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Do AdSense Link Units Have a Lower EPC?

     
1:13 am on Sep 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

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No matter where on the page I place them, I've found that link units pay less per click as compared to regular ad units. Is this typical or is it just my site?

I would have thought that link units would have a higher EPC because two clicks (one on the link unit and one on the ad) are required, which could indicate greater shopping motivation in the ad clicker.

1:30 am on Sept 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Since links units show a wide variety of ads and not just the best performing / highest paying ones, the average EPC is indeed often very low.
1:45 am on Sept 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

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That said, I did have a click on one for $2.84 yesterday, judging from one of my channel reports.
2:11 am on Sept 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I have link units on a few of my pages. I have mixed feelings about them. Sometimes they pay well, other times they don't even cover the costs of the bandwith to show them.

My other gripes about link units [I hope ASA is reading this] are :

1: Unable to alter the colors of the results page. Not everyone wants a white background, and if your site has a dark background, then it looks odd when a white page appears.

2: Some adverts [and categories] that appear are *so* way off topic.

3: No option to filter out link unit categories or sites.

2:32 am on Sept 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I find that link units work in places where adblocks don't, and vice versa.

I also find that it can take MONTHS before they really get the right focus--the algo seems to try out different things related to my site's keywords and gradually zeroes in on the right mix.

EPC is about the same as for adblocks, overall, and they're earning where adblocks don't, so I like them.

Lame_Wolf, some responses:

1. That's not exactly the problem as I see it. The results page isn't necessarily white, but it's set to match the background of the link unit. You can give the link unit a dark background, and then you'll get a dark background on the results page. You can't have a color on the link unit and white on the results, though.

2. Give it time, and be sure to use the code that lets you tell the bot to emphasize or ignore sections of the page.

3. Not true. Yes, you can't filter out categories, but if a site is in your filter, that applies to link units just as well as regular ads.

2:59 am on Sept 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

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1. That's not exactly the problem as I see it. The results page isn't necessarily white, but it's set to match the background of the link unit. You can give the link unit a dark background, and then you'll get a dark background on the results page. You can't have a color on the link unit and white on the results, though.

Lame_Wolf must be still using the old code. The new one takes the color theme of the ad unit, with often bad results when applied on a full page, so for a few sites, unfortunately, I still have to use the old code to get the classic colors. Ideally, the ad unit and the links page should be independently controlled.

3:43 am on Sept 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

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purplecape:

1. That's not exactly the problem as I see it. The results page isn't necessarily white, but it's set to match the background of the link unit. You can give the link unit a dark background, and then you'll get a dark background on the results page. You can't have a color on the link unit and white on the results, though.

This must be a new thing then. I will have a look once I have written this. I know you can alter the look of the link units, but peeved me off that there was no control on how the results page looked.

2. Give it time, and be sure to use the code that lets you tell the bot to emphasize or ignore sections of the page.

These were on the pages for some time [months] and finally removed them. For some reason it - from the beginning till their removal - were showing topics not related or mentioned on my site.

3. Not true. Yes, you can't filter out categories, but if a site is in your filter, that applies to link units just as well as regular ads.

Thing is, my adsense for search has far fewer off topic or mfa sites than my link units do. Some have improved over time [I just looked].

plh
Lame Wolf

4:03 am on Sept 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Lame_Wolf must be still using the old code. The new one takes the color theme of the ad unit, with often bad results when applied on a full page

Yes I am using the old code. I didn't realise that link units had an update too. Thanks for the HU.

I have just created a test page and it works :)
Only downside is the google logo. Horrid white background. Shame it could pick a closer color to mine [#000000]

Here is a tip for people. Some [if not many] will already know, but may help some...

As you know it can take up to 10 minutes to show an advert. This isn't good if it is a new channel and your background color isn't white. All you will get it white boxes and looks bad.

The way around it is ... to make sure you are online, then open the page locally for about 10 minutes and the adverts appear.
Now upload them to your server and adverts appear straight away.

I hope that helps.

plh
Lame Wolf

4:21 am on Sept 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Some have improved over time [I just looked].

Just saying that, I looked again at one of them while testing this new code.
Still shows the wrong kind of adverts.

For example, one of the categories the google has chosen is "cherokee language" yet the results still show adverts for cherokee cars and jeeps along with related sites.

I shouldn't need to filter out such sites. This should be done at googles end. Why are they relating cherokee cars for cherokee language ? It shouldn't be hard for them to fix this kind of problem.

Good job the site isn't about Polo <G>

7:20 am on Sept 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

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The Link units have about 75% EPC from my 300x250 and 336x280 units.

But did You also caclulate earning per pixel?

I mean for the small space, link units have a very good earning.

11:29 am on Sept 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

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We use them to supplement our income on pages where we could fit another ad. But a second ad box looks a little to spammy. Having one of each offers the users typically a better variety of ads.

True we earn less from the link unit, but as a secondary ad unit, it earns more than any ad box we tried in the same spot.

2:28 pm on Sept 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Here an overview over the last 1/2 year

AdLink in navigation
120x90 $5541 = $0,513 per Pixel

Ad in navigation
300x250 $7941 = $0,100 per Pixel

Big ad at bottom
336x280 $6876 = $0,078 per Pixel

Second Adlink at Bottom
160x90 $944 = $0,065 per Pixel

9:01 am on Sept 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

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jetteroheller, earnings per pixel is an interesting way to analyze this. :)

On a related note, it's been recommended that link units are a good for placing in the footer as a last ditch effort to monetize a visitor who may be bouncing out anyway.

1:03 pm on Sept 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Do AdSense Link Units Have a Lower EPC?

For me, quite simply, yes. I only use 1 x leaderboard and 1 x AdLinks unit across all my sites and keep a standardised layout for them all which can be directly compared as Core site 1 and 2.

These are my AdLinks V Leaderboard EPC comparisons for 2008:

Core site 1 -22.58%
Core site 2 -31.73%

Interestingly though my CTRs are superior with AdLinks:

Core site 1 +31.61%
Core site 2 +44.49%

Thus in comparsion overall earnings are:

Core site 1 52.08% Leaderboard
Core site 2 52.85% AdLinks

In general I find AdLinks pretty well targetted but my much lower EPC is frustrating however I would not remove them. I have used them from when they were first introduced and the earnings from them have consistently been in the 50% region.

2:22 pm on Sept 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Now, on my halloween sites (that I mentioned in the post about blending) the ad links so far outperform the 728x90 leaderboard, it's amazing. I don't see that on any other site or series of sites, just these.

These are the only sites I have that are on a black background - all the others are white. I wonder if that makes a difference?