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New Text Ad Formats
Anyone else seen this.
webcentric




msg:4607602
 5:34 pm on Sep 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

I was just on one of my pages and saw an ad format I've never seen before. It occurred on a responsive text ad unit displaying a 160x600 size. At the top is one normal text ad but then, the bottom 2 thirds of the ad space have something that looks more like boxed link units in a very large font with small dropdown arrows. Each block just has a title with no url or description underneath. It's hard to describe but it almost looks like a panel control. Has anyone else seen this? It's obviously an "enhanced" text ad feature and I'm not even sure if I like it or not yet but the look is almost shocking to the system.

 

webcentric




msg:4607680
 10:29 pm on Sep 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

OK, I'm also seeing layout changes to leaderboard ads. 970x90 single text ad is now left aligned instead of centered (the centering always bugged me but changing it like this has a mind-altering effect on page layout/flow in some cases).

jpch




msg:4607718
 1:27 am on Sep 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

I saw them on one of my sites a few days ago. Definitely made me do a double take because of how they looked. I kind of liked them.

EditorialGuy




msg:4607727
 1:59 am on Sep 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

I haven't seen that format, but I just saw a really attractive single text ad: It was a leaderboard with a light grey background, a large all-caps headline in blue sans-serif type, and one line of large text (black sans-serif type, upper and lower case). Just to the right of the headline and text was a circle with a stylized arrow in it. When I moved my mouse over the arrow, the circle's internal background changed from light grey to charcoal.

The design is unquestionably the nicest-looking AdSense text ad that I've ever seen.

webcentric




msg:4607744
 3:43 am on Sep 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'll second that in many ways, the formats look cleaner. I'll also add that I've been waiting for certain features now present for a loooooooong time. Having said that, I'm just a bit more than perturbed with the changes and their timing.

First, I was right in the middle of testing enhanced text ads vs un-enhanced text ads so this change renders that data irrelevant.

Next, we all know that a few pixels difference in where the hot spot in an ad is located in relation to other content on the page can make a world of difference in effectiveness. When it comes to how the eye moves around the page, the locations of these hot spots is critical. These new units completely change the location of the hot spot or distribution of hot spots in ways that are sure to require layout adjustments. One example of this is that up until a few days ago, a leaderboard ad with a single ad in it produced a centered ad (hot spot centered horizontally in the provided space). Suddenly the hot spot has moved to the left. If you've spent any amount of time to organize a page so that the eye moves to the center, you know how disruptive a sudden alignment to one side can be. This can be really noticeable at the bottom of pages which in some cases is the only place I'll put an ad.

I'm also not happy with the fact that despite the background color setting of an ad, it seems you will still get a portion of the unit with a grey background (at least on the skyscrapers I've seen). This makes it all but impossible to blend the unit into the background of the page i.e. using the same border and background color as the page background color. I guess if you want a grey background on all of your pages you can still do it but what a pain.

And lastly, who's to say that the minute I go through and make any necessary adjustments, that things won't change again. I've said it before but text ads are text ads and ads with graphical elements are another animal. I was starting to like the favicons but now it seems I can't have those without a bunch of other nonsense along with it.

Just venting here. My guess is that in the long run, I'll find a way to come to terms with these changes but I hate changing horses in the middle of the stream so, for the time being, I think the solution for me is to turn enhanced features off and give it some more thought. That, and despite my long-time aversion to link-units, they're looking more and more attractive by the minute.

p.s. I guess my last gripe is that it would be nice to have a little advanced warning about things like this but that is sure to be way too much to ask. I know some people saw the new arrow being tested awhile back but I've seen no hint of some of these changes coming. La di da and back to the drawing board it is, literally, but, first a pause...and a stiff drink.

jpch




msg:4607840
 2:24 pm on Sep 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Next, we all know that a few pixels difference in where the hot spot in an ad is located in relation to other content on the page can make a world of difference in effectiveness.


This is an excellent point, however, many people don't know this. For those of us that have and continue to run extensive testing we know what difference a few pixels can make. For others, they are still in the dark.

EditorialGuy




msg:4607955
 8:29 pm on Sep 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

I guess I think of the new text ads (or at least the one that I saw the other day) as a kind of text display ad. I'm used to not having control over display ads, so if Google wants to have someone with a sense of aesthetics design the ads and make them look more like ads, that's fine by me.

In the long run, discouraging accidental clicks and making ads less junky is likely to be a good thing--at least on editorial sites where there's value in having ads enhance the reader experience instead of making readers think "Yuk."

webcentric




msg:4607968
 10:03 pm on Sep 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

In the long run, discouraging accidental clicks and making ads less junky is likely to be a good thing...there's value in having ads enhance the reader experience instead of making readers think "Yuk."


I agree wholeheartedly on the topic of accidental clicks, and, to be frank, at least for now, if I truly object to the new look, I can turn off enhancements. There seems to be a bit of a lack of control over the look and feel of the units right now but who knows, maybe some new ad editing features are in the works as well.

I will note that the new features seem to not be implemented in all browsers yet e.g. I see them in Firefox and Safari but not in IE. Perhaps even more is yet to come. What am I saying, of course it is. Wish G would just write a blog post about these new features and plans for the final product (well, at least the next iteration of it) so I could make some plans as to how to react. I also wished for world peace recently but that hasn't come about either.

p.s. Meant to mention that these ads really are panel controls that expand when hovered over. The concept of text ads may be on the way out door altogether if this keeps up.

webcentric




msg:4607975
 10:29 pm on Sep 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'll also add that what constitutes positioning an ad for accidental clicks vs positioning it for maximum viewer visibility is a very fine line sometimes and the very fact that Google constantly fidgets with ad positioning inside their own units and changes up the look of ads at their whim is tantamount to straddling the very line they brutally enforce with webmasters. Taking the hot spot of an ad and moving it from the center of a 970 pixel wide space to the far left is HUGE where the path of the reader's eye is concerned. Even on an editorial site, this kind of move can result in the user going right by without even noticing the ad. Or it could result in the user walking right into it depending on the situation. The whole point of these "enhancements" is to make the ads more compelling to viewers. Google wants the clicks and if mucking with the layout serves that purpose, I'm sure they have no problem continuing to take back revenue that they determine was an "accidental" click, even if their own mucking with the layout was the cause in the first place.

EditorialGuy




msg:4608127
 6:20 pm on Sep 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

I just saw one of the four-ad "panel control" rectangles on my site, and it looked pretty cool. I especially liked the expansion of the individual ads on mouseover. It's too early to know how they'll perform in comparison with the old (and ugly) text ads, but I'm pleased to see ads that look better and offer a degree of interactivity that (with luck) will catch the reader's eye.

rustybrick




msg:4608674
 12:21 pm on Sep 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

Can someone post a screen shot?

webcentric




msg:4608696
 1:40 pm on Sep 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

Can someone post a screenshot?


We'll I'm not sure how to post a screen shot on this board but here's a link to a completely neutral premium publisher site that is using a customized version.

[space.com ]

The custom ad size makes me drool.

rustybrick




msg:4608698
 1:51 pm on Sep 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

So this is a new format? https://www.diigo.com/item/image/49jjg/01hd

ning




msg:4608699
 1:53 pm on Sep 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

@webcentric

From my location (Hong Kong) I only see the regular text ads (with favicons).

webcentric




msg:4608721
 3:22 pm on Sep 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

From my location (Hong Kong) I only see the regular text ads.


I know that IE still shows the version with favicons. You need to look at the page using Firefox or Safari. Haven't checked what version Chrome is displaying. The type of ad you get definitely depends on your browser is the point.

rustybrick




msg:4608780
 7:37 pm on Sep 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

@webcentric the image I posted, was that what you see?

webcentric




msg:4608793
 8:27 pm on Sep 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

@webcentric the image I posted, was that what you see?


That's what I see in IE. Firefox shows something completely different for me. There's some sort of browser specific implementations associated with these new formats.

rustybrick




msg:4608794
 8:31 pm on Sep 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

Can you please take a screen shot? https://www.google.com/search?q=how+to+take+a+screenshot

webcentric




msg:4608830
 10:42 pm on Sep 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

Can you please take a screen shot? https://www.google.com/search?q=how+to+take+a+screenshot


I've been taking screen shots since the day the PrtScn button was invented (or close to it anyway). Posting it on this website isn't an option though and I'm not interested in opening a flickr account or some other such thing just to post it here. Call me lazy. Have you tried looking at the page in different browsers. Who knows, maybe this is only implemented in the US right now? I'm seeing these ads all over the Internet now so you're sure to bump into them eventually.

Added...

Here's another thread on this subject from when G first started testing the new arrow design (which is now part of the format we're talking about). There's a link to a screen shot in the thread that at least shows the arrow design. The arrow design is a good visual indicator as you're browsing around but I'm pretty sure you won't see this if you are using IE and perhaps some other browsers as well. At least for now.

[webmasterworld.com...]

rustybrick




msg:4608837
 11:02 pm on Sep 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

@webcentric thank you

The arrow is nothing new. I want to see what is new.

I understand your lack of desire to upload an image to a server or somewhere.

breeks




msg:4610817
 12:36 am on Sep 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

I am seeing the new ads styles now across my sites. They showed up briefly yesterday and now are back, and it looks like they are going to stay. Going to have to make some adjustments but will make it work.

Difference is bigger with enhanced text ads turned on.

ember




msg:4610832
 1:55 am on Sep 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

Seeing them now on all my sites.

Swanny007




msg:4610840
 3:37 am on Sep 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

The ads just showed up today for me, I see them all over my sites. They look good IMHO.

7_Driver




msg:4610919
 11:18 am on Sep 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

Just saw this today.

Here's a screenshot of a large rectangle:

[screencast.com...]

webcentric




msg:4610991
 4:19 pm on Sep 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

So, now that people are seeing this format it will be interesting to see what happens to productivity for people. Here are some things I'm noticing regarding formatting.

728x90 Leaderboards are now starting to show actual images in the left portion of the ad space (which I think is kind of cool). Not all have them have images (essentially thumbnails) but the ads that do, have some real impact. I've always thought a text ad should be a text ad but this I find actually cool. It's almost like G responded to Media.net's layouts in the design of their new ad formats. Competition drives innovation again. Haven't seen this with other ad sizes but they're not common yet so could just have missed them to this point.

Titles are not linked in the units I'm using and don't seem sizeable. This makes them look like page headings sometimes (particularly with leaderboards) and they don't necessarily appear clickable. Flip-side of that is the new arrow which does imply clickability.

There is a slight color shift on units with panels, e.g. when you set the background color of the unit to a specific color, the panels are actually rendered slightly off of that color to highlight the panels. It's intuitive but at the same time makes borderless ads look a bit lost in space. Anyway, those are a few observations. I'm sure there are more quirks to be noticed.

breeks




msg:4611049
 7:42 pm on Sep 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

So far today CTR om 160x600 has been cut in half with the new ad design. Time to switch on enhanced text ad to see it that makes a difference.

JCKline




msg:4611053
 8:05 pm on Sep 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

Seeing them today to, and CTR is at an all time low.
<WISHFUL THINKING>Maybe it's so high that Google has to validate the clicks before they appear!</WISHFUL THINKING>

webcentric




msg:4611073
 8:41 pm on Sep 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

So far today CTR om 160x600 has been cut in half with the new ad design


I've had the most issues with this particular ad format. It's a completely different experience in the context of most of my existing page designs.

Time to switch on enhanced text ad to see it that makes a difference


Hmmm. I was under the impression that the new look only applied to enhanced text ads but guess I'm wrong. Haven't jumped back to plain text ads in awhile (i.e. turning off enhanced features) to see what they look like. Wish G would just outline the exact features of text ads as they are now and what comes with each option (i.e. enhanced vs not enhanced). I keep seeing new stuff and the old ad previews are so off now, they are just laughable. The only sense I can make of it is that they're not done with this yet and won't be talking about the new features in any comprehensive way until they are.

Feel like I'm in a movie named "I-Guinea Pig"

@JCKline - Love the wishful thinking tag. I vote to make it part of the official html specification.

breeks




msg:4611087
 10:13 pm on Sep 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

160x600 plain text ads look close to the previous version, they do have a slight divider between each ad.

The biggest problem with the plain text 160x600 is the title is no longer in bold text. The title is very faint and does not stand out.

I have one page that where I use 160x600 that has an average earnings around $40.00 a day, today so far two bucks!

All other sizes seem to be working fine with "updated design"

160x600 enhanced version you have to click twice except for the first ad in the unit plus they look like crap.

Swanny007




msg:4611140
 2:50 am on Sep 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

My overall CTR is down about 8% today and yesterday over the last 30 days' average, yesterday is when I started noticing the new text ad format. I haven't dug too deep into the stats yet to see if the new ad look is why or what exactly. I like the looks of them though.

This 48 message thread spans 2 pages: 48 ( [1] 2 > >
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