Tim Yang’s Weblog


Truncated RSS feeds do not make sense for Adsense

Filed under: Online Ads, RSS — Tim Yang @ 12:29 am

I was re-reading the transcript for the Google Adsense webinar again. One thing that struck me was that the conventional thinking from Adsense is that return visitors suffer from “ad-blindness”. When they’re so used to the layout of a blog, they don’t click on the ads. The ones who do click on ads are more likely to be first time visitors, driven from search engines or inbound links.

One of the main arguments for truncated RSS feeds is that excerpted feeds drive traffic to your blog, assuming the visitors will click on your ads. But these visitors, according to Google Adsense, won’t do that. In fact, they probably lower your adclick ratio when they drive up your adviews without clicking on the ads.

So if your main goal is to drive traffic to your blog for the purpose of monetizing your blog, truncating your feeds for your loyal readers isn’t going to help. It’s going to hinder. On the other hand, having full posts in your feeds might increase your likeability to your loyal readers.

I’ve decided I don’t need traffic as much as I need loyal readers. So from today onward, I’m going to stop the practice of truncating my feed. But I will offer a truncated feed on my site to give readers a choice depending on what suits their reading habits better — skimming excerpts or remote reading from their feed reader.

(Ironically, for the very reason of ad-blindness, Adsense in RSS feeds doesn’t make sense either. The layout of the content and ads in feed readers is so standardised that people will just find it easier to ignore the ads.)


  1. I happen to like skimming, and jumping to the full article where I can read feedback from other visitors, and gosh darn, interact! Ads? I pretty much ignore all of them, and with certain tools under Firefox, you never see them anyway. Not that I have a particular aversion to advertising, I have my own site and I know the work and expense involved in running one, especially if you get lots of traffic. What I dislike are ads in your face, blinking, flashing and mixed right into the middle of the content.

    I see you’ve made some changes to the default Wordpress interface around here Tim. Looking good!

    Comment by Douglas Clifton — 3/8/2023 @ 4:02 am

  2. I get a lot of traffic via Feedster and other blogosphere search engines. Many of these only index the content in the feed, therefor the more content within, the more likely you’ll generate a click-thru from a first time visitor. Just another supporting reason.

    Comment by Randy Charles Morin — 6/8/2023 @ 3:17 am

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