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Images above ads to increase ctr

Using images above adsense leaderboard increases ctr

     
11:56 pm on Jul 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Has anyone used the technique of using four images horizontally (related to your page/site) and running a leaderboard ad format underneath?

I've heard folks reporting a 4 fold increase in ctr, but not sure if this technique is against the TOS.

12:02 am on Jul 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I read about this too a couple of hours ago.

Actually I'm not certain about this one. Google might not allow this because you are drawing more attention to the ads.

To get a definite answer it would be best to contact the Google AdSense help team.

12:14 am on Jul 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



There's a huge thread about it on another popular webmaster forum. Apparently the webmaster who came up with this idea emailed google and they said the site complied with program policies.

If the images are context sensitive, I can't see anything wrong with this technique, it seems pretty creative.

If your page is about fast widgets and you have four images of fast widgets at the top of your page, and adsense targetting is spot on, this strategy could be an absolute winner.

But I can also see this technique being open to abuse....Webmasters using unrelated images, or pics with arrows pointing downwards towards the ads.

Is adsense advisor around to confirm if images above ads are ok?

1:27 am on Jul 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

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it will surely violate adsense TOS.
placing image ads will surely distract the visitor
1:51 am on Jul 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Is the idea to place an image ad or to have 4 images above 4 text links in a 728x90 leaderboard?
2:07 am on Jul 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I guess the idea is about placing 4 images in a horizontal fashion and then, just below them, placing either a horizontal leaderboard text ad , or even a leaderboard banner.

I dont think this is against tos . This is normal. I have used it in the past and did not gain anything at all. I removed it and put horizontal adlinks and got a nice ctr jump.

2:15 am on Jul 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I doubt that placing an image above an ad violates the Adsense TOS. If Google itself is telling us to put the biggest ad they have right smack in the middle of the content, they can't exactly complain when someone finds another creative (and non-"Click here to support this site") way to draw the reader's attention to that section of the page.

OTOH, recently I saw a troubling version of this that may have violated the TOS. There was a square of four electronics ads, and lined up beside it to the left, an Amazon-generated column of four pictures of the electronics in question. The ads lined up so neatly that it looked as though the pictures were part of the Adsense ads. I had to roll my mouse over the pictures to figure out that they came from another service. Legal? Illegal?

5:54 am on Jul 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



".....Is the idea to place an image ad or to have 4 images above 4 text links in a 728x90 leaderboard?..."

The latter. The 4 images make the ads look like captions, also the images at the top of the page, drop the leaderboard (borderless) right into the hotspot boosting ctr. It's a lot more effective (in terms of ctr) than just having a 728x90 leaderboard at the top of your page.

".....The ads lined up so neatly that it looked as though the pictures were part of the Adsense ads. I had to roll my mouse over the pictures to figure out that they came from another service. Legal? Illegal?...."

It's a real gray area. I think the idea though is just to get folks to see the ads, after that isn't it up to adsense targetting, and visitor preference whether anyone clicks?

But could this be construed as drawing "undue attention to the ads"? In my opinion no more than placing two borderless large rectangles right in the center of your page.

7:10 am on Jul 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



If this is such an effective idea, why doesn't Google allow advertisers to do it for real?
9:07 am on Jul 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I am that webmaster who posted on another forum (<snip>) about images above ads... I did email G and gave an example of the 728 wide leaderboard ad with 4 images above it, and they said it was OK.

Here is an image of my site before and after this change and how I setup the table:
<snip>

And the full thread which includes image rotation scripts and peoples posts on increased CTR and the such is here:
<snip>

I even at one point made the images fade from one to another using flash, G also said this was OK..

HOWEVER, flashing arrows pointing at the ads would not be OK :) so use common sense.. and in all cases, if you are un-sure, email G, they are quick to reply on these matters AND appreciate people taking the time to comply with the program policies.

[edited by: Jenstar at 1:04 pm (utc) on July 19, 2005]
[edit reason] No screenshots or URLs please, as per TOS [/edit]

9:08 am on Jul 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



<snip>

[edited by: Brett_Tabke at 1:04 pm (utc) on July 19, 2005]
[edit reason] please reread the tos [/edit]

9:09 am on Jul 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Thanks for the clarification, I really like your implementation.
1:00 pm on Jul 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



<snip>
Sorry to rant, especially off topic.

But back on subject, I changed to a similar format on my front page after reading your post on the other "unmentionable" forum. It increased my CT on those ads by 200% but EPC dropped 25%. Still on the plus side though.

[edited by: Jenstar at 7:20 pm (utc) on July 20, 2005]
[edit reason] TOS #24 [/edit]

1:10 pm on Jul 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Yes, a knock on effect is that the earnings per click may go down a bit as smart pricing kicks in.
12:44 pm on Jul 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Okay... I tried this concept out on just ONE page where I thought it would make sense. The results so far? CTR has increased times 7! :-)

For instance, if I was getting a 2% CTR, I'm now getting about 14%. It was an instant phenomenon.

Also -- this is a page where I bring new visitors in through AdWords, so I just need to to gain in exposure and break even.

Looks like I'll have no trouble breaking even now, even if smart pricing kicks in.

I wish I could share it, but it is also a page with tons of identifying information and it would expose all my other sites to scrutiny if I revealed it.

Please don't sticky me... I feel bad enough that I really shouldn't share it!

The four different images are extremely relevant to the topic of the page, and even sometimes match the ads that randomly appear beneath. It is really cool.

5:16 pm on Jul 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Wow. I just placed 4 images, each 75 pixels high, above my 728x90 leaderboard, got an image rotation script going to keep everything looking fresh, and I have instant results.

This will be a record-breaking day, and I'll report back later.

:-)

6:13 pm on Jul 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



No images or graphics are permitted. Also no red and green color fonts for Christmas. I don't know about blending, now I am worried about that. People who add grapics or pics are going to receive at least a warning when Adsense team reviews the site. Me, I am trying to comply with all Adsense rules. Drop the pics and graphics. If you don't believe me, just email the Adsense team through your account. Fast enough you will learn the truth.
6:25 pm on Jul 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I have seen this technique too some time ago, but after checking the TOS again I saw this phrase:

Publishers may not label the ads with text other than "sponsored links" or "advertisements." This includes any text directly above our ads that could be confused with, or attempt to be associated with Google ads.

The "attempt to be asociated Google ads" scared me from using it. It is no doubt that these images are certainly attempting to be associated with the google ads!

I imagine Adsense support will be getting hundreds of requests for permission to use this techniqe in the next days :-)

7:16 pm on Jul 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



>People who add grapics or pics are going to receive at least a warning when Adsense team reviews the site.

Some people have already contacted the AdSense team and they seem to approve this technique.

8:06 pm on Jul 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



As mentioned on a different thread - [webmasterworld.com ] - placing images above AdSense ads is not necessarily prohibited by program policies. However, depending on the method of implementation this could be considered ‘encouraging users to click on ads’.

Encouraging users to click on the Google ads appearing on your site is prohibited by AdSense program policies. The reason for this is to prevent artificial inflation of advertiser costs. This benefits both advertisers and publishers by preserving the integrity of the network, and maintaining its long-term viability.

If you have concerns about whether you have implemented your ads in a way that complies with AdSense program policies, feel free to email us with your URL. A specialist will be happy to conduct a review, and you will not be penalized.

Also, if you notice a site using what might be using images in a deceptive way, please feel free to email us at adsense-abuse@google.com .

-ASA

9:07 pm on Jul 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



No images or graphics are permitted. Also no red and green color fonts for Christmas. I don't know about blending, now I am worried about that. People who add grapics or pics are going to receive at least a warning when Adsense team reviews the site. Me, I am trying to comply with all Adsense rules. Drop the pics and graphics. If you don't believe me, just email the Adsense team through your account. Fast enough you will learn the truth.

I already e-mailed them and was told it was just fine! Perhaps you should e-mail the AdSense team instead of telling others to do so.

If you'd like to see my site, feel free to sticky me.

2:32 pm on Jul 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



If you increase your CTR that way, it may in fact work against you. Think about it. If you make your visitors click more unconsciously on the ads, the advertisers will have significantly low ROI. Smart Pricing could put the overall value of your site dangerously low.

IMO, it is better to have stable 4% CTR with good ROI, than 20% CTR with low ROI. However, I am just speculating here -- let us know what your earnings are after, say, one month.

Good luck!

3:45 pm on Jul 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



well, I decided I'm going to try this on one site & see how it goes... it's my most active site, but w/ just a leaderboard at the very top, and adlinks on the bottom, the CTR was pretty low... I had thought about dropping it down between the header and content, closer to the hot spots, but am afraid of upsetting my faithful membership... (I got complaints when I added Adsense search in that area as newbies may get confused & not know to search the forums, which don't get indexed by G as fast) ...So, I inserted a random image .js include at the top, above the leaderboard, and will see if it helps, or see how many complaints I get... ;)
3:59 pm on Jul 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I think many people are falsely assuming that CTR is the most important indicator of AdSense success. However, the most important one is actually eCPM (or Earnings per Thousand Impressions).

You may have 90% CTR but if you have $5 eCPM (due to SmartPricing applied to your site, because of small ROI), I will be more successful even if I have 5% CTR, because my average eCPM is $30.

So the important question is: How did your eCPM (not CTR) change after 1-2 months after you placed the images above the ads?

9:51 am on Jul 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Can anyone sticky me an example URL of this format?

From the descriptions given I have a very ugly impressions, I must be missing something :)

But the increased earning you guys are stating, I need to find out more about this!

12:09 pm on Jul 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Right........ I have an email from the Adsense team which states: NO GRAPHICS, no pictures. NO CHANGE OF COLOR IN THE PRINT inside the ads. Sorry you are so unaware...But I am on top of this information. YOU need to email the Adsense team and ask. Then you will have to take down all your images and graphics which are NOT permitted because they draw undue attention to the Adsense ads. Time for you to catch on and catch up, buddy. When they review YOUR site, you will get warned and maybe banned. Not me, tho....
12:18 pm on Jul 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I have an email from the Adsense team which states: NO GRAPHICS, no pictures. NO CHANGE OF COLOR IN THE PRINT inside the ads. Sorry you are so unaware...

Guys,, we are talking of pictures OUTSIDE the ads, above the leaderboard!

i guess many people are still thinking of pictures inside the ad code.

-------------

To be on the safer side, i have emailed google and send them my site for review. I shall post what they say. i have put 4 very attracive and hot pictures just above the leaderboard ;)

12:47 pm on Jul 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



roadhazard...a note about no change of color of text within the ads. Google allows this and is available via the color palettes. Not sure how you asked the question to them, but feel this should be corrected.
2:01 pm on Jul 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Im giving this a go... going to start off with images not to inviting, then make them better over time, hopefully this will increase the clicks slowly over a period of time.
5:12 pm on Jul 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



>i have put 4 very attracive and hot pictures just above the leaderboard ;)

Four attractive ladies in bikini? ;)

This 45 message thread spans 2 pages: 45
 

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