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Ad links: what's the point really?
What are they good for?
arrowman




msg:1350350
 11:52 pm on Mar 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

I am a little disapointed with AdLinks though. They look amazing but trying to get the visitor to click twice is poor!

Well yes, but you have a choice. Use regular ads when you opt for single-click income.

The point of the ad links - I guess - is to have something that looks like topics instead of ads, so it doesn't devaluate your pages as much.

This may be good or bad, depending on your site.

In either case, choice is good.

 

tonygore




msg:1350351
 11:55 pm on Mar 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yes choice is good and I love the style of AdLinks - but why don't the links take the visitor DIRECT to the Advertiser's URL. Google still display's the "Ad Link by Google" at the top so most visitors would know they are clicking onto an ad.

I don't see the point in the middle-man Google page!

Galtego




msg:1350352
 11:59 pm on Mar 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

The links lead to entire sets of ads, not to single ads that could be directly linked (unless they folded open on the publisher's page -- that would be good). I can envision people using the intermediate pages as points of exploration about a topic, visiting one advertiser after another.

tonygore




msg:1350353
 12:04 am on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

There should be a 2nd AdLinks Ad Option that operates just like AdSense Classic. On the 'Cheeseburger' Example, I was only presented with one ad which may often be the case. At least there was nothing else on the page to distract the visitor (i.e. Google Homepage, News, Etc).

jomaxx




msg:1350354
 12:25 am on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

An "I'm feeling lucky" button for ads?

kaz




msg:1350355
 12:27 am on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Perhaps the reason is based on further features that we are not aware of. This page states they are currently running "a small-scale test of combined Google ad / Ad Links ad units.

[url=https://www.google.com/support/adsense/bin/answer.py?answer=15944&topic=142]I'm seeing Ad Links in my regular AdSense ad units. Why?[/url]

we're currently running a small-scale test of combined Google ad / Ad Links ad units. This test is taking place on less than 2% of all page views on a random basis, so you may or may not see these units on your pages. During this test, combined units will be served to a small number of regular ad units on publisher pages.

novice




msg:1350356
 12:30 am on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Do the links open in to a new page?

/edited/

Rachel




msg:1350357
 12:42 am on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Nope, sure don't.

arrowman




msg:1350358
 10:17 am on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

From the Ad Links product manager on Google's blog:
Our thinking is that Ad Links are useful for web publishers (who get a more flexible way to incorporate more advertising into their sites); advertisers (who get more inventory); and users (who get more relevant ads to choose from).

More flexibility, more inventory, more ads.

My guess is Google had too many competing ads for popular and commercially attractive topics ("hotel in Las Vegas"). Solution: create a separate ad page just for that topic and display them all.

It might work in some areas, where users are actively searching through all the ads... click click back click back click back click. Or is this wishful thinking?

Visit Thailand




msg:1350359
 10:27 am on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Must admit I find it an unsual move.

In a day and age where most people are looking to actively avoid ads, with ad blockers or just ignoring them altogether, to have a link with want to see ads on x topic, seems rather strange.

Plus to be taken to a page with no content whatsoever, just ads.... not sure if I want my users to experience that.

But I praise G for giving us more options, and thinking of ideas that should be tried and tested.

arrowman




msg:1350360
 10:47 am on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

In a day and age where most people are looking to actively avoid ads, with ad blockers or just ignoring them altogether, to have a link with want to see ads on x topic, seems rather strange.

I think the point is: relevant ads. Ads that increase the site's value to the user. I've actually received positive feedback on the ads on my site.

It seems to make sense to have one clean link "hotels in las vegas" instead of 5 ads screaming for attention. If the visitor is looking for a hotel in Las Vegas, he'll be happy with the page.

I guess you'll need to evaluate the ads on a page before you decide to use ad links. It may depend on the nature of the topics, the intent of your visitors, the quality of the ads and the number of ads.

Visit Thailand




msg:1350361
 10:56 am on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Agreed, but if you have ads on a page about hotels in Las Vegas as per your example, and you have AdSense then there are already ads there.

Agree it is a different format, and again I praise G for that.

But I cannot understand taking someone to an empty page which only has on topic ads on it.

darkmage




msg:1350362
 11:21 am on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

It's a bit early to call this one. We will have to wait a few days for some meaningful channel data. The keen ones who implented the code as soon as it was available should have a glimpse at the next channel update.

[edited by: darkmage at 11:29 am (utc) on Mar. 16, 2005]

oddsod




msg:1350363
 11:27 am on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

I still haven't seen what happens when you click on the text in this box. It's ridiculous that I can't click it. I've gotta wait till I see it on another site! It's paranoia really. Clicking the Adlinks text doesn't cost anyone anything but we still don't do it.

The biggest change you can make Google is to remove that silly "you can't click on your own ads" rule! For those of us who have static IPs that is preposterous and shortsighted. Log our IPs, save another cookie if you have to, and enough with this childish petulance.

My second gripe is that under the new TOS my account can be terminated for the above criticism! Everybody conform and become Google huggers, NOW. The 'plex has become a borg collective: You will be assimilated...

spaceylacie




msg:1350364
 11:57 am on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

I guess it's okay to click on the ad links ourselves, as long as we don't click on the actual ads, right? I just want to take a look at what kind of links it's displaying.

Nikke




msg:1350365
 12:31 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think it can work great on a multi-topic site that gets the majority of it's visitors from search engines.

A user turns up, the page was almost, but not just what he/she was looking for.

- Widgets, but mostly blue and I was looking for purple ones

- Ah! There's a link saying Purple Widgets, now let's see...

I'm giving AdLinks a tryal period, closely tracked. On the sites where it actually works, I'll keep them.

annej




msg:1350366
 1:57 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

It looks to me like AdLinks may be a good solution for pages that were getting poorly targeted ads. I just tried it on a site on making your house a home. I'd given up on AdSense. For example a page on lighting in the home just got light bulb ads. Now people can choose home decorating, interior design, etc. A big improvement.

Now the question is if people will click twice to get to an ad.

berto




msg:1350367
 2:28 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

But I cannot understand taking someone to an empty page which only has on topic ads on it.

At one of my sites, I have a page for purple widgets.

Before, with ordinary ad blocks, ad spammers would outbid the on-topic advertisers, so the only displayed ads were for widgets in general, or wadgets, or wodgets, or other widget sort-ofs.

The ads were so pointless and underperforming--and repeated ad nauseum throughout my site--that I had to remove Adsense entirely from those pages.

Now, with AdLinks, I am seeing ad category links for purple widgets, light purple widgets, purple widget accessories, new and used purple widgets, purple widget rentals, purple widget publications, etc.

Big improvement! Now people coming to my purple widgets page have the potential to see ads relevant to their interest where before there was effectively no chance.

Now the question is if people will click twice to get to an ad.

I have to imagine that Google has tested this proposition with focus groups, test labs, and perhaps actual field studies. I don't think Google would go to the trouble of introducing this major new ad category without proving its efficacy first (at least in some or many if not all instances).

AdLinks has me psyched!

europeforvisitors




msg:1350368
 2:48 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Big improvement! Now people coming to my purple widgets page have the potential to see ads relevant to their interest where before there was effectively no chance.

That's great, but a better solution would be to have Google deliver properly targeted ads in general (not just on AdLinks pages).

berto




msg:1350369
 3:02 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

That's great, but a better solution would be to have Google deliver properly targeted ads in general (not just on AdLinks pages).

Without a much more extensive system of ad filters (on both the advertiser and publishers sides) and manual overrides, an algorithmically based high-bid system will always produce off-topic ads.

With AdLinks, the off-topic ads (and spam and other useless crap) will be segregated under separate link categories, if they appear at all (ad targeting seems to have improved with AdLinks). In my experience, for the first time my visitors have the chance to see on-topic ads, and in a variety of useful sub-categories.

AdLinks has unlocked the door to ad relevancy on many of my pages (where before I had to remove Adsense entirely, the relevancy was so poor).

The proof is in the pudding. It seems that many skeptics in this forum, seeing the recipe for pudding, are turning their noses up at it.

This new pudding of Google's--try it! You just might like it.

europeforvisitors




msg:1350370
 3:49 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Berto: Those are good points, and they're valid if users click on the AdLinks.

oddsod




msg:1350371
 4:00 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

It's simple: Of course Adlinks will be more relevant to the content of the page; it has no connection with the available stock of ads. Google can push any words it find relevant to the page's content whether or not they have ads to back up those particular words. Then when the user clicks on Adlinks he gets taken to a page where Google can serve a range of ads including site-matched/themeatic and completely irrelevant ads (I'm even seeing ebay buy-a-dead-cat type ads).

But it's an innovation and for that I give them credit.

ownerrim




msg:1350372
 4:08 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

given the fact that users hate popups and other "overt" attempts to throw ads at people, I couldn't see myself ever sticking something like this on a site of mine.

berto




msg:1350373
 4:09 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Berto: Those are good points, and they're valid if users click on the AdLinks.

Even if the CTR for (my implementation of) AdLinks is only 0.1% or 0.2%, that's an order of magnitude greater than the effective 0.01% or 0.02% CTRs for some of the crap/spam ads I was seeing before.

And any CTR > 0 is better than zero CTR, on the pages where I had removed Adsense entirely. (0 impressions, 0 CTR, obviously.)

Even if the CTR is low for (my implementation of) Adlinks:

--The ad block is so small that it is easy to fit into my existing pages (there are any number of nooks and crannies where the small AdLinks block will fit).

--The ad block is so small that it shouldn't contribute too much or at all to visitor annoyance or ad blindness. (I wish the "AdLinks by Google" header didn't have to be bold and black, though.)

--I am *always* seeing AdLinks blocks. Before, I was seeing 2nd (and sometimes 3rd) ordinary ad blocks < 20% of the time. On my site for some reason, I was having a devil of a time increasing the number of advertisements on my pages to > 4 (in a single skyscraper or leaderboard). Now, with AdLinks, my visitors have the potential to see dozens of ads where before they were effectively limited to 4 and perhaps one or two more (in button ads, one or both of which might show, but usually not; I could never get 2nd or 3rd multi-ad blocks to show).

--The AdLinks blocks present useful, interesting subcategories.

--The crap and spam is segregated under separate categories (or is not appearing at all, for some reason).

Yes, I will be disappointed if the CTR for (my implementation of) Adlinks is low. But something is better than nothing.

jouwpagina




msg:1350374
 4:15 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think the CTR you will find in your channel data is 30-200%.
----
Sorry, didn't read this:
Only clicks on the Google ads linked from the Ad Links topics will be tracked. However, impressions are reported for each instance of the Ad Link unit as well as for each pageview of the resulting page that displays ads

[edited by: jouwpagina at 4:20 pm (utc) on Mar. 16, 2005]

berto




msg:1350375
 4:17 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

given the fact that users hate popups and other "overt" attempts to throw ads at people, I couldn't see myself ever sticking something like this on a site of mine.

I guess you should remove all Adsense ad blocks of any type, then.

How is posting an AdLinks ad block any more "overt[ly]" "throw[ing] ads at people" than posting one of the more traditional ad blocks? The user plainly sees the "AdLinks by Google" header. If the user encounters more ads by way of AdLinks, he/she chooses to do so. More ads by way of AdLinks don't automatically jump out at the user. AdLinks in no way compares to popups.

JoaoJose




msg:1350376
 4:27 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think the adlinks are plain brilliant. On my site is just like another menu and in no way intrusive.

Congrats Google!

ownerrim




msg:1350377
 5:48 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

self edited

david_uk




msg:1350378
 6:51 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm even seeing ebay buy-a-dead-cat type ads.

Just to wander off slightly, as anyone seen an Ebay ad for "New and used Ebay - plenty in stock all diferent sizes" yet? What are they playing at taking these ads anyway?

Atomic




msg:1350379
 7:02 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

(I wish the "AdLinks by Google" header didn't have to be bold and black, though.)

This really is annoying but I adjusted my menu header text to match it and even though my menu is not as petty now the Ad Links do blend in better.

The black, bold text also draws the eye to it. I was intrigued enough to put the Ad Links on 3 sites and can't wait to see how those channels perform over the next few weeks. If my earnings take a hit maybe I'll remove them but I'll save the negative comments for then.

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