6 Ways to Improve the Page Speed of AdSense Site

We display AdSense content ads, link unit ads, matched content ads and page level ads on our sites. Google AdSense works well on our sites from monetary aspect. But it doesn’t end here, there is another bitter side of displaying AdSense ads. It heavily drags your site’s page loading speed and create unpleasant experience for users. Though this is true for all types of ad networks, Google AdSense is one of the top dragging factor of the page speed.

AdSense Vs Page Speed – An Irony

As per Wikipedia, Google earned 22% of its revenue from AdSense during 2014 and this is the same situation for other years as well.

In Q1 2014, Google earned US $3.4 billion ($13.6 billion annualized), or 22% of total revenue, through Google AdSense.

More than 14 million sites are using AdSense and the publishers need to place a piece of asynchronous script code on their webpages in order to display ads. Below are the type of ads supported by AdSense:

  • Image and text ads with no limit on a page
  • Horizontal and vertical link ad units
  • Two search boxes
  • Page-level ads for mobile devices
  • Matched content ads for content recommendation

Ideally an eligible publisher can place all these types of ads on a single page. Recently Google also removed the limit of placing three content ads on a page and allows publishers to place ads proportionate to the content length on the page.

Sounds good? Well not!!! Speed is one of the algorithmic factors for deciding the ranking of webpages on Google search results. So placing all these ads on a page will kill the page loading speed and take down your search engine ranking.

One side Google is pushing for speed and HTTPS, on other side AdSense ads will slow the pages. It’s an irony, company that earns >20% of revenue from a product has contradictory vision to confuse common users. If you are AdSense publisher and looking for fast loading pages then it’s a high time for you to look for alternatives like affiliate marketing.

AdSense Vs Google PageSpeed Insights Tool

Google owns a page speed testing tool called PageSpeed Insights. Unfortunately, it is designed in a way not clearly showing most of the AdSense related issues. Below is the PageSpeed score of the site showing 91 on desktop.

Google PageSpeed Insights Score for AdSense Page
Google PageSpeed Insights Score for AdSense Page

There are only two issues shown under consider fixing category:

Eliminate render-blocking JavaScript and CSS in above-the-fold content:

Leverage Browser Caching Issue
Leverage Browser Caching Issue

Optimize images:

Optimize Images Issue
Optimize Images Issue

Pingdom and GTmetrix Test

The same page when tested on pingdom and GTmetrix shows 73 and 80% score respectively with too many issues.

Pingdom Score:

Pingdom Score for AdSense Page
Pingdom Score for AdSense Page

GTmetrix Score:

GTmetrix and YSlow Score for AdSense Page
GTmetrix and YSlow Score for AdSense Page

So test your AdSense pages on pingdom or GTmetrix to understand all issues and not on Google PageSpeed Insight tools.

AdSense Page Speed Issues

Google loads the ad images through the server “https://tpc.googlesyndication.com/”. When you see the link with this URL in page speed testing then it’s from AdSense ads. Below are some of the page speed issues related to AdSense ads:

  • Though the ad codes are asynchronous in nature which means it will load in parallel to the page content and will not stop the content loading. But the earnings of your AdSense ads depends on placing them on above the fold area. This will lead to block the rendering of the page by crawlers which will be shown as high priority issue as “Eliminate render-blocking JavaScript and CSS in above-the-fold content”.
  • As the images in the ads can’t be cached you will see optimize images and leverage browser caching issues. This will be a real problem for matched content ads which will display image for each article.
  • Advertisers still use HTTP servers to distribute ads, this will create mixed content issue when your site is loading on HTTPS.
  • Frankly you will see all types of issues in pingdom and GTmetrix like avoid redirecting, enable minification, enable compression, defer parsing JavaScript, etc.

How to Improve Speed with AdSense Ads on a Page?

  1. Use Ad Balance feature
  2. Remove matched content ads
  3. Disable page-level ads (auto ads)
  4. Disable rich media content in display ads
  5. Place less number of ads on the pages with more scripts running
  6. Monitor the speed with Google Analytics

Let us discuss each option in detail.

1. Ad Balance

Google AdSense account has a feature called Ad Balance. This will help you to check the percentage of ad serving that contributes to your revenue. In most cases, 90% of the revenue is generated from fewer ads on the site due to prominent placement. Basically you can remove all other ads to provide better user experience with no or less impact on the revenue.

2. Remove Matched Content Ads

Based on our usage we found that the matched content ads have one of the lowest CPC among different categories of ads. You will hardly earn few dollars per month especially when your page views are less. Each image shown on the matched content ad will create problem like image compression and leverage browser caching. As it is a block of post recommendation (along with ads if supported on your account), this will be a major speed killer not worth for earning few dollars.

3. Page-Level Ads

Similar to matched content ads, page-level ads also earns very less CPC from advertisers. Though the ads will only load on mobile devices and only on the popular pages, the scripts will load on all devices on all pages. We recommend to remove these page-level ads to improve page loading speed.

AdSense Page-Level Ad Script
AdSense Page-Level Ad Script

So you can remove matched content ads and page-level ads without losing much revenue.

Now that Google changed the page-level ads to auto ads. We don’t see any speed improvement can happen with this as the code remains same.

4. Disable Rich Media Ads

This action may impact your revenue, so test this by setting up an experiment. Disable the image and video ads so that the image related issues (generally high priority) can be eliminated. You can do this by choosing ad type as text ads and disable video ads in ad restriction.

5. Placing Less Number of Ads with Other Scripts

As a rule of thumb place only three or less ads on a page. You can place more ads on the pages with 1000+ words so that the content length is monetized with number of ads. The speed of your site also depends on other plugins, images and scripts used on the page. Hence, if you have too many scripts (dynamic pages) running on your page then avoid placing many ads on that page.

6. Monitor Actual Loading Speed

Besides using various speed testing tools the best way to monitor the actual loading speed is to use Google Analytics. You can integrate AdSense with Analytics account in order to quickly view the performance of pages displaying ads under “Behavior > Site Speed” section. Taking corrective actions according to the speed score and recommendations will help to increase the speed and user experience.

Conclusion

If AdSense is the only revenue for you then you have no way other than leaving the speed behind. If you have other alternatives for generating revenue then try out the above explained ways to reduce number of ads with less impact on revenue.

It is worth to note all Google products like Analytics, fonts and script libraries will impact the page speed as all these products use JavaScript code.

Editorial Staff at WebNots are team members who love to build websites and share the learning with webmasters community. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

18 thoughts on “6 Ways to Improve the Page Speed of AdSense Site”

Leave your response.

  1. Hello!
    I understand that these tips can actually increase page speed with adsense ads. But the problem is that, after implementing all these tips to make my site faster, my earnings in Google Adsense will reduce. I have tried it a number of times.

    Please is there anything I can do?

    Reply
  2. I have removed matched contents Adsense ads right after reading your article, and my website loading speed increased significantly. My website runs on lightspeed server and LS Cache also helped a lot.

    Reply
  3. I am using WP Rocket plugin for my website but still my website speed is slow, and the main problem is , after 4-5 second my website load completely but adsense ads are taking too much time to load.
    please help my . What to do now.

    Reply
  4. I really hope that one day, Google can solve this problem Instead using their publisher’s brain xoxo
    My personal advice is completely disable auto-ads, low ctr & low cpc, so much script, so much trouble.

    Reply
    • You need to look at carefully – we don’t use ads on the matched content, it will only show recommendation from our own site. Normally two or three ads are shown in matched content ads (if you enable in AdSense account). It may not be worth to use with the lowest CPC rate as explained in the article.

      Yes, still leverage browser caching issue will appear with the uncached images. Anyway we have AdSense ads on the site, so this impact is understood. Alternatively, you can customize recommendations to only show text cards without images. But that will not be attractive, especially when we have featured image for all the posts.

      Reply
  5. Thanks for discussing the burning issue of absence versus page speed issue. Google is focusing more on page speed ranking search engine and at the same time, they are totally unaware of their Google Ad speed. Even after 90% of the optimisation of our page when we taste with GT Matrix or Tools Pingdom most of the slow cases due to Google Analytics or Google AdSense.

    I hope you will write another article by which we can use some modification of Google code or .htaccess to use the Google AdSense more optimised.

    Reply
  6. Thanks a lot for the good article
    what is the best no of ads on the site
    what is your opinion of the new feature of Google Adsense “auto ads”
    what is the preferred percentage of ad balance
    can I do an experiment on one site, not all sites

    Reply
    • Number of ads depends on the content length. But the speed impact is inevitable even if you use only one ad on the page.

      Reply

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