AdSense offers different types of ad formats for publishers and auto ads is the latest AdSense product from Google. This is much different than any other previous ad formats or improvements for AdSense publishers. As of now publishers need to choose different ad codes for different formats and insert in appropriate places on their site. This is a good option for those who have lot of time for analyzing the placements and work on optimizations to improve the click through rate. However, spending more time on monetization will impact the time spend on creating quality content. Now that Google has come up with Auto ads to make everything obsolete. In this article let us explore more on how to setup auto ads in Google AdSense account and other important factors.
What is Auto Ads?
As the name indicates, you don’t need to worry about placements and sizing any more. Just insert one piece of ad code on the header section of the page and Google will take care of the rest for you. If you are already using old page-level ads for mobile then just activate the auto ads in your AdSense account. Google uses the same page-level code for auto ads; hence all enabled formats of auto ads will start showing on your site.
Some publishers get confused with the name auto ads – it will not automatically insert advertisements. You need to choose the ad formats and insert the code on your site similar to any other ad code. The only difference is that you need a single code instead of multiple ad codes. If you are using Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) on your site, then you can enable AMP Auto Ads from AdSense account. In our experience, this does not work well and we recommend you to manually place the ad code to earn more revenue.
Features of AdSense Auto Ads
Auto ads are definitely an exciting feature for the publishers struggling to make more money with AdSense. Below are some of the important features of auto ads:
- Google does the analysis of your site offline and serve best-fit ads in terms of placement, best ad sizes and revenue. This essentially means, Google will find the placement on your pages automatically and serve the highest paying ads.
- You can try auto ads along with manual ad codes. This will help you to try out the best option suitable for your need.
- Enable or disable the required format of ads from AdSense account.
- You can visually check and disable ad placement on any particular position on your page layout.
- Auto ads can be applied globally on your account level and then excluded on individual URL or section level if required.
How to Setup Auto Ads in Google AdSense Account?
Login to your AdSense account and navigate to “Ads > By site” section. Click on the edit pencil icon showing against your site to go to auto ads settings page.
Make sure you are in “Ad settings” tab and turn on “Auto ads” option.
Selecting Auto Ad Formats
First you need to enable global ad formats that you want to use on your site. After that, you can overwrite global settings by excluding individual URLs or area if required. At this point of time below are the available formats:
- Anchor ads
- Side rail ads
- Vignette ads
- Banner ads
- Multiplex ads
You can check the small preview image showing in front of each format and enable the required formats for your site.
Excluding Pages and Areas from Auto Ads
Go to “Exclude Pages” section and click “Add exclusion” link. Here, you can add individual URL or section of your site for excluding from auto ads setup.
If you want to disable particular ad position, go to “Exclude areas” button and delete the blue placeholder showing on the selected page layout. In this way, you can avoid ads showing on all over the page and choose only the positions where you want to see them.
Placing Auto Ads Code
After enabling ad formats and finishing exclusions, make sure to click “Apply to site” button to get the auto ads code. You can also any time get the code by clicking on the “Get code” link on the main screen.
Click “Copy code snippet” button and paste the code in the header section of all your pages. When you have sites on content management systems like WordPress, just insert the ad code in “header.php” file. In few minutes, you will see the ads will be shown on your site.
AdSense Auto Ads for AMP
Setting up auto ads for AMP is easier compared to normal auto ads. Google only supports display ad format for AMP ads. The process has three steps:
- When you are in “Ads > By site” section, click on the “AMP is off” button showing on the right corner of the site list. On the next page, enable “Auto ads for AMP” option. You can simply enable in-page and anchor ads without any other options and click “Apply” button.
- You will see two parts in AMP auto ads code. Copy the script part and paste it on the header section of your AMP page.
- Finally, copy the ad code part and paste on the body section of your AMP page.
After enabling AMP ads, you will see the “AMP is off” button is changed to “AMP is on”. Unlike normal auto ads which will appear in few minutes, AMP auto ads may take longer time.
Reporting of AdSense Auto Ads
Google also made the reporting in easy manner to find how your auto ads are performing. Go to “Reports > Ad formats” section. Here you can see how your manual and auto ads are performing on your sites.
Will Revenue Increase with Auto Ads?
We have tested auto ads on two of our sites with two different scenarios.
- Enable Auto Ads Keeping Existing Ad Units – this resulted in getting more than 15% increase in revenue.
- Enable Auto Ads and Remove All Existing Ad Units – this result in almost 10% decrease in revenue.
So based on our experiments, we recommend to use auto ads along with your existing ad units. For example, you might have inserted ad units on fixed places like below title, after post content, middle of the sidebar, etc. But you may not have any ad code inserted in-between the page content. By enabling auto ads, there will be ads automatically shown in-between the content thus increasing your overall revenue.
On other hand, removing the fixed ads may lead to lower revenue. This is because, Google will struggle to find correct placement on your pages with machine learning technology. For example, Google shows the multiplex ads below the footer layout and even auto ads are shown in-between related posts links on the footer area. These all will only have negative impact both from user experience as well as revenue.
So, place your fixed ads on prominent places and leave other slots for in-between and in-feed ads for auto ads. This will act as a good balance and result in more revenue. However, this may not work well on AMP pages as overlay ads will not appear on AMP. This will result in lower revenue on mobile devices though you may get higher traffic due to improved page loading speed.
What Auto Ads Not Support?
Well, at this point of time Google pushes their machine learning technology through auto ads. But there are many things you should consider before enabling auto ads on your site:
- AMP and non-AMP pages are different. You should insert separate ad code for your AMP pages. AMP ads only support display format.
- You may get lower revenue when trying with ad codes from other programs. Don’t enable auto ads if you are using ad codes from other programs on the same pages. It is also not possible to do so on AMP pages, as only one ad provider tag is supported in AMP by default.
- Auto ads works on responsive sites. Upgrade your non-responsive sites if you are still holding on to fixed layout sites.
- Auto ads may interfere with the floating menu. So, you might need to disable if you use floating or sticky menu on your sites.
- Page speed will become lower with auto ads as multiple format and other issues will impact the page loading time.
Auto ads are really a game changer in pay per click advertising world. It is not perfect at this point of time and looks like mix of page-level ads and publisher’s plugin (now Google Site Kit) offered earlier. We strongly believe Google will do more and more improvements in terms of placements and serving correct ad formats over period of time. So, forget your worries about where to place and what to place, just focus on creating content for the users.
This is a nice article and helpful. One question, do we need to add a separate code for amp auto ads? or if we add auto ad code in header it gets applied on amp too?
also FYI you have one typo “past” instead of “paste” :)
Yes, as mentioned in the article, you have to use separate code for AMP auto ads.
Thanks for pointing the typo – we have corrected it.
Have you observe that the auto ads does not show link ads – most are banner display based ads. Any solution to that?
We don’t think link unit is part of auto ads, display ad doesn’t include link units.
Which type of ads generates the most RPM?
Page ads, or In-article ads?
How about ads balance? Auto ads slows down my website.
Entire AdSense will slow down your site for that matter and auto ads will do worse if you combine with other fixed ad slots. Auto ads are generally useful on mobile with low RPM.
To me, its a useless feature introduced by Google. They should add a simple on and off button for auto ads.
There are publishers who still don’t know what the heck auto ads made for.
That’s the misunderstanding with the name Auto Ads. However, you need to insert the code in order to display even the auto ads on your site. There is also a switch only for AMP in AdSense account which, you can turn it off.