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  1. #1
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    Detecting the number of ads displayed
    I've been displaying images just above my adsense ads because it draws attention to them and makes a huge impact on CTR. This use to work great because I had a 768x60 banner and it would always display 4 ads. Lately Google has been randomly switching between 3 and 4 ads though and it has really dropped my CTR because the images no longer line up. Is there anyway I can detect how many ads are being displayed (presumably with javascript) so I can turn on the right number of images?

  2. #2
    Newbie sweetpea64's Avatar
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    Just a question Trilitech......isn't this the same thing as doing what Freetraff is doing as he explained in the "Hot Tip" just above your post?

    Drawing attention to your google ads is suppose to be a "no,no". If that's the case, then how are you guys getting away with it?

    I'm a newbie, and I just got started with adsense, and I sure don't want to mess it all up.

    I just need to know if you can draw attention to the google ads or not. It seems like you've been here for a while and everything, so can you help me out?

  3. #3
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    I think google added this "feature" just to stop affiliates like Trilitech. Be honest, does your scheme improve click thru because it tricks the user, or because it benefits the advertiser?

  4. #4
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    I beleive the agreement says drawing undue attention to the ads. The images are not clickable, do not modify the actual ad and are not in any way misleading. They are not there to trick the user, they just help add color to that part of the page and make the ads blend in a bit better with the style of rest of the site. Google encourages you to adjust the colors, layouts and positioning on your page to catch the users eye, so no, I don't think it violates the agreement in any way or even the spirit of the agreement.

  5. #5
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    Ask yourself the question, what is the purpose of what you're doing?


    'they just help add color to that part of the page and make the ads blend in a bit better with the style of rest of the site."

    Seriously now, this has nothing to do with CTR?

  6. #6
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    Of course it has everything to do with CTR. It doesn't violate Googles terms to try to improve your site design and ad layout to increase CTR and it's highly encouraged by Google.

    What I was saying is it does not do anything misleading, malicious or otherwise improper to improve CTR. It just helps improve the chances a user will look at the section of the screen the ads are located on. I just reread the terms and conditions and I don't see how this would violate them in any way. https://www.google.com/adsense/localized-terms

    I should add the site itself is also a totally legit site with real content. Two sections of my site have been accepted as a feed for Google News, so I know at least some people from Google have seen the ad layout and did not raise an issue with it, although they are probably not from the Adsense group.

  7. #7
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    Well, I haven't seen your site, but usually the images are lined directly up with the ads and right up against them.

    It appears that the ad is related to the image - the user wants to see what the image is about, so they click the ad.

    That means the user clicked on something by mistake - they thought they were clicking an url for that image - not an ad unrelated to the image.

    You said "Google has been randomly switching between 3 and 4 ads though and it has really dropped my CTR because the images no longer line up."

    Makes sense to me that this may be happening on your site.
    [url=http://www.drastictactics.com/]Drastic Tactics[/url] - Performance Marketing Since 1998

  8. #8
    Newbie sweetpea64's Avatar
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    Can you give us a link to your site so that we can check it out for ourselves?

  9. #9
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    The images are just little cartoon pictures of people. I can't imagine them implying the links contain any type of content. People just like looking at goofy cartoons I guess, and it's enough to get them to read the ad.

    It's hard to say for sure what Google thinks of doing this since they don't seem to speak to it anywhere on their site. It would be nice if they provided a place to ask these type of questions, anonymously of course. :-)

    Here's an example someone else posted that shows what I'm describing, except I'm not using the adlinks. http://drawapig.desktopcreatures.com...adChange01.gif

  10. #10
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    Yep, those links look related to the images.

    Why do you have to ask anonymously? If they don't want you to do it, you should want to know.

    If they allow it on your site, you'd have an approval to hang onto.
    [url=http://www.drastictactics.com/]Drastic Tactics[/url] - Performance Marketing Since 1998

  11. #11
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    Looks like my previous message didn't post. Sorry if this posts twice..

    Why do you say the images look related? They're pictures of pigs and the ads are for personality tests and jobs.. I would hope someone wouldn't click an ad about personality tests to see what the big was about. You never know with some people though. :-)

    I guess anonymity isn’t really a problem as long as you could ask questions like this without fear of repercussions. Just wouldn’t want a response of “Nope, you’re banned”. There's a guy who works for Google that answers a lot of ranking questions on another forum. I'll see if I can get his input on adsense to get a semi-definitive answer...

  12. #12
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    Google encourages you to put the ads in the middle of your content to make it look like it's part of your content. They have said this over and over again in a hundred different ways. They don't want you to say things like "support my site by clicking on my ads," and that's fair - they only want people to click on the ads if they truly have an interest in them. Content is more than words; it also includes pictures, drawings, tables of numbers, music, etc. If Google encourages blending the ads into your content (and they most certainly do - in fact, they stress it), I can't see why they would have any problems with it.

  13. #13
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    Agreed. I emailed adsense support to try to get a ruling on this. I'll let you all know when I hear back.

  14. #14
    Not Verif-Lidated infoTim's Avatar
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    I've used the "images with the ads" thing, and it works very well. The images are more generic to the site theme and don't enhance or confuse the ad block from Google, they serve more to integrate the ad block into the site design and combat "ad blindness". I even have a border around them, on Google's advice, to make the distinction clearer.

    I've seen another increase in CTR since they started serving less-than-full blocks so I guess the feel of the whole thing is not impacted too badly.
    Tim
    consultant by day, affiliate by night

  15. #15
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    To the general question of the number of ads in an ad block, it looks like Google is screwing with people's sites in an attempt to make more money. You would think that an INTERNET company would understand that when you design a site, you like to have an idea of how it's actually going to look when you put it out on the web. Not even talking about putting images with ads, but just the number of ads. What happens if you sign up for 4 ads but they give you 3? Do they increase text size to make up for the lost space? Do they space the ads out differently? Whatever they do, it's not what you signed up for and not what you expected when you designed your site. ... I can tell you one thing: Love ain't the only thing that's blind.

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