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Types and formats of Google AdSense ads

AdSense is one of Google’s flexible PPC advertising programs. It offers a variety of ad types and formats, allowing publishers to match ads with page content and layout. Basically, you can insert Google AdSense ads in two ways – automatic artificial intelligence (AI) and manual method. In any of these methods, you can choose either adaptive or fixed format.

Types of Adsense Ads

AdSense offers the following types of ads:

  • Display advertising
  • Text Ads
  • Link block declarations
  • Ads in feed
  • Ad feed
  • Advertising in articles
  • Featured content ads
  • Videos advertising
  • Game advertising
  • Mobile advertising

Each ad category will have more varieties with different sizes. Google has removed some ad types and you need additional approval for some ad types. Let’s discuss this in more detail.

Choosing an ad type in AdSense

You can choose an ad type when you create a new ad unit in your AdSense account. After logging in, go to “Ads > Ad Units” and select the type of ad you want to create from the list.

Type of ad units in Google Adsense

1. Display advertising

Older display ads are typical image banners, available in a variety of sizes ranging from full size full size banner (728×90) to small button size (125×125). As of June 17, 2019 , Google has made changes to display ad types to combine text and image formats into one “Display Ad” type. These ads include plain text, image rich media, Flash or video ads.

1.1. Text Ads [Retired]

Text ads are the same as display ads, with the difference that these ads will display text ads instead of rich media content. Typically a wide skyscraper size ad (160×600) is a set of 3-4 ads showing each ad in one block. If you don’t prefer image ads and rich media ads, text ads are a good alternative as they can show 3 to 4 ads per block.

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As mentioned, Google has ditched text ads and merged them with display ads. However, you can still create text ad types using feed ads.

Link blocks are text ads available in both vertical and horizontal form. A vertical link block (120×90 or 200×90) consists of three links together, while a horizontal block (728×15) consists of 3-4 blocks together in one ad unit. Learn more about link advertising.

AdSense Link ad unit

Google has retired link block ads effective March 31, 2021.

3. Built-in native advertising.

Previously, Google offered to display ads in RSS feeds and blogs. You can now see this as a native in-feed ad in your AdSense account. These ads will blend beautifully between your feeds to create a sense of content. However, development skills may be required to display these ads, as it is not possible to simply paste the code into the submission loop. Typically, server-side scripts such as PHP are used in the feed to create cycles such as blog index pages or category index pages. Therefore, you may need PHP code to insert an embedded ad code into your blog or category index.

3.1. Ads in the AdSense feed [Retired]

Previously, AdSense allowed you to display ads in the blog feed to appear between blog posts according to your settings. Note that when a user subscribes to your feed, AdSense ads will be sent in the feed, which will be delivered to the user’s inbox. So your channel subscriber should see Google AdSense ads in their inbox. This is an exception to the standard AdSense policy that prevents email ads from being sent. Google is no longer using AdSense for Channels as of December 3, 2012 and will later introduce in-feed ads as part of a native ad group.

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4. Native advertising in articles.

Native article ads are similar to feed ads but have a different purpose. You can place these types of ads between paragraphs within your content. This is useful when you have long content that needs to be scrolled and read.

5. Native ads with featured content

It’s essentially a Google AdSense content recommendation with monetization options. Previously, there was a restriction on displaying ads with matching content. However, Google removed this restriction and allowed all publishers to create and serve ads with relevant content. You can customize these referral ads by specifying the number of rows, columns, and other options that match your site’s layout.

Ads with Recommended AdSense Content

6. Video ads (separate approval required)

There are two types of video ads – video ad playback and embedded ads in video streaming. Video ad playback refers to rich media ads that show videos instead of static images or text ads. Video ads can be CPC type or CPM type, and the advantage of CPM type is that an impression is counted every time the first image is loaded, not necessarily that the entire video must be played by the visitor. Previously, you could enable rich media content by selecting the “Text & display ads” ad type for an individual ad unit. As mentioned, Google removed this option and included rich video ads in display ads by default.

Change adsense ad type
Change adsense ad type

If you want to embed ads in your streaming videos, you’ll need to apply for a separate AdSense for video account.

Video and game ads in AdSense
Video and game ads in AdSense

7. Advertising games

As with video ads, in-game ads require a separate permission. You can apply for this by going to the “Ads > Other Products” section in your AdSense account.

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8. Mobile advertising [Retired]

If you have a mobile site that is optimized for any high performance devices like iPhone and Android, you don’t need to create separate mobile ad units. Plain display or text ad units will also appear on high-end mobile devices as they have built-in web browsers that support JavaScript. If you run your mobile site for any WAP browsers, you need to create mobile ads and display them on your mobile pages. Google has phased out mobile advertising and now you can use responsive ads across all devices.

You currently have two options for choosing your ad size when creating a new ad. One is to choose a responsive format, the other is to choose a fixed size. To increase your revenue, Google recommends using the following fixed ad sizes along with a suitable placement.

  • 336 x 280 – large rectangle
  • 300 x 250 – rectangle
  • 728 x 90 – full size banner
  • 160 x 600 – wide skyscraper
  • Responsive Ads – Automatically populate any of the available ad units to match the available size on your page.

These ads blend seamlessly with content and are more likely to be clicked on due to their larger size compared to smaller ads. Learn more about the AdSense ad code . Also, larger ads will automatically match smaller ads when inventory is not available. However, we highly recommend using responsive ads to automatically resize based on device and browser width. Also, try to avoid custom ad sizes as there may not be available ad inventory that fits that particular ad size, resulting in lower ad revenue.

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