5 Reasons Why AdSense Link Units Work So Well

I've recently discovered link units for myself, and having tried them out on a couple of my blogs, I highly recommend you give them a try. If you still don't know what link units are, please visit this page: https://www.google.com/adsense/adformats.

In fact, now that I look back at the half a year of my AdSense experiments, I don't understand how I could start with something else and not link units – they're so simple to add and integrate into your blog design, yet so effective that they're bound to make any page with a decent content earn you some money!

 

Imagine yourself as your website visitor 

The reason I never tried link units originally is because I couldn't understand why someone would want to click them. As all the webmasters and usability experts say, you've got to look at your website with the eyes of a visitor. Not only you should do this, but it is also recommended to imagine yourself both a random and a targeted visitor – cause they really are two quite different flows of traffic for your website.

So doing such an analysis and trying out all kinds of visitors in my imagination, I just could not understand why I would like clicking the link units. It would make so much more sense to me to click a text ad which shows you the URL and gives you a short description of the website you're about to get to. So it made no sense to me, and having spent few hours over the course of a week or two thinking about link units, I did eventually give the idea up.

Few months later though, having tried few other AdSense formats, I've decided to give link units another go simply out of interest. I was pretty amazed to see that quite a number of my visitors DID click link units and not only that, but also followed up and clicked some of the links provided by Google when you click on a keyword in a link unit.

Now I believe I've finally figured out why link units work. This is because of the number of factors:

 

  1. Link units look promising
    Indeed, most of link units look like some kind of a menu. Some websites integrate them so well, that they completely blend in with the rest of menus – so that visitors click link units as easily as they click any other menu item.

    It had been noticed that using a Link Unit closer to the top page makes it look like a menu bar so much that it greatly improves the click rate, while if you were to place the same Link Unit closer to the middle of your page, it may have no impact and attract no clicks at all.

  2. Link units are neat and compact

    Link units are probably the easiest AdSense ads to integrate into your website design. There's quite a number of formats for these units, so make up your mind and start experimenting

  3. Link units deliver results

    Essentially, link units are keywords – the most relevant ones to the current content, according to Google. And clicking on any of these keywords will bring you to more relevant results to click on. Visitors see the keywords and they immediately get an idea of what kinds of links they're going to get when they click link units.

  4. Link units are not overloaded with URL descriptions

    This is probably one of the most important things to understand about AdSense link units. I believe I haven't tried link units before exactly because of this reason. I did not understand why visitors would click on some keywords that they might have an idea about but no exact knowledge of what results they're going to get. But then I had realised that this also serves as an additional attraction – visitors click on link units EXACTLY because they don't know how good or bad results they're going to get. In contrast, when they see a full-scale text ad, they read the description of a link, and they may immediately decide not to follow the link because they don't want to visit a particular site. But with link units, they have to click to get the list of URLs with their descriptions

  5. Link units are different

    When users click link units, they get a page with relevant ads in a form of Google search results. This list of URLs does not look like an ad at all – it's in a form of a list of potentially useful resources which your visitor might find helpful. I believe there's something psychological behind this representation of ads, because users seem to be more willingly clicking such ads compared to how standard AdSense ads perform.

 

That's all for today. Good luck with your AdSense experiments, and be sure to let me know how you progress!

Comments

  1. Great blog! I’ve added a link to your blog on Blog of the Day under the category of Business. To view the feature of your blog, please visit http://blogoftheday.org/page/111889

  2. Thanks a lot for this, Rob! Hope to see you around!

  3. You’re welcome. Keep up the good work on your blog!

  4. Interesting idea. I’ve always shied away from link units because of the extra click necessary. I might have to try them again now ;). Our list is up if you’d like to look – http://lilduckduck.com/ducky-moments-in-time/240

    Have a great day!

  5. I have multiple sites and I like a mixture of link ads and context ads… i agree, I think the link ads look “neat and clean”.

  6. Link units really do look a lot like navigation menus. I’ve had great success with them on my blog.

  7. MamaDuck,
    Thanks for stopping by! You’ve got a great blog there, can’t wait to read more of your posts! :)

    Hope to see you again!

  8. Hi Gleb!

    Nice list of reasons on why to use link units. I go back and forth with them on my site. I haven’t had much luck with them, either horizontally or vertically, but everyone keeps saying how well they do that I always go back and give them another try.

  9. Hi Rick!

    Glad to see you’ve found this project of mine as well :)

    Link Units are not very visible, and that’s one of the reasons you have to make make them as dynamic as you can – visitors who come to your blog now and then will simply ignore the link units if you don’t move them around the page. That’s just a theory – I’m yet to work out a full-scale system of dynamic placing of the same ads in different positions.

    Gleb

  10. Jersey Girl,
    thanks for posting a comment! Yes, I agree as well that it’s important to mix different kinds of content, including different ads formats.

    Hope to see you again!

  11. Graham,
    a lot depends on where exactly you put Link Units, and on your blog they’re excellently put in one of the hot spots. Well done! :)

  12. I think the number one reason that Adsense Link Units work well is because you can often get multiple ad clicks from the same visitor.

    Once a visitor has clicked on a keyword in your Link Unit they are basically on a page that looks like search results. What do you do when you are on a search result page? You start at the top of the list and start looking at pages until you find one that suits you. This often leads to visitors clicking several paying ads.

    I first realized this was happening on one of my low traffic pages. Somehow I was getting more clicks on a my Link Unit channel than there were impressions. I was very confused by this until I realized what people were doing.

    I find that people click on the initial Link Unit less often then other ads. However, when someone does click a Link Unit ad, the payout is often substantially more because of multiple paying clicks.

  13. Hi!
    Thanks for such a great comment, it’s a very good observation I’m sure everyone will take into consideration when they read this thread.

  14. Nice Post. I have found the Link Units to increase the money I make as well.

    I really like this blog, I am going to have to add it to my feed subscriptions. Maybe next time you will make it on my list.

  15. Thanks for the compliment, George!

    I’m definitely going to try for your Top 10 blogs next time around! :) Who knows? I’m going to try my best!

  16. Your list has me thinking about some changes to how I’m using my ad-sense units. The link unit was the first one I put up on Your Cre8tivity for no other reason than it was the easiest to integrate to my template.

  17. Shadows Egde, yes, I think the first time I learned about Link Units was also because they were the easiest to integrate – nice and clean, very compact.

    I’ll be writing another article on Link Units later, as I want to experiment with different sizes of Link Unit blocks.

  18. Link units have worked for me, too. One of my friends places random site-related images just above his link units. He says that works even better. I haven’t tried it myself, yet.

  19. I don’t deny that I do have some success with adlink unit however I find some of my blogs aren’t designed to have them at all. Sometimes I work around it, most of the times I just leave it as it is.

    It’s much easier for me to design a basic template specially for adlink then work around my existing template.

    Cheers =)

  20. Hi Laurie,
    yes it makes sense. Anything to make your ads look less ordinary will help. It’s important to know where to stop though – there’s a fine line between a creatively put ad and a simply tastless horrible color scheme which makes some webpage elements look totally out of place :)

  21. Hi again, Renée!
    Some of your blogs are simply too smooth and elegant, that’s all! ;)

    See you around!

  22. I’ve been pretty disappointed with my ad performance lately, so I’m glad to have found this post via Darren’s list project. Hopefully a change of both format and layout will help!

  23. I’m new to the internet marketing business- and I’m learning so much from experts like yourself. Thanks for such an informative blog.

  24. Thanks for writing this post! It was very helpful to me and I implemented it immediately. I like the way it looks like a menu.

  25. Sarah,
    Thanks for the comment, and please let me know how LinkUnits work for you!

  26. Lori MacInnes,
    Thanks for your words! I’m learning myself, simply because blogging is a wonderfully dynamic industry – so there’s always something interesting to learn and try.

  27. Hi Kelly!

    I’m really glad you found this post useful! LinkUnits perfectly blended in with your design, so you should have them perform quite successfully.

    See you around!

  28. And I will say that fact that link unit can be disguised as a menu bar is the most important! I don’t have good results when I put link units to the middle of a page.

  29. Yes, Card Guy, your observation is quite correct. Thanks for leaving the comment! I’ll update the original entry.

  30. Thanks for this informative article on Why AdSense Link Units Work So Well. I will experiment more with them on my sites.

  31. I enjoyed reading this post, I was looking for AdSense ad units feedbacks…
    I’ll give it a try on my classifieds website right now.

  32. Good luck, Maroc! Glad to see you liked the tips.

  33. Hi there,

    Very interesting post Gleb.

    I have included a few articles in my blog about Increasing Adsense CTR. This can be found here.

    http://www.digistore.co.nz/blog/2008/06/increasing-improving-adsense-ctr-tips-to-improving-your-click-through-rate/

    and also a list of ways to get visitors to your sites.

    http://www.digistore.co.nz/blog/2008/06/6-great-ways-to-get-targeted-traffic-to-your-website/

    Since using link units i have noticed a big change in revenue. Thanks for the added tips!

  34. jim thompson says

    I find this very hard to believe when you do not have any in your site.

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  1. […] Original post by Perfect Blogger. To read the full article visit: Perfect Blogger […]

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  5. […] 5 Reasons Why AdSense Link Units Work So Well by Gleb […]

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