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AdSense changes default Ads to Borderless Ads

AdSense have emailed publishers today telling them that they’ve changed their default ad design to be a borderless ones. Their email reads:

“We’re writing to let you know about a coming change to the appearance of your Google ads. Your ads currently display the default Google color palette, Seaside (formerly known as Mother Earth). In the near future, we plan to update the default palette to Open Air, a new palette containing the same set of colors, but without the blue border. We’ve found that many publishers prefer the cleaner look of this palette and have also seen that a blended color palette performs better for them — attracting user interest while still maintaining the distinction between ads and content with the ‘Ads by Google’ label.

Please note that this change will only affect your ad units where your ad code does not specify colors. For all other units, your color selections will be retained.”

They then went on to outline the steps of logging into AdSense palettes to make the changes.

I’ve not considered this before but now that they mention it I’m surprised they didn’t do this earlier.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. selva says:

    yeah..just read the after dinner(its 11pm in sydney..same as melbourne?) haha..Darren you’re really fast! cheers! ;)

  2. Eric Giguere says:

    Not to be cynical or anything, but I’m wondering if they’re finally doing this because they need to increase revenues for this quarter. They’ve done this before with the ads on the search result pages, after all.

  3. Better late than never I guess, I don’t see too much of an impact to existing sites though.

  4. Mr. A says:

    Received this email in the morning. Ads without border will get higher CTR, so it is good to publishers – they will make more money.

  5. With all that traffic, it makes me wonder why Google hasn’t done the testing and set their default to the most productive overall.

    Anyone who has done the testing knows that the border needed to go, the color of the links needs to become #000080. The background needs to be white and the non-link text black. Those who test also know that the large ad unit run above the fold centered left-to-right does best.

    Google must know these results too. Why have they taken so long just to set one of their defaults to the most productive format? Why haven’t they done the same with the other factors?

    -James Brausch

  6. A.B. Dada says:

    Increased CTR does not mean you’ll make more money (neither does increased traffic). I have one site that performs decently with almost no ads, no blending (very pronounced color and a “Sponsored Links” header on top of that), but has been around for 2 years before I added AdSense. It seems that the quality of site and the promotion of selling a product or service has more to do with payout than CTR/impressions.

    I think Google is doing this for good reason, though, as it is obvious that CTR will go up somewhat from ad blending (although this is not the case for every site!). I would MUCH rather see Google’s contextual engine decipher the website’s colors and have an “auto-blend colors” option for those of us who want to generate blended ads. Even better, I would love for AdSense to have a “no color” option for backgrounds and borders — allowing the text to be placed over whatever color (or background) is behind it.

    I highly doubt Google is having income issues. Their traffic is up to historical levels, they’re doing a great job of weeding junk out of their search engine. I think they are more likely starting to provide newbies with a better starting point rather than allowing them to make mistakes only to learn later once they find great sites like this one and the DP forums.

  7. I wonder what’s coming next. Probably a flashing, pointing finger that says “Click Here”.

    Looks like Google’s getting knocked off their high horse and needs money.

  8. Aaron Pratt says:

    I have always blended adsense to be borderless in my code, have I been violating some sort of guidelines?

  9. Eric Giguere says:

    No, you haven’t. Google is just changing the default look of the ads to be borderless.

  10. Aaron Pratt says:

    Took them awhile to admit that they are all about gettin’ in everyone’s business now didn’t it, hmm? ;-0

  11. John Hood says:

    I’m sticking with blended ads. However, this is welcome move. Now what about offering AdSense for Feeds to everyone?

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