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New AdSense Arrows (Buttons?) – What’s The Controversy About?

AdSense ArrowGoogle AdSense has rolled out a new look for their text ads. Along with a few tweaks to the fonts and spacing, there’s also a big arrow on them now. (see image to right).

Announcing the changes, the AdSense team said “These enhancements are among the largest that we have made to text ads, and our experiments indicate an uplift in clicks across publishers on the Google Display Network.”

Some webmasters are complaining about the new AdSense arrows.  They have been called ‘ugly,’ ‘disgusting,’ ‘gawd-awful’ and worse.

But the funny thing is, years ago, webmasters were all over the idea of putting arrows and images next to AdSense ads. They found that having images next to the ads, almost so that they looked like they were a part of the ad, increased click-thrus. Google came out against the practice, of course – but here they are now doing in themselves.

Ok, it’s not exactly the same. It is more controlled.

The big arrows are going to clash with some layouts, no doubt. It would certainly be nice if AdSense publishers could control the color, size, and whether the arrows would appear to the left or right of the text.

But when it comes down to it, if it raises CTR and RPM – heck, I’m all for it. I do everything I can to help my writers over at News For Shoppers earn as much with their AdSense ads as they can.

My main concern would be that the arrows might increase ad blindness over time. I hope that any improvements the arrows make in earnings last.

Oh yeh, another thought that crossed my mind was that it might be good for CTR to incorperate similar arrows on other parts of my site. That would take care of the ad-blindness issue….. ohbut G has already thought of that too – the announcement includes “we ask that publishers refrain from mimicking these arrows.” Ha – oh well, it was just a brief thought 🙂

Another concern I have is that it may lead to inadvertent clicks. On some ads the arrow has enough distance from the text that it looks separate. Almost like it might be an arrow to go to the next page or something else. Why do inadvertent clicks concern me? Well, yeh, the money from inadvertent clicks might be nice – but over time, inadvertent clicks hurt the publisher, as Google measures the quality of traffic and (I expect) lower quality traffic results in lower quality and lower revenue-generating ads.

While we are talking about Adsense – did you see the new super-sized skyscraper AdSense has come out with? Don’t think I’ll be able to use this one with any of my current layouts, but I’m all for more ad size options!

What do you think of the AdSense Arrows? Leave your comments below!

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