Adsense Positioning vs Useability
If your planning to redesign your website, have you given any consideration to Adsense positioning? According to Inside Adsense - Engineeringtalk embarked on a process of redesign and soon learnt that ad placement should be integral to your early thinking. A wise observation I think. However, Chris Rand of Engineeringtalk goes on to say "Why are we prioritizing helping visitors find their way around the site when they've already come straight in to what they're looking for?"
It's an interesting observation but one I feel is fatally floored. Looking at my own experiences and at traffic logs it is amazing how many readers landing on a site for the first time navigate elsewhere to explore what else there is to offer. By making navigation less obvious you are reducing the possibility of a new arrival reaching the "comfort zone" with your site i.e a state where they feel relaxed with your content and what you have to offer. The further they move into the comfort zone the more likely they are to return.
Take a look at Engineeringtalk's old design and compare it to the new design here. You'll notice that they have relocated site navigation from the "heatmap" hot spots and inserted Ads at the expense of useability in my opinion. The application of heat map theory to the letter is probably something that should be avoided, particularly if you start losing touch with what makes a good site in the first place!Technorati tags: adsense positioning, adsense placement, adsense heat map, blog advertising