I'm seeing a slight spike in earnings since the beginning of the week, July 21st. The cross scripting events were reported to me on the 22nd. I added something to my htaccess and couldn't reproduce the event again, so hopefully that's all worked out.
on the one hand, even small changes like that create attention and are indeed capable of increasing ctr, although slightly.
on the other hand, i'm already noticing amateurish designed favicons that leave a bad esthetical impression of the advertiser, but also of my website.
it's like image ads (which i have turned off for this reason among others) on a small scale. that's the drawback of permitting everyone and his dog to advertise directly on their own through google. it means also that mom and pop feel called to do it cheap and take over the creative work on their own - even if they really shouldn't. the result in this case is an overall unprofessional look.
but still i find the idea quite tolerable - relatively decent and won't do that much harm.
If you see an increase in CTR: Lets hope that if you see an increase in CTR it doesn't lead to lost rankings in Google. It's possible that if this adsense change significantly improves your ad CTR then your visitor metrics will suffer and bounce rate will increase. When that happens it's possible that Google, in turn, lowers the perceived value of your site. For that reason I am extremely unhappy with the less than 24 hour official notice before this was activated, it's just been bumped to the top of the list of things to monitor. Rankings are a fickle thing.
I'm somewhat worried about colorful favicons on dark unit backgrounds since these jump out at you significantly. That and we all know that the adsense team and search team do not work closely together(emails saying add more units leading to lost rankings etc).
Interestingly it looks like the spammers have already caught on. I'm seeing some extremely well recognized logos next to totally unheard of domains.
Actually Google is using the favicon it has associated with the site so if the spam site was using another companies favicon it will display it in advertising. I have a feeling that favicons beside ads will suddenly become a hot topic on a legal front, companies like Amazon, eBay and Microsoft do not appreciate anyone confusing possible customers using their highly copyright logos.
Expect the lawsuits to begin soon enough because of this seemingly minor Google change. Companies take their ad spend and copyrights extremely seriously. I'd expect Google to be inundated with a rash of takedown requests before it escalates. Did they prepare for it?
I think they're fantastic and make the TEXT ads looks so much more appealing and professional.
Does that mean this will increase CTR? Who knows.
@ JS Harris My bounce rate is already 90%, so I can't go much higher! I only have a few pages, that's why, but my site remains highly ranked in the SEs. I'm worried I might get "reviewed" at some point and knocked down. But how can they knock someone down if they only have a few pages on their site for visitors to go?
Today I'm seeing two kinds of favicons - some are generic - probly what Google fills in if the company doesn't use a real favicon, and some are the actual favicons from the advertiser's site - for example there's a Chevrolet logo in a Chevy ad, and an official state travel bureau is showing the favicon off their site.
So... if they are grabbing the favicons off sites, I wonder if they are spot checking them for accuracy? What if I used a Chevy logo as the favicon on one of my sites (that has nothing to do with cars, and it would ONLY appear as the favicon) and ran some ads, would it show up next to my ad? If I had time for it, I'd test it. Cause that'd be a hole.