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Adsense's new Ad Balance slider

     
10:56 am on Jan 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Anyone notice this yet? You can change the balance of ads that show kind of like FBAN's balancer on steroids. It even shows you the percentage of ads that show versus percentage of potential income. If it weren't for the fact that the ads units show as blank rather than collapsing entirely, this would sound like the best thing ever. Although this creates huge potential when combined with good backup ads.
12:51 pm on Jan 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Instructions are here [support.google.com...]
1:55 pm on Jan 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Very interesting. This would likely help reduce the spam ads and push up prices for advertisers. Unfortunately, I do not have this option in my account yet.
2:09 pm on Jan 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I'm testing it now. It only applies to banners, not to link units. I have it set at 35% ads/90% income so it can be tested in the most extreme way possible.
2:23 pm on Jan 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I'm curious to know the outcome of your test.

Generally do you see a lot of spammy or low quality ads within your inventory?
7:22 am on Jan 5, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Yep loads of Taboola-style snake oil, as well as ecchi manga. Annoys the crap out of me.

Compared to yesterday, daily income per ad unit is about 2/3 of what it was in one ad unit and about 90% in the other unit. Compared to Monday though it's about 85-90 percent in one unit and MORE in the other unit. Not bad for only 35% of impressions filled. Great potential for backfills to add higher income.
5:21 pm on Jan 5, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I didn't even know this was an option. I tried to apply it and got an error message.
10:56 pm on Jan 5, 2017 (gmt 0)

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It errors out for me too but refreshing the page eventually got me into it. I'm trying a test out myself to see how it goes.
9:41 am on Jan 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I'm also getting an error. Can't get it to work. Hopefully we hear much more about this interesting feature!
11:20 am on Jan 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Sounds interesting. I wish Adsense would also implement "directly" the possibility to set a minimum bid price.
3:17 pm on Jan 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Question about this Ad Balance slider feature: If the ads that will no longer be served (to improve the user experience) won't that cause of big blank space where the ad used to be? That's no good!
3:29 pm on Jan 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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True, but is which is better showing your audience a blank space or an ad with an image that shows a finger with a spurious substance on it, with the text "Low cost secret to a smooth face".
5:03 pm on Jan 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Yeah, they will, which irritates me, but for each ad unit there is still the option to send a backup ad though. Unfortunately, I can't figure out how to get FBAN or Monumetric working in the backup ads, and every other ad network (Sekindo, Media.net, Adsoptimal etc) seems to be going through an adpocalypse right now. Laaaaame
8:45 pm on Jan 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Question about this Ad Balance slider feature: If the ads that will no longer be served (to improve the user experience) won't that cause of big blank space where the ad used to be? That's no good!

If you use responsive ad spaces and ad units, there should be no white spaces.

Just set my ads to 99% earnings and 75% ads.

25% fewer ads could improve page navigation, make users happier and could increase traffic, all that for just 1% of revenue.
9:21 pm on Jan 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I have in my account but have not changed any settings yet. Those who have done so, are you seeing evidence of higher impressions with your backup ads?
12:52 am on Jan 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Yippy! Yippy! Yeah! yeah! It finally arrived in my account. I set it at 80% fill, 99% revenue. I really can't wait to see the impact on inventory. Will my site become spam free?

Where or how are your managing the backup ads?
1:43 am on Jan 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Backup ads are at the bottom of each ad where you edit the ad's options.

Turned it to 69% representing 99% of revenue, and after only a couple of hours I can verify it does serve backup ads in their place! So it's an opportunity for a nice increase in revenue.
3:13 am on Jan 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Switched to 57/99 because my backup ads are a complete garbage fire. Keep an eye on your sliders because often the percentages change (for example, mine shifted from
35/90 to 35/92)

What backup ad networks are you all using?
3:32 am on Jan 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@motorhaven thanks I found it, I have gotta set this up.
@Evan I guessed as much about the changes. From 90 to 92 does not seem too big a shift. But I am sure bigger shifts are possible, especially when you have smaller volumes of ad impressions.

For the backup ads on my main property, I am thinking of running ads for a new property that I am working on. It is in a complete different niche but considering it taking up otherwise unused ad space, I figure it can't hurt. What strategies are others using for the backup ads?
6:32 am on Jan 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Can someone confirm if responsive ad units (without a backup) do not show a white space when the ad unit is not served using this new awesome feature?

Would be nice to be able to turn this feature on for only 1 website. As I understand it, you can only set it for your entire account?
7:56 am on Jan 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Very Interesting.

But I have a very pertinent question here. Suppose, I have two websites in my account. One targeting USA and another targeting India. Both sites receive 10,000 pageviews per day. US website earns me $100 per day (at RPM of $10) while India website earns me $10 per day (at RPM of $1). Now, if I select an ad balance combination of say 90% earnings at say 50% of ads. Won't this means that almost all of the ads on the India targeted website will go away?

In this hypothetical case, the ads on India website may not be of low quality but it's because of the geography/market that I am earning less there. This ad balance needs to be at the site level as it will not work at account level for all possible scenarios.
10:23 am on Jan 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I have had this option available for some time now, my settings are 75% - 100% which realistically sneaking means that 25% of the ads are worthless due to either bad ad inventory or simply their position.
The revenue change is 22%, but I cannot say for sure as it may be because of the seasonal traffic. Now, what I can say with confidence is that if your add placement is not making any revenue at all like mine did, it would not make any sense putting backup ads there as there will be no problem minimal results, so what I have done is I had removed the units that were potentially useless or changed their positions on the page (where possible). It is a bit to early for me to draw any conclusion, but from the look of it I think I am on the right track.
3:44 pm on Jan 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I finally have this option too ! ( in fact, I might had it already, but I was not looking at the right place :"> )

Some of you confirmed that backup ads are being served, however, in the help documentation, it says :

------------------------------
What happens to an ad unit when you remove an ad?
When we remove an ad, your ad unit will show as blank.
[support.google.com...]
------------------------------

nb: I wonder which can on impact , this feature will have on Advertisers. May be it's a trick to force their to increase their bids. It seems Google uses the argument of the "user experience" to enforce lot of things...
4:15 pm on Jan 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Regardless of the documentation, it does serve backup ads if you have them in place. Backup ads normally account for only about 1-2% of total ad views on my sites --- it was closer to 40% after I changed Google to 69/99 yesterday.
4:44 pm on Jan 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Okay, thank you motorhaven !
4:58 pm on Jan 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Unfortunately responsive ads don't collapse. Just a blank space.
5:12 pm on Jan 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@magician that is a great question. I assume ("ass" "you" "me") that it would be managed on a site level, as that would make the most sense. But many things indicate otherwise, such as the fact that it can only be set on the account level. Also, the "revevue profile" report which must use the same data as the ad balancer is also only on an account level. It may well be that it is managed on the account level. I would send an email to Adsense support with your question. If you do, please let us know what they say.

@motorhaven, 40% with a setting of 69/99, it looks like your numbers might re-adjust overtime, you would expect 30% at that setting.

@Dimitri, I have wondered that too. Logically it should push up the bids, but only for the very low bids. This is why I think that it will be so effective at blocking the spam and very low quality ads. It also makes ad arbitrage nearly impossible using Adsense for the traffic buying end of the equation. Then you pair this with the Adwords ban on fake news sites, which essentially blocks the ad selling end of the arbitrage equation (This assumes that much of the fake news is monetized using some ad arb strategy). This of course will push the spammers to competitive ad networks such as media.net, Facebook, thus reducing their quality overall. If left unchecked legitimate advertisers will shy away from these networks in favor of Adsense.

The only advertisers that will see an adverse effect (getting rid of spam is an intended effect) are legitimate advertisers that advertise at the low end of the bid spectrum, un-targetted, get whatever traffic you can. But I hardly think that this a sound business strategy in the long run, more of a move of desperation really (ie: can't afford to compete on targeted terms).

I think that the introduction of the seemingly benign feature will have profound impact on the online-ad industry. Lets see how 2017 shapes up! Exciting times for sure.
6:30 pm on Jan 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I also wonder if it affects third party ad networks.

nb: I don't know if it's a glitch, but I turned this ad balance feature ON earlier today, and from time to time , I see "blank space" (empty space, with just the triangle and cross icons on top right), and not "my" backup ads. My backup ads are configured "since always", so this is not something I just set up. I know my backup ads are working.
8:09 pm on Jan 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I'm giving it a try today, with a setting of 99% revenue and 58% of potential ads. So far, I haven't noticed any change in the ads that are displayed. I still get ads for things like "downloads" and "funny t-shirts," which leads me to wonder if I need to be more aggressive (or if it simply takes a while for the balance slider to take effect).
8:19 pm on Jan 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@motorhaven, 40% with a setting of 69/99, it looks like your numbers might re-adjust overtime, you would expect 30% at that setting.


I think it may have to do with Adsense delays in reporting numbers. I see my alternate ad stats in realtime. I'll have a better idea of the actual numbers in a few days.
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