Optimizing Google Adsense Link Units

[This is part of the Blogger's Guide to Earning More with Google Adsense.]

One of the Google Adsense Units that we haven’t mentioned much is the “Link Unit” option which many bloggers often fail to use at all or simply use ignorantly without much gain.

Recently a new update to link units have been implemented which, based on their research, will hopefully yield even higher CTR for bloggers and publishers:

We’ve heard feedback from publishers that it isn’t clear why they should choose to show four versus five terms in their link units. Most people pick one of these options by guessing the expected performance. We’ve actually found that link units with four terms almost always perform better than five. tweet

As a result, we’re reducing the number of topics in all link units to four for horizontal orientations and three for vertical orientations. If you’re currently using link units, this change will happen automatically. We’re also slightly increasing spacing between and font size of each term. tweet

Not too bad! I do use them here and their situated after the content and before the comment layer:

The challenge with Link Units is that it can be a challenge to find a great place to put them, especially in an optimal fashion.

But if you can blend them well with your design and navigation you could have a huge winner.

Check out these two examples:

Well place on the left navigation.

As you can see the text link units are well placed in the top left on the vertical navigation. It looks natural and matches the rest of the websites colors!

Here’s a great one for top navigation:

As you can see the link units right below the logo match with the overall site and go well with the flow of the content and presentation.

Well done!

But it’s good to know that it requires the user to not only click once but twice – you see, clicking a link unit jumps you to a page that looks like this:

Requires two clicks.

And if the user clicks on one of the links on the Google Link Page then you’ll get paid.

That’s why many publishers ignore link units because it requires the end-user to click twice – although, I believe that if done well it can pay off big time.

[This is part of the Blogger's Guide to Earning More with Google Adsense.]

  • http://www.tillhecomes.org Jeremy Myers

    I didn’t know that about the 2-click requirement, as I have never clicked a link ad before.

    • http://john.do John Saddington


      • http://www.tillhecomes.org Jeremy Myers

        I did click one of yours…just for the experience, and to see it work. I found a decent website that way too, so clicking it was helpful.

  • http://www.blogtrickstream.com BT Stream

    ha ha.. cool.. going to add the to a better place……

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      try it and see what happens!

  • http://www.searchable.com/blog Chris | The Searchable Blog

    I can vouch for John when he says link units can still pay off even in light of requiring two clicks from visitors; I run a campaign for a site making use of a horizontal link unit near the header and it does extremely well.

    If you’re looking to optimize the placement of your unit, consider this position as it’s the one place visitors aren’t blind to ads … because this is usually the position for top navigation, visitors take a moment to read the ads. If you’ve done a solid job, you’ll receive clicks, and in turn as John pointed out, secondary clicks.

    One suggestion I’d give to those interested in trying this on their properties is to avoid mixing navigation with ads … it never looks good and it’s deceiving to your visitors. Instead, consider creating a side navigation if you need it.

    Thanks for breaking this down for us John, and doing such an awesome job covering the extensive world of advertising.


    • http://john.do John Saddington

      awesome! love to share some more direct stats?

  • http://www.tillhecomes.org Jeremy Myers

    Do text ads generally pay less per click than image ads?

    • http://www.tillhecomes.org Jeremy Myers

      I might have answered my own question. I added a text ad on my site yesterday. It got clicked.

      The CPC for a text ad appears to be about 10% that of an image ad.

      • http://john.do John Saddington

        it can vary, as anything. placement is really crucial though.

  • http://www.myreferenceframe.com/ Anant

    Thanks man. I was trying to figure out why my link ads show up in certain places and not others but if it requires two clicks…

    Best wishes,

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      cool! rockin.

  • Elektronika

    Thanks for the recomendation and nice information. I will try it. My adsense revenue are very low. Hope this will help me increase my revenue.