There is always debate about how to design your AdSense ads. Over the last few years there has been a real shift in thinking of what type of ads work best:
Grab Attention – When I first started using AdSense there was a school of thought going around that the best performing ads were those that stand out ALOT from the rest of your blog. The result was that there were a lot of jarring, headache inducing ads out there (I remember experimenting with bright red backgrounds and yellow titles – I’m getting dizzy just thinking about them).
Blend – In more recent times ‘blended’ ads have become all the range. This is predominantly what people are doing these days and the ads involve borders and backgrounds that are the same color as the background of your site and links and text that match the site as much as possible. In this way ads don’t attract a lot of attention but merge (in a sense) with content.
Integrate – In the last 6 months I’ve noticed another shift in the design of AdSense ads being used by some publishers. It’s a fairly subtle shift from the ‘blend’ approach and one where the ad units are integrated further into the site using visual elements around them that both ‘blend’ and ‘grab attention’. This has largely happened in two ways: