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Recently I replaced the verical banner with a skyscrapper because it dawned on me that my regular members wouldn't go below the fold 'cause they had the links they wanted above the fold.
But it seems the visitors to my site must be scrolling down the page and giving me extra clicks. Earnings on the home page is up 150% fror January.
So, how many storys are there in the naked city ;-)
But for logged in users, who tend to read an article then spend a lot of time in the comments, that below the fold is the hot area. A banner between the article and the comments, and a skyscrapers spaced down the side depending on the number of comments.
I've also heard from some people that putting an ad at the end of an article or review can pay well, if it is a worthwhile article that people tend to read through to the end.
I've started to experiment with something a little more subtle above the fold, as CTR has started being a bit useless over the last couple of weeks for what I had. Too early for results for the new layout tests.
Often times I find that my ads at the end of articles (below the fold) will out perform ads above the fold in the top left "hot zone".
That's been my experience also, as long as the ads are well targeted. And this is a spot where targeting seems to make a real difference. "Close" targeting simply isn't good enough at the end of an article in my experience.
But these are regular article pages, not forum pages.
My site is an information site with all organic traffic thanks to a high search engine placement. I don't want to have the ads too prominent, so I've been trying to work out a compromise. What I've found is that (on my site) ads placed towards the fold perform as well as ads that are completely "In your face". I've also found that ads below the fold (especially adlinks) tend to perform well too.
I'd suggest that what works for one site may well not work for another, but it's also worth some experimentation to find out where ads work best for you and your visitors. I would certainly do some experimentation with ads below the fold to see if it helps / hinders in your case.
Since most people look to the left hand side for the menu, when their eyes move over to the right, they look over the ad...
I don't get anywhere near as many clicks below the fold.
[edited by: Andy_Peters at 11:42 pm (utc) on Feb. 6, 2007]
If you have two or more ad units don't the ads in the lower units have a lower EPC?
As others have said ad relevance, etc. play big role, however from technical prospective describing ads as "upper" or "lower" ad units is not really accurate / it doesn't mean much. (supposedly) first set of ad units called will be most relevant, and relevance might decrease on subsequent units afterwards. (bunch of other factor come into play but that's not the point).
You can make your page such that first ad unit loaded (called) is placed below the fold, second on the side and third above the fold for example. That means that most relevant ads will be below the fold or "lower ad units" as described in the quotation. So "physical" ad position dosn't necessarily correlate with relevance. Hope this makes sense.
If you have two or more ad units don't the ads in the lower units have a lower EPC? After all, the ads are supposed to be listed in decreasing EPC.
In order to have better results from the lower ads, that must mean that they get a higher CTR than those above the fold.
For instance on my site uses a three column layout. The middle column, which is the content column appears first in the HTML source, followed by the right hand column, which contains the menus. The left hand column that contains the ads is at the bottom of the HTML source.
In my case the my tower AdSense ads that are above the fold are near the end of my HTML source well below the large box AdSense ad that displays well below the fold.
This is with regard to most sites out there and which I believe most of us has. Ads at the bottom of the articles generally do not perform very well for long articles. The majority of visitors are scanners and most of them do not reach the bottom of the article. However, if your articles are short and to the point, having ads at the bottom of your article does work pretty well.
However, if you believe that your visitors do scroll to the end and read your article from head to bottom, saying how good widget X is and the ads do reflect the sale of widget X, then I would say that you got something good going there.
But personally speaking, never have advertisements only below the fold. As a marketer, you want as much of the market share as possible. So why take the risk of people not reading to the end. What I like to do for long articles is to put a "Back to Top" link where the ads are. I did not test it, but it does not seem to decrease my earnings.
I have did a decent amount of testing with regards to ads below the fold. The idea of having ads after a visitor finishes the article is all well and good but it really has to depend on what kind of site it is and what kind of article it is.
In my case last month I earned more money with Google AdSense from the 336x280 ad slot at the end of my articles than I did from the 160x600 ad slot at the top left of my pages. Remember this isn't CPM ads, these are CPC ads, which means I only make money when someone responds to the ads. Given that I earn more money from the bottom ad slot than I do from the above the fold ad slot, this is a pretty good indication that the bottom ad slot is effective on my site.
Did a little analysis over a few different positions and I ended up with a Google heatmap. Guess that means I'm average.
Can see my rectangles reappearing for a bit of testing later to compliment the skyscrapers - I have some long pages and the bottom needs brightening up a little.
But personally speaking, never have advertisements only below the fold. As a marketer, you want as much of the market share as possible. So why take the risk of people not reading to the end.
We present ads exclusively below the fold, generally at the very end of articles. Whether ads appear in the middle of a long article or at the very end seems to make little difference over the long run. Never experimented with ads at the top pages that do well because we believe they impact organic growth (ie, other webmasters become reluctant to link, regardless of the quality). Around a year ago, we tried ads in the well publicized hot spot at the top of the page on some high traffic pages that performed poorly with Adsense anywhere else. Didn't make a difference, like somebody already mentioned, targetting and subject matter are the critical measures.
For those whose ads perform well below the fold, I reckon that their sites are either product information or an extremely niche and information rich articles. This ensures that your visitors are not just browsers, but people who know what they want and will read an article all the way to the end.
If your visitors are like that, then ads below the fold will do well because they are in an extremely powerful position. However, if your articles are mostly for "entertainment", for bored visitors during their lunch break who spend their time clicking on interesting links, making them stick out will have a higher possibility of getting a decent CTR.