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AdSense Adding Black borders around ads

no no no

   
6:08 pm on Aug 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I really can't stand it when Google try new things with adsense.

I am seeing Black borders around some of my ads every now and again. First with the various fonts, now with this. So much for nicely integrated subtle ads - eck so ugly.

I'm using the same ad code on the page and after refreshing about 1 in 20 have this black border.

Anyone else seeing this on their ads?

6:17 pm on Aug 14, 2008 (gmt 0)



Maybe somebody died?
6:23 pm on Aug 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Yes - the designer at google who they used to run these ideas by ;)
6:38 pm on Aug 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



Oh I thought I messed with the CSS again. Glad to hear it wasn't me.
8:37 pm on Aug 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



I'm not seeing the black-border ads at all. For one thing, when I refresh, I see the same ads. So I clicked on 20 pages, and still did not see any black-border ads.

Two thoughts -
I think it's most likely related to the type of ad. I am running mostly 120x240 text box and 120x600 text box. If anyone is seeing black borders, what type of ad is it?

Another thought is that they could be experimenting with some sites, rather thna the whole network. I think the ad type is more likely though.

10:17 pm on Aug 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



yes, i see those borders
120x600 ads
10:21 pm on Aug 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I dont see them on my site....
and I have the 120 x 600 ad blocks

[edited by: Reno_Chris at 10:21 pm (utc) on Aug. 14, 2008]

10:30 pm on Aug 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I notice the border show up every once in a while too.

Doesn't really bother me though cause it doesn't make my design any better or worse and it might actually be helping CTR.

11:13 pm on Aug 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I just saw it. Yuck.

Probably another experiment to catch one's eyes.

11:30 pm on Aug 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

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yes, another experiment. i have dark background all over on my sites and now i get bright flashy borders around my dark 728x90 ad boxes from time to time. looks awful and unprofessional and destroys my design completely. i don't mind a few tests here and there, but google, that's definitely too much unasked intervention. i chose dark borders with good reason to fit the ads in my pages. the few bucks it might bring along go hand in hand with users who are deterred for life by the intrusive appearance. stop it now!
11:36 pm on Aug 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ken_b is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Anyone seeing these already specify a border on the ads? Or are they just adding a border to borderless ads?
11:41 pm on Aug 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

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i have a defined dark border with color code.

[edited by: moTi at 11:42 pm (utc) on Aug. 14, 2008]

12:20 am on Aug 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Anyone seeing these already specify a border on the ads? Or are they just adding a border to borderless ads?

Yes, I just saw one on a 300x350 with a defined border color.

12:29 am on Aug 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ken_b is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



I haven't seen one of these yet, but it doesn't sound pleasant. Especially if they are adding a second border.
12:32 am on Aug 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Anyone seeing these already specify a border on the ads? Or are they just adding a border to borderless ads?

Aha! A clue... Good catch.

My ads are specifically without border, and none of them have the black border. It might not be an experiment after all. It could simply be a "glitch" where AdSense is displaying the wrong color under certain conditions.

12:45 am on Aug 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I emailed yesterday and got this reply.

Thank you for your email and the screenshot you supplied.

I have reviewed the page #*$!x.com and can see that there is
no longer a border around the ad, its is very strange indeed that this
appears randomly. Please ensure that the code that you have on the
page does not have borders included on it.

If you see this again please reply to this email with the exact URL on
which it appears.

If I email them same website again I am sure they are not to see it because its randomly appearing on all pages.

12:52 am on Aug 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ken_b is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



If I email them same website again I am sure they are not to see it because its randomly appearing on all pages.

Send a screen shot if you see it again.

That's always a good idea when talking about the way ads look, and sometimes helps even with targeting issues.

12:56 am on Aug 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Seeing the same type of $##@ here... Borders appearing sporadically around borderless ads. Is this google's way of saying 'thou shalt not blend'? If so, don't unsightly borders attract 'unwanted' attention to ads? Or maybe there's a slight glitch in the system.
3:01 am on Aug 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Seeing them on our sites for a few days to. Solid black border rotating every 30 or so pvs, its a obvious test of some sort.
3:42 am on Aug 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



it definitely looks like one of their tests. typical rotation frequency like they do with the alternate fonts, arrows and so on.

when they state this is strange in the response email, obviously the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing at the plex. or they won't admit that this was a naughty idea.

ken_b, they are not adding a second border. at least on my sites, they set the border color randomly to the font color. haven't seen it today, but in the last few days.

i could imagine, that they are testing the ctr effects of this network wide with a quick "hit and run" test. low frequency and short period so that many publishers don't notice but large enough sample to get valid results.

[edited by: moTi at 3:55 am (utc) on Aug. 15, 2008]

4:19 am on Aug 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Saw one today on a 468x60 text only ad...no borders specified on ad with my setup. Have not seen them on any other ads.
4:33 am on Aug 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



I just saw it too. REALLY POOR. Most of my ads are borderless, and on one site, I add my own borders, to make them match the other elements of the page. This would really screw the look of that up (a box in a box).

If this is a "feature" and not a glitch, I'll have to do 5 site redesigns. I may be moving on to another ad system...

5:01 am on Aug 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I believe google, in an interest to maintain their integrity and avoid allowing adsense users to engage in deceitful activity, test new methods occasionally to prevent site visitors from being unethically deceived into clicking an ad. I think it is fair enough... Google doesn't want to become known as the company where advertising isn't worth it because someone's paying for worthless clicks.

It seems fair to me, perhaps slightly inconvenient, but the webmasters need to engage in ethical ad placement if they don't want google taking more control over how ads are displayed.

5:14 am on Aug 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



It's simply not right when you sign up to get one thing and are delivered another. Many of us have built sites around a very specific look and feel, and one of the big selling points of Google Adsense is that they allow us, in fact, encourage us, to customize the look of the ads to work best within the design of our sites. They've promised that, and now they're reneging on that promise.

If they want us to stop blending, fine. I can adapt the look of my sites to better cope with this new restriction, or leave adsense. But this intermittent testing is just unfair to us publishers who are following the rules and trying to play within the system.

5:41 am on Aug 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I saw it yesterday not black but a different colour. Was surprised but did not look all that bad.
5:50 am on Aug 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



It is annoying when you have a design and choose ads that work with it. Then they just throw your own preferences out the window to test something.
7:17 am on Aug 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I don't mind it if it makes me more money. It's a good thing google is doing something that I should be doing -- experimenting to see what will work for my site. :)
9:55 am on Aug 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



Good thread. It's good to know that Google is conducting tests. That's a clear motivation for us to check our ad design, ensuring that the border is different from the background). Looks better, too, in our case (but we were too lazy to implement this for all ad blocks - until now!) :-)
2:05 pm on Aug 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I've trusted Google for 5 years now with Adsense... I will trust them on their testing. I am probably one of the few left that still believe Google tries to improve publisher's profitability (and their own pockets at the same time of course).

;-)

2:08 pm on Aug 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



First I thought someone hacked into my account because clearly my ads do not have a border. If it was a glitch, fine. But if it was a test, I think it would be nice to know it beforehand, or even better, I would have gladly participated.
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