Search Ads WordPress Plugin

By Daniel Scocco

I am glad to finally release the Search Ads WordPress plugin, which allows you to display content blended ads only to search engine traffic, in a quick and simple way. There are a couple of advantages connected with this strategy. First of all you will be able to add another revenue stream to your site, as organic traffic tends to yield a very high CTR. Secondly, you won’t annoy your regular visitors, because they won’t see the ads unless they come to your site via a search engine.

Here is how it works. Once you upload and activate the plugin, you will be able to find its configuration page under the “Settings” menu of WordPress. It looks like this:

search-ads-wordpress-plugin

The first thing that you need to configure is where the ad should appear. You can place it on top of your posts, at the bottom, or both. By default the ad will be left aligned, with no content around it. You can change the style however, adding margins, changing the alignment, wrapping the content around it and so on.

The second step is to paste your ad code. It can be the Javascript code of your AdSense unit or even an HTML code if you want to run a static banner ad. For optimal performance I recommend that you use the 336×280 AdSense unit.

Finally, you can choose what search engines should trigger the ads. You can also include other sites in that list, including social networking sites like Twitter or Facebook.

That is it. Save the configuration and your ads should be live.

The plugin was developed with Andreas Nurbo. If you need custom plugins developed or help to fix anything inside WordPress, he is available for hiring.

We tested it on WordPress 2.5 up to 2.8.3. This is the first release, though, so if you find any bugs just let me know with a comment below and we’ll try to fix it as soon as possible.

Update: The Search Ads plugin is now available only to Online Profits members.




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35 Responses to “Search Ads WordPress Plugin”

  • Amit Bhawani

    Would the plugin correctly find the referrer of the traffic? Iam asking this because in case if we select only Google Traffic to be shown with our Google Adsense Advertisements, the plugin would work perfectly?

  • Amit Bhawani

    1. How about adding the Images Search Engines also in this along with News Sections like Images.google.com , News.google.com and so on. Can we have some kind of option like *.google.* ?

    2. Also how about having multiple ad slots feature like WhyDoWork offers with multiple placement options like middle left, right,center, top, bottom & random. These are few suggestions if they can be implemented.

  • SVT

    Seems like a usefull plugin. I’ve been looking for something like this. I’ll install it and see if it’s as good as it seems.

  • Lyndi

    The plugin works great but I do have a problem. I show the excerpts of 4 posts on the main page. The plugin now adds the ad at the top of each of these posts. On the single page everything displays the way one would expect it to. Maybe a toggle switch to turn off the ads on the main page or at least only above or below the first post on the main page.

  • Young

    Daniel, I have to say it is a great plugin and I have already used it in my blogs, no bugs found until now. 🙂

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Young, thanks.

    If you find any let me know.

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Amit, yes it should trigger the ads based on the search engines you select.

    I also believe that with google.*, a visitor coming from images.google.com would trigger the ads. Got test though.

    For the multiple ad slots, I considered it, but I felt that it would remove the simplicity. I will consider it for a future upgrade though.

    Thanks for the feedback.

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Lyndi, I will take a look.

  • Maestro Billy

    Sorry to bother with some techincal questions, but the plug-in doesn’t work. See qhat I got on WordPress:

    Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_STRING, expecting T_OLD_FUNCTION or T_FUNCTION or T_VAR or ‘}’ in /home/.beelzebub/maestrob/maestrobilly.com/podcast/wp-content/plugins/search-ads/searchads.php on line 4

    Best regards

    Billy.

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Maestro Billy, that error is probably because your PHP version is 4.0. I am tweaking the plugin to be compatible with 4.0 as well, will update a new version asap.

  • Boerne Search

    Yeah, no bugs here either. My friend showed me this a week back and so far so good 🙂

    Kane

  • Bob Hoil

    This sounds pretty interesting! I only have one ad up on my site but I don’t get much traffic from search engines so don’t think it will make a difference for my site in the end.

  • Keith Dsouza

    Will this work for sites using WP Super Cache? Also I see it’s adding a cookie for the site user.

    What happens when the visitor becomes a regular user and comes back later, based on the cookie the ads will still be displayed, also the setting of cookies is only done for hardcoded google.*?

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Keith, should work with WP Super Cache. I tested on my sites and it worked at least.

    For the cookie, it only stays one hour.

  • Knoxville Website Design

    Very cool plug-in. How hard would it be to position the ad within the content itself? For example, after the 1st paragraph?

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Knoxville, you could use the “float:left;” styling attribute to wrap the ad with the content.

  • Knoxville Website Design

    Perhaps I can explain more, I was curious about displaying the ad after the first paragraph of content, not be wrapped by the content.

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Knoxville, you can’t do that with the plugin as it is. I was just make a related suggestion.

  • Stefan

    Thank you for the tip. I’ve been using “Who sees ads” so far, but this looks interesting. I think it’s important to reward your returning visitors by simple not throwing advertising in their face every time they visit you. That’s why plugins like this are great.

  • Santiago

    What about excluding Google Reader users? I hate when some sites display “Hey! You are coming from google, why not subscribe?” when my referrer is google.com/reader.

  • Chester

    Your tip is very useful! I should try this plug-in and hopefully works well on my end.

  • teratips

    great plugin

  • Liane YoungBlogger

    Looks cool Daniel. I wonder, who’s the company creator?

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Liane, what do you mean by company creator?

  • Chris Holdheide

    I just uploaded the plugin and it’s showing adsense ads all the time. What should I do to fix this so it will only show ads to those coming from the search engines?

    Any help would be great.

    Chris

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Chris, did you test it out by visiting your website from a search engine? If so, that is what is causing the ads to show on every page.

    Once a user comes from search engines, he will keep seeing the ads for 24 hours.

  • Mike

    This seems like a great plug in. I will give it a try once I re-activate my ad accounts.

  • Chris Holdheide

    That explains why I’m seeing all of the ads even when I enter though my feedburner account or go directly to the site. Thanks for the help.

  • Adam

    For the main page it’s showing for every post, is there a way to limit to one top post (or two) only? since adsense allows only 3 ads per page. My main page shows up to 7 posts.

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Adam, the plugin is not supposed to show ads in the homepage. It must be the way your theme is coded.

  • robert

    Hey Dan,

    Is this plug in against Adsense TOS? It does some sort cloaking that’s why i asked…
    can you clarify that… thx..

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Robert, cloaking is when you present different content to search engine bots and users. For example, a malicious user could display some health and fitness content to search bots, while trying to sell viagra with flash based site to visitors.

    That is what violates Google’s policy.

    What this plugin does is simply to segment the ads based on traffic sources, it does not alter the content or try to hide anything from search bots.

  • Surender Sharma

    I have checked this plugin and find it good.But I deleted it after testing because It is against Google TOS.
    Isn’t it?

  • robert

    Dan, thanks for clarifying that… i was just making sure it wasn’t against their TOS…
    otherwise i love this concept: presenting ads only to information seekers… in a way Google should benefit from this since they get quality visitors… just post it here in case you find something we should know in regards to TOS…

  • GeekLad

    Great plugin! We use it on MakeUseOf.com. However, there is one problem with it. If you use Google Custom Search Engine (as we do) on your blog, the ads are displayed when you click on results.

    I did manage to put together a decent workaround for this. I put together some JavaScript to display our ad. It works by using a regular expression to check to see if the referrer has google.com/cse?cx= in it, and if it finds it, it inserts the <script> tag that displays the ad:


    <script type="text/javascript">
    if(!document.referrer.match(/.google.com/cse?cx=/)) {
    script = document.createElement("script");
    script.type = "text/javascript";
    script.src = "http://url.to.ad/code.js";
    document.body.appendChild(script);
    }
    </script>

    You may wish to use a similar method within the plugin code so that such a workaround isn't necessary. Hope this is useful for anyone else running into similar issues with Google CSE.

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