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AdSense testing Italicized Ads

Posted By Darren Rowse 25th of February 2007 Adsense 0 Comments

Over the last week I’ve had quite a few readers emailing me about Google AdSense ads that they are seeing with the headings of the ad in italics.

Initially the ads mainly seemed to be appearing on big websites and I thought they were something premium publishers were testing but in the last couple of days it has become clear that they’re testing them more widely and I’ve seen them on my own blogs in quite a few impressions.

here’s how they look:


(You’ll also see the first ad has the google checkout shopping cart which is also relatively new)

Every time there’s a change like this I get the same two responses from publishers.

  1. I think it’s great – this camp thinks that anything Google does that is a bit different to draw attention to the ads is great
  2. I think it’s bad – this camp wants to be able to control such variations themselves as they feel that some of the things Google does with ads can actually work against the overall design of a blog.

My feeling is that this isn’t the most intrusive thing that AdSense are currently testing. One of the other tests currently underway is the ‘G’ image that they’re testing instead of and in conjunction with the ‘Ads by Gooooooogle’ link (see below).


My personal feeling is that this goes a little far and cheapens the look of a site. They’re also testing other versions of this and while I know it probably helps their branding and might even help CTR on ads I’d prefer control over whether it appears.

In fact I’d prefer that the Ads by Gooooogle link was a referral link as it links directly to a site where people can sign up to become AdWords advertisers and AdSense publishers. Come on Google – pay us for advertising your programs!?

Thanks to everyone who has been emailing me about the italics ads – feedbuzzard being one.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
  • It would be pretty cool if you could control the font style and maybe have a few size options when creating the ads. I support Google Adsense and feel it can be pretty effective if used properly. Most of the people I know complain about the program because they don’t make money using it. I usually tell them the reason why is because of the type of people that visit your site. These are all mainly authors of tech related sites… or other sites where the traffic who view the sites all know about Google Adsense.

    I think Google Adsense is a great way to make some money if you were to roll it out on a site where people don’t know about it. And, I don’t mean to trick people… play by all the rules, use all the features and take all the advise and suggestions Google offers….

    It’s just different when you have viewers who are don’t use Adsense on their own site. It is different when you viewer base isn’t aware of what the program is.

    Google Adsense if used correctly can prove to be a very useful tool for linking people to relevant content, products, and services that they are interested in.

    Having that said, I do appreciate any tools the Google Adsense program has, but I would like to have more control over the ads.

    But what can you do? And overall, I am pretty satisfied with Google Adsense.

  • Huh. Would you pay for more control, Darren? That’s the only way I can see Google excusing people from the test lab. Well, that or more competition.

  • I saw the Google icon on my blog once and had an instant dislike for it. Thankfully it hasn’t shown up since and hope it stays that way.

  • they can just give the font control to us.That can help more

  • Now that I think about it, you’re right Darren. The reason we want more control is that most ads that we implement are supposed to blend in. With some of the changes that Google is making, we are getting less and less control.

    Hopefully they get it figured out though. As they have a lot of experts working on this, I’m sure they have metrics that they are looking into.

  • I wouldn’t want to be displaying the “G” logo, but can you really blame them? I don’t know how many AdSense views there are in any given day, but it’s that many more million times that people will get “Google” implanted in their brains.

    I guess I’ve never clicked on the “Ad by Goooogle” link, but it seems odd that they wouldn’t be giving payouts for those clicks.

  • I love the idea of font control – but can’t see Google adopting this any time in the near future unfortunately. Go and prove me wrong Larry!

  • i agree totally. google permits me to have “referrals” but at the same time, every single AdSense for Content ad gives them free links. however, i do believe our pub is in the google links?

    as for me, i don’t mind how goolge changes their ads, as long as my pub is attached and i have some control over the flavor, i’m fine with it.

  • I don t know why eventually they are testing it well the heading of the is already in highlight , bold and in color so do they need more attention than this to the audience .If they do i don’t think it s the best way to do it some pictures or logos or font control as some of them said … Anyway we ll have to wait to see …

  • good way

    may be they should allow a few more characters

  • Yeah, I’ve also noticed this on my own sites.

    This might be a way for them to fight “ad blindness” – some people are getting used to Google AdSense ads and they know they are ads so they might not click them just because of that. Well, at least it caught my eye…

  • Although you can’t currently change the font for adsense ads, it’s okay with Google’s terms of service to use font tags around referrals in order to change font size and color. In fact, I recently discovered that you are even allowed to actively encourage visitors to click on your referral buttons and links, but only those.

    I’ve seen the little shopping cart on my own site, but don’t recall seeing the Google ‘G’ logo. I thought it was actually pretty cool and might get a few more clicks because of it’s curiosity value, too.