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This 171 message thread spans 6 pages: < < 171 ( 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 > >     
AdSense Custom Placement Packs Program

 11:36 pm on Jan 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

I've just an email from adsense (supposedly) telling me that my site qualified for their "custom placement packs program". And instructed me to add certain Adsense units, if I wanted to participate.

But have no idea what exactly is this program?
Well, to start with, would I earn more?



 2:09 pm on Jan 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

As far as who got invites, my first guess (and it's just a guess) was that the video ad solicitations were volume-based, i.e., sites with high impressions got contacted and low-volume ones didn't

My case is different...
I have a number of different sites using adsense. The site they reviewed was not the one I signed up with and it is the only site I have that is almost an embarrasment. It has little content and does not get as much traffic as another "adsense using" site of mine that is on a very closely related subject.


 3:28 pm on Jan 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

...I suspect that they [AdSense] don't always realize that we as publishers have to think about return visitors, bookmarks, getting unsolicited links from government and educational sites to help maintain long term rankings, etc. which are all a lot easier to accomplish for a site when it doesn't have big, commercial, in your face picture ads.

That's one of the more perceptive observations that I've read here in a while. Publishers whose sites would have a reason to exist without AdSense ought to tape that remark to their refrigerators and memorize it as insurance against letting the tail wag (and weaken) the dog.


 3:28 pm on Jan 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

I don't think video ads necessarily make a site look like trash. Still, like you, I tend to be conservative when it comes to using the ad format du jour, whether it's popups and popunders (the preferred "annoy the reader" format of a few years ago) or the Pointroll, Eyeblaster, etc. stuff that the big corporate sites happily use today. If I thought that Google could supply video ads related to my topic (travel), I might be interested, but I don't think that's likely to happen soon--at least not on a regular basis.

Got the invite, too, and share the above sentiments. I refuse all Adsense ads except text links, so I'm certainly not inclined to add video ads. I haven't seen the research data on video ads online, but I personally find them very annoying, and usually leave a site with them or scroll down the page. If you're trying to read text in an article, for example, anything flashing (gif) or moving (video) is annoying. If you're on the page just to scan info, not so annoying, but for articles, it's ridiculous.

My main site will not allow the rectangle block ads and maintain a good design, so I'm not going to change anything. I'd heard that ad unit size was successful for many, but didn't change from another size I've been using successfully above the fold.

I don't believe for a second anyone at Google who reviewed our sites (if indeed they were reviewed) took the layout or page design format into consideration. These issues are unique to each site.

Furthermore, the email I received never even addressed the significant issue of whether the big advertisers who want the rectangle ad units are businesses in the same industry. I'm not going to set up video ads for firms that are irrelevant or offtopic. Since video ads are fairly new, it's unlikely many firms have even made them yet. Presumably just the production of the ads is not cheap.

Yesterday I was coincidentally looking into joining the program of Advertising.com, which seems to do video ads. The first question I wanted to ask them before signing up was whether they served any relevant video ads for my industry.

I think it's disrespectful or unprofessional of Google not to show more thought and consideration before sending out the email offer. We are supposed to make changes which could take hours or days if each page on sites with hundreds of pages has to be changed manually just because it might work, because advertisers might be relevant to the site, or may stop advertising after a week or less, because there may be enough firms with video ads ready to stream, and visitors may like video ads?

I am very sceptical about what video ads would be shown. Google wants us to trust them with blind faith that they will be relevant--this from the company that lets MFAs litter cyberspace with irrelevant junk ads. Let's see the list of companies which want to use their new CPPP.

This offer seems like a new idea that should be tested for months in Beta first, but Google is skipping a very important step which could waste a lot of people's time and money. If anyone wants to test it, don't forget to save copy of your original pages, so you can revert back if necessary. There's a good chance you'll want to return to your original work.


[edited by: potentialgeek at 3:38 pm (utc) on Jan. 27, 2007]


 3:34 pm on Jan 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

I already had a 300x250 ad in an appropriate position, although it was being rotated between AdSense and other networks, so it was easy to make the switch. I've made the changes G suggested and so far the results have not been spectacular, although the total CPM yield for that space is up a buck or so with the 100% AdSense allocation. It's only been one day, though.

The 300x250 is becoming the de facto standard for display and video ads and certainly seems best suited to video, so it makes sense for G to go with that unit size.

BTW, we have a ton of video ads from other ad networks on our site and, personally, I think they look great. I sometimes have trouble understanding the anti-ad bias in this forum. Advertising makes the world go round, at least the publishing world.


 3:48 pm on Jan 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

I think it's odd that you can google "custom placement packs" and it gets no results. On Yahoo this thread comes up #1.

I'm going to give it a try but I already have that size ad in my site so it is no big deal...



 4:01 pm on Jan 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

Furthermore, the email I received never even addressed the significant issue of whether the big advertisers who want the rectangle ad units are businesses in the same industry. I'm not going to set up video ads for firms that are irrelevant or offtopic.

Whether it's a significant issue probably depends on your site, your audience, and where or how the ads are used.

On a newspaper, portal, or other general-interest site, for example, ads for "irrelevant or offtopic" businesses are more likely to be the rule than the exception. That makes sense, because (to use an extreme example) a video ad for GMC trucks or H-P computers is likely to be more useful and acceptable next to a story about a roadside bomb explosion in Iraq than an ad for bombs or body armor would be.

Things are a bit different for a trade or enthusiast site, where ads would normally be expected to tie in with the site's general topic or theme (though not necessarily with the topic of a specific article or page). Still, even then, ads that fit the site's demographic might be appropriate despite seeming "off-topic." (Magazines like CONDE NAST TRAVELER and TRAVEL + LEISURE carry ads for expensive cars, jewelry, perfumes, etc., so why shouldn't luxury-travel-for-millionaires.com?)


 4:04 pm on Jan 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

I got the invite too for one of the sites and implemented it by switching from 336x280 to 300x250.

Yesterday CTR went down 23%, eCPM down 31% and earnings down 37%.

Sure ups and downs happen everyday, but not to this extent, nothing close to this.


 4:12 pm on Jan 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

Same here so my 300x250 is GONE!
Who want's to loose money? From what I have seen is that they wanted to push H&R blocks ads right now, so I guess they just got a new big fat check from them and needed ad space. Wonder if geoff gets a share of that and needed to contact people?
I don't think my visitors is really interested in taxes and if they are they go somewhere else to find it.
Interesting thing is that if you have your ads set to text_image you'll get bigger image ads so I had to set them all to just text to get rid of the ugly images.


 5:15 pm on Jan 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

I wouldn't mind converting to the 300x250 format but it's all those ad positions and page descriptions that are necessary for advertiser review in the new channel formats that keep me from committing to the new Custom Placement Packs. Seems like a lot of work, along with the possibility of downward CTR and maybe ugly ads, just to test some Google hypothesis or allow RoN's?.


 5:23 pm on Jan 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

Yesterday CTR went down 23%, eCPM down 31% and earnings down 37%.

The program is brand-new. It could be several months (or more) before anyone can measure the Custom Placement Packs program's success or failure.

If you don't want to risk a little blood, stay away from the bleeding edge. :-)


 5:52 pm on Jan 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

...don't always realize that we as publishers have to think about return visitors

Adsense/Yahoo ads taken as a whole, have zero class associated with them. They detract from the asthetics of web design and they contribute to the notion that the internet is merely a place for finding "cheap stuff." They reduce a company marketing $10 million dollar ocean-front condos to the level of a guy selling a used lawn-mower in the classified section in one of those free weekly newspapers you see laying on the sidewalk.

The biggest hurdle I've had is in trying to work Adsense's lame ad formats and appearance into something that doesn't look like a third-rate game site reject.

It would certainly be nice if their "largest brand advertisers" whose gluteus I am proceeding to kiss with these 300X250's, was something with a little design forethought associated with it.


 6:35 pm on Jan 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

Adsense/Yahoo ads taken as a whole, have zero class associated with them. They detract from the asthetics of web design and they contribute to the notion that the internet is merely a place for finding "cheap stuff."

Tell that to THE WASHINGTON POST, THE NEW YORK TIMES, and the other "big media" sites that use AdSense ads.

AdSense ads can add value for the reader, just as "endemic advertising" in trade and enthusiast magazines adds value for the reader. A perfect example would be an ad for a specialized cruise travel agency on a review of an Elbonian Waterways Barge Line cruise. The reader's interest has been whetted by the review, the reader wants to check cabin availbility and prices, and the travel agency's ad offers a way to fulfill the reader's need.


 6:44 pm on Jan 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

I received the email yesterday and thought I may as well give it a go. All the ads on all four of my sites had always been 468 x 60 (two single ads across). I had thought they were unobtrusive and fitted the nature of the sites. I earned good money and over four years it has always risen year on year.

To change to the new format required a little individual work on each page so progress was slow. Over yesterday and today I have converted 30% of the ads on one site. Hey presto! Looking at the stats over the last 24 hours my revenue has tripled, not doubled, tripled. The CTR is astronomical compared to before as is the CPM. Truly astonishing. I suspect this has absolutely nothing to do with the Google program, just the change to the ad format and where it has been placed on the page.

No longer will I be the shrinking violet on my pages, hard, brash and big obviously work better. Thanks Google, I have learnt the lesson!


 7:10 pm on Jan 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

Tell that to THE WASHINGTON POST, THE NEW YORK TIMES, and the other "big media" sites

I just did, in the message you replied to. ;)


 7:19 pm on Jan 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

Congratulations nomis5!
Bigger has always been better and the format that has worked the best is 336x280. People are tired of seeing banners and they will get tired of seeing video ads too if they don't bring anything extra to your site and if they are not targeted to your audience.
I can see if you have a site about RV's and the ads show up with RV's on it, but if you have a site about Protect the Animals then you don't want a fur company show up.
Like someone said, it might be too early to say no to it after just 2 days but from what I have seen then they don't have enough video ads yet. I also would like to know if I'll make more money from a click on a video ad then on a link. If not being paid 3-4 times more then a regular click then it's not worth it. Showing a text ad gives the visitor more options than just 1 video ad and if they don't click that ad, then that page impression is worth nothing so you get more impressions, lower CTR, less eCPM less money....

@jk3210 is absolutely right. Google need to change the way the ads look like. You should be able to do that yourself. Bigger companies like Washingtom Post and other that have Adsense are special publishers with special code and what we get is just the "left overs"


 7:36 pm on Jan 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

When I first got this email I thought it was a little odd.

I use the 300x250 adblock on at least 1,200 pages of my approximately 1,500 page site.

According to Google Analytics over 80% of my visitors have their monitors set at a 1024x768 or higher resoultion.

So unless they are using a shortened height window most of them can see at least most of a 300x250 adblock. Apparently the "rect review" wasn't much of a review. I wonder if the even looked at the sites them or just at adsense stats.

At any rate it seems to me that editing settings for 20 or so channels so they include the placement data is all I'd have to do. But I'm not doing that at the moment anyhow.


 7:59 pm on Jan 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

Nah... they didn't look at any sites. It's like you said, they looked at statistics from last month and saw that sites like mine had a lot of hits. What they don't know, since AdSense People and Search People don't work together at all, is that their friends co-workers over at the Search has screwed up their sales pitch with the latest update


 8:33 pm on Jan 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

Got the email yesterday, had a pleasant exchange with the AdSense rep. Can't judge by last night and today that well, but we seem to be up about 5-10% for our revenue in the past 24 hours.


 9:06 pm on Jan 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

How do you quote-post?


 9:09 pm on Jan 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

What if Google instead of reviewing our (all your) sites simply sent email to the DOMAIN NAMES that they or their advertisers like or prefer instead?

I got that email only for my BIGGEST website with LARGEST traffic.


 10:54 pm on Jan 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

I got this email as well. However, the site they invited to do this for already displays the required ad format above the fold, which was a little curious considering they had "reviewed my site." I replied back saying so and for the past 2 days I've seen an eCPM increase of 90%

Note: since the site involved is a forum, it typically has a very low CTR (.20%), so I imagine running cpm ads has a large positive impact.


 10:55 pm on Jan 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

I got that email only for my BIGGEST website with LARGEST traffic.

If they did it based on website traffic they probably also looked at the numbers from Google Analytics because the website invited for this program was only using AdSense on just about 5% of its pages and I removed AdSense ads completely about a week ago. I guess it is automatically generated email sent to most of the publishers and they are just trying to build network for future image and video ads.



 11:39 pm on Jan 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

I offered to Google to provide wider variety of ad sizes. We especially in need of tiny ads of various sizes (example: 25x25; 50x50; 25x100; 50x200; 100x100; 75x75 pixels, etc.) to fill up small spaces, also the limit of 3 ads per page could be lifted to at least 5.

I think when we sign up with AdSense Custom Placement Packs it says to wait 48 hours for the ads to begin showing. Also Google may have not yet began featuring some of (y)our sites in more of their advertiser packages. Still, 24 hours after placing 300x250 ad, my homepage often gets only one or two text ads on that space leaving the space above and below it/them blank and makea my site look like trash. You may ask how my Competitive Ad Filter is doing, well I have about 10 sites maximum in there, that's all. Also those skyscraper ads have only one ad most of the time so the first fold often has blank space on the google ad. Still, the earnings did not go dow much 24 hours after I placed three 300x250 boxes on 3 different pages, but the ugly look definitely not going to stay there if Google does not fill up the space soon, something else will or will have to redesign the site again to get rid of the 300x250 or to move it to the bottom or below the first fold as the least.


 11:41 pm on Jan 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

Try pushing AdSense in Italy or France or Europe in general, see how much success it gets there with it's unstylish ugly looking ads.


 11:49 pm on Jan 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

How do you quote-post?

you do this (quote) around the part you want to quote (/quote)..only you use the square brackets [and] and not the curved (ones)..

click on "style codes" as in "style codes are on" which is next to the window you type your post in ..for more "stuff" ..



 12:02 am on Jan 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

In France ugly ads like ugly sites are the norm ..as are winking ..blinking ..slide ins ..roll arounds and other stuff normally only seen the Asian markets ..and you should see most fora ..avatar ridden sig filled bling ..:((

one thing to think about ..in the travel sector ..( specifically thinking about ads selling cruises )..presumably one might get videos of moving sea ( on pages that are not about cruises ..but are about countries to which one can arrive by ship, amongst other forms of transport ..European countries with mediteranean coasts come to mind ) ..I know at least 3 people personally who feel physically ill if they watch moving sea on TV ..

similar phobias may well be "tripped" by other video ads ..spiders come to mind ..but phobias are many and varied and some are very very obscure ..surfers may well not appreciate coming face to screen with theirs due to sloppy targeting ..or just "no-one would have thought of the phobia" ..

this used to be something we did allow for and try to avoid in print advertising way back in the 70's ..specially spiders and other multi legged critters ..such as photos of crabs and lobsters not being in the foreground in articles on restaurants ..

BTW mods or admins might want to add the missing "p" in the word after "messy" in neonriders post #:3233700 ..and thus prevent WebmasterWorld turning up for unwanted keyword searches ;-)( surprised it got past the bad word filter even though obviously inadvertant ) ..and then remove my reference to it from this post ..to save confusion ..

edited typos and for clarity

[edited by: Leosghost at 12:09 am (utc) on Jan. 28, 2007]


 12:09 am on Jan 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

I received the email too and I was surprised because my earnings and traffic were down 50% since the December update. I was really excited and as soon as I got the mail to change it, I did. Now I realize that moving from 336x280 to 300x250 was a really bad idea. Everything went down drastically so I am now thinking of moving back.

I knew this would happen. The only reason I changed the whole thing was because I thought I was really chosen from a select few. Now I realize that this the case, so I won't ever bother with it.

But first I need your opinion guys. Is moving back to 336x280 worth it? What do I have to gain from all this?


 2:13 am on Jan 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

After this thread, I checked my email, and found the email as well. Really worth doing?


 3:40 am on Jan 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

Norbiu, I’m not sure, but I would keep the new format for at least 48 hours.

Visit Thailand

 3:51 am on Jan 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

I took a look at the different ad sizes G offers, and 300 x 250 is a pretty big piece of real estate. Will be interesting to hear from people who are testing it what their experience is. For a space that big it would have to perform significantly better than a more streamlined ad.

[edited by: Visit_Thailand at 3:53 am (utc) on Jan. 28, 2007]


 9:17 am on Jan 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

Me too! I got the call up. Whilst I share your scepticism, there could be some positives that come from the rework of my site.

Google will need a critical mass of sites that will show the 350 x 250 before they can go to big clients and reassure them of quality placement.

This could be (please note ‘could be’) a sign of more technological convergence. Mobile devices may benefit from above the line placement. More people have faster, consistently reliable access and can receive video these days.

Or maybe G is going to offer some form of integrated package that includes their recent purchases, some form of YouTube, local radio, local newspaper, search, publisher-based mash-up brand – which others cannot immediately imitate.

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