In recent years, Google introduced variety of ad formats for making more revenue from your content. Besides those anchor, multiplex and vignette ad formats, Google also recently allowed users to show sticky ads in the sidebar. On November 30th, Google announced another new ad format called side rails and communicated to all AdSense users over email.
What is Side Rail Ads?
It is not clear how these ads will really look on publisher websites. Here is what you can expect as per the notification from Google.
- Side rail ads are sticky ads on the sides of webpages.
- However, these side rail ads will be visible only on wider screens like desktop devices. Generally, wider screen in AdSense indicates the screen width of >1000 pixels.
- Side rails are part of AdSense Auto Ads setup.
We have to wait and see how these side rails will show on the webpages without much space on the sides. For example, on a full-width pages touching the view ports on both sides.
Enable or Disable Side Rail Ads
If you have enabled Anchor Ads in your Auto Ads setting, these side rails will automatically show on your site from 13 December 2022. Otherwise, you should first enable Auto Ads and then enable Side Rails as explained below.
- Login to your AdSense account and go to “Ads” section.
- Go to “By site” section and find the list of sites available on your site.
- Click the Edit icon (pencil icon) against the site you want to enable or disable side rail ads.
- Go to “Ad settings” from right section, expand “Auto ads” section and first make your you have enabled “Auto ads” option.
- Now, expand “Ad formats” section and scroll down to find “Side rails” format.
- You will see the “Side rails” option turned on automatically if you have turned on “Anchor ads” previously. However, side rails are different than anchor ads (mobile and wide screen) and you can toggle it independently.
- Turn the switch on or off against “Side rails”.
- Click on “Apply to site” button to save your changes.
If you have setup Auto Ads for the first time, make sure to paste the code in header section of your site. You can get the code by clicking on “Get Code” link showing above the site list under “Ads” section. Remember, Auto Ads code is a common script code for all your sites.
Testing Side Rails Ads
We have multiple devices more than 1000 pixels wide and there are no side rails ads displayed. Finally, we have tested on 24 inch iMac and we can find the ads on both sides of the side appears. These ads float on both sides as a fixed sticky ads when scrolling the content and disappear when the viewport is reduced. So, this will not make big impact on your revenue as the traffic from large desktop devices is always less compared to compact modern laptops and smartphones.