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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

9:17 pm on June 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Weird
I chose large and it gave me medium.

I choose medium and it gives me large.

Total Goggleness!

10:01 pm on June 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Why is it that my accountwide setting is not applied to all of my 300x250 units? They are staunchly showing 4 ads; in small print.
10:32 pm on June 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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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.

11:26 pm on June 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Maybe it is too earlier, but have you noticed a CTR increase due to have lager fonts?
11:29 pm on June 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I haven't, but I only went from small to medium, which doesn't exactly make the ads jump out at people. Also, it's possible that a smaller number of ads (three in a 300 x 250 vs. four, for example) may cancel out any CTR gain from more readable text.
12:49 am on June 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I believe things aren't really working out; I set my account to show medium font. However, on one site my 336x280 is showing large and on my other site my 300x250 is showing small. There's no override in place whatsoever.

CTR is UP though for the 'large' ads.

2:04 am on June 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Seems Google is now making default the size they figure is best for given ad block shape n size; this, plus webmaster controls of font size, still work in progress.
2:51 am on June 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I suspect you might be right. From here [OZ] I don't detect any difference at all having set fonts on one site to medium as an experiment.
3:51 am on June 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

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All works as advertised for me, although there does seem to be some alternation between sizes.

To me the medium and large fonts are pretty close in size. The small is much smaller. This is with the default Verdana. Arial might appear slightly smaller, which may be an option to get more variation.

6:29 am on June 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Pepito, for me, Friday and Saturday (my lowest paying days of the week), have had a 30% increase in CTR and ECPM.

Again, I don't know if this will last, but I'll enjoy it while it does.

I am using large fonts on all my sites, the increases are on all sites.

10:05 am on June 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

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It does for me. Unless of course, you have two search boxes on a page... Then it doesn't validate.

XHTML isn`t even close. Most pages with Adsense show 50 or 60 errors at least.

dc

11:43 am on June 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

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dreamcatcher, you are allowed to alter the closing tags for it to validate. Google does allow this.
6:47 pm on June 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Pepito, I changed my font size to the largest three days ago, and I have had three of the best days I have had since autumn of last year when things really began to tank!

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.

8:02 pm on June 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

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azlinda, me too! My higher CTR and ECPM are with lower impressions. So, earnings are still higher but not as high as they would be if my impressions were "normal".

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).

11:25 pm on June 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I'm running the 300x250 blocks and now every site I own has defaulted to a larger font size. I've changed nothing on the account. I've left it for 24 hours and so far I am sorry to say I've seen a drop in CTR and earnings! I will give it a week and then look at changing it back to the smaller font size. Dam I was looking for an increase!
9:27 am on June 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I'm running the 300x250 blocks and now every site I own has defaulted to a larger font size.

Google has just increased the default font size to 'medium':
[adsense.blogspot.com...]

12:51 pm on June 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Problem is: Numbers are not stable!

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 :-/

1:44 pm on June 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Impossible to say sure how much the new font size is affecting ...

I wouldn't go that far. Show one font size to even IPs, a different one to odd. Simmer for 100k impressions and your answer will be served.

2:34 pm on June 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

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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?)

2:48 pm on June 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

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It's June, summer is starting for half of the world's population,
More like 90% minus whatever percentage lives so close to the equator that it doesn't matter.
3:06 pm on June 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

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@signor_john

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.

3:57 pm on June 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

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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.

4:06 pm on June 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Choose "default" and let Google pick the text size

The point is that it's optional. For the savvy publisher Google offers the chance to select the optimum aesthetic / monetary balance. For that I can think of no fairer way of determining which way to go than that I stated before.

5:34 pm on June 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

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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.

5:54 pm on June 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I just noticed, for 100k+ impressions, when I select small font the earnings increase and CTR falls (big time), but when I switch to the medium font, CTR increases and earnings falls. (CPC is almost same)

Do the ad boxes show less ads when medium font selected?

(edit: small font looks much better on the website)

6:07 pm on June 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

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OK signor_john, I agree we can't know the machinations of Google if you go for default, but it's a good guess it'll benefit them. Question is, long term will it benefit you? There's a chance if I went for large fonts globally in the short term I'd be registering more clicks than a Geiger counter in the midst of a China Syndrome. However, MFA stats and low brand awareness are not what I seek, so surely I need a way to assess the impact properly.

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.

7:12 pm on June 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I hadn't got around to changing the font size even though I was one of the ones that whined about the tiny font.

Thanks Google for giving us the option, and thanks for beating me to my adjustments. The new medium sized default is exactly what I would have chosen for my normal font sized site. :-)

8:08 pm on June 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I just switched mine to arial at medium size. Man is it ugly! Who knows, it might just work tho so I'll give a test run.
9:00 pm on June 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

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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.

FarmBoy

9:58 pm on June 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Right on farmboy! I agree wholeheartedly.
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