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How Much Screen Real Estate do You Dedicate to Ads?

Serverdome has a good little survey of some blogs about blogging and how much of the space on their blog above the fold is dedicated to advertising.

Like I commented on the post – I’d love to see them do the same thing with the 10 Ten Blogs on Technorati’s Popular list – to see how blogs that are not about blogging do it as a comparison would be interesting.

I also noted that the banner ad at the top of ProBlogger only serves ads around 50% of the time. At other times I rotate banners pointing people to different parts of this site (in actual fact we were about to move that position to 100% internal banners to give sidebar sponsors exclusive run of the site and have just done so). I guess they are some sort of a combination of internal navigation/ads.

I’d be interested to hear how much screen real estate you dedicate to ads on your blog?

See the mini study at Serverdome.org

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. I used to use the top part of my page under the header for a banner from Google ad’s, but took it away because it looked like crap, now i just use 3 adsenses, under my post and then a few amazon widgets on my sidebar.

    Great to have you back Darren!

  2. doug m says:

    i’ve put some affiliate links in my left sidebar, an adsense banner between my header and main body, and some adsense on the right side just under my rss. although my site is still new i’ve seen some ok results.

  3. Michael says:

    Before I took all of the ads off of my blog a couple of days ago (just so I can focus on making the design better) I only had ads on single post pages, two 468×60 banners, one above the post and one below the comments, I also had a single Amazon Associate ad at the bottom of the sidebar. That is the most ads I’ve ever put on any of my pages on my blog.

  4. Kanwal says:

    Atleast your not like JohnChow… he’s above 25% … thats one way to earn some money… think he’ll ever push back?

  5. I don’t have any ads on my blog, not worth it.

  6. Collin says:

    why does everyone use addsense so much. I had them on my blog and got nothing in almost a month.

    I have now switched to Never Blue adds and so far love it.
    http://www.neverblueads.com/signup?ref=aff_29784
    Here is my link have a look at it and let me know your thoughts as well.

  7. I’ve actually gotten a few complaints (from non-regular readers) since I rolled out my new design with the leaderboard ad at the top of the page. But since this is now the revenue model for the site, I just have to take it with a grain of salt and move forward, knowing that it doesn’t compromise our content.

    That being said, on my single post pages, I now have three ads above the fold and it’s been bugging the heck out of me – I totally feel like that’s too much and want to get rid of the ad right above the content. But I 1 – have to find the time to get to it and 2 – have to decide if perhaps instead I could use that spot for internal promotion, like you are doing.

    Great conversation to start, Darren! :)

  8. On my sidebar I have 4 125×125 spots for affiliate/private sale ads, then on further down below some stuff I have google ads, and that’s pretty much it.

    I’m curious..what do you use to have your ads rotating? Is it a wordpress plug-in? I’ve seen the like on a few other blogs, so I’m curious, it seems nice.

  9. It is really important to may our site user friendly but we have to dedicate some advertising space. Making the ads blend on my site is the most important strategy in order to utilize it better. I say 20% ads space is the maximum for me.

  10. BW says:

    I currently use 1 small adsense at the top and another on the sidebar and occasionally an amazon add with a single post.

    Would like to try Chitika, but they don’t seem to like the smaller sites, unless you know different…

  11. Kathy says:

    Ad-free here. I’m just thrilled I managed to get a blog going at all. If I can make someone laugh for 5 minutes out of their day, then that’s all the reward I need. Seriously.

  12. Cigar Jack says:

    Currently I have about 10% and I think eventually I may go with a layout like ProBlogger or JohnChow where I can feature a few more advertisers.

  13. Neil says:

    I keep the ads to a minimum, sometimes less is more.

  14. I dedicate exactly 0% to advertising.. I’m add-free baby!

  15. Leon says:

    I only have two rectangular ads on my site. One above the content and one below.

  16. L. Ipsum says:

    The same every medium, just under the threshold that users will tolerate and constantly testing that boundary. As users become more complacent, slowly increase the amount.

    Sometimes that can mean packing as many offers into a space as possible, or none at all. Depending on the audience.

  17. Depends on the site. Some sites are still quite new, so I keep ads relatively small %. But some sections of established sites are well served with ads

  18. Maria Palma says:

    I’ve been testing different areas for my Adsense ads…For some blogs I have the big leaderboard, but I’m beginning to think it looks really ugly right below the header of my blog(s).

    I used to have affiliate banner ads above the fold, but I hardly ever got clicks on them.

  19. I put a LOT of space to ads and it has paid well.

    Once in a great while someone will leave a comment complaining about the amount of advertising. That’s just ridiculous: if you really, really can’t stand the ads:

    – you can use script blockers and blog “googlesyndication” et al and never see ads anywhere.

    – Most sites (and mine) off rss feeds. I put ads there too, but only at the bottom.

    – every page on my site has a “printer friendly” link that displays the page completely ad free.

  20. Brent Trahan says:

    I’ve noticed that more ads are not always better. It can actually cause your site to earn less for various reasons.

    Well placed relevant ads are best.

    I recently cut the number of ads by half on my site and doubled its income over night!

    Color, size, and placement are crucial.

  21. One of the things i realized after doing this survey was how bloggers manage the display of ads on their sites compared to say, portals and sites with marketing budgets and teams. Problogger and copyblogger’s ad placement was by far the most elegant, and all the sites managed a clear distinction between balancing content and ad placement without aggravating readers.

  22. I’m in the process of finding a new theme to offer more advertising real estate. I think it will be beneficial.

  23. Dan says:

    Depends on the site. On one blog that have – http://www.streetfiction.org – I have minimized ads to primarily text links and amazon links. Sidbar ads detracted from the content. On other sites, I have loaded up the page and it works.

    The double column on your right sidebar seems too heavy in my opinion. But what do I know? Yet…

  24. This question baffles me, as it seems all my readers aren’t much for ad clicking. I have tried many different ideas and am still working with it. I do not see the problem with blogs running ads – magazines do – newspapers too. Googles adsense seems the worst and I am about to remove them completely. I am always impressed by bloggers who make good money at blogging!
    Catherine, the redhead
    http://www.aweekinthelifeofaredhead.com

  25. analogstuff says:

    I think i use around 20% of my site space. Still there is lot of space in my blog which is unused because i dont know how to change the template etc..i am not a software guy though. :)

  26. Eli says:

    John Chow seems to use a fair bit of screen real estate… a bit too much in my opinion :)

  27. Jason says:

    “John Chow seems to use a fair bit of screen real estate… a bit too much in my opinion :)”

    John Chow has that whole “You know I’m crooked so it’s okay” thing going on.

  28. Brad V. says:

    A majority of my blog “real estate” is dedicated to content, with only a single unit of Adsense ads on the left-hand side. I am planning, however, on placing more ads on my blog, but I want the content to always be front and center.

    At this stage in my blogging career, making money is very secondary. I don’t want to scare readers off by smothering them with ads. I’d rather have them read a good post and come back again – that’s where the real value is!!!

  29. I have AdSense placed in three locations. In addition, I use only contextual ads – no banner ads.

  30. I’m new to sites and advertising, and currently I am smothering people with my google ads. I am planning to take off 50% or more of my ads, and severly revamp my site for my “2.0″ version.

    Maybe after some major revamps, I can look into either suplamenting, or outright replacing the google ads.

  31. SpicePuppy says:

    The sites that tend to bother me with their advertising are usually not the ones with a large percentage of real estate dedicated to ads, but the ones with ads in annoying places. Like when I’m reading an article and just when I start to really get into it, there’s a “story continues below” message and a huge banner ad that derails my train of thought.

  32. Travel Guy says:

    A couple commenters have said something along the lines of less is more, and I tend to agree, but the real question is how much less to still get a right balance. Just have to keep testing.

    Also depends on the site. You can’t overwhelm the visitor, and keep in mind your established readers will be more forgiving than someone new dropping by. If it’s too much they’ll just leave.

    I’ve got one site where a banner up top is killer and another where it’s a total turnoff – again, it depends on the site and what sort of visitors you target.

  33. Keral Patel says:

    My blog layout is such that it is not giving me enough flexibility to put up ads in better positions. :(