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AdSense: Why you should avoid AutoAds

Read Time: 2 mins

Many bloggers and small business owners use the Google AdSense Network as a way of earning a little passive income to help offset the costs of maintaining your website. The network offers to display ads in locations of your choice that are contextually related to the content of the locations where they are displayed, or failing that to topics of interest to your visitors or general audience.

In most respects, this works pretty well and the ads can be set up to be nonintrusive and not obnoxious to your visitors. And if you have sufficient traffic, you can make a pretty decent passive income as an AdSense publisher.

However, if you’re an existing AdSense publisher, you have probably been receiving emails from Google to “upgrade” your site to AutoAds and promising that if you do they will increase your earnings, sometimes dramatically. In theory, this sounds great: Google, rather than you, uses algorithms to determine the optimum number, size, and locations of their ads to maximize your income.

My very strong recommendation is this: Do NOT under any circumstances “upgrade” your site to AutoAds unless your goal is to annoy your visitors and change the look of your site to that of a cheap huckster who wants to sell you the latest snake oil.

There are several reasons for this:

  1. The algorithms used by AutoAds are designed to maximize sales of their ads to advertisers and secondarily to increase income from the display of those ads on your website. They are not concerned with the purpose of your site (as long as it is within their guidelines) and while their description of the “benefits” to you the publisher is not untrue, make no mistake about it: They are in business to sell advertising and that is their priority; their interest in you as a publisher is limited to the reality that they need publishers in order to sell ads.
  2. If you do make the mistake of authorizing AutoAds, you will soon begin to see ginormous ads appearing in prominent areas of your web pages, and worse large blank white spaces in places where they would display ads if they had the necessary inventory to display on that page currently (really, it’s hard to say which is worse — the ads or the blank spaces).
  3. In some cases, the AutoAds intrude on your content. At the very least, they disrupt the flow of your content to the point where many visitors will simply give up in disgust and go somewhere else.
  4. If you are offering professional services, the overall impression you are presenting to your visitors and prospective clients is far from professional and may very likely encourage them to seek those services elsewhere.
  5. If you have an eCommerce site, the obvious question is why are you advertising other products instead of promoting your own?
  6. The bottom line is AutoAds are ugly and counterproductive. Other than the additional income (and remember even that depends on encouraging a steady flow of traffic to your site), they benefit Google’s ad network and the advertisers using that network but they do not benefit you or your visitors.

Stay true to yourself. Stay true to your visitors and customers or clients. Say No! to AutoAds.

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