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Text ads vs Image/Rich Media
your earnings share?

 10:43 pm on May 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

the other day i got an email and an invite on the adsense panel to try image/rich media ads on one of my ad blocks (which also is the best performing one). the invite promised, that google's analysis showed, that up to 80% of income increase on that ad block would be possible. well, i had bad experience with display ads from google before, so i only had text ad blocks then.

but ok, after some time, try it out again.. and it was underwhelming again. image/rich media made up 20% of impressions and only 10% of earnings for one week (rich media beating static image ads as expected). really bad! and when i saw the first cheapo blinky download ads, i reverted back to 'text only' on the tested ad blocks even before my planned time scale.

i wouldn't want to spend work time to filter out the bad ads or ad networks. normally it wouldn't earn me anything more either as i expect the algorithm to deliver the best earning ads.

this is a really bad performance for image/rich media on my content websites. the reason imo is that text information most of the time beats display ads in terms of direct earnings. display ads deliver a branding opportunity, but most of the advertisers seem to only be interested in direct roi, so the money is on text ads - or on deceptive display ads. but google doesn't get it right either, see the silly invitation.

what is your experience? how is the earnings share on your websites for image/rich media ads? how many of you have them activated? are there websites, where these ads do well with a bigger impression and/or earnings share?



 11:30 am on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

It varies from site to site.

Note: Please feel free to copy and paste this answer into any post where the question involves asking what the best solution is for your own website of which we have no knowledge and would require months of testing to determine what will provide the best results for that website. Anyone who tells you one way is better than another or one type of ad does better than another is talking about their own experience with their own site(s). You might as well ask what the weather is like today. The responses would be just as varied and as unhelpful to you.


 11:54 am on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Image/Rich media do very well for me. Partly cloudy, slight chance of rain here.


 1:11 pm on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

@internetheaven: i was not asking for the best solution for my website. in fact, i know the best solution for my website. of course we're talking about our own experience here and that's what i was asking for. your comment is very close to insult if you ask me. if you were right, we could close down this forum in a minute. if you don't like this thread or don't care to read, better don't answer at all next time, thanks.

i was interested in which kind of website content does well with image/rich media ads. mine is informational news content and obviously does much better with text ads.
and how much do these ads actually contribute to your adsense earnings. is it worth it?

my calculation was: if a site generates only 10% of earnings through these ads with 20% impression share, you could as well go back to 'text only', maybe without losing anything at all, because the 20% impressions will be filled with generally better perfoming text ads. after all, google's algorithm must fill a certain percentage of impressions with display ads to try out their performance. second consideration would be, that the visual impact through the more intrusive display ads should be compensated - which is not the case.


 1:47 pm on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

This is a topic that I have spent a ton of time testing in the last 6 months.

I took over a VERY high impression site 6 months ago. When I looked at their ad formats they were opted in all types, but text was clearly the best performing. So I defaulted all ad formats to text only and earnings took off. Then Nessie happened. Post Nessie, at least for me, Google is basically making me opt into all ad types, but text version still works the best. However, before if I had all ad types text was still like 75% of the impressions. But Google now forces image/rich media ads on me at almost 75% of the impressions now. Basically if I want text ads I HAVE to run text ads only. And if I do select text ads only, the cpc prices drop significantly, so financially it's best for me to opt into all 3.

Google is forcing image/rich media ads on publishers like never before. This recent change has had a significant negative impact on my earnings.


 2:02 pm on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

i wouldnt use image ads on their own, because i dont trust their targetting, but i have found that they work quite well side-by-side with text ads. if you put two big square blocks at the end of an article, the left one with image only, and the right one with text only, then you get the best of both worlds.

i think the big image ad draws a bit more attention to the text ads -- especially when its well targeted to what the text ads are about. so even if they dont get clicked very much, and their stats are rubbish, they are still doing you a service by helping out the text ads.


 3:01 pm on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Text and image work best for me. The CTR is higher for the text ads, but they don't pay as well. Image ads have a low CTR but pay much better. So they kind of even out and do best when combined.


 3:45 pm on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

It seems to go back and forth for me. I think it's partly because my sites are mostly seasonal, and my best ads may well be seasonal (travel, vacation, that sort of thing) and the advertisers may not run them in the winter months. Right now I'm in a text only period, I'll probably gradually start testing them again this month.

As a general rule, across my sites the image ads get higher CTR but lower EPC. YMMV.


 4:50 pm on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Allowing both text and image/rich media ads gives you access to the largest potential pool of advertisers for your site.
Over time, that should lead to higher earnings -- especially when advertisers test out your site with text ads, and then perhaps try image ads later; that's not something that day-by-data can pick up.


 5:39 pm on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

I have 3 ad units on most pages.

1: 728x90, very top of page, above everything, image only
2: 160x90, AdLinks in the left column under the 1st paragraph.
3: 300x250 or 336x280, text and image, center column under the first photograph.

(The right column is all inhouse internal links.)

In the past this has worked well. But after seeing this thread I went investigating my earnings and it looks like a little experimentation might be in order.

I'm most curious if changing the 728x90 to text only or text and image would make a positive difference.

The AdLinks is what it is, nothing to do there.

The center adblock, I dunno, we'll try messing around with it and see what happens. Recently it looks like text ads get about 1/3 the impressions but earn twice as much as the image/etc ads in that spot.

I've mostly thought allowing both image and text would get the highest payout, which has been true on my sight in the past.

Not sure now.


 5:44 pm on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

FWIW when I do run text and image, I don't enable them in the same ad unit, I have a text only and an image only ad unit that I rotate evenly. Not sure how much of an effect that has, but it gives me the illusion of having more control.


 8:52 pm on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

i think the big image ad draws a bit more attention to the text ads

nice tidbit, reasonable and never really tried out.

apart from the content, i could imagine a high traffic and high page view (= ad view) website would better fit with display ads? mobile traffic is another thing, not sure about that at the moment. but strange thing also, that no display ads were paid per view - only cpc ads in my account.

i think you really have to give attention on how display ads actually perform compared to text ads. apart from the design issues, for me at least.


 10:39 pm on May 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

I still get the blurb about increase your earning up to 100%... "To maximise your revenue, opt in to displaying text and image/rich media ads".

To me the question becomes: "What do my site visitors, now mostly returning, or from links on others sites think?"

I suspect they don't come to see garish ads, while unobtrusive text ads are OK.

Always remember, you have absolutely no control over what other people see on your sites. You might think you have some idea, but I believe reality is somewhat different.


 2:07 am on May 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

Due to this thread I decided to try image ads on one of my sites. Just like the last time I tried them I'm finding the targeting to be less than existent. Sigh.


 10:34 pm on May 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

Google is forcing image/rich media ads on publishers like never before.

right but why do they do that? contracts with third party networks, leave out publishers? as for me: medium global traffic site - no earnings increase through display ads.


 10:58 pm on May 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

I got sick of seeing the nag each morning, and finally clicked "No Thanks".

I was then asked why? So I told them.


 12:43 pm on May 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

I prefer text ads only because they blend in with the font/link size color I use in my content.

Makes sense, doesn't it?

I think the human brain sees an image ad and it says, "AD AD AD AD IGNORE IGNORE IGNORE."


Images still have their place, particularly on a really well designed site with more graphics -- mine has almost no graphics.


 10:48 pm on May 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

blending leads to 1c clicks :)

ot: i run them both, but only on image ads i get some superclicks, text ads have a few times bigger ctr but also a few times lower click value, but i keep them both for now, i'm tired of testing all these years


 12:04 am on May 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

If I have two ads on a page I run one text/image and the text only. The 300x250 seems to work well with text/image, its turning into one of my best performing ads.

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