Igor Kromin |   Consultant. Coder. Blogger. Tinkerer. Gamer.

Ad revenue for websites and blogs has been on a downhill for many years, however Google keep promising (potentially) better earnings, ease of use and less time spent managing ads and amazing ways of getting the most out of your monetisation. One of the more recent products to promote this has been Auto Ads and I've been getting nagging notifications in the AdSense admin console about it for months so thought that I may as well try it out.

This is my experience of why I will not use this feature again and the issues that I found with it. It may be due to the layout of my blog, but I feel as a product, Auto Ads should be able to handle any layouts.

So lets get to it...

Off the bat when I enabled Auto Ads and went to change the settings, Google had a very wrong idea about my blog's layout...For some reason the side bar (to the right) looked like it was the main content and the main content was treated as if it was a left-side menu bar.
autoads_1.png


I've changed some settings around, including removing some auto ads slots from the side bar, only to find ads in the middle of a section in the said side bar...Ok I guess Google was still treating my side bar as the main content, which may explain why ads were inserted in the middle of the content there...
autoads_3.png




Moving on...I thought I excluded all the Auto Ads slots that I wanted to and let it all run wild, only to find that some of my pages had this footer ad coming up, which was neither in-line with the side bar nor the main content...it was just plonked there right above the footer. To make it worse, the Auto Ads settings did not show this as an ad slot so I could not actually remove it...
autoads_4.png


At the time I thought that the footer ad was not a big deal so decided to just leave it there. Then after letting it all run for a few days I was shocked to find Auto Ads going wild, with ads being inserted left, right and centre...I mean that's a lot of ads in such a small amount of screen space...
autoads_5.png


So I went back to the settings and there were many more Auto Ads ad slots showing up in my configuration, so I decided to remove them (again). I figured that Google must be "learning" about my site layout over time so this was probably normal.
autoads_6.png


Then I saw this...
autoads_7.png


I can say that I wasn't impressed with the way that Google's Auto Ads mangled the layout of my blog, so after trialing the product out for about two weeks I've had enough.

I've also noticed a considerable drop in revenue over the period - close to 40%, now that's huge! So for a product that kills the look and feel of your website, reduces your revenue, makes you spend more time trying to make sure the ads appear correctly and generally shows low quality ads vs ad slots placed manually...I'd say that Auto Ads is a catastrophic failure and is still a very immature product.

-i

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