Are You Stupid? 90% AdSense Publishers Screw Up Placements

Posted on Apr 22, 2009 in AdsenseAdvertisingVideo Channel
It’s an average morning on an average day while surfing the web for some info, and by checking out other websites for this we sometimes stumble upon publishers which are screwing their ad campaign around.Bad ad placements and colors will not get you the money which you could be getting out of your website if you would place them correctly…. colors are important as well – however placements are even more crucial. In our previous post about the best AdSense placements we discussed various placements and ad designs including colors – using case studies and theories as our backup.
Update: It seems that the discussed site’s layout and css has been fixed. However our optimization tips still apply apart from the site’s design changes.

Bad AdSense Placements

How to Fix bad Ad Placements

As always, this will be included in our complete AdSense guide and it will serve as an example for other webmasters who publish ads. We made a list below which includes all the implementations suggested by us. You can use this a reference for your own website(s).
  • Footer Advertisements
Probably the most infamous placement for an ad – the footer. Placing your ad here will not only get it NOT noticed, it will also take 1 contextual ad away from the 3 you can have per page. We can understand why people place their ads there, thrown away in corners. The ads are ugly – and in most cases destroy the layout and design of your website. We can only agree, however if you joined an advertisement program, you want to make money online – which won’t be possible if you tuck the ads away in the bottom. Do a little reading on the best adsense placements post we blogged earlier this week and you’ll understand why.
  • Sidebar Placements
The sidebar has many placements for any kind of ad, be it direct advertising, affiliate or CPC ads. The problem with the sidebar is that CPC ads will only perform if they are placed above the fold. In this case we talk about AdSense, so blending your ad in the sidebar is important as well. “Sponsors” and “Advertisement” is often used as a title above the ad in the sidebar. This is used because the site has a large readerbase and it will be easier for them to distinguish content from advertisements. Other sides which get a lot of search traffic would benefit more from removing the title above the ad, making the ad looking more like content, resulting in higher CTR.Also be aware, the more down on the page you place your ads (especially skyscrapers) the less they get clicked because most visitors don’t scroll down that far. As you can see on the heatmap, placing them above the fold will get you the most clicks because they are placed in the hot zones.
  • Coloring your Ad
Red title color, black text and a violet url color. Awesome combination to draw the attention to the ad. However it will most likely scare away the visitor from clicking it because it looks like an ad. Visitors do not like to get monetized, do you? That’s why we need to blend it with our content, making it not look like an ad. Picking a red title color while every other link on that site is blue/black is definitely a good way to make an ad outstanding but not make it perform.As part of our complete AdSense guide on DuoBlogger we devoted several post – each more progressively detailed – to coloring your adsense units.
  • Different Ad Formats
Leaderboards are, although under performing, still as popular as in web 1.0. It is important to understand why leaderboards died several years ago since the internet made it’s big boom. The average internet user got used to anything banner related advertising, making them not click the banners anymore. Have a look on Jakob Nielsen’s Banner Blindness research, and scroll down to the images. What can we see here?
Banner Blindness

Banner Blindness - notice the ads outlined in green

The people that took part in the experiment all took a little peek at the leaderboard and skyscrapers but weren’t interested in it at all. Now let’s get back to this – the main reason people visit your website is because of the content you share. Now wouldn’t it be smart (note: image) to insert ads inside your content, making it more likely people won’t read over them because all their attention is focussed there.As of web 2.0 – rectangles and squares are the new and best performing ad formats.