Adsense Testing Ad Units Mixing Images With Text

Adsense-Ads-1A number of AdSense publisher have been reporting seeign a new type of AdSense ad over the last 24 hours or so.

The ads in question seem to be happening in the narrow skyscraper ad unit (120×600) and consist of normal text ads with a 90×110 image at the top (as pictured – image source).

I’m yet to see the ads live so am not sure whether the image is an actual ad or whether they are just an attention grabber (from the screen captures they seem to be just images/attention grabbers).

IF they are just attention grabbers then I’m a little confused as previously AdSense have asked publishers to ensure that images near ads be separated from the ads with a border but now they seem to be testing putting images in ad units – and images that don’t really have any relevance to the ad itself from what I can see.

Read about these new ad formats that AdSense seem to be testing at:

Update – it seems that these ads are also appearing in 120 x 240 ad units also.

Publishers are also telling me that the images do link to something but that they do not know what (as they are too nervous to click them as they are their own ads and don’t want to get in trouble).

Update 2 – I’ve just heard from another publisher that the images link to a separate page with a list of AdSense keywords on it. I’m not sure what this means exactly but am interested to see these ads in action.

Update 3Jen says these beta ad units are called vertical images and that the image acts similarly to ‘link unit’ ads.

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  1. Mike Werner says:

    They’ve also been testing an ad selector in the leaderboard. On the right there’s a small piece of text saying something like “Which ads do you want to see” and an input box. Enter your own keyword, and they show ads related to the keword.

    Very nifty…

  2. markku says:

    I think the example ad you posted has an image somehow related to the ads below. It looks like a photo that says “I want you,” which can be connected to the HR practice. But I admit the relation isn’t easily inferred, especially for ordinary web surfers.

  3. MTO says:

    I’ve spotted twice another new ad at one of my sites.
    It’s what would seem to be a normal ad banner 728×90 with adlinks included in it on the right side. I have a screencapture if you’d want to take a look.

  4. Com says:

    I’ve posted another image of and adsense text ads with an Image too.

  5. pcunix says:

    Publishers needn’t hesitate to click on Google ads: right click on the ad and copy the link to a text editor – you’ll usually see the “real” link buried in the Google stuff. Just go directly to that – you aren’t using Adsense, aren’t getting credit for the click, so nothing to worry about.

  6. Peter Cooper says:

    It’d make a lot more sense to let advertisers specify an image and to give the highest paying advertiser the image slot and the first text ad (a bit like an image version of the colored horizontal ads on search results).

  7. semo says:

    I’ve seen one of this new ads on my blog. The image shows part of a laptop, the text ads are about motherboards, cpu and such stuff. Therefore, in my opinion there’s quite a relation between the ads and the image.

  8. Yes, I saw it today. It freaked me out. It’s definitely an attention grabber. Google is now using every available means to get people to click.

  9. jhay says:

    Why are they doing this I wonder…from competition? Or users online has mastered the ability to tell an ad apart from the real content no matter how ell it was blended in and knows not to click or to stay away from it.

  10. Mike says:

    I saw one on my site too yesterday. It’s an interesting experiment by Google, especially with the Adsense gurus suggesting to put ads next to pictures to increase click through.

  11. blogalore says:

    I’m not sure if this is a good thing. Placing images near ad blocks has been a adsense trick,
    not know to everyone. I fear that this will get more and more inefficent as visitors get used to it….

  12. Riks says:

    I hope Google let us decide if we want the image or not.

  13. David Bain says:

    I assume you’ll only get the ‘image’ if you haven’t requested to have text ads only?

  14. James says:

    I hope this is true as I can say without a doubt that clicks improve drastically with this combination. But…hopefully like Riks says about they will let us decide whether or not we can use them. I think the smart way to go is use relevant images with the ads… they are very effective.

  15. Aaron Cook says:

    David’s correct. According to Google, the same rule applies with these ads as with others.

    Select “Text ads only” in your AdSense Setup and you won’t get the images.

  16. Fahd says:

    Just saw these on a leaderboard ad unit running on my forum. Here is a screenshot

  17. Erkan Orhun says:

    I also think the image is connected to the ads. He looks like a consultant. But perhaps it is not to clear, I admit.


  1. Adsense Anzeigen mit integrierten Bildern…

    Wie der ProBlogger berichtet, sind kürzlich auf verschiedenen Websites Adsense Anzeigen gesichtet worden, die neben den bekannten Textlinks auch Bilder enthalten. Es handelt sich hier nicht um die……

  2. […] Darren at adds that some of the images are pointing to Google ‘Link Unit’ type content: “…the images link to a separate page with a list of AdSense keywords on it. I’m not sure what this means exactly but am interested to see these ads in action.” […]

  3. […] There have been various sightings of the new ads around the internet. The intrepid Jen at Jensense explains more about the ads. They’re just like Link Units. The user clicks on the image, they’re given a menu of ads to choose from. You get paid when the ad is clicked. These new units are called Vertical Images and are available in certain ad units. […]

  4. […] Pictures Near Ads – This integration started with people experimenting with putting pictures above/below/next to ads (Google themselves even tested it). This technique has caused some confusion and debate within the AdSense community with different publishers being told different things about whether the practice was acceptable or not. The advice I’ve received from AdSense is that you may use images close to ads as long as there is some visual element separating them (a border around the ads or around the image). Having said this I see a lot of ads without such borders that seem to be allowed to remain. […]