To Blend or not to Blend – Are the default AdSense colors best?

Posted on Apr 21, 2010 in AdsenseAdvertising
Doing some thinking about AdSense’s PPC Algorithm I developed the idea that it may be best to not blend your ads at all and to instead go for the default AdSense colors. This stands in contradiction to everything other webmasters and we have recommend.It’s obvious that AdSense has an advanced algorithm for dertermining the Pay Per Click for AdSense publishers. It seems that that keyword bidding alone is not enough to determine how much we earn per click. Some sites targetting the same niche earn way less per click than others.

AdSense’s goal: The Advertisers

Without the advertisers spending marketing $ AdSense is not possible. Google has strong interest in ensuring their satisfaction to make them stick to AdWords. I analyzed this before in my post about AdSense in the recession. This is probably explains the fact that there is way more support for advertisers than for publishers.This leads me to the following chestnut: Advertiser is King.Following that statement implies drastic changes for us advertisers. We need to care about the advertisers paying for ads shown on our site.

Luv your Advertisers!

Imagine for one second you are a person trying to market your products using AdWords. You will want a perfect AdWords campaign yourself as you only have few marketing $.
  • You only want Valid clicks that convert.
  • You do not want to pay for other clicks (“missclicks”)
  • You want maximum ROI from your campaign
  • With high ROI you want to invest more and more.
Google AdSense wants to ensure exactly that, they want the advertisers to stick to AdWords and keep investing more and more.

What does that mean for us?

We need to ensure that the advertisers have maximum ROI. That is done by:
  • Minimizing the amount of missclicks
  • Ensuring that only visitors with an interest of buying something click the advertisements
The amount of missclicks can be reduced by not blending the ads. You heard right, I am suggesting the opposite effect – make your ads stand out to increase banner blindness. On the one hand all the visitors not interested in buying something will ignore the ads- Whereas on the other hand all visitors interested in buying something will not ignore the ads but proceed with clicking and lastly buying something. Of course, the amount of spontaneous buyers goes down as they initially ignore the ads due their banner awareness (removed with blended ads). Nonetheless, that definitely increases overall conversions for the advertiser and maximize his earnings.Google will credit us with a higher Pay-Per-Click as we ensure conversions for the advertiser. Our overall PPC goes up, whereas the CTR goes down greatly.

Go for the default color palettes

With the above being correct you will want to go for AdSense’s default color palettes. Internet users are used to those palettes and know instantly that they are looking at an advertisement. By knowing that they will only click if they are really interested in purchasing the product.That means, go for the layout Google uses in their Search Engine: Blue titles, black text and a green URL color. We need to make sure that the visitor instantly realizes he is facing an ad, exactly that is done by using Google’s default palette.

The question: Does PPC overweigh CTR?

I’d like to end this article with an open discussion and ask you the following questions:
  • What overweighs? Will your earnings go up or down due to the change in both CTR and PPC?
  • How long do you think it will take before you notice a change in PPC?
  • What are your thoughts on this?
I don’t see though that any established business would ever test this out, as probably the cut back from CTR will greatly decrease the overall income.As with everything related to AdSense, we need to test, test and test.