Best Performing Google Adsense Units

You are looking to monetize the traffic on your pages and have finally come to a decision that it is fine for you to place ads on your pages. I know a number of people who are hesitant because they feel that their readers may not appreciate ads on their pages, but that decision has several nuances that you may not really know. Ads have a bad reputation because of the tendency of many page creators to go overboard, such as a whole series of pop-ups or pop-unders and ads littered all over the page, especially large image or videos that can be distracting. However, at the same time, if your objective is to monetize your traffic, then putting ads on your pages is an effective part of such a strategy. What you need to ensure is that your ad placement is not really disturbing, and also meets your objectives of monetization.
So, your ads need to be located in areas of the pages that readers do not normally ignore, it needs to be such that they pay attention to the ad and the content of the ad provides them some value, and gives value to you as well. From my observations with Google Adsense, they tend to meet most of these criteria. Their ads can provide content that effectively uses the search patterns of readers and provide content that is most effective for readers and with a higher probability of the reader clicking on the ad if they are unable to find what they want on your site.
Google Adsense provides a number of ads of different sizes (height and width) for fitting different locations on your blog, whether these be small sizes or for fitting larger sections within your blog (in horizontal or vertical sizes). In addition, for very small spaces, there are also link units. The types of ad sizes are available in this site (link).
Google also enforces some control of the number of ads you can place on your site:

According to our policies, you can place up to three content units, up to three link units and two search boxes on each web page.

Out of these sizes in the above page, some of the more successful types are outlined in this web page, most successful sizes:

As a rule of thumb, wider ad sizes tend to outperform their taller counterparts, due to their reader-friendly format. Readers absorb information in “thought units,” several words at a time. Wider sizes let them comfortably read more text at a glance without having to skip a line and return to the left margin every few words, as they’d have to with a narrower ad.
If positioned well, wide ad sizes can increase your earnings significantly. The sizes we’ve found to be the most effective are the 336×280 Large Rectangle, the 300×250 Medium Rectangle, and the 160×600 Wide Skyscraper. Keep in mind that while these ad sizes typically perform well, you should use the size that best complements your pages.

And of course, for deciding where to put your ads, there is a lot of ongoing research which focuses on determining the exact position that readers look at the most, which is also the best position about where to put the ad. This is called the ‘Heat Map’ for pages, a map which defines the different section of the page and how much readers look at those sections. Google’s Heat Map is located at this page.
Look at the questions posed on this page:

What is the user trying to accomplish by visiting my site?
What do they do when viewing a particular page?
Where is their attention likely to be focused?
How can I integrate ads into this area without getting in the users’ way?
How can I keep the page looking clean, uncluttered and inviting?

These are questions you need to answer for your sites, ensuring that your site do not look cluttered with ads, while also keeping in mind that different readers will perceive your pages separately. For a site, I have had 2 readers sending me different comments on the same page: “Ads were fine, less than what we normally see”, “Your site looks like a Christmas tree with ads lighting up every section”. So, don’t get flustered if an occasional reader marks such a comment, look for whether a significant section of your readers are finding your ads too much.

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