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What works for me

     
1:05 pm on Apr 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I think it's time i share with you guys a few things that has been working for me. My CTR is very good so this might be of help to some of you.

I disabled "Personalized Ads"

I use a responsive "link unit" directly after posts title and after post content with the following "Text & style":-

Border: 7ad03a 
Title: 000000 
Background: 7ad03a 

I use a non-responsive "300x250" text/image ad unit after the second paragraph & before the last two paragraphs of my posts.

I make sure my ads are centered. 

I have a custom sized ad unit at the header that performs extremely well but i won't be able to share with you guys the process on how i got that custom ad unit because it's a very technical process and you might mess up your site's design trying to do it. 

Hope the little I've shared above will help some of you guys.
9:33 pm on Apr 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I'm glad all that works for you, but different sites probably do just as well with different strategies. Personalized ads are my best performing ads. On my pages, centered ads do not perform as well as ones to the left do. Isn't putting an ad directly under a post title essentially labeling the ad, which is against TOS unless the label says "Advertisements" or "Sponsored Links?"

And we're not all "guys."
10:45 pm on Apr 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@ember hahahaha, i know we're not all "guys", i just use "guys" as a general term for male & female. I've never seen where putting an ad directly under a post title is against TOS, what you might be talking about is putting an ad directly above or below an image, that's the one that's against TOS.
3:08 am on Apr 5, 2017 (gmt 0)

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glad that you are sharing it, never know when you can learn something. I find the most success when I can somehow fit the following ad units: 1 vertical ad 120x600 or 160x600, one skyscraper 300x600, and whatever is reasonable to fit 300x250 into the site, I aim for at least 1~2 in most cases.

With that said, the unit 300x250 is really the holy grail. For me it outpaces every single ad unit.

placement i think is always open to debate and interpretation, depends hugely on the reviewer too.

I had a reviewer asked me to remove "advertisements" labels, and another one suggested me to put on there. After plenty of thoughts, leaving no labels is the safest bet. I really do not have time to remove and putting them on every other day.

post title is another one open to debate, if the site is full of titles with "LOOK WHAT I FOUND in HEAVEN", with ads placed directly below it, that setup will probably not fly. But a usual "The Top 10 Best Things to Do", is probably ok. It's almost always about intentions and user experience. That's the trend we are all heading. At the end, if the ad CTR's do not convert or offer value, publishers will get hit one way or another.

I have a few sites with images and ads interlaced with one another. But again, visitors can clearly tell between my "image" contents or "ads contents". Just because the images are more or less a sequence of how to do tutorials. I have not had any issue with this setup.

What is against the TOS though, is to put ads close to other link content, intentionally triggerings misclicks by #*$!ting the user experience. The principle...don't deceit your visitors, every step of the way, is probably the best guideline.
3:18 am on Apr 5, 2017 (gmt 0)

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10:07 am on Apr 5, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Folks using responsive ad units have a lower CTR because the ad format may change on mobile devices. Example, a responsive ad unit placed in the content will show a "336x280" ad on desktop & tablet which is a very good thing but when that same responsive ad unit is shown on mobile devices the ad might just fill the available width of the screen and change to a horizontal ad so the content of the page will not be pushed down due to the smaller screen size of the mobile device which in return will have a negative effect on your CTR and earnings because when that happens, the responsive ad unit will hardly show image ads and even when it shows an image ad it will be a "320x100" or a "320x50" image ad which will have a lower CTR than a "300x250" or a "336x280" ad placed in the content of your page. To fix this you will need to change the "data-ad-format" of that responsive ad unit to "rectangle" & put the responsive ad unit's code in a div with max-width of "336px" or "300px". I will advice to use a max-width of "300px" if your traffic is mainly from mobile devices. Do this and your CTR & earnings will increase. It is a technical thing to do but at the end it's worth it.

[edited by: Halaspike at 10:18 am (utc) on Apr 5, 2017]

10:07 am on Apr 5, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Couldn't find any delete option here, had to edit this post 'cus it was a duplicate of what i previously posted.