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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.
The difference in appearance is pretty subtle. I didn't even notice the change in type size at first--I just noticed that I was seeing three instead of four ads. Still, the medium-font version is more readable in a side-by-side comparison, and that could be helpful to sites that have a lot of visitors who are over 40.
Absolutely. 300x250's 3-ad variation has slightly larger fonts, but that variation occurs randomly according to which page G decides to show only 3 ads on. This slightly large font-size is actually the default font size for the original 160x600 and 120x600 - and not the 'new' larger/bolder fonts that have just been implemented.
I did notice one thing, however. The higher my CTR and eCPM go, fewer impressions are shown (under normal). I've wondered about this for a very long time.
I hope this increase is not over and that "stats were stuck" this morning, but before I left the house for church this morning, the stats were very grim, low impressions, low CTR and low ECPM. Hope it is back to normal, but I don't check my adsense account from anywhere but home. (I am on my laptop right now).
It's June, summer is starting for half of the world's population, schools ending in many places, holidays starting, many ad-campaigns are ending, some ad-campaigns are starting... Impossible to say sure how much the new font size is affecting or how much earnings change because of the seasonal variation :-/
Show one font size to even IPs, a different one to odd. Simmer for 100k impressions and your answer will be served.
If that's a valid approach, maybe Google should consider doing it. (Google doesn't serve ads blindly--it calculates likely earnings when deciding whether to serve CPC or CPM ads, for example--so why not adjust font sizes based on how they're known to perform on a given site, page, or ad unit?)
Of course Google could do that, but I imagine many publishers would pull their ads. If ours were served as large they'd be gone in a heartbeat.
Google already has the solution in place: Choose "default" and let Google pick the text size, or choose "small," "medium," or "large" to override Google's choice.
The point is that it's optional.
Yes, and it would remain optional if "default" let Google pick the optimum size based on performance as well as on whatever criteria Google is using now. I'm not suggesting that the three publisher-dictated font choices ("small," "medium," or "large") should be eliminated.
Do the ad boxes show less ads when medium font selected?
(edit: small font looks much better on the website)
So back to my original point, comparing weekly or monthly stats introduces too many variables, many site owners implement an AB approach -- some use randomizers, I prefer basing action on IP addresses -- so I was proposing what I consider to be a reliable way alephh could assess font size implementation. It works for us, but we're always open to constructive comments in the hope it may lead to an even more reliable way.
Man is it ugly!
There has been lots of discussion about ugly sites performing better with AdSense.
And then again - maybe ugly is in the eyes of the beholder.
About a year ago I read a blog that was written in large blue type. I thought it was ugly and amateurish at first. But the blogger is a good writer and writes about topics that interest me, so I've been going back there several times a week and actually enjoy the text size now.
A few weeks ago I converted an entire site of mine over to larger text - not just ads - the entire text of the site.
The results have been stunning.
Now YMMV, but it's just something else to consider.