Earlier Google was having restrictions on placing up to three content ads, three link unit ads and two search boxes on a page. Google though lifted the limit on content ads, you should show ads proportionate to the content length. Whether you place maximum number of ads or a fewer ads, choosing appropriate ad format is one of the main factors to increase the revenue in Google AdSense program. Though choosing ad size depends on the type and the layout of your site, there are recommended ads from Google which can improve the click though rate compared to other formats.
Where to Find Ad Types?
When you create a new ad in your AdSense account, earlier Google used to provide the recommendations under “Ad size > Recommended”.
However, things are completely changed with the new interface as Google is pushing Auto Ads. The manual options are simplified in terms of types of ads instead of focusing on the sizes.
What are the Available AdSense Ad Formats?
Available ad formats change depending upon whether you choose auto ads or manually creating ads for your site.
Auto Ads Format:
- Anchor ads
- Vignette ads
- In-page ads
Manual Ads: (Responsive and fixed formats)
- Display ads
- In-feed ads
- In-article ads
- Multiplex ads
- Custom search engine
When you choose fixed ad size, Google will warn you that restricting size will impact the ad inventory and hence the revenue. However, fixed ad formats can help to reduce cumulative layout shift problems and improve the page loading speed.
Best Performing AdSense Ads
Below is the list of best performing Google AdSense ads:
1. Vignette Ads
Vignette or interstitial ad is the most popular and best performing ad format in AdSense. These ads are displayed when users navigate from one page to another page on your site. Due to this factor, it has the highest visibility and hence the click through rate. You can choose to display vignette ads on mobile or desktop or on both devices. However, you need to use auto ads and it is not possible to create these ads manually.
2. Anchor Ads
Many users think they can’t use stick ads with AdSense. As per the FAQ available from AdSense support, you can use sticky floating ads on desktop devices complying to certain policy requirements. However, the easy way is to use anchor ads to enable sticky top ad in mobile and stick bottom ad in desktop. Similar to vignette ad, anchor ads are part of auto ads and it is possible to enable anchor ads only on mobile or desktop or on both devices. Since it sticks all the time on the visible area, anchor ad can make good revenue for you.
3. 728 x 90 Leaderboard
If you do not use auto ads, then vignette and anchor ads are not for you. However, there are different fixed ad formats that you can create as part of display ads. 728×90 is one of the best preforming fixed ad size on a desktop version of a site. You can place this ad above or below the content to fit with your site’s layout. The problem with this leaderboard ad is that they will not fit into mobile screen resulting in horizontal scroll bar appearing with reduced reading experience to users. You can avoid this by hiding the ad on mobile device and use responsive or other mobile formats.
4. Responsive Ads
Google introduced responsive ads format in order to overcome space problems and avoid using two different set of ads for desktop and mobile versions. In the above case of 728 x 90 leaderboard, it is highly recommended to place a responsive ad unit which will display 728 x 90 ad size on a desktop and 468 x 60 or 310 x 100 size banner ad in high-end mobile devices.
With large amount of sites using responsive layout to avoid building separate mobile site, responsive ads becoming more suitable and popular nowadays. As the name indicates, these ads can be used only with the responsive site’s layout and not with the fixed width layout.
5. 300 x 600 Large Skyscraper
This is an ideal ad size to place it on a sidebar of a blog post having lengthier content. Since the size is larger, it is allowed to place only one 300 x 600 fixed ad on a page as per AdSense policies. Google also indicates that 300 x 600 size ad is one of the fastest growing based on the impressions. Since most of the high-end mobile devices have 300px width, this ad size by default will fit into the mobile site as well.
6. 300 x 250 Medium Rectangle
This is one of best-fit ad along with the combination of 728 x 90 leaderboard making a site more appealing to the users. It can be placed either side by side to the content or at the sidebar of the blog post having lesser content. 300 x 250 medium rectangle ads will also fit in to the mobile layout by default.
7. 336 x 280 Larger Rectangle
This is similar to medium rectangle ads suitable both within content as well as on sidebar. 336 x 280 larger rectangle ad size will not fit into mobile layouts and hence recommended mostly for the desktop version.
8. 320 x 100 – Large Mobile Banner
If you don’t have a responsive layout site, it is a difficult task to choose separate set of ads for desktop and mobile versions of your site. Beside 300 x 250 or 300 x 600 ads which by default fit into mobiles, 320 x 100 large mobile banner is the recommended ad size made exclusively for high-end mobile devices. It can be ideally placed above the fold to occupy less place compared to placing medium rectangle ads which would push the content down too much in a mobile.
Ads for Mobile Devices
The recommended ads are indicated with mobile/flash icon to show the compatibility with mobile layouts. Out of the above recommended formats, below are the ad sizes suitable for mobile devices.
- Responsive ads
- 300 x 250
- 320 x 100
- 300 x 600
Below table provides the summary of recommended ads:
|Vignette ads||Interstitial ads (Auto ads)||✓||✓|
|Anchor ads||Sticky ads (Auto ads)||✓||✓|
|Responsive ads||Ads suitable for responsive sites||✓||✓|
|728 x 90||Leaderboard banner||✓||✗|
|300 x 250||Medium rectangle ads||✓||✓|
|336 x 280||Large rectangle ads||✓||✗|
|300 x 600||Large skyscraper||✓||✓|
|320 x 100||Large mobile banner ads||✓||✓|
Google made it easy and automatic for publishers to monitor whether their site has appropriate recommended ads or not. Login to your AdSense account and check under the “Opportunities” section. Here, you can find the recommendations from Google to switch to the best performing ads. In addition, you can also run experiments to run A/B testing and find which ad format works well on your site’s layout. Besides using correct ad formats/sizes, it is also recommended to use appropriate ad styles. Again, you can use experimental feature to try with different styles and choose the best performing winner.
Thank you for this great post, time to optimize Ads!
I thought Google changed the “3 ads rule” and you are now allowed to place as many ads as you want?
Yes, now the limit is proportionate to the content length. If you place more ads it will only show blank.
300×600 ads are not allowed on mobile – policy violation
This is an ambiguity – definitely Google will not expect publishers to display 300×600 ads on desktops, hide it on mobile using custom code and display another ad on that place.
You should not intentionally show it above the fold and occupy the full display area on mobile when the page is loading. Otherwise showing it on a sidebar should be an acceptable use.
Fact is – this ad format has one of the fast growing inventory from advertisers. It can’t be the case advertisers are paying millions of publishers which is against the policy.