Adsense Tips: No border = more money?

Posted on 1st May, 2006

Peter Da Vanzo over at V7N has conducted a test to find what works best – Adsense with or without borders.

He found that removing borders increased his click-thru rates. I agree, and this is especially true if the ad units are positioned as part of the content.

using no borders should result in increased click-thru because visitors are less likely to think the links are advertisements. Off-line publications tend to keep editorial and advertising separate. The advertising is formatted in a bold, obvious way, often using thick borders and boxes. As a result, people often ignore these areas online. People who read publications aren’t looking for links – web visitors are.

I personally find borderless ads to be more effective and less intrusive to my readers as you can see in all my blogs.

I’ve also started experimenting with borderless ads in some of my forums. The ads are positioned as part of the thread, i.e. after the first post. See how it doesn’t look like some banner you have seen many times?


I believe this will increase the click-thru rates even more.

However, in certain situations, I find that using ads with borders works better, such as when placing them at the bottom of a forum page. This makes the ads stand out and draw readers attention even when they are placed outside the content. The trick is to make those ads look as part of the page elements, and not as advertisements.

Borders or no borders, the most important strategy that you should use is to keep testing with different ad formats to find the most effective one that is suited specifically to your audience.

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  • korokmu says:

    i’m interested on the way you put in your ads in the forum. I’ve came across the same idea, but i don’t know how to put the ad, so that it looks like a post. I only manage to put the ad above the signature of a post. Could you help me? FYI, I’m usisng phpBB board. Thanks in advance

  • ShaolinTiger says:

    Well we all kinda new that anyway 😉

    I would recommend putting large rectangle in the forum too, rather than 468, can double your CTR.

    You can set it so it doesn’t show for members too, as members are ad blind, you want to aim to get clicks from search engine referalls.

  • Gaman says:

    korokmu: I am not sure how to implement this on a phpBB forum. If I got the chance to work on my phpBB forums later, I’ll let you know. The screenshot was taken from my IPB forum btw.

    ShaolinTiger: Yea I kind of know that too 🙂 But many Adsense newbies have no idea about it right? 🙂

    For this particular forum though, the members are not tech savvy, most are young adults and teenagers so the CTR would be different. My aim is to serve contextual ads which do not look like ads. Personally I feel large rectangle ads are a little bit intrusive especially when positioned as part of a forum thread. It doesn’t guarantee double CTR too as I’ve experienced in three of my forums. But the key here is to experiment to get the best CTR for the audience we have.

    Anyway, there’s another article I’ve found recently (can’t remember the URL) where such subtle integration using Chitika has generated over $700 per day for the webmaster!

  • korokmu says:

    can you tell me how to do that on IPB forum? Maybe I will get some idea how to put it on phpBB forum. 🙂

  • emptyspace says:

    I use no border and use 2 in a table.. see my result.. one I put images and the other, google adsense.. pixel2life.com teach me to do that http://imherenow.fwenz.info/site/go/malaysia-fwenz-blogs/

  • Gaman says:

    korokmu: I am uing IPB v1.4. This mod is for 1.3 but should work with 1.4. You can find the mod here.

    You might want to check the official PHPBB forum to see if anybody has done this on a PHPBB forum.

    emptyspace: Just make sure to make a clear distinction between the images and Adsense ads. You can read more about this here.

  • Gaman says:

    Great find korokmu. BTW, your blog is down when I tried to visit it.

  • […] This may be common knowledge to some of you. It’s the one about blending and removing Adsense borders to make more money which I’ve written about recently. […]

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