A new feature by AdSense, Ad Balance created a lot of buzz as Google introduced it. In January 2018, we finally got AdSense Ad Balance, which came along with an experiment option, details of which will be discussed later as you read.
The default settings of AdSense allow 100% ads to be displayed on your webpage. Using Ad Balance, you can reduce this percentage, as per your requirements. Now the question arises, “Why would we want to reduce ad display percentage?”.
To answer that question, let’s start with the most basic one.
What is Ad Balance?
Ad Balance is a feature introduced by the Google AdSense using which you can reduce the number of ads being shown on your website. This helps you focus on best performing ads and retain your ad revenue while improving user experience.
A publisher has a fixed number of ad slots available to display ads and this number is determined by publisher themselves. Using the Ad Balance settings, number of ads being shown can be reduced even when bandwidth allows to display all of them.
On Ad Balance page, you will see a slider (ad fill rate slider). If you move this slider, you will see the impact in form of estimated earning and ad display percentage. A publisher can set the ad fill rate slider to a point where ads can be minimized without hurting the earning.
What is the Need to Balance Ad?
This may sound confusing but lowering the ad fill rate can actually result in an increase in revenue by focussing on better performing ads. Still confused? Well, you can always run an experiment to check the performance.
All the ads being displayed on your webpage don’t always yield results. Not to forget the fact that, visitors get annoyed by seeing too many ads on a webpage. Keeping all this in mind, reducing the number of ads being displayed is a good idea.
Another reason to use AdSense Ad Balance feature is Google’s new policy. All the sites violating ad density norms will be given “Failing” status. Following which Chrome will block ads on these websites unless publishers submit their sites for abusive experience review.
Huffington Post stated that 30% visitors actively use methods to avoid banner ads. They added, “With so many people tuning out marketing messages on their favourite websites, publishers risk seriously undermining their relationship with audiences. What good is a 100% fill rate if nobody wants to actually see the ads being served?”
Yes, there are other means to recover ad revenue lost due to ad blockers. But when Google AdSense is offering a method to reduce number of ads being served on your website without hurting your earnings—you should definitely give it a try.
How to Setup Ad Balance using AdSense Settings?
- Sign in to your Google AdSense Account.
- Click on Ads > Ad Balance.
- A slider will appear on your screen, move this slider to set ad fill rate. Make sure to check the estimated impact on revenue.
- Lastly, click on Apply button to save settings.
Dropping a small number of ads on your site is not going to affect the earnings much. However, it will surely improve the user’s experience of your website. If you put the ad fill rate slider between 70% to 100%, the estimated earning will sustain 100% rate.
If you’re still not sure whether Ad Balance will work, you can try an Ad Balance Experiment.
Create and Run Ad Balance Experiment with Google AdSense
AdSense allows user to create experimental ads to compare one ad layout to another. Using this data, you can implement the setting that seems most beneficial to you.
Here’s how you can do it:
- On Google AdSense dashboard, click on Optimization > Experiments.
- Ad experiments options will appear viz. Blocking controls experiments, Ad Balance experiments, Custom search style experiments, and Automatic experiments.
- Choose Ad Balance experiment and give this experiment a name. Once you have created an experiment, it’s time to monitor it.
- With sufficient data, you can choose the winner and implement the desired settings.
While setting up the Ad Balance Experiment, you will come across the option to allow Google to implement the winning variant automatically. If you haven’t chosen this option, Google will wait 90 days for your response to select a winner and after that your experiment will be terminated.
Does Ad Balance work Perfectly?
Running Google Ad Balance experiment is not as easy as it may sound. Publisher needs to consider various criteria that affect display ads (ad type, ad location, and ad density). Also, applying the experiment on each landing page can be time-consuming. Monitoring and discovering the best-performing variants and can take months.
There is no doubt that Google wants publishers and advertisers to monetize more by selling and buying digital inventory.
Sadly, Ad Balance is not a perfect tool yet. The success of display ads depends on various factors and measuring it with one experiment will not give accurate results.
What did we Understand?
As a publisher, you should be concerned with your visitor’s experience. Using banner ads to generate revenue is fair. But that doesn’t mean it’s okay to bombard their screens with ads.
Implementing Ad Balance is a good idea for most publishers. It may have little or no effect on ad revenue but it will improve user experience. Ad Balance is a new feature by AdSense and it requires some updates and improvements, but it’s a step in the right direction.