Love them or hate them, adverts are something many bloggers use to make a few extra quid.
And the announcement by Google that they’re opening up Adsense Auto Ads to everyone peaked my curiosity.
By adding some code to your website’s header, Google will, in theory, take care of ad placement for you.
If you use the Genesis Framework, they’ve even added integration with auto ads in the latest update.
Back And Forth
I’ve had adverts on my blog before and then taken them off.
I go back and forth whether the inconvenience for visitors is too much or not.
And whether the pennies I get every day are ever going to add up enough for a pay out from Google.
There’s also the issue that anyone clicking on an advert leaves my site and may not come back.
I had hoped there might be happy medium somewhere.
Although so far I’m not sure I’ve found it.
They Don’t Fit With My Writing Style
From my experience, Adsense Auto Ads doesn’t like my writing style.
The In-Article Ads are displayed throughout a blog post and in between paragraphs.
I don’t really like reading lots of text squished together online so I don’t write my blog like that either.
Each sentence tends to get it’s own line, giving enough white space to read things clearly.
Turning on In-Article Ads means my blog posts are overloaded with ads.
They appear every four or five lines and in my testing often there would be a blank space.
I had to turn them off but then the balance of banner ads is messed up.
It’s All Or Nothing
The trouble with Adsense Auto Ads from my point of view is that there’s not much control.
You add a snippet of code and then let Google do pretty much what they want to your site.
Deciding how many ads you want isn’t an option.
The only control you have is which pages the ads appear on.
And you can turn some types of ads off if you don’t want them to show up.
The trouble is I tried to follow Google’s instructions so no ads would show up on my homepage.
But it didn’t work and it stopped all ads from showing across my site.
I Had To Resort To A Plugin
I’m not convinced that Google have got things right with Adsense Auto Ads quite yet.
I had to take the script off my site and go back to adding things the old way.
I had to resort to a plugin, well two actually, to get things showing up where I wanted them.
I’ve tried other plugins before to gets to show where I want them but Ad Inserter seems to do the best job of it.
I like how easy it is to add In-Article Ads using the plugin and that you can insert them randomly if you want.
It’s also great that you can specify clearance options so the ads don’t show up near images or headlines.
Most people won’t need anything more than what the free version of the plugin provides.
Up to 16 ad placements should be enough for most blogs, right?
It’d be nice if there was some integration with the Genesis Framework hooks but that’s just clutching at straws.
Genesis Simple Hooks
I’ve tried to work out how to include an ad just above the footer with Ad Inserter but it doesn’t appear in the correct space.
As I’m using the Altitude Pro Genesis child theme, I can make use of the hooks available in the Genesis Framework.
You can mess about with code but the Genesis Simple Hooks plugin makes life much easier.
The Ad Inserter plugin lets you choose to insert ads using PHP or shortcode.
And the Simple Hooks plugin handily lets you use either of those too.
To get the ad showing just above the footer, the Simple Hooks plugin came to my rescue.
Have You Tried Adsense Auto Ads?
What’s your experience of using Auto Ads? Good, bad or indifferent?
Do you use a plugin to insert ads into your site or add the code directly?
Maybe you just don’t like using ads on your site at all?