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More control for what appears on our sites is always better for us.
On my 728 leaderboard... one advertiser stretched more horizontally and leaving lots of white space.
Even though I have the 4 images above, I think this is a GREAT development. It caught my attention! You never see a google ad in this format, so it is one more way to alleviate ad blindness in a new way.
The only drawback I can see is offering your visitors less choices. But on the plus side, the highest paying ad would be displaying.
Adsense is a great program - make no mistake. The targetting overall is pretty good, but it can also be hopelessly wrong - and when it is, it reduces my income dramatically. Recently Adsense has decided that acne treatments are the most relevant ads on my site. My site is a tightly focussed miche site, and has nothing whatsoever in common with acne treatments. Thank goodness for the block list.
The other failing is that the bot decides what ads to place based on what google *thinks* will be the best return - not on highest bid price. Hence we see the Ebay stupidity and scrapers displayed instead of real ads that have good bids based on ctr and percieved value. This doesn't work well in many niche sites, and by getting rid of made for adsense, scrapers, ebay etc. that are totally mis-targetted I've acheived a much improved $$ figure, much improved cpc and ecpm.
The thought of the bot deciding to squeeze good payers out of my prime ad block that accounts for nearly 80% of my revenue, and fill it with totally irrelevant ads based on what the algo *thinks*, is rather horrifying!
If I have four ads displayed, at least one of them is likely to be for a real product / service!
Iím glad to hear that some of you have already seen these ads appearing! Let us know how it goes.
Also, at least until recently, I have suffered from chronically low CTR. I am somewhat concerned that by decreasing the number of displayed ads --> fewer ad choices --> lower CTR --> lower overall revenue, despite the fact that the remaining displayed ads are higher paying.
In other words, what if (perhaps paradoxically) my site visitors tend to click on the lower-ranked, lower-paying ads and (for some strange reason) don't tend to click, or don't click at all, on the higher-ranked, higher-paying ads? After pruning the lower-ranked ads, the very ads my site visitors click on in much greater number (hypothetically), I may be left with ads that don't induce clicks. Sometimes, more is more!
I haven't seen this in action yet, but I second the request for it to be made optional... And I don't like having changes to the appearance of my pages made without being warned!
I've seen a number of single-ad leaderboards on my site (dating back to the introduction of site-targeted CPM ads), and I think the concerns stated here are overblown. The ads aren't overpowering by any stretch of the imagination, and if a bit of visual variety helps to prevent "ad blindness," how can that be a bad thing? I can't envision the ads being a problem for anyone except publishers who are using small fonts and other tricks to blur the difference between AdSense and site content.
One of my smaller sites with normally higher CTR has dropped way low. I checked on it and about every other page view the 728 leaderboard drops down to one ad.
When it is 4 ads, the eye is drawn to them. I have NO images above them or anything... they just stand out nicely.
When it drops to one ad, it is hardly noticeable.
Please do make this optional! EEEEK!
I have been working hard to tweak, but now I can't even plan how the ads will look. I will be sad if the CTR continues to drop on this site... it is one where I was not going to implement images. It was doing fine.
In all, I don't think I like this change one bit. It's hitting me in the wallet. And the only way I can think of to work around it is to completely redesign my site to fit other AdSense ad unit formats.
I haven't read up on this so don't shoot me down.
How does the AdWords cost/Adsense revenue for this compare to a leader board image ad?
My first thought was also on the images not lining up correctly anymore ;)
Had a very good day's stats Friday though. Clicks down as usual on a Friday, CTR down marginally, but cpc, ecpm and earnings were up substantially! I really would love some reporting tool on this new feature just to see if the increase was due to the new feature, or due to all the Gods conspiring to shine on me - temporarily of course :)
Please make these "experiments", into new Ad units (options), so ongoing webmaster optimization experiments can be completed without disruption.
Any optimization test that any publisher was trying to make is now invalid. Most publishers have learned that one week is an absolute minimum time to test, a month would be better. These Adsense experiments are showing up more than once a month now (Don't forget all the Adwords experiments and Google Search engine algo experiments). I'm sure if Adsense just introduced new Ad units there would be many volunteers loading them up at an appropriate time for that publisher.
Google Adsense of course does have a contract that says they can do anything they want; doesn't mean they should though. With new Ad units Adsense could conduct multiple concurrent experiments, then profile which Ad units work on various types of sites, truly achieving some site specific optimization. Global experiments achieve very little if one type of site benefits while another type of site looses; which appears to be the case.
Since the date of the announcement
CTR----- Down 2X
ECPM---- Down 3X
Revenues Down 3X
Adsense will probably make two more tweaks to this experiment (without telling us), so 7 days per experiment x 3 experiments = 21 days to stability, about Aug 25th. It could be by then the numbers will be back up.