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The AdSense Game

Posted by on 12th Jan 2008 | 3 comments

With most blogs created to make some sort of supplementary income advertising is often the method used to create that revenue stream. Integrating ads into your sites design however is overlooked regularly by bloggers, simply adding the default AdSense units to the sidebar and under every post. Colour and placement of the ad’s as well as how they interact with the rest of your content are key to increasing your conversions.

But first, here are some ground rules laid out by Google. You may not change the AdSense code itself for any reason and You can not include incentives of any kind for users to click on ads. This includes encouraging users to click on the ads or to visit the advertisers’ sites as well as drawing any undue attention to the ads. Don’t go overboard is the basic rule of thumb here.

One idea seen on some sites is placing images next to the ads to make them appear to be one unit through the rule of proximity. Though the second rule listed would suggest there might be an issue with this strategy there is sort of blurry line with doing this and having flashing arrows pointing towards the ads. It seems images next to ads are okay as long as they’re is some sort of separation between the ad and images like a border. Images can also be used to frame the ad in the same style as the rest of your site.

Another school of thought is to blend the ads into your site making it appear as if it were actual content. This method is a bit harder to accomplish, but it’s not impossible. Removing the border around the ad and making the colours similar to the ones in your style sheet can go a long way to creating an illusion of integration.

And it’s always a good idea to email Google and see if the method you’ve chosen is acceptable or not.


John Leschinski is the creative director and founder of Leschinski Design. John's skill and talent is sought after by large and small companies and organizations, both local to the Rainy River district, London Ontario, and globaly. His experience and knowledge are also used in classrooms to groom the next generation of web developers and business seminars discussing e-commerce and the value of good design.

3 comments - Leave a reply
  • Posted by Lee Robertson on 12th Jan 2008

    <blockquote cite="It seems images next to ads are okay as long as they’re is some sort of separation between the ad and images like a border. Images can also be used to frame the ad in the same style as the rest of your site.">

    I like to get paid from Google as much as the next person, but I like to keep my account more than make a few extra cents. It is not worth the few extra clicks to possibly get banned for drawing undo attention to the ads. IMHO

  • Posted by Zhu on 12th Jan 2008

    I'm still struggling with my Adsense placement… I'm not making any money from it and I was wondering why. If you have a chance to check out my blog, I'd appreciate advice from a pro! :wink:

  • Posted by Interwebhunt on 14th Jan 2008

    The best thing i've found to do with Adsense ads is to A) keep them above the fold if you're using them in a sidebar, and B) make them borderless, and have the background blend with whatever DIV they happen to be in. This is all well within the terms of Adsense, just don't put giant flashing things saying click our ads and you'll be all set.