Pretty sneaky / clever adsense placement - what would google think?

13 replies
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I was reading a blog about improving adsense CTR and I noticed this screenshot as an example of a "good" placement

Notice the top menu!


Image from How to Maximize Your Adsense Earnings | Make Money on the Internet
Either that is a genius idea or just too sneaky. I wouldn't feel comfortable with actually putting ads over something designed to look like navigation tabs but it would DEFINITELY increase CTR. What do you think? good idea or to sneaky?
#adsense #clever #google #placement #pretty #sneaky
  • Profile picture of the author bitriot
    I think the link unit at the top risks running afoul of Google's TOS because the background behind it has sort of... A tabbed looking design which implies that those links are navigational links.

    Seems to me the gist of adsense TOS is don't do things with secondary images or text that make people think an adsense ad is not an ad. Link units in navigation areas are ok... but maybe not so much with that sort of tabbed design element.
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  • Profile picture of the author axus_auto
    Originally Posted by Jeremy Banks View Post

    I was reading a blog about improving adsense CTR and I noticed this screenshot as an example of a "good" placement

    Notice the top menu!


    Image from How to Maximize Your Adsense Earnings | Make Money on the Internet
    Either that is a genius idea or just too sneaky. I wouldn't feel comfortable with actually putting ads over something designed to look like navigation tabs but it would DEFINITELY increase CTR. What do you think? good idea or to sneaky?

    It is more or less the norm nowadays. From what I understand, it doesn't violate any rules
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    • Profile picture of the author yukon
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      Originally Posted by O0o0O View Post

      You can leave the links there, but you might want to get rid of those tabs.
      Agreed, get rid of the tabs, otherwise nothing wrong with that Adsense location.

      I do that Ad location on a couple of sites & it has a good CTR.
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      • Profile picture of the author Jeremy Banks
        Originally Posted by yukon View Post

        Agreed, get rid of the tabs, otherwise nothing wrong with that Adsense location.

        I do that Ad location on a couple of sites & it has a good CTR.
        I would likely just put a 720x90 unit up there, I find they pay more then the link units anyways!
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  • Profile picture of the author TryBPO
    We use a link unit at the top, above the fold. Surprisingly, it doesn't convert all that well and the clicks are worth less as well. Nothing wrong there...it's enticing to click on the ads, but definitely not "tricking" the user, I don't think.
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    • Profile picture of the author asimbawany
      Originally Posted by TryBPO View Post

      We use a link unit at the top, above the fold. Surprisingly, it doesn't convert all that well and the clicks are worth less as well. Nothing wrong there...it's enticing to click on the ads, but definitely not "tricking" the user, I don't think.
      oh yes its definitely tricking the user..
      you and I wont be tricked by it because we as internet marketers know an ad when we see one... same cant be said about a normal internet surfer...

      I'll ask this question... if people were not getting tricked into thinking it was navigation, why then would it increase ctr?
      I suspect most clickthru's on this ad will bounce back when they realize what they clicked was actually an ad and not navigation.

      will google put their foot down on it? I donno...
      iv seen countless sites using these adsense units to make them look like navigation although not as aggressively (with the tabs)...
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      • Profile picture of the author Black Hat Cat
        Banned
        Originally Posted by asimbawany View Post

        oh yes its definitely tricking the user..
        you and I wont be tricked by it because we as internet marketers know an ad when we see one... same cant be said about a normal internet surfer...

        I'll ask this question... if people were not getting tricked into thinking it was navigation, why then would it increase ctr?
        I suspect most clickthru's on this ad will bounce back when they realize what they clicked was actually an ad and not navigation.

        will google put their foot down on it? I donno...
        iv seen countless sites using these adsense units to make them look like navigation although not as aggressively (with the tabs)...
        Your post applies to adsense ads in general.

        The layout in the example is well within adsense rules. The only problem with it is the ctr sucks.
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  • Profile picture of the author markowe
    You've got to think that link units by their very nature are MEANT to look sorta like navigation. But it's a fine line to tread, making them look like internal navigation on your site (who puts external links in that position, right?)

    I dunno, I tend to avoid link units, thinking they tend to give lower CPC, but this does remind me to try them out somewhere to see if anything has changed there.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jeremy Banks
      Originally Posted by markowe View Post

      You've got to think that link units by their very nature are MEANT to look sorta like navigation. But it's a fine line to tread, making them look like internal navigation on your site (who puts external links in that position, right?)

      I dunno, I tend to avoid link units, thinking they tend to give lower CPC, but this does remind me to try them out somewhere to see if anything has changed there.
      I also don't use those link units due to the low CPC, usually I near the header I will put the LONG ads unit like 720 X 90

      The links display nicely and are stacked on top of eachother with the google ads at the FAR right side. To most people they look like relevant links, and I don't have to put a sneaky background image behind them to coax the visitor to click!
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  • Profile picture of the author JSProjects
    Yeah, the tabs are a stretch. The links can definitely stay where they are though.

    I remember a few years back we were able to place ads directly under images. That was a pretty big way to boost your CTR.
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  • Profile picture of the author drwatson101
    First I've seen of ads that look like navigational tabs. I agree a little deceiving, but then again how many users click the navigational tabs when they first land on a page. IT's usually about content and finding the information they are searching for.
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