Exact position of ads matters

By February 6th, 2008

You might imagine that choosing whether to put a skyscraper in your left or right rail, or your 728 x 90 banner at the top or in your footer, matters when it comes to their performance. You’d be right. AdSense gives you some clues with its heat map—specifically, ads embedded within your content, or slightly veering to the left-hand side of the page, will perform better than ads relegated to the bottom or right.

But does the precise position of an ad unit matter? Does shifting a banner or skyscraper a few pixels to the right or left, or up or down, make a difference?

Yes, it does.

In the same test that showed in our last entry that 3 ads per page does not necessarily outperform 2 ads per page (and, occasionally, it actually underperforms), we looked at the alignment of specifically three zones on HubPages:

  • the title banner (a zone below our header and above the main body of content)
  • the skyscraper (usually vertically-oriented ads, typically placed in the left- or right-rail)
  • the bottom rectangle (a zone below the main body of content)

(Note, YieldBuild zones are not precise designations for specific ad units—they are just areas that allow YieldBuild to optimize a wide variety of ad unit types and sizes.)

The results were interesting. In each case, a specific alignment of ads did, in fact, make a difference and outperformed other alignments:

Alignment impact on ad performance

In the specific case of HubPages, title banners and skyscrapers performed best when aligned to the right of their zones, while centered bottom rectangle units seemed to outperform those shifted to the left or right.

Would the same be the case for your site? It’s impossible to say. What this does say that, ideally, you should test not only the ad units and layouts on your page, but the ad units’ exact position as well, if you truly want to maximize your ads’ performance.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 6th, 2008 at 8:41 pm and is filed under Online Advertising. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

5 Responses to “Exact position of ads matters”

  1. Interview of YieldBuild’s Jason Menayan | SEO Tips Mashup Says:

    [...] I would say it’s a pretty good rule-of-thumb. It underscores that placement does matter, especially placing ads above the fold and juxtaposed/embedded in content. I hate to keep dropping links to our blog, but there is an example here that’s interesting, because even at the handful-of-pixel level, the precise positioning of ads matters: http://blog.yieldbuild.com/2008/02/06/exact-position-of-ads-matters/ [...]

  2. Interview of YieldBuild’s Jason Menayan : india sem Says:

    [...] I would say it’s a pretty good rule-of-thumb. It underscores that placement does matter, especially placing ads above the fold and juxtaposed/embedded in content. I hate to keep dropping links to our blog, but there is an example here that’s interesting, because even at the handful-of-pixel level, the precise positioning of ads matters: http://blog.yieldbuild.com/2008/02/06/exact-position-of-ads-matters/ [...]

  3. SEO Costa Rica » Blog Archive » Interview of YieldBuild’s Jason Menayan Says:

    [...] I would say it’s a pretty good rule-of-thumb. It underscores that placement does matter, especially placing ads above the fold and juxtaposed/embedded in content. I hate to keep dropping links to our blog, but there is an example here that’s interesting, because even at the handful-of-pixel level, the precise positioning of ads matters: http://blog.yieldbuild.com/2008/02/06/exact-position-of-ads-matters/ [...]

  4. Econs.net Blog » Interview of YieldBuild's Jason Menayan Says:

    [...] I would say it’s a pretty good rule-of-thumb. It underscores that placement does matter, especially placing ads above the fold and juxtaposed/embedded in content. I hate to keep dropping links to our blog, but there is an example here that’s interesting, because even at the handful-of-pixel level, the precise positioning of ads matters: http://blog.yieldbuild.com/2008/02/06/exact-position-of-ads-matters/ [...]

  5. soallypoolf Says:

    Hi, cool site, good writing ;)

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