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Link units not performing the way they used to

     
1:26 am on Apr 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Happened to notice today that link units hadn't been performing as well as they usually had on my site -- they were once the second-best performing ad unit for my site. Now they've fallen to 4th or 5th and sometimes 6th best, and when I compared March 2012 to March 2011, the difference was pretty dramatic -- and not in a good way.

Any of you guys experiencing the same thing with link units? Do you use them?
1:42 am on Apr 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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They changed it a while back... WITHOUT informing us. (are you listening, Google?)

Since the change, my link units have been earning less. Same now with the search.
6:30 am on Apr 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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What has changed? I haven't been using it for a while..
8:26 am on Apr 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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They changed my colours. And for search, they added silly thumbnails next to the results, maling it slower, as well as altering colours, width size etc.
9:25 am on Apr 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@Lame_Wolf That's probably the Socialist Media effect. Dear Leader Larry wants people to love Google. :)

Regards...jmcc
10:52 am on Apr 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Don't get me started, jmccormac, :)
2:21 pm on Apr 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Mine seem to be mostly okay. I haven't looked in depth yet though.
2:37 pm on Apr 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I never used or liked link units, regardless of payout. Just personal preference.
2:45 pm on Apr 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I saw those silly thumbnails on a normal ad unit once.
3:19 pm on Apr 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I removed all link units a while ago and don't miss them.
7:34 pm on Apr 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I exchanged them for leaderboards a while back and these perform a lot better.
9:32 pm on Apr 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I had miserable results with link units a while back.
And now they are worse?
Glad I chucked them years ago.
.
2:30 pm on Apr 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Mine are generally good, but I'm thinking of giving them in favor of bread crumb links. I have a new design, and I think the bread crumbs will help the users get around, even tho there's obviously no direct income in them. And I don't want to have both, because they'd be too close together and look too similar. Maybe I can find somewhere else to stash link units.
3:20 pm on Apr 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Interesting food for thought, from all of you guys. I don't really know why they've been such a disappointment this year -- I haven't changed anything in my site's design or changed their placement -- but they've been dropping so much that they're making about 25% of what they made so far through April 20 of last year. And this has been a trend that I've been experiencing since the beginning of February, so it's something I've definitely stood up and taken notice of.

I have noticed that the words and phrases Google is populating my link units with seemed to me, at least, that they used to be much more relevant to the content on each page. Now, they seem much more generic for my site as a whole. They're getting clicked a LOT less than they used to, which obviously explains the drop-off in earnings. I wonder if Google is slowly moving away from these, given the changes they've made in their AdSense heat map recommendations over the psat year, or whether advertisers just simply aren't finding them as valuable to purchase as maybe they once did.

The only constant is change, I suppose. ;)
 

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