Why Google Link Ads Are Stopping From Google Adsense

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Google Adsense is a program is run by Google. The program allows the publishers around the Google network of content sites to offer automatic text, video, images, advertisements to name a few. All of this is directly targetted towards the site content and the audience.

Google is going to remove all the link ads from the Adsence network from March 10th, 2021. The legacy ad format from google is now getting retired. Publishers start receiving emails from Adsense regarding the announcement.

What are link ads?

Link ads are similar to contextual ads and are topic lists targeted towards the interests of website users. The text link type ads can be displayed in a fixed or responsive size. Here’s an example of link ads:

link ads

What does this mean for AdSense publishers?

From March 10, 2021, publishers will no longer be able to create ad units for link ads. If you still have responsive link ads active on your site by the due date, they will start showing display ads. Any fixed link ads still active will stop serving completely. Google will attempt to collapse these ads where possible or show a blank ad.

Link ads compared to other AdSense ad types

Google continuously experiments and runs tests to improve ad performance. They’ve concluded that responsive display ads generally perform equally well compared to link ads. Even though link ads will be retired, publishers can still compare historical link ad performance with current ad units through the AdSense Ad Unit Report.

How will the existing AdSense link units behave?

After AdSense has disabled the link units, you can no longer create new ads from this type.

Also, AdSense will rename existing ads of this format. Expect to find [formerly link ad unit] at the ad unit name’s end. This renaming applies to both responsive and fixed-size AdSense link units.

Responsive link ads

If you have used responsive link units so far, AdSense will automatically convert them to standard display ads.

So AdSense ads will still appear, but they will look different than before.

Fixed-sized link ads

If you have integrated fixed-sized link units (e.g., 200×90) into your website, you should find a replacement. AdSense will not fill them with in the future. Consequently, they will stay blank, and you won’t earn any revenues with them.

However, if you integrate these ads with Advanced Ads using the AdSense Ad type, the plugin will automatically convert them into responsive display ads. As a result, ads will keep on showing up but the look might be different.

Alternatives to AdSense link units

The necessary conversion of the ad format causes a change in the layout.

Therefore, you should check if display ads are the most suitable format for you or if you’d better try something else.

Different AdSense formats

AdSense offers other ad formats than display ads. For example, you can replace link units embedded in articles with native In Article ads.

If these ad units are at the end of your posts, the matched content block is a good alternative. Here, the ads are arranged together with recommendations for other posts on your website in a grid.

Other ad networks

Unfortunately, Google AdSense’s native ad formats and Matched Content block don’t come very close to link units’ look and feel. You could find a better solution with other ad networks. For example, media.net offers a similar keyword-driven ad unit.

Use the AdSense reports to analyze the performance of your AdSense link units. This data will give you a reasonable basis to compare Google AdSense with different ad networks.

Affiliate links

Text links are a very popular and high converting ad format in affiliate marketing. However, since you usually get revenue for sales and leads instead of clicks or impressions, this type of monetization does not work on every website.

If you find suitable affiliate programs for your content, using text links can be very lucrative, and I would recommend you give them a try.

The use of text links in affiliate marketing offers you much flexibility in the integration of the ads. On the one hand, you can usually use deep links and adjust the link target so that the users, for example, come directly to the product that you are promoting and do not land on a home page of the respective store.

Why and When the link ads are getting stopped?

Google always follow optimisation strategy with ad network also. To deliver the best experience with users, advertisers, and publishers, they implement new changes all the time.

Link ads, fixed sized display ads were some of the initial ad formats. Later Google introduced responsive ads, matched ads, etc. As per the current trends and performance, link ads are getting the least priority in the industry.

The new change applies to the link ad format, and no other ad formats are affected by this. As per Google, the link ads are not performing well these times. So they decided to provide more optimized and valuable ads to their publishers, advertisers, and users.

What will happen to the existing ad unit?

All the existing link ad unit name will be renamed with some text at the end as per Google. Publishers can see the change after March 10th.

All the existing responsive link ad unit will automatically start showing display ads when it comes to ad display. The fixed ad unit will show some optimized ads if available. Otherwise, it will show a blank space.

If you are using a responsive link ad unit, then no action is needed, and it will automatically start showing display ads where it is better to remove or replace the fixed size link ad unit from the websites.

What about the earnings from Link Ads

Since Google is updating the revenue daily in your account, all the income earned till March 10th will get added as usual, and the next day onwards, the same unit will start earning with display ads. So nothing to worry about the earnings.

What to do next?

As mentioned above, if your existing link ad unit is responsive, then no action is needed. However, all the fixed link ad units should get replaced with any other ad format on or before March 10th, 2021.

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