Thursday, September 08, 2005 | 4:19:00 PM
Labels: AdSense features
I’ve heard some ugly rumors circulating about image ads, and I want to separate the myths from the facts so publishers don’t miss out on an important revenue opportunity.
Myth: Image ads take too long to load and I hate those ‘Shoot the Duck’-type ads
Fact: We have strict guidelines for both animated and static image ads restricting them to a maximum size of 50 kb, so they’ll load quickly on your site – and no Shoot the Duck ads allowed!
Myth: Image ads don’t pay as well as text ads
Fact: All ads served by AdSense – whether image or text, contextual or site-targeted – go through the same auction process. Opting into image ads maximizes your site’s revenue potential by allowing a greater pool of advertisements to compete for space on your site. Image ads will only appear if our technology determines they will be more effective than any other ads for a particular page.
Myth: Image ads aren’t relevant.
Fact: When serving contextually-targeted ads, we use the same algorithm to match ads to your content whether image or text ads appear. With site targeting, an advertiser has determined that their ads are specifically relevant to your users (see example below).
So, here are some recommendations:
1) Under your ‘My Account’ tab, make sure that ‘Ad Type Preference’ is set to ‘Display text and image ads in all ad units’. Then, when generating your code on the ‘Ad layout code’ page, I recommend checking ‘Use my default account setting’ under ‘Ad Type’ (see example below).
2) Check the HTML source code for each page where you are running the AdSense ad code to make sure you have opted into both text and image ads (i.e., google_ad_type should be set to “text_image”)
3) Make sure you are using an ad format that supports image ads to take full advantage of this option.
4) Test the image ad option on a small subset of your pages for at least 2 weeks and track the progress using URL channels or a custom channels. This will allow you see whether image ads are effective for you. More data means that you can make educated decisions about your site. Try image ads and see the results for yourself.