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AdSense Updates Forums Help Pages

Posted By Darren Rowse 25th of July 2006 Adsense 0 Comments

AdSense have updated their advice for publishers using their ads on Forums in their Help Center.

Their update is pretty small – the changes in the heat maps from last time to this time are negligable (see below – the old version is on the left and the new one on the right).

Forum Heat Map-761099Forum Sm En

Their main advice really isn’t anything particularly new but is a good reminder if you’re into forums. Here’s what they have to say:

Placement: Display your ad units where repeat users will notice them

• Because forum regulars tend to skip the header and go straight to the meat of the thread, placing your ad unit above or below the first post can be more effective than ads next to the logo.

• Place a leaderboard immediately after the last post. This provides users who make it to the end of a thread with a ‘next step’ when the content ends. Try to avoid placing it after the footer, though, as your readers will likely move to the next thread without seeing the ad.

Formats: Adapting your design for multiple ad units and limited space.

• Using multiple ad units, you can use a variety of formats to fill ad space throughout your site. Placing a skyscraper above the fold on the left side of your forum seems to produce slightly better performance than other positioning. However, when using multiple ad units throughout the page our horizontal bias still favors the leaderboard. Our heat map provides more details.

• Use horizontal link units, which are small enough to fit near the top of your forum just below the header. For the regular forum visitor, link units offer a wider range of relevant topics to browse.

In addition to the above they encourage opting into image ads which will bring more CPM ads into your forum (good because you’ll get paid for every view instead of just clicks which are hard to get with regular readers who become blind to the ads). They also encourage blending ads.

The other piece of advice I’d encourage is to mix your ads up. Rotate different color schemes through (AdSense allows you to include 4 per unit) and even consider rotating other ad network’s ads into the mix to really mix things up.

Found via Forumtrends (who add their own advice also).

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 and LinkedIn.
  1. Its good solid sensible advise, I will be taking note of it when I get round to updating my site.

  2. A lot of this could also apply to blogs – most readers ignore the header and go straight to the article. I would think that this is where ads inside the post would benefit bloggers the same as forum owners

  3. I would like to add on this…

    I had trouble (im using blogger software) that when putting adds inside blogger tags in various sections that it repeated throught all the posts…

    My solutions was to use Iframes as blooger accepted these tags… so now from inside my blog post body I call a hosted webpage with just the ads which is seen in the posts body.

    Is this the wrong way to do this… would it get me introuble… any other ways of doing what I want.


  4. some times adsense ads doesn’t show up at all. when we use 3 different units, everything comes up blank and some times all 3 shows complete ad.

  5. Michael, I think I understand your problem–you put the google adsense tags inside the tags for an individual post, and it repeated more than three times on the page? (Because you had more than 3 posts on the page)

    If that’s true, the way I solved that was with PHP. I set a counter at the top of the page to equal 1 and inside each post I have it check what the counter is. If it’s less than or equal to 3, I put in the google code and added 1 to the counter. Otherwise, I just let it be. That way I always insure that I have only 3 ads per page.

    Hey, maybe I’m completely off the mark to what your issue was/is, but I thought my solution was kind of cool :).

  6. Prime Spots for Adsense Ads – A Study…

    Few days ago Adsense help centre suggested a new adsense heat map for forums. It can be applied to blogs as well, since blog is akin to forums in some ways. See below:…

  7. Kyle,

    Is there any chance of you giving me the source code for the PHP that you implemented to solve the problem.


  8. Here’s how I do it:

    This goes in your page outside of your posts (perhaps near the top of the page):

    Then put this wherever you want the ads to appear in your post:


    If you want to change the number of posts that have ads, just change the 3 to a different number.

    This is something that can work in just about any programming language too, and if I remember correctly from when I used Movable Type, you can do it with a plugin that allows you to set variables.

    Anyways, give that a try, see if it works for you!

    (Darren, hopefully the code will display correctly in the comment–if not, feel free to edit/delete whatever you feel)

  9. Uh oh, it looks like the code doesn’t display at all–Michael, just send me an email at slattery at fidgeting dot net, and I’ll be more than happy to give you the code.

  10. I wish I had seen this heatmap when i started my forum 2 years ago… since I adjusted and optimised all ads on my forum a few months ago just by trial and error I think I missed out on a lot of income. But the heatmap is indeed correct, except for the footer part, my experience learns that this adplacement is not really brining anything.

    Also, I run a forum that is really simple in design but frequented a lot which makes up for the ‘simplicity’ and something tells me that the ads are also more visible this way. Forums with lots of hocus pocus tend to drive attention away.

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