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Thoughts on ads embedded in content - left aligned.

10:13 am on Jan 25, 2014 (gmt 0)

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On my site, the 300x250 , 336x280, medium & large rectangles are the most successful ad sizes.

It is a site, like many, which features articles. I normally use a classic 2 column layout for my pages, with the article presented in the left column and a right column for everything else.

After extensive testing in the past, the medium and large rectangles have always performed best when embedded in the content, aligned to the left.

I have a heading, a few lines of content and then a rectangle ad floated to the left, so text can be displayed to the right of it.

On a screen with a vertical resolution of at least 768px, the rectangle is still mostly above the fold. When viewed from a mobile, the ad is a scroll or two down.

I don't have a specific question about this position, more I would like to hear peoples thoughts on how they feel if this affects usability too much - it's a distraction from the article as the ad is in there right next to it, but that's the whole point.

I am thinking that whilst for me this is the most profitable area, perhaps in the long term it could be detrimental. Another site may be less likely to link to an article with an ad embedded in the content like this. Perhaps search engines may drop a point or two for ads in this position.

Many sites I visit with good articles have these large rectangle ad blocks positioned at the beginning or end of the article or on a side bar to the right. Perhaps this is due to limitations of their content management system.

Anyway I would be interested to hear peoples thoughts and reasoning on medium/large rectangle placement. I am currently redesigning my website and scrutinizing everything.
9:20 am on Jan 26, 2014 (gmt 0)

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No warnings issued... I will leave ad placement as is.
9:38 pm on Jan 26, 2014 (gmt 0)

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The overall consensus seems to be that prominent ads above the fold affects organic search rankings in a negative way. So you have to consider that.

It may be true that other sites will not want to link to a site with a lot of prominent ads, but I don't think so since every site out there has ads.

Google's heat map shows that ads to the left tend to do best. I find that to be true, but I also have ads at the end of long articles, and they do well, too. It is all a matter of testing what is best for your particular site. Google says that the 336x280 is one of the best performing ads, and I agree with this.

You shouldn't get a warning if you are not drawing attention the the ads or making it difficult to distinguish them from the content or putting them next to navigation links.
8:39 am on Jan 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

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No warnings from me because I do exactly the same. And if the consensus that prominent ads ATF are bad for rankings, count me out.

I am in the process of creating a couple pages where the first 300 / 336 ad appears further down the page to see what happens. Lately I'm beginning to see that 300 ads BTF do at least as well as ATF but I'm not sure why.
12:38 am on Jan 30, 2014 (gmt 0)

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One of my best performing square ads is at the bottom of articles that are close to a thousand words long. People finish reading and then click the ad.

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