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Blended AdLink with navigation

300% CTR increase

     
9:25 pm on Mar 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I have used for months a LinkUnit unit on the main page of my site, without much success.

A few hours ago I placed it just below the navigation, and selected for it a color similar to that of the navigation buttons, so now it is totally blended.

Result: 300% CTR increase for this unit.

However, I'm not sure if I will keep it. I have read that Google agrees with blending LinkUnits with the rest of the page, but I would love to hear your opinion on this.

The only think I worry about is the potentially low quality clicks coming from this unit for advertisers, maybe resulting in smart pricing for me... I like to believe that I have a quality website that converts well for my advertisers.

Please share your thoughts on "aggressive LinkUnit blending". :)

9:37 pm on Mar 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Most likely it will increase income slightly but then smartpricing wil put it back where it was a feww weeks or months later.
9:45 pm on Mar 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I didn't find matching the ads format to the page made any difference. Strategic placement of the ad block did though. Nor have I found contrasting backgrounds to make any difference personally. I know it does work for some though.

Repeat visitors are important - the importance of them I think is underestimated by a lot of people (including google) and if the blending amounts to tricking people into clicking then they won't come back. Nor will they make a purchase, so smartpricing will penalise. However, if the blending isn't intended to trick visitors into clicking and it's increased clicks, hopefully smartpricing won't come into play (any more than is usual anyway), and you will retain repeat visitors.

10:05 pm on Mar 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Over a year ago I did an experiment where I moved an ad block from the right-hand column to the left-hand side below and seperate from the navigation links. I also made the background a different color from the rest of the page to prevent them from being copnfused with with the navigation. CTR and total income tripled on that site within minutes and it's still doing great today. That site alone now pulls in $6,000 / month.

Having the ads on the left instead of the right seems to be the magic elixir, not the proximity to the navigation links.

10:59 pm on Mar 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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great, trick the visitor into clicking an ad, that the probably didn't go to anyway, and watch all of our payouts continue downhill.
3:01 pm on Mar 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

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REMEMBER- With LinkUnits there is another step in the process, Google's "landing page" were the searcher MUST make further "commitment" of interest to the advertisers by choosing which of the ads displayed to click... OR ignore all the ads and "back out of the deal" by hitting the back button of their browser and returning to the web site's page they were initially viewing.

In essence, this action is better qualifying the "leads" for advertisers as the web surfer must use more effort & display more commitment to view each "AdLink" advertisement. (imho)

So the notion of "blending" or "deceptive blending" shouldn't be much of a factor, as the surfer has the option of NOT continuing further to the advertiser's web site during the intermediate stage of the process.

Because of this, I would think that these ads should be worth just as much, if not more as regular AdSense text ads to AdSense Publishers (imho)

4:12 pm on Mar 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I would think that these ads should be worth just as much, if not more as regular AdSense text ads to AdSense Publishers

I disagree, but in any case, there are other issues to be considered, too, such as the impression that your site gives to users, the press, people who might link to you, etc. Just the other day, I was considering a link to a travel site but decided against it because the site had three AdSense units on each page and the ads were blended into the editorial content. To me, the site just looked sleazy, and I didn't want to give it an implicit endorsement with a link.

4:25 pm on Mar 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

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In the meantime I've switched back to my usual, not deceivingly blended, link unit.

I get a lot of return visitors on my site and I’m beginning to be a serious player in my niche. I think the best way is to play fair and maintain a quality, squeaky clean website.

Of course after switching back CTR dropped where it first was, but that's ok.

8:40 pm on Mar 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I was considering a link to a travel site but decided against it because the site had three AdSense units on each page and the ads were blended into the editorial content. To me, the site just looked sleazy, and I didn't want to give it an implicit endorsement with a link.

Exactly - one of the reasons I block MFA's. I don't want to be associated with irrelevant sites ads that are frustrating for visitors.

11:57 pm on Mar 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Good choice, keep the sites nice and clean! I have some searious housecleaning to do on some sites I haven;t touched in a while, and yet I still wonder why they don't make more... silly me.
 

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