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AdSense Font Size Mania

AdSense now lets you change the font size of your text ads

     
8:40 pm on Jun 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

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When we released new font choices [webmasterworld.com] a few months ago, the biggest piece of feedback we heard was that you'd like some control over font sizes as well. That was tough for me because we were already working on it but I wasn't allowed to tell you.

I also wanted to give you a heads up that soon we'll be setting the default font size a little bit bigger based on your feedback that sometimes the text ads on your page are hard to read. I'll keep you posted.

Anyway, VOILA! You can now experiment with font sizes for the text ads in your account. There are more details in the blog post we put out on the topic.

Enjoy!

ASA

8:25 pm on June 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

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New created ads need some 10 minutes to appear.
9:48 pm on June 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I switched to a site wide "medium" size font. Looks better where it appears.

Mostly I use a 300x250 ad block. They often shows only 1 or 2 ads on my site, but can hold 4 of course.

I like the way the font size is automatically scaled to match the number of ads showing. Or am I imagining that?

9:54 pm on June 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Hey WolfLover, I can't find the setting in Admanager.

I looked in default adsense settings and individual ad settings.

9:57 pm on June 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

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what i've noticed is that the preview ad in the control panel doesn't change if you select the different font sizes. maybe you should fix that.

Yup. A quick fix is in the works for the preview. I hope it's not too much of an inconvenience in the meantime.

Thanks for the great feedback! The team who's been working so hard on this will be happy to hear you like having the ability to change your font sizes.

ASA

10:29 pm on June 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

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karkadan,

Thanks.. they showed up after getting some coffee.

ASA... nice job.. thank you

11:42 pm on June 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Great feature.

I did notice that for the leaderboard (720x90) ad unit, when setting arial to medium, the arial remains small (perhaps due to inherent space limitations).

Otherwise, all else works great.

11:53 pm on June 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

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One more thing: If you're desperate for a preview of the new font sizes, here's an example [1.bp.blogspot.com] of what the different sizes would look like in a 336x250 ad block.

ASA

<edit> 300x250 --> 336x250 </edit>

[edited by: AdSenseAdvisor at 12:03 am (utc) on June 19, 2009]

12:06 am on June 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Not to be too much of a web blanket but who's to say that folks won't soon, and simply, go blind to the ever larger ad sizes?

If you make the ads bigger won't more people, all the more quickly, get the feeling that your site is about the ads, not the visitor experience or the content?

I'd approach this cautiously.

I'd make an exception for those who, like me, are getting to the point where smaller font sizes are difficult or impossible to read. Is that your demographic? Us geezers? If so, larger ads might be easier to read, but still, if you design pages using 3 ad placements those same ads will now scream all the louder:

It's the ads that matter, not the content!

[edited by: Webwork at 12:09 am (utc) on June 19, 2009]

12:09 am on June 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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If you make the ads bigger

This doesn't make the ads bigger, it just makes the font bigger.

12:11 am on June 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Which makes the feel or the presence of the ads a bit more . . conspicuous, . . doesn't it? Which in turn, at least to my eyes, makes the ads themselves appear larger, more conspicuous, more prominent. Which I guess is the point, isn't it?

All I'm saying is that the upside may be packaged with a downside. Sure, for awhile, some will likely experience an increased CTR, but that may be followed by a slow slide to a point below the starting point.

Larger font sizes likely make sense if applied judiciously, not automatically, perhaps cognizant of your visitor demographics, etc.

[edited by: Webwork at 12:14 am (utc) on June 19, 2009]

12:27 am on June 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Larger font sizes

On my site the medium font size appears to be, oh say 12pt, large might be what 14pt or maybe 16?

Not exactly SCREAMING big. :)

I doubt that what are essentially normal content and headline font sizes are going to drive away anyone. :)

12:55 am on June 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I think for certain ad formats (ie - 336x280) the font size was already pretty small and hard to read when they showed the maximum ads.

So with this new feature, our ads in this size range are very easy to read now using the "medium" size.

1:35 am on June 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I don't have an option to set it in my Ad Manager either.
1:36 am on June 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Ya, Medium ain't bad but the LARGE EXAMPLE [1.bp.blogspot.com] looks a bit too . . cheesy?

Insert collective groan --> here. :P

[edited by: Webwork at 1:38 am (utc) on June 19, 2009]

2:41 am on June 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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With the increasing pixels on screen and thus the generally smaller characters on the screen, I think that anyone over 50 was having a hard time seeing the small fonts (at least I do).

cheesy! ya! they look great on my page about imported cheeses :)

3:00 am on June 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Ken,

Not exactly SCREAMING big. :)

I wouldn't have thought you wanted to be right in your visitors faces!

4:21 am on June 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Yay! The large size looks to be the same as Google uses, which is just what I want. Thanks so much ASA.

[edited by: Play_Bach at 4:30 am (utc) on June 19, 2009]

5:22 am on June 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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perhaps adwords folks complained about their CTR going down the tubes over the last few months.. My CTR has certainly declined on the adsense stats.

This evenings results so a significant increase in ctr after enlarging the fonts a bit.

7:09 am on June 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I just found overall setting via My Account - Ad Display Preference
Ad Manager took me to screen where I could edit individual ad blocks.

Before changing, quick look at a page, and already seemed to be medium (or large) text in a square block, but small text in a small horizontal block.
As if Google had made some changes here.

9:57 am on June 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Medium is certainly performing way better than small. Yippee!
1:35 pm on June 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Anyone else noticed that 728x90 format with 4 ads does not show increased font size? The font size increases only with 3 ads in that unit.
1:43 pm on June 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Does the font size change also apply to link units?

If you have a 728 x 15 link unit would you need to change it from 5 links to 4 links to get the larger font size?

FarmBoy

--------

Update: zdgn - you and I must have been thinking the same thing about the same time.

1:58 pm on June 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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This is a great option to have for all publishers. However, one thing I have noticed is that in the 768 by 90 the number of ad are reduced to two when the fint is large. I know it won't fit to have 4, but 3 should fit quite well since there is some open space to the right side when there are only two ads.

I will be grateful if it can boost my overall CTR account-wide 1-2% as this should boost revenue significantly.

2:05 pm on June 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Before changing, quick look at a page, and already seemed to be medium (or large) text in a square block, but small text in a small horizontal block.
My blocks now have larger font but the 468x60px text banner still has the same font size.
2:06 pm on June 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Let's hope the larger font gets more Click Throughs!

Its likely to backfire in some cases. Generally I don`t mind Adsense, its fairly none obstrusive. But larger fonts? Larger font ads will end up in AdBlock. :p

dc

2:23 pm on June 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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There is no doubt that larger fonts may work in the short-term but could backfire for some in terms of potential "banner blindness," though as a programmer/web developer for many years knowing many in the field, I do not know that many people who use AdBlock and am pretty sure most average users don't use such products (this excellent forum tends to be overloaded with programmers/developers, "power users," and the overly-paranoid).

Now if corporations start to use Adblock or the like en masse, then the many who "browse" while at work (and the quantity of people who browse unrelated content while at work has always been astonishing to me) may not see such ads.

2:24 pm on June 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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In the past when you had a block with room for 4 ads but only 1 ad was showing, didn't AdSense automatically increase the size of the text for that 1 ad?

I seem to remember complaints from publishers that the increased text size made their pages look bad.

FarmBoy

3:12 pm on June 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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The thing with 728x90 is that the number of ads inside this unit keep changing. I get 3 and 4 ads on it on various pages.

The default font for this unit is Verdana, so I changed the setting to Medium Arial. Now the unit with 4 ads has teeny weeny Arial. But the 3-ad unit has large(r) fonts. Haven't been able to reproduce the 2-ad unit for this format yet.

The 728x90 unit with default Verdana has same font size as 468x60. So if, per se, 468x60 can accommodate larger Arial, 728x90 can too (minus the url, which is one of the unique features of 468x60).

Update: zdgn - you and I must have been thinking the same thing about the same time.

I know! :) Though I think you were referring to 728x15 link unit as well.

[edited by: zdgn at 3:27 pm (utc) on June 19, 2009]

3:13 pm on June 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Unless there's a stats delay, I'm showing a horrible response to the Large setting. Yesterday prior to changing font size, I had above average earnings. Then I changed the size to Large only to wake up and find the bad news. I'm now trying Medium.

[edited by: Play_Bach at 3:14 pm (utc) on June 19, 2009]

3:29 pm on June 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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whohoo!

16% CTR that 3X of normal with large!

My sites are just designed to do better with larger ad copy.

Now I don't have to go out and get that day job.

I am clicking my heels together, "there's no place like Adsense, there's no place like Adsense.

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