What are Ad Sense Auto Ads?
AdSense auto ads are a Google feature that uses machine learning to automatically make decisions on ad placement and monetization. Essentially, this enables Google AdSense to inject ads into your site only if the ads are likely to perform well. Auto ads can be used alongside traditional ad placements that you have implemented, so it is not a case of one or the other.
- One piece of code – This makes it very easy to use! Auto ads can be switched on or off through AdSense, enabling publishers to focus on content. With just one piece of code, you no longer have to place different codes in different areas of the page. Less code = less page loading requirements slowing the page down.
- Automatic optimization – Auto ads will automatically test against and amend every variable, improving performance through A/B testing with the aim of increasing your RPM.
- No placement restrictions – Despite Google lifting their 3-ads-per-page rule, there are still certain policies and guidelines in regard to placement you must follow. With Auto Ads, those become Google’s concern and not yours.
- Monetizing AMP pages – For those pages that benefit from Google to AMP pages, this feature makes life a lot easier as a special set up is required for AMP-enabled pages.
- No Control – By enabling Auto ads the freedom to place an ad in any area of the site, you may find ads appearing in places you really do not want ads to be. You may find ads being placed in areas you did not think you could even put an ad, aesthetically, having no control here removes your ability to maintain the quality feel of consistency or user experience and habits being taken into account.
- Too many ads – Although Auto ads may have detected that 6 ads on a page does not adversely affect monetization, it is hard to believe this would not impact user experience and the look and feel you may be trying to achieve.
- It doesn’t always work – with static placements, you can always verify that everything working correctly. Auto Ads functions through machine learning, so you can naturally expect for things to go wrong from time to time, as with most automations. This is usually quite the concern for publishers, as you can never know what kind of experience each user will have.
How to enable them
Enabling Auto ads is fairly simple. First of all, you need to decide whether you want to apply Auto ads across the whole site or on specific pages. Next is assessing where it would be appropriate to use a combination of the two. For instance, if you have a format such as In-article ads featured on the global setting across the whole site but on a specific page, you’d not like the format to appear, you can deselect that format from the URL settings.
To set up Auto ads, you must sign in to your AdSense account and do the following:
- Click Ads > Overview
- Select Edit next you your site and under Site Settings, turn on Auto Ads
- Next, you can choose to select Ad Formats or select the number of ads you would allow on the page with the Ad Load slider.
- You can also manage any page exclusions, where you’d like to not feature Auto ads, by selecting Manage in the Page Exclusions section.
- Finally, click on Apply to site and your ads should start to show after at least an hour, wherever you have your AdSense tag implemented. Full instructions can be found here
Auto Ads vs Smart View
Smart View is our alternative to Google Auto Ads, which introduces new dynamics to static inventory, while keeping publishers in the driver’s seat. Ultimately, Smart View and Auto ads solve different problems, but they share some common features.
Both solutions utilize automatic ad injection, albeit in a different fashion. While Auto Ads uses machine learning to determine what ad to server and where, Smart View is focused towards the user experience and dynamically creating 100% viewable inventory. The results of Ad Sense’s feature are quite random and uncontrollable, whereas with our solution publishers keep full control of all possible delivery scenarios.
Auto Ads also have notoriously bad viewability rates, which usually has a heavy impact on performance. On the other hand, Smart View creates inventory that is viewable nearly 100% of the time, even surpassing lazy loaded ad units, since it doesn’t use pre-loading.
Having already explored the traits of Google’s solution, here are the key characteristics of Smart View:
White Space Monetization – Smart View is a white space focused monetization tool that injects ads dynamically as they come in view, creating new ad inventory either in-article or in the Sidebar. There is also the ability to auto refresh the ads format to provide greater revenue opportunities, which is not the case with Ad Sense.
Demand – While Auto Ads is only available for Ad Sense, our solution is compatible with any demand source, including Google, EBDA and Header Bidding partners.
Greater control – Ads will be injected in a pre-determined fashion and only if the total screen space taken by manually and automatically inserted ads is not over 30% and the ad spot is in view.
No Surprises – The ads would replicate the look and feel of ads already present on the page. A publisher knows exactly what ads and where the ads would feature, with the ability to specify the maximum number of ads.
Desktop and Tablet Focus – Auto Ads are able to monetize Mobile and AMP environments. Smart View is currently focused on Desktop and Tablet.
When to choose Auto Ads and when Smart View
As with all advertising solutions, testing is always required. There is no reason why you cannot utilize both solutions in different areas of your site and on the same pages. There are two very clear scenarios where your monetization strategy and needs would favor either solution.
If you are looking to monetize Mobile or AMP pages, then Auto Ads provide the support for you to do so. Whereas, if your focus is more on user experience, limiting too many ads and the look and feel of the pages, then Smart View gives you greater control. Likewise, Smart View makes sense if you have a deep page, with long-form content which involves a lot of scrolling down. Smart View in the sidebar position with the ability to auto refresh can provide good opportunities to not only create new ad inventory but also opportunities to increase the monetization with more impressions served.
Smart View also allows you to utilize placement automation if you’ve already moved past the Ad Sense platform, which is a natural next step in a publisher’s growth path.