How To Show Ads To Search Traffic Only

Lately as we have talked about the Colorado Lasik case study, many of you have asked what I’m going to do to monetize that site.

Adsense is one of the best ways to monetize a site like that, except my situation hasn’t allowed me to use it. Every time I post about the case study, I get at least a few hundred of you looking at the site, which would be terrible for Adsense. My CTR would be horrible, and some people would probably click an ad just to help me out, and that would be even more terrible because the click wouldn’t convert well for the advertisers. Please don’t do that if you end up on the site because of a search.

I’ve been looking at ways to go about setting up ads that show to search traffic only. The first method I found was using OpenX, but I REALLY didn’t want to take the time to learn it. Anyway guys as it turns out, there is a very easy WordPress plugin that allows us to show ads to search traffic only. This is huge for those of you that have social blogs. Your social traffic will ruin your Adsense. Search traffic is amazing for Adsense.

The plugin I’m using to make this happen is called Who Sees Ads. It’s a very easy install and config.

Installing the Plugin

1. Download Who Sees Ads.

2. Extract the folder that you downloaded using your mouse. Right click your mouse on the folder and select ‘Extract All’. You will then probably have to click ‘Next’ a few times to get it extracted.

3. The extracted folder will be called ’ozh-who-sees-ads’ or something similar. Upload the folder to the wp-content/plugins folder of your website. Here’s a lesson on how to upload using FTP if you need it.

4. Login to your WordPress admin and go to ‘Plugins’.

5. Find the plugin called ‘Who Sees Ads?’ and click the ‘activate’ link that appears next to it.

Configuring the Plugin

1. Go to the configuration page, which will be in your WordPress admin in the ‘settings’ tab in WordPress 2.5+, or the ‘options’ tab in older versions. The page will be called ‘Who Sees Ads’.

2. In the box labeled ‘Name’, type a name – something like ‘Search Only’.

3. Locate the ‘Possible Rules’ section on the page.

4. Within that section, locate the rule that states ‘if visitor comes from a search engine, then display’.

5. Drag that rule into the section below that’s called ‘Active Rules’.

6. Get your Adsense code from your Adsense account

7. Paste Adsense code into box labeled ‘Ad Code’.

8. Click ‘Save Context’ button.

After that you will see a button in the code view of your ‘Write Post’ box:

9. Put your cursor where you want the ad to appear and click the button, the ad will be inserted.

Note: You can also use this plugin to insert Adsense directly into your theme files. The download page for the plugin explains this process very nicely.

Let me know if you have any questions guys!! Hopefully this answers some of your questions about monetizing a site like my lasik one. 🙂

Comments 53

  1. That plugin sounds VERY helpful for a site like that. I bet your CTR on that site would be under 1% because of all the visitors you would get from this site. Great find Court!

    1. Post
  2. WSA is great! Adsense only for search visitors I think is a must if you want to use social sites to help get traffic for other purposes to you site.
    It can be a little confusing to set up the contexts though.

  3. Wow… this is fantastic! By the way, my first niche site I created with your advice was just now a PR 4 in this most recent update… I actually havent touched it for a little bit so it’s dipped in the rankings, but I need to get back to working on it for sure…

  4. Thank-you Court. I will install this plug-in right away. I looked into open ads but it seemed kind of complicated. This is just what I need. Thanks again.

  5. I might be taking Google’s guidelines a bit too literally, but couldn’t there be an issue of this being considered cloaking? (showing different content to different visitors)

    As a side note, Court I’ve been meaning to thank you for some time for the brilliant articles on your site. It’s completely changed the way I try to make money online in the last few months and my earnings have gone up about 5-fold already. So thank you!

    1. Post

      We’re not showing different content to visitors. The content that Google is ranking is the exact content that visitors are seeing.

      1. I was thinking more that you’re showing the Googlebot different content than a visitor from a search engine, but I guess it’s only an iframe loaded through javascript so not really an issue.

  6. The instructions on the download site don’t make any sense to me. They’re obviously written for people that already know what they are doing, which is basically pointless.

  7. Flar the instructions are the way you install any plugin in WP with minor specific variations for this plugin – which looks incredibly cool and I off to install it right now

  8. Morning,

    Why not use lasik and eye-care related resources from eBay? That would provide extremely niche, targeted advertising for your blog.

    An idea,


    1. Post

      That’s not a bad idea Barbara. Usually when I create a site I either do Adsense or eBay, not both. It’s hard to design a page to convert well on both types of advertising. However, I could see adding a separate section to the site to do what you have suggested, and that’s a possibility for the future. 🙂

  9. I’ve got Openx but haven’t been able to get it to work yet. I’ve got Adsense Manager and I’ve got it to only show Adsense on individual pages which helps, but this is great. Simpler than OpenX and able to show people that arrive from search engines ads on the front page as well.

    1. If you get your openx up and running – put a channel to your zone where you filter on source. Then script your source parameter for referer traffic.

  10. Court — You are now one of the top 3 sites (IMHO) for great internet marketing information and site construction. I have been “rolling my own” code for sites. Now going to dip my toes into the WordPress waters with your water wings.

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  12. Court, I’ve been using WSA for some time on my sites, and love it. But could you elaborate on this one point you made: “Your social traffic will ruin your Adsense.” Does this mean that Google uses your CTR to determine, at least in part, what ads appear on a site? Will a site with higher CTR get higher paying clicks? I use WSAs to display different ad units depending on whether the visitor is from search or a regular visitor. Maybe I should just limit it to SE visitors.

  13. This is really great Court. I started my first Sniper site over the weekend, and I was ready to monetize it with AdSense, but didn’t know which plugin I could use. So then I come to your site, and here it is! I can’t wait till this site starts making me money.

  14. Thank for give the information regarding the loans and get the loans within the day by online sameday loans.

  15. I think this plug in rocks and will have to get it installed. I have been using adsense deluxe but this may be better in many ways. Being able to place the cursor and click and thats where you add goes is totally unique.

  16. Been looking for something like this. However, I noticed that once the SE visitor clicks into any other page of the site, the adsense goes away.

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  18. The ads only show up on the first landing page the visitor comes to. If the visitor then clicks on a link to read another post or clicks on one of the tags or categories to see what is there, then they have no chance of clicking on the adsense anymore.

    From your experience, have you found that the majority of your clicks come from people who only look at one page while on your site? If so, then I don’t see this as a problem, but if not, then you are effectively not making as much as you could with this site.

    Although, I do understand that you have plenty of other sites/income streams and that this is a case study that you have used to teach us your strategy, so you just have to live with this situation either way.

    thanks for all the good information!

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  20. With havin so much content do you ever run into any problems of plagorism or copyright infringement?
    My website has a lot of exclusive content I’ve either written myself or outsourced but it looks like a lot of it is
    popping it up all over the web without my authorization. Do you know any methods to help prevent content from being stolen? I’d
    genuinely appreciate it.

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