The new AdSense Auto-Ads

On February 21, 2018 Google announced the new AdSense Auto-Ads, which promise to make website monetization easier and more effective. With Auto-Ads, Google makes all the decisions for me regarding the number and placement of ads on my web pages.

According to Google, the benefits of Auto-Ads include:

  • Optimization: Using machine learning, Auto ads show ads only when they are likely to perform well and provide a good user experience.
  • Revenue opportunities: Auto ads will identify any available ad space and place new ads there, potentially increasing your revenue.
  • Easy to use: With Auto ads you only need to place the ad code on your pages once.

Sounds kinda cool, so I tried it out. Auto-Ads was easy-breezy to set up. Just a few clicks in Google AdSense to select which types of ads to display, then paste a code snippet into my page header using my Theme Options.

new AdSense Auto-Ads

The result: Auto-Ads did a surprisingly good job of matching ads to my content. In comparison, my self-placed ads seem to rely primarily on browser history for ad selection. (This is why I get complaints from parents when a lingerie ad pops up next to a nursery rhyme. “I understand ma’am, but what was little Johnny viewing before he visited byGosh?”)

But … nope. Too spammy/scammy looking for my tastes. Too many ads, too obtrusively placed. Better for revenue, worse for user experience. I quickly switched back to a single ad per page, unobtrusively placed in the right margin.

WPPOV supports freedom from Net Neutrality and the GDPR. The Internet of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.