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Responsive AdSense ads: Your thoughts so far?
atladsenser




msg:4672238
 1:30 pm on May 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

For publishers who've implemented them and have been using them for the past few months, I'd love to hear your results. How are they working for you? How are earnings?

I'm about to implement responsive design for my site (finally!) and just wanted to know what to expect, as much as that's possible.

Thanks in advance.

 

netmeg




msg:4672245
 1:57 pm on May 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

No complaints here. It's hands down my highest paying ad unit.

webcentric




msg:4672247
 2:10 pm on May 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

They're almost a must where responsive design is the goal. There have been so many ups and downs where text ads in general are concerned that it's hard to say they perform better or not.

One thing I've found is that it helps to restrict maximum size in certain instances. You can do this by setting the max-width (using CSS) of a container div. Example, I want nothing larger than a 160 x 600 in my sidebar. The sidebar itself is responsive so, inside the sidebar div, put a containing div with a max-width of 160px. To center your ad in the column, use margin-left:auto and margin-right:auto.

And one last tip. You can set the orientation of the ad by changing the ad code directly. Look for the following in the ad code

data-ad-format="auto"

This can be changed to any of the following
data-ad-format="horizontal"
data-ad-format="vertical"
data-ad-format="rectangle"

Rectangle results in a square and the others are self-explanatory. So, in the example above, I'd change this setting to vertical to ensure that I never get anything larger than a 160 x 600 banner ad. If your column shrinks smaller than that on a tablet (for example), you'll probably get a 120x600 ad.

I often use code to swap ad units across devices (skyscrapers don't do it for me on phones for example) but that's a choice for you to make. This is just an example. Rectangles and horizontal ads seem to work the best in sidebars across all devices but in very narrow sidebars, you may wind up with more unmatched ad requests than is acceptable for tablets so watch the width of your sidebars and make sure they don't get too small on tablets.

Anyway, some considerations for you. I frankly love these things. Oh, the above is accomplished with the Smart Sizing option but the advanced option has some interesting uses as well.

denisl




msg:4672275
 3:48 pm on May 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

Hope I've been doing this correctly but I've been using the advanced format which allows me to change the media queries.

Apart from giving me more control on ad size, when I turn off ads to work on the site, I put a spacer in-place of the ad, which I control by the same media queries to check the appearance.

eek2121




msg:4672280
 3:55 pm on May 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

They don't appear to load new ads automatically when the browser is resized. Makes them next to useless for me. I still use them though.

webcentric




msg:4672298
 4:26 pm on May 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

Hope I've been doing this correctly but I've been using the advanced format which allows me to change the media queries.


This is of course, the original way to use responsive ad units and gives you the ability to switch from horizontal to vertical to square as you see fit for each device. I stopped using this awhile back for maintenance reasons during a site redesign but it's a totally valid and useful approach.

They don't appear to load new ads automatically when the browser is resized.


True, but resizing the browser is mostly relevant in the tablet world these days. Most desktop users aren't constantly flipping their monitor from side to side. It's a minor nuisance for some IMHO but better than pretty much any other ad network has to offer right now.

atladsenser




msg:4672404
 8:28 pm on May 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

No complaints here. It's hands down my highest paying ad unit.


I frankly love these things.


That's great to hear. I know it depends on each site's topic area and whether advertisers in your vertical are jumping into mobile in a big way or not, but it's reassuring to hear that people are experiencing success with responsive ads.

For me, necessity is driving this train -- my users are simply moving to mobile in droves, and it's high time I hopped on board.

Sally Stitts




msg:4672745
 5:12 pm on May 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

One thing I've found is that it helps to restrict maximum size in certain instances.

Yeah. Ugly on desktop - too wide.

I put up responsive code on my top 5 pages last night.
Revenue is running at 50% of yesterday. Filling the entire width with the ad is ugly. I need to change that wall-to-wall appearance. I don't like it at all. Instead of standing out, it tends to look like paint on a wall.

Mobile CTR is still less than 1%. So, remind me again. What was the advantage of using responsive ad code?

Lowered CTR AND lowered EPC? Oh, I see.

I'll give it 24 hours. If earnings are still significantly lower than yesterday, I'll switch back tonight.

atladsenser




msg:4672762
 6:15 pm on May 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

Sally, is your site designed with responsive design for mobile?

Sally Stitts




msg:4672764
 6:34 pm on May 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

Sally, is your site designed with responsive design for mobile?

No. I wouldn't know how. I am not a programmer.

I am using a low tech approach - a single page with a 450 pixel width. This had worked well for 10 years, until May day, when targeting vaporized.

I had been using all 250x250s, text only.
I have now switched to all 300x250s, text and image.
Until last night, when I changed my top 5 pages to responsive ads.

I had been creeping back, until I changed the responsive ad code last night. HOWEVER, I don't think that my partial recovery has much to do with anything I have changed. Just G backing off from whatever they did to me on May 1. Which is still unfathomable.

By reverting back to all 300x250s, at least I know what they will look like. Instead of splatter. And gobbling up all the width they can find.

atladsenser




msg:4672773
 7:24 pm on May 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

So, remind me again. What was the advantage of using responsive ad code?


For me, responsive ad code makes the ads the appropriate size when you're viewing them from a smartphone. For my audience, that's the device they're increasingly using to view my site -- there's a difference between weekdays and weekends, but on both the mobile audience is growing and the desktop audience is shrinking.

It's just become untenable for me not to have a mobile-friendly site anymore. There was a time when I could have, not that long ago, but the past 12 months have brought a huge, undeniable shift in the way users are consuming the info that I provide.

I've had to make an investment in responsive design, both time and money, but that's a necessary thing in any business. Besides, it's just more interesting to shake things up and seek out new challenges -- what's the fun in running in place? I think it will be cool to see how users respond when the site is fully switched over to responsive, and whether there are new ways to engage them.

Who knows? It's a gamble, it may not work out. But refusing to change, I'm seeing from my analytics data anyway, is not a viable long-term strategy. Of that I'm sure.

Sally Stitts




msg:4672774
 7:33 pm on May 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

Enough!

I switched them all back to 300x250.
All the speculation in the world cannot change the fact that I am substantially DOWN today. No need to wait 24 hours. 12 hours was plenty. No "responsive" ads for me.

Regarding mobile, if you don't have a iPhone or a Samsung, I don't care about you. Cater to 300 pixel wide screens? Nah. You can have them.

breeks




msg:4672826
 10:07 pm on May 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

The next iPhone is going big. Apple is playing catch up with Samsung.4.7 inch screens will be the norm.

Folding screens are not to far away and then you will have tablet size screen on your mobile phone.

5 inch screen on front of phone for text and phone calls, unfold for tablet size screen for browsing, viewing pics, movies and playing games.

webcentric




msg:4674126
 4:22 am on May 24, 2014 (gmt 0)

Here's a oxymoron from the Google vaults.

You know those favicons that show up in enhanced text ads? Well according to Google's page speed insights (specifically the User Experience section of the Mobile report), they're too small.

The following tap targets are small. Consider increasing their size.

The tap target <a href="/[...]" class="rhfavicon"></a> is only 1.6mm by 1.6mm on a typical device (10x10 CSS pixels).


Darn, no one's gonna click on it. Didn't even stop to think that the favicon thingy was actually clickable in the first place. But now that I realize that it is, I'm thining this must be a conspiracy to always keep my User Experience score from reaching 100. Clever! Wonder if I turn enhancements off if I can max out the score? Must be getting late cause this seems really significant right now even though it isn't.

denisl




msg:4674152
 6:34 am on May 24, 2014 (gmt 0)

The following tap targets are small. Consider increasing their size.


Yes I've seen this refering to adsense also.

For my own links/menus I increase the line height for screens less than 850px to make them easier to tap - adsense do not do the same.

Havnt done any testing but the mobile/responsive banners look too small to me and the text goes much smaller than that I am using on the page. Possibly need to use more 300 wide rectangles which look much better on mobile but more difficult to include in the layout.

denisl




msg:4674157
 6:52 am on May 24, 2014 (gmt 0)

So after typing the above post, on one ad I have changed the adsense code to show 300x250 ad on small screens, leaving it to show a banner or leaderboard on larger screens. This looks much better (bigger obviously) on mobile and causes me no work on the layout.

Previously I had only changed the points at which adsense would show a different sized ad, I hadnt changed the ad format in this way.

I hope that webcentric is correct when he says above that you can do this. Although Adsense say you need to change the code in the advanced format, I couldn't find any info on any restrictions on changes that you make.

webcentric




msg:4674187
 12:37 pm on May 24, 2014 (gmt 0)

@denisl -- see this page

https://support.google.com/adsense/answer/3543893?hl=en

Check out the examples. Note, that the data-ad-format sample relies on "Smart Sizing" which produces different code than when you're using media queries. I don't think you can mix the two.

denisl




msg:4674192
 1:02 pm on May 24, 2014 (gmt 0)

Thank you

Broadway




msg:4674212
 2:24 pm on May 24, 2014 (gmt 0)

I have a responsive site.
I'm using responsive ads with smart sizing.
I set the amount of ad space I want filled via CSS/media queries.
On large screen sizes I'm able to present slightly more ad space than if I just used standard size ads.
With pages with a lot of content, that's an OK look.
I assume I make more money too but I'm not sure.

Sally Stitts




msg:4676940
 7:56 pm on Jun 2, 2014 (gmt 0)

Just one more bump.

I am having second and third thoughts about implementing these.

Should I use them or not (minus all the arguments)?

(Yes, I will be testing them again, and report back here after a longer test.)

Thank you.

atladsenser




msg:4676943
 8:06 pm on Jun 2, 2014 (gmt 0)

Been rolling them out to portions of my site and I'm seeing a nice bump up in CPC. It's still early, but I'm very encouraged by what I've seen so far.

denisl




msg:4676946
 8:37 pm on Jun 2, 2014 (gmt 0)

But Sally, I thought you said recently your site was not responsive - in which case responsive ads are not for you

Sally Stitts




msg:4676954
 9:18 pm on Jun 2, 2014 (gmt 0)

Can I not have responsive ads on a "fixed" website (max width 450 pixels, for desktop, tablet and mobile)?

Will serving the same page to desktop and mobile not result in responsive ads being shown, bigger for desktop, and smaller for mobile?

OR, will all the ads be 450 pixels wide, everywhere?
Maybe I am missing something here.

When I tried them before, they seemed to "work". But just how well, is the question. The gobbling up of every horizontal pixel available concerns me.

UPDATE after 1 hour: After an hour with Responsive ads enabled, CTR, CPC and eCPM are ALL down.
CTR - Down 10%
EPC - Down 27%
RPM - Down 36%.
I'll give them 23 more hours.

UPDATE after 1 1/2 hours:
NECK and NECK - old vs. new - 300 vs. responsive - about the same
This, after 400 page views for responsive. This page gets 1,000s of page views per day.

I am a conclusion jumper. This is not a good thing.
I must keep telling myself, "Patience is a virtue, patience is a virtue".
.

Sally Stitts




msg:4676980
 10:57 pm on Jun 2, 2014 (gmt 0)

"Allowable time to edit post has past." Normally, I just keep editing, UNTIL a subsequent post appears. No time travel allowed. Editing of the past is not allowed, nor should it be.

After 2 hours, my CTR has DOUBLED with "Responsive Ads", after a few hundred more page views.

That just about does it for me.

(I know, I know, "be patient".)
NO! I am going with RA (I think, maybe, we'll see). Next, I will try my 5 top pages (again), for a full 24 hours. You have to wait for the 90 weight oil to ooze down between the gears.

Nothing like a $24 click to throw a monkey wrench into the best laid schemes of mice and men. Aaahhh. One must be very careful about what they are looking at. Especially, conclusion jumpers. Certainly makes up for the $8 click takeback on another page, earlier in the day.

I am surely not being "smart-priced" ... just dumbfounded.
.

Swanny007




msg:4676987
 11:35 pm on Jun 2, 2014 (gmt 0)

Responsive ads are for use with responsive designs. If you use it on a fixed width site, you should get the same sized ad for desktop & mobile visitors, defeating the purpose.

Sally Stitts




msg:4676995
 12:08 am on Jun 3, 2014 (gmt 0)

Then, is there an explanation for my surge in CTR? Which is continuing, I might add.

300x250s = xCTR
Responsive ads = 2xCTR

300x250's = xRPM
Responsive ads = 2xRPM

You can "defeat the purpose" all you want, but with 2x performance?
I'll take it.

Maybe it is just because of the increased width, everywhere. Maybe?
.

webcentric




msg:4677008
 1:12 am on Jun 3, 2014 (gmt 0)

Then, is there an explanation for my surge in CTR?


Perhaps. Your 450 wide fixed design needs to shrink to fit a phone which would also shrink a standard ad. That means the size of the ad, the text in the ad and any graphics as well. Shrinking from 450 down to 320 pixels (just for an example) will result in about a 29% reduction in the overall size of the ad (either type). Where the difference may occur is that with the responsive ad, the text (title, url and description) probably don't shrink down 29% because it's not tied to the overall size of the ad. I haven't tested this but from everything I've seen with responsive units, the text size is less tied to the size of the ad. At least where rectangles (square ads) are concerned. The text in horizontals can get pretty small on a phone.

Another thing, if you don't restrict the width of the container div, the ad can actually get bigger than the nearest standard size e.g. if your column is 275 pixels wide, Adsense will fill that entire width rather than limit you to a 250x250 unit for example. All this could add up to better visibility for you on all devices.

Sally Stitts




msg:4677012
 1:37 am on Jun 3, 2014 (gmt 0)

At this stage of the day (6PM), the money from my responsive ads code has surpassed the money from the same page with 300x250 (earlier in the day). With less than 1/2 of the page views. For this day.

So, I am pretty well sold, independent of any discussion.
This kind of performance is brain-altering.
Even if I can't follow the logic, I can sure follow my nose.
.

Swanny007




msg:4677016
 2:44 am on Jun 3, 2014 (gmt 0)

You can't argue with results ;-) I suspect that the responsive ad unit is more device-aware, so it's serving bigger font ads to mobile devices which stands out a bit more. I dunno, test them out see how they look on various devices.

webcentric




msg:4677027
 5:01 am on Jun 3, 2014 (gmt 0)

I suspect that the responsive ad unit is more device-aware, so it's serving bigger font ads to mobile devices which stands out a bit more.


Thanks for translating my mumbo-jumbo into plain English ;)

This 53 message thread spans 2 pages: 53 ( [1] 2 > >
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