS to put the ads on pages with almost no content. Thus, if you or one of your guest bloggers makes a new tag or category, there could be nothing but a teaser of one blog entry along with 3 AdSense ads. Yes, there may still be information in your sidebar or other parts of the page, but it’s best to not run the risk of violating Google AdSense terms.

I leave the Quicktags section blank because I invite freelance writers to come and write for Writing Shares for revenue sharing. Thus, it would be a bad idea to have AdSense settings in the article-editing areas of my site. If you are the only publishing articles on your site, then you may choose to enable Quicktag buttons for various purposes.

Caution: This next part is actually the opposite of the way the Quick AdSense developer tells you to do it. Although the plugin says that the ad codes must not be identical, I personally found that I had to make them identical to get all 3 to display.

What I am referring to here is Quick AdSense’s “AdSense Codes” settings section. When I made a separate AdSense ad code for Ads 1, 2 and 3, I found that the first ad block displayed. However, the second 2 ad blocks did not display and only showed a blank pink area.

But when I used the exact same ad code from my AdSense account in the first 3 ad blocks, it displayed all three (Ads 1 at the beginning of the post, Ads 2 in the middle, and Ads3 at the end of the posts).

For each ad, I leave the alignment as “Center” and the margin as 50 px. It is important to have a lot of pixels around your ads so as not to violate AdSense’s rules on accidental clicks.

This is all you have to do to get your Quick AdSense plugin to display ads on your WordPress blog. It really is that simple. Just remember that the instructions for the “AdSense Codes” section of the settings did not work for me. I actually did the opposite of the instructions to get all 3 ad blocks to show on my WritingShares.com blog.

 

Resources:

 

QuickAdSense Home Page on WordPress

Should You Pay the $5/Month Subscription Price for the Akismet Anti-Comment Spam Plugin

Akismet is an anti-spam plugin developed by the makers of WordPress. It is designed to stop comment spam. The plugin is free if you are publishing a blog only for personal use. There is a $5 monthly subscription price if you are running a commercial blog. Whether you should fork over this fee for Akismet really depends on several factors. There are certainly reasons to pay this fee, and Akismet is known to be very good at blocking comment spam on WordPress blogs. In some cases, however, it is just not necessary.

Akismet comes pre-loaded when you install WordPress on your website. This is primarily what makes it so popular. It uses a system that is far from foolproof. Essentially, it creates a filter system that compares comments posted across multiple blogs. If someone is trying to post the same message on multiple blogs, for example, the Akismet database will catch that and block the spam. It will do nothing to stop manual spam, but automated spam is definitely a bigger issue because it will destroy your blog’s commenting area if you don’t find a way to protect yourself. Akismet is going to block a lot of that automatic spam that is generated by spam bots (software programs used for automatic comment spamming). But is it necessary to pay $5 for this service if you have a commercial site?

Well, there are a lot of other free options in the WordPress plugin database that will purport to do the same thing for free. One advantage of Akismet, however, is that is blocks spam without requiring the use of things like CAPTCHA forms. Many of the free alternatives require a CAPTCHA form or other device that is inconvenient for commenters. However, there are some plugins like Spam Free WordPress that do not require a CAPTCHA but require something like a password. This can also stop WordPress comment spam while being a bit less annoying to commenters.

You also want to consider registration spam. Blocking all the comments in the world is not going to stop the spammers from using spam bots to register at your website. Akismet is not an anti-registration spam plugin, so you would have to use another plugin if you are allowing registrations at your website. For example, you may wish to have members register and log in to leave comments.

If you want to maximize the ability to get comments on your WordPress blog, you may wish to not require registration to comment. In that case, Akismet may be worth the price of admission for commercial sites. However, you could still use something like Spam Free WordPress or another free plugin first and compare results.

When you are first starting out as a blogger, you are generally going to be receiving little to no traffic. This means you want to keep expenses low to maximize your chances of turning a net profit. You may wish to start with a free plugin first and then move to Akismet as you start to get traffic and visitors to your blog. That way, you are getting actual value for your Akismet subscription instead of spending $5 per month on something that is not yet making you money. Also consider that you are already paying a hosting fee for your blog and website.

One good thing about Akismet is that you can expect it to remain up to date with WordPress’s own updates. Other plugins come and go, but Akismet will consistently be there as long as the WordPress developers decide to maintain the service. This could prevent hassles in having to change to different anti-spam plugins later if the one you are using falls out of date. However, always consider the bottom dollar when making this decision. It is not really that easy to make a lot of money with a blog, so think about getting some consistent traffic first before spending money on every little thing like Akismet for your WordPress blog.

Sources:

WordPress Anti-Spam Plugins Directory

WordPress Akismet Comment Spam Plugin Home Page

How to Hide Posts in WordPress From Guest Authors

WordPress is a feature-filled blogging platform that even allows you to invite other registered users to write posts or articles as a guest author. However, if you are going to invite many writers or post thousands of articles, it can become inconvenient for you and the individual guest authors to find their own articles. You may also wish to hide posts for privacy or other reasons.

Instead of fiddling around with the actual WordPress code, it is helpful to use a plugin to hide posts in WordPress. The Manage Your Posts Only Reloaded plugin shows only the personal user’s blog entries while hiding the posts written by other authors. When the user goes to the Posts section, he will only see a “Mine” link that shows his own articles.

This plugin is very easy to use and requires no configuration at all. You just upload it to WordPress and install the plugin. Once it is installed, the script will automatically hide the posts made by other guest authors.

However, there is one little problem with this WordPress plugin (based on what I have seen in WordPress 3.3.1). When you install Manage Your Posts Only Reloaded, it only shows the “Add New” page when the guest author goes to the Posts section. Unfortunately, it does not show the guest author’s own articles. To find his own articles, the guest writer needs to click on the “Dashboard” and then click on the number there that corresponds to the site-wide post count. Once on that page, then only the guest author’s articles can be viewed. All other posts are hidden from view to those logging in as a guest writer.

As a site owner or administrator, what this means to you is that you should not hide the dashboard from registered users/guest writers. Otherwise, they will not be able to access their previous articles by using the dashboard. Run a test with a non-admin user account and make sure all of these things are in order before you roll this out to your membership.

Sources:

Manage Your Posts Only Reloaded WordPress “Hide Posts” Plugin

How to Install and Configure the Google Analyticator WordPress Plugin

Google Analyticator is a plugin that integrates the Google Analytics website statistics program with WordPress blogs. It will also track Google AdSense ads placed on your blog if you take care to properly configure it.

First, start out by accessing the Google Analyticator page on the WordPress website. Click “Install” and follow the instructions to download it. Alternatively, log into your blog admin panel and click on “Plugins” and “Add New” to run a search for Analyticator and install it. This second option is actually easier.

Before configuring Google Analyticator, you want to integrate your AdSense account with your Analytics account if you have an AdSense account. That is not necessary if you do not have one. Look for a link on your AdSense Overview page to link the accounts. You will generally see it there if you have not already linked AdSense with Analytics.

Important: This is the most confusing step. In your profile settings in Google Analytics for the website where you are using Analyticator, find the “Main Website Profile Information” box and click “Edit.” On the next page, look for the “AdSense Settings” page. You need to do two things here to properly track AdSense on your WordPress blog through Google Analytics and the Analyticator plugin. First, check the “Yes, this profile should receive AdSense data” option. Second, copy your Google Analytics UID in the HTML code that you see in that section. It looks like this:

<script type=”text/javascript”>
window.google_analytics_uacct = “UA-10683898-4″;
</script>

You are going to use everything above inside the quotes, including the “UA-” in front of the number. In the Google Analyticator settings, this is your AdSense ID. This is NOT explained in Analyticator, so it took me a while to figure out what the plugin developer was asking for there. It is actually the same thing as your Analytics UID.

Once you have the plugin installed, go to the Analyticator settings page. From there, you can actually link up your WordPress and Analytics accounts by choosing the profile. Analyticator asks for it, and you will see it in the options. It says “Authenticate with Google.” Just follow the simple instructions.

There are loads of other options there, but the important parts are making sure you give Analyticator and WordPress access to your Google Analytics account so the plugin can add the proper Analytics and AdSense tracking code to your WordPress code. The other stuff is optional, such as whether to show a stats widget in your dashboard that gives a summary of your Analytics statistics. The one that I like to use is the one that disables tracking of admin accounts if you are logged into WordPress. Obviously, it makes little to no sense to track your own visits, so this feature helps to provide more useful statistics. Remember to add that AdSense ID as explained above if you want Analyticator to track the AdSense ads placed on your WordPress website.

Sources:

Google: How do I link my AdSense account to Google Analytics?

WordPress: Google Analyticator Page

Understanding and Blocking the Various Kinds of WordPress Spam

WordPress is a great blogging platform that makes it easy for even non-technical users to publish a blog. Unfortunately, spammers know this and have devised software to spam WordPress blogs. You will simply drown in a sea of spam unless you find a way to stop it. By understanding the four types of spam, you can get control of your WordPress blog and keep it useful and fun for your visitors.

Comment Spam

This kind of WordPress spam can destroy comment discussions on your blog. It is usually in the form of some nonsense generic comment that has nothing to do with the post or article you published. You will also typically see a link to the spammer’s website in the comment and sometimes more than one.

Solution:

The fix to comment spam is to either use a plugin or to at least require users to do some action. You can require users to register, log in or both. However, there are also registration spammers that will register with software to post comment spam. Thus, you can still get spammed if you only require registration and logging in for commenting and do nothing about registration spam.

Thus, you need to either use an anti-spam plugin like Akismet or Spam Free WordPress that is designed to block comment spam OR require registration and logging in to comment AND use an anti-registration spam plugin like Sabre.

Registration Spam

As alluded to above, some software can actually automatically register the spammer as a member and start spamming comments. This software can even log in and do its nasty work. The way to block registration spam is through a plugin like Sabre. You can set up several anti-spam tests, such as CAPTCHA forms, math tests, text selection and even confirmation by email. A plugin is vital to stop WordPress registration spam.

Posting Spam

Comment spam is only one way a spammer can post messages on your site. However, posting spam is generally easier to combat. You just set the default status to each user as a Subscriber. These users cannot make new posts on your WordPress blog. Then, if you want to have guest bloggers, partners, and the like, then you change that user’s status to a Contributor or Editor. A Contributor can submit but not self-approve new posts or articles in his WordPress dashboard. An Editor CAN publish his own posts, so use the Contributor status to block posting spam by moderating and approving new articles or posts before publication on your WordPress blog.

Trackback and Pingback Spam

These are similar to comment spam. You can completely disable trackbacks and pingbacks in WordPress, as these frankly probably aren’t even that helpful for your blog. Some people use them for backlinks, but they are generally low-quality backlinks, so it is doubtful that a bunch of trackbacks or pingbacks are going to get you much traffic. Nonetheless, you could choose to manually approve trackbacks and pingbacks.

The things that can really hurt your website visually or for SEO purposes are the posting and comment spam. But blocking WordPress registration spam is also an integral part of of stopping the bad comments and posts. Although also an annoyance, trackback and pingback spam are not as important to stop, and there is really no harm in just completely disabling them. Completely turning off comments is a fairly drastic measure, and registration is also important if you want to have guest bloggers, additional admin and the like. Ideally, just focus your efforts on stopping the registration spam while requiring registration and/or logging in to comment. This is going to stop the bulk of spam at your WordPress website as long as you keep the default user status as Contributor.

Sources:

WordPress Anti-Spam Plugins

Tips for the Sabre Anti-Spam WordPress Plugin

If you have just started with WordPress, you are in for a seriously rude awakening. There are software programs out there that will automatically register for your WordPress blog. There are a couple of reasons why people would want to do this. The first is to submit articles automatically, and the problem is these articles are usually PLR or resale-rights articles that are not unique or, worse yet, articles generated from article-spinning software that you would never want on your blog. The second reason is comment spam, which is where people who have not even read your article post a bogus comment with a website link to promote their own website.

In my experience so far, Sabre has been 100% effective in blocking this registration spam. Of course, it is still possible for some to get through, but the Sabre anti-registration spam WordPress plugin has already blocked the first 48 spam attempts.

However, the Sabre plugin is a bit complicated to set up and has a lot of different options. You don’t want to use all of these options because that would make it too inconvenient for real users to register at your blog. Thus, I am going to tell you what settings I am using to stop spammers on my WordPress blog from registering.

Personally, I am using the math test and the text CAPTCHA test. Note that there is a main CAPTCHA test and a separate text test. I disable the main CAPTCHA because they are often too hard to read, which could excessively discourage registrations. The separate text CAPTCHA simply gives a word in easy-to-read text and asks the registrant to type in one of the letters. For example, with the word “facsimile,” Sabre may ask the registering person to enter the third letter. If the person enters “c,” he passes the spam test and can register. This is much easier to do than a regular CAPTCHA, which can be very annoying.

The math test asks the person to do a simple computation. I have seen spam software try to enter a number in this field, and they typically get it wrong, so this is stopping a lot of spam.

However, there is one more test that I use with the Sabre anti-registration spam WordPress plugin. It is called the “stealth test.” Although I do not understand fully how it works, I can tell you that it is very effective at stopping spam. When you use the stealth option, it will ask you for a maximum time to register and a minimum time to fill out the form. I personally kept the minimum at 5 seconds, and it blocks loads of registration spam because the software program can easily fill out the registration form in less than a second.

The last effective measure is to make it so the user has to confirm his registration by clicking a link in an email. The Sabre plugin sends this email, so all you have to do is install the plugin and use this option. You will see these settings under “Confirmation Options.” You may also choose to manually approve registrations, but I do not recommend this unless you have a lot of time on your hands. What software is going to check an email account for a confirmation link? Such software might exist, but I have not encountered such a thing on a wide scale. Thus, even if the spammer software manages to fill out the form, the registration will not take place unless he confirms in an email. You also want to set it so that the user cannot log in unless he first confirms.

While Sabre does not directly block comment spam, you can always use the WordPress settings to require users to register and be logged in to comment. In my version of WordPress (3.3.1), you will find these options in the “Discussion” link under “Settings.” This will also prevent all those spammers who could not register from also spamming through comments. Although some guests to your blog might not register to leave a comment, you really will be literally inundated with comment spam unless you use a plugin to stop it. Based on my experience, Sabre does a fantastic job of stopping registration spam and will also stop comment spam from those same guys who couldn’t register with their spamming software.

Notice: I have no affiliation with Sabre. I am just a satisfied user.

Sources:

Sabre Download Page on WordPress