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I'm having a great month with AdSense, best ever. Things were getting pretty low for me until I turned off the borders (made them the same color as the background). Soon as I did that saw a very sharp uptick in CTR. Also seem to be getting more per click right now - probably thanks to Christmas and all.
Does AdSense TOS allow you to do this? I was under the impression that altering the ad code was a violation.
Too many holidays! Everyone should get back to work ... or at least back to their desks, where they can use company time to visit our sites.
You can safely make the borders of your adsense ads the color of your background - essentially turning them off - by using the color tools in the AdSense control panel. I specifically asked Google about it and they said sure, no problem, long as the "ads by Google" thing was left alone.
I also agree it depends on the advertisers... you really never know when there will be a "click war" for keywords.