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I used to run leaderboard ads in separate blocks before and after the posts in my forum.
I changed it so that the leaderboard ads show just after the first and last post in each thread, with no noticeable improvement.
So after what I thought was a flash of insight, I decided to design the pages with one bordered banner after the first, second and third post in each thread on the forum. The result was:
- More pleasing to the eye, and
- Resulted in a very horrible CTR.
Can anybody offer me insight and perhaps share similar experiences with this issue?
My reasons for not displaying the ads in the same way to users who are logged in may not apply universally - the ads come close to the reply and preview buttons, raising a possibility of accidental clicks, and for people who are participating in the discussion seem to interfere with the flow of the discussion.
An ad after each of the first three posts? Have you considered experimenting with the idea that "less is (or at least can be) more"?
So I have no more ads after posts, anymore. What i have is just like original system except that the ads are now closer to the buttons and links, on both discussion and thread index pages.
I guess I moved in a completely wrong direction, but it was based on the idea that ads right after the first post work well. I don't think Google is emphasizing that anymore.
What you really have to do is experiment based upon available information (including tips from Google's consultant and those on the AdSense site), but also based upon some trial and error, to find what works best on your own site.