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.
There are only two issues shown under consider fixing category:
Pingdom and GTmetrix Test
The same page when tested on pingdom and GTmetrix shows 73 and 80% score respectively with too many issues.
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 advertisement images through the server “https://tpc.googlesyndication.com/”. Whenever you see this link in page speed testing then it’s from AdSense ads. Below are some of the page speed issues related to AdSense ads:
- Since advertisements need to be loaded from external servers, this will push the content and create cumulative layout shift (CLS) delay. CLS is one of the Core Web Vital parameters to measure the page speed score based on user experience. Hence, this will directly impact the score on mobile and desktop.
- 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.
How to Improve Speed with AdSense Ads on a Page?
Though there are no perfect solution, you can try the followings to improve the page loading speed with AdSense code on the pages. Remember, these suggestions will impact your revenue as a tradeoff for improving the speed. Hence, test throughly to choose the options that works for you.
- Use Ad Balance feature
- Remove matched content ads
- Disable page-level ads (auto ads)
- Disable rich media content in display ads
- Place less number of ads on the pages with more scripts running
- Monitor the speed with Google Analytics
- Defer ad script using WP Rocket plugin in WordPress
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. Google retired this feature for display ads. However, you can do the ad balance with auto ads to minimize the number of advertisements on the page.
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. Auto Ads (Earlier Known as Page-Level Ads)
Matched content ads are part of Auto or page-level ads. When enabled Google automatically scan and insert advertisements on your pages using AI technology. This does not need any intervention from you. Though it looks good, Auto ads work well in mobile and AMP pages. However, it earns very less CPC from advertisers similar to matched content recommendations. Though the ads will primarily load on mobile devices, the scripts will load on all devices on all pages thus causing delay in page speed. We recommend to remove these Auto or page-level ads to improve page loading speed. At least, you can test and disable anchor and vignette ads on mobile devices which are part of Auto ads setup.
So you can remove matched content ads and page-level ads without losing much revenue.
Note: Now that Google changed the process that Auto ads do not need any separate code in the header section. When you have any AdSense ad code on the page, Google will automatically show advertisements if you have enabled Auto ads in your AdSense account. We don’t see any speed improvement happened with this setup as the ad code still impact the content delivery.
4. Disable Rich Media Ads (Retired)
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. Unfortunately, Google removed this option and you will not be able to choose the ad type any more. You can still use blocking controls in your AdSense account and disable intruding advertisers on your site.
5. Placing Less Number of Ads with Other Scripts
As a rule of thumb place 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.
- After activating the plugin, go to “Settings > WP Rocket > File Optimization” section.
- This will defer “adsbygoogle.js” and many other popular scripts like Google Analytics.
- Clear your cache and check the page speed in Google PageSpeed Insights tool.
- You should get 100/100 or similar on both desktop and mobile.
Remember, deferring script may impact your ad revenue and click through rate especially on mobile devices. This is the tradeoff you should pay for the speed and passing Core Web Vitals.
Will this work in 2022?
After getting approved by Adsense, my speed has dropped, and there is nothing I can do.
Will disabling auto ads and manually placing help?
Also, I cannot find site speed in Google Analytics 4.
Now Web Vitals, CLS etc. are even more important. I am already seriously considering removing Adsense completely. On the other hand it’s a pity, but this completely lowers the website’s results in Page Speed Insights.
My websites speed is 70 (mobile speed).how can i immprove it.please help me.
my score in pagespeed in desktop is 99-100
but in mobile it is under 70 because of google adsense
its abig problem to me and i cant fix the problem
what shall i do?
I wish u’d tell us how to defer adsense ad without plugin
Matrix or Tools Pingdom most of the slow cases due to Google Analytics or Google AdSense.
My pagespeed was above 70 in mobile devices on google pageinsights but now it just 27 which is too low i dont know what to do to increase the performance
When I test my website using GT Metrix with the AdBlock option turned on, I achieved an A grade 100% Page speed score. But when I test my website again with the AdBlock turned off, my GT Metrix score dropped by 5%-9% even though it is still an A grade. But there is no difference in the page load speed regardless if I am testing with the AdBlock on or off.I am still thinking whether I should removed all Google Adsense Ads permanently to improve my website users’ experience.
The article is very reliable.
Adsense still slows down my website.
Great tips to increase page load speed.
Using AMP also helps a lot but leads to uglier pages.
Question: does changing to VPS hosting really double page speed?
We use Cloud VPS, as long as you have AdSense code it affects the page speed no matter you use shared, VPS or dedicated hosting.
AdSense and Analytics – page speed falls :(
To be precise – any third party script embedded on your site will affect page loading speed.
thank you bro for this information it is very helpful and useful
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?
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.
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.
As soon as you ad adsense to your blog, your speed will slow down.
The most important thing is hosting power, because after purchasing a vps server, my website speed doubled
You also use custom style code and one adsense script only to speed up adsense site.
Same my website if i put adsense my page insigth score was so very slow down to 25 in mobile im using auto ads need help or have an option to optimize the speed with google adsense….
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.
Thank you for this article. I have been looking for a solution since many weeks. I hope to improve page speed within next days!
Thank you for the good article! I was long time looking for a good solution! In my case “bad” ads decreased over 10% by lighthouse test tool.
bro my site loading speed is low what should i do ?
Speaking of irony , you recommend disabling matched content ads , but you are still using them :)
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.
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.
Anyway modification of ad code is not allowed. The only way is to move from AdSense to banner ads or affiliate marketing.
long time looking for a good solution
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
Number of ads depends on the content length. But the speed impact is inevitable even if you use only one ad on the page.