No matter whether you are a casual blogger or a news website or an internet hobbyist, since 2003 Google Adsense program has always been the holy grail for all website owners. Over all these years AdSense has provided a chance to put food in many of the webmasters table, a chance to make your passion to profession. No matter what, the AdSense ad types were almost same for all these years besides some minor changes, but last year Google has launched a special ad type named AdSense Page-Level Ads.
Now these page-level ads are still in beta and not available publicly for everyone even after testing it for more than one and a half years. If you follow me on twitter, then you must have seen that I’ve teased recently, I got the AdSense Page-Level Ads beta access earlier this month. Since that day I’ve been testing this new ad format by Google and today in this article I’m going to share my thoughts and findings about this new AdSense Page-Level Ads.
— Saumya Majumder (@iSaumya) May 6, 2016
The only way to get access to the new AdSense Page-Level Ads is by getting a manual invitation directly from Google AdSense team depending upon your website’s quality, visitors, authority etc. Also as per my research and experience, I think each account at least needs to be 1-year-old and withdrawal money from Google AdSense at least 6 times or more. The reason I mentioned these requirements because I haven’t seen any account to get access to this AdSense page-level ads beta program which does not fall into that category. Though, please note these requirements are not officially declared by Google, these are my personal predictions depending upon various variables.
What is AdSense Page-Level Ad?
If you are not already familiar with what AdSense Page-Level Ads are and what are the benefits of having them, let me explain it to you briefly. As per normal AdSense polity, any general users are allowed to put 3 normal AdSense ad units, 3 AdSense link ads and two custom Google search. If you add more than the mentioned ad units in your site, firstly the extra ad units will not work and the Google will block your account for violating the AdSense policy.
As per the AdSense policy, no users are also allowed to have fixed sticky AdSense ads on their website. If you put any kind of ad like this on your website and if someone files a complaint against you to Google for violating policy, all your earned income and account will be gone forever. Google also has some special bots to check these kind of critical violations.
This is where AdSense Page-Level ads comes in. After getting access to AdSense Page-Level Ads Beta program, you will see two new ad types, called Anchor/Overlay ads & Vignette ads in your account, besides the ad units you are used to see inside your AdSense dashboard. The only catch about AdSense page-level ads is that they are designed to work on smartphones only, so you won’t get any extra benefits with these from your desktop users. Here is a brief explanation about how each of them works:
- Anchor/Overlay Ads: Even though no one is allowed to have sticky fixed ads on their site as mentioned above, but if you enable Anchor/overlay ads on your site, it will show you a sticky ad at the bottom of your mobile screen. If any user does not want to see these ads they can just easily slide down to hide these ads on any website. This is really great as theoretically sticky ads have much more impression and cost-per-click value than normal scrollable ads (thoroughly explained below).
- Vignette ads: This is a unique kind of ad format which is also not allowed to implement as per general AdSense policy. What this ad type does is, it converts any link to an ad overlay page. So if someone click on any link inside your article to go the mentioned page, it will first show a full screen ad which users have to manually close by clicking on the close button if they are not interested before redirecting you to your destination page.
It is really great but the main downside of this is, you cannot choose, clicking on which link this type of ad will show up, instead Google bot will scan each and every page of your site that has page level ad code implemented, then Google itself will decide when to show up this type of ads and on which links. So, in theory they are completely random and may or may not show up when users clicked on any particular link on your website while visiting it from a smartphone.
As Google said, the reason they do this is because user experience is the first priority to Google. So they do not want to clutter any website with tons and tons of ads buried into the links. Instead Google will scan each page and if they think any link on your webpage actually makes sense to have Vignette ads buried into it, then only it will show up, otherwise it won’t.
If you are still confused about these ad types, I really don’t blame you because both of this ad format strictly violet Google AdSense general usage policy. So, as Google said it, these types of ads are only legal if they are served by AdSense page-level ads, but if you try to implement them using the general AdSense ad code and some fancy coding in your site, it will become invalid and your account will be prone to policy violation. Here is a small video made by Google itself which might help you to understand the new AdSense Page-Level Ads even further, take a look at it.
Why sticky ads are theoretically more beneficial?
A few months back I had run a simple experiment on my website after taking proper approval from Google. The reason I needed approval to run this experiment is because it was a direct AdSense policy violation, but Google allowed me to run this experiment for 24 hours only.
In this experiment I had created a fancy code on my website to show up a 320×50 ad unit on the footer of my website as a sticky ad. So that it will remain in the footer even if someone scroll the posts and the only way to hide these ad units were by using the close button I placed on the top of the ad unit. Also in this experiment I showed this specific ad, just to the smartphone and table users, for desktop users there was no change.
After 24 hours of experimentation when I received my report on the next day I was completely blown away by the results of it. Just in 1 day, may daily income for that day had increased by almost 700% comparing my daily earning average. On that day I also realize why Google don’t allow users to keep sticky ads on their site.
If you have normal AdSense ad unit code added to your site, every time someone lands on your website, they see the ad and then scroll down. So if you have a site with daily good visitors (assuming none of them has enabled adblocker), you may get a good amount of impression on each of your ad units but the average time people actually viewed that ad will be much lesser as people will scroll fast as soon as they see any ads. So, the overall CPC of your AdSense account will remain low, as the CPC depends on both impression and ad viewing time.
Now, if you have a sticky ad on your site and if you do not provide any way to close them, it will not get a good impression but a good average view time also, which will in term lead to having a higher CPC rate. So, even if a few people clicked on that ad, you are still going to earn a lot.
But Google don’t allow this is because as per AdSense policy and moto no one should be forced to lured to click on any ad. One should click on any Google ads if and only if they are truly interested to click on that ads. An AdSense publisher should not put any ads on their website such a way people click o ads mistakenly or without understand it is ad. Otherwise it will be treated as an AdSense policy violation.
So, does having AdSense Page-Level Ads increases the earning hugely?
Well, this is where the story started to get changed. I’ve already shared my experience with sticky ad experiment using the normal ad units above, so when I got the invitation for the new AdSense Page-Level Ads beta program, I was insanely exited to test it out as this is this will allow me to have sticky ads on my website officially without violating any terms.
But after using it for a few weeks, the results that I’ve received is nowhere near to my theoretical expectation derived from my previous sticky ad experiment. On the Day 1 after installing it, my CPC grew by almost 270%. On the next day it become 275%. But from the third day it started to decline and after a week of declination my overall average CPC increase has become only 50%.
In somedays my AdSense account has earned exactly it used to earn without the new AdSense page-level ads. Also one important thing to note is, as per AdSense reporting all of my earning has generated from my usual ad units and not from the new page-level ads, as I had only a hand few clicks on those ad units. So, as it seems having the page-level ads on my website has helped to increase my CPC but mostly the revenues are generated by the normal AdSense ad units.
Now here is the complicated part, even though the ads are sticky on mobile, receives so much impression and watch time, why doesn’t it perform like a normal ad unit placed exactly the way AdSense page-level ad does. It’s not like that people don’t visit my site from mobile devices. Almost 60% of my daily viewers visits my site on a smartphone.
So, in this new ad types even though they receive a lot of impression and watch time and may be some clicks also, the new bot that has been designed for this type of specific ad type, discard most of them and only allow those views and clicks which has been done intentionally. You might ask, how Google does this? Well, the simple answer is by tracking the touch input on your device and by the help of extraordinary machine learning and pattern recognition.
So, is it truly worth to have the new AdSense Page-Level Ads?
I will not say that they don’t worth it, but what I will rather say is the revenue expectations I have from it, it did not meet that standard. But still having page-level ads has increased my CPC but just not as much as I expected. So, overall I will say it is definitely worth to have the new AdSense Page-Level Ads enabled on your website, at least it will increase your earning by somewhat which is always good for anyone.
How to get this new AdSense Page-Level ads on my account?
As I mentioned on the beginning on this post that, there is no way to apply for getting approval for AdSense page-level ads. If your website is a authority website which a lot of users visits everyday organically and if your AdSense account is in good standing, Google will send you’re the invitation themselves, you don’t have to do anything but wait. Also if you don’t get an invitation for the beta program, don’t lose hope, I think Google is going to make this new ad type public very soon.
What do you think about the new AdSense page-level ads? Did you also get invitation to use them on your account? Do you currently use them on your website? If you do, let me know if you agree with my findings that I’ve mentioned above. I would love to hear your thoughts on this in the comment section below and continue this conversation there.
You can also connect with me via twitter @iSaumya. If you like this post, please don’t forget to share it with others who might enjoy reading it. Also if you have any other ideas or request about future posts, you can let me know in the comment section below or via twitter.