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Does AdSense cause a Download Lag?
Does AdSense cause a Download Lag?

 5:34 am on Sep 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

For the most part, I have a pretty basic website that consists of TEXT, ADSENSE, and more TEXT.

The first part of the text downloads and displays real fast. The ads take a small but noticeable amount of time, and then once the ads are showing, the rest of the text downloads and displays.

My website is not using a table layout, but does use CSS to define different divisions.

Does anybody else notice this? Does anybody know of a fix?

I'm thinking that if I setup the HTML in the order of TEXT, TEXT, ADSENSE, but then have the page render so the ADSENSE would show in-between the text, this would solve the problem. I just don't know how I could do this without massacuring my code.



 5:49 am on Sep 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

I use tables and the browser displays the page real snappy and then you see AdSense fill in as it can. I would suspect the browsers aren't processing CSS the same way and it's waiting on the content before it continues displaying the rest of the page.


 8:14 am on Sep 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hi Jeremy,
if you position your layers through the stylesheet then you can load them into the browser in the order of content and load the ads layer last.

I do this and it does work ok - all content loads and then the ads show up maybe half a second later.


 9:45 am on Sep 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Pack your ad units into a div, and give that div a fixed size in pixels (the same size as the ad unit, of course). This allows the browser to position that div and to immediately continue with the rest of the layout.

If the ad unit is NOT housed in a fixed size container, then the browser needs to wait with the rest of the layout until it knows how big the ad unit will be. This wait is responsible for the delays you're observing.


 10:12 am on Sep 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

This allows the browser to position that div and to immediately continue with the rest of the layout.

IE screws that by continuing to render while ignoring the bottom margin of the DIV element which is waiting for the AdSense content.

It works fine in Compliant browsers.



 5:53 am on Sep 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the help!

I thought I defined the height and width, but when I reviewed my code, it looked like I forgot to.

That did the trick! Personally, I even found that it worked great in Internet Explorer.


 10:51 am on Sep 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

This is an interesting topic that has potentially important page design implications for Adsense publishers.

Last week I noticed what seemed to be some sort of availability problem on Google's Adsense ad server for about an hour. At the time I happened to be looking at a tables based site that happened to publish adsense. In Mozilla, the page would render as far as each adsense block then pause for about 30 seconds each time until the javascript (presumably) timed out. In IE, the page didn't render at all until all the adunits had consecutively timed out (2xAdunit + 1xAdlink = 90 seconds); obviously any user would have hit the back button long before.

I wasn't in a position to give the issue the time it deserved right then, but I did check that it was the same on other sites, another PC and that traceroute could still see the server. However, I haven't seen any other similar observations on WW, so I presume that it wasn't a global phenomenon.

The implication of all this is that if you have a tables based layout, and your user is on IE (the vast majority still are of course), your site will effectively be unavailable for any duration that the Adsense server is unavailable.

Google may have "served" us well in the past, but things can and do go wrong, sometimes for extended periods, even for them.

So, it would seem that a CSS structure with Adsense at the bottom should be best practice for any Adsense publisher.


 11:10 am on Sep 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

I even found that it worked great in Internet Explorer.

That's interesting, it doesn't for me. Can you hit refresh a few times? It is intermittent.

I have had some problems (and user complaints/mentions) with AdSense serving ads slowly and holding up page download (in IE only). I've also had problems with a content DIV overlapping an AdSense DIV.

Due to current page layout on one site, I don't think I can easily shove the AdSense code to the bottom of the page and keep the DIV's in position, but that might be one option.

Might be an idea to start a CSS thread on this - I'll drop createErrorMsg a note.



 11:14 am on Sep 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

I wrapped Adsense ads in IFrames successfully for more than a year, to guarantee I would not have this very noticeable problem, BUT, in late August Google managed to make this enhancement unreliable. The problem introduction appeared around the time of introduction of section targeting.

ASA even offered to investigate my problems, a very generous offer, but I had already pulled the IFrames to eliminate lost income. The IFrames maintain the context of the current page and produced targeted ads until the end of August. I haven't retried IFrames since. I will say it appears Google has improved the performance and reliability of the Adsense servers.

A salvation for Adsense probably would be that the Javascript would be in many users cache's already, hiding at least one performance hangup.

On that note, has anyone ever done a "link rel" for the Adsense javascript to speed up it's loading. This would not be a change in Google's code.

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