Placement of Adsense on Forums

Adsense is a very popular ad placement service; in fact, most people count it as the # 1 ad network. It is very easy to use, and there are millions of site all over the world that make money for themselves and for Google. Now, Adsense is typically seen on many content sites that have articles, but forums are a different game altogether. The impression has always been that forums have more dedicated users (with many more repeat users who grow impervious to ads and hence there is fewer revenue to be made). However, as always, it is the proper placement of ads that makes a lot of difference. Read on:

When you run a forum site, ad placement and formats are key to designing ads that will be successful but not intrusive to your regular users.
Placement: Display your ad units where repeat users will notice them

Making Adsense fit into your forum site

Because forum regulars tend to skip the header and go straight to the meat of the thread, placing your ad unit above or below the first post can be more effective than ads next to the logo.
Place a leaderboard immediately after the last post. This provides users who make it to the end of a thread with a ‘next step’ when the content ends. Try to avoid placing it after the footer, though, as your readers will likely move to the next thread without seeing the ad.

Formats: Adapting your design for multiple ad units and limited space.
Using multiple ad units, you can use a variety of formats to fill ad space throughout your site. Placing a skyscraper above the fold on the left side of your forum seems to produce slightly better performance than other positioning. However, when using multiple ad units throughout the page our horizontal bias still favors the leaderboard. Our heat map provides more details.
Use horizontal link units, which are small enough to fit near the top of your forum just below the header. For the regular forum visitor, link units offer a wider range of relevant topics to browse.

However you choose to implement your ads, keep in mind that forums are highly interactive sites with regular users. Be sure to blend the ads nicely, so they don’t appear overly intrusive – but don’t blend them so well they mislead your users!

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