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Ad Type

AdSense Setup: Choose Ad Type

This is a continuation of AdSense for Content article on how to set up your Google AdSense. By now you would have:
logged in to your AdSense account > AdSense Setup[tab] > AdSense for Content > single page (link)

Summary Checklist of types and number of AdSense ads you can have on each page: AdSense Programme Policies summary

Choosing Ad Type

Google gives you a choice between Ad Unit or Link Unit. If you choose Ad Unit, you can decide if you would like to allow image and text ads (so that Google can either rotate a relevant image or a relevant text ad on the ad space you allocate), or you can specify if you want only image ads or only text ads. 
AdSense for Content Ad Types

Difference between Ad Unit and Link Unit

Example of AdUnits and LinkUnits

The (clickable) image here shows you a quick visual difference between a Ad Unit and a Link Unit.

Link Units

Apart from the visual difference, a Link Unit displays a list of relevant topics. When users click a topic, they are brought to a page of related ads. In other words, with Link Units, it does not display a specific advertisement from a single advertiser.

You do not get paid if a user click on a topic in the Link Ad. You only get paid if the user later clicks on a specific ad on the resultant page of related ads.

Ad Units will display specific advertisements from specific advertisers - and this can be either in textual form only, as image ads only, or a rotational combination of either whenever a page is viewed.

Q. So why would you use Link Units?
Google says the Link Units are flexible because they "available in a variety of sizes to fit those hard-to-fit places on your site".

Additionally, if you are placing a lot of Google ads on any of your pages (making sure that it will work with your page layout AND will be of benefit to your users), then you might choose to include some link units.

According to Google AdSense policies,:

  • For AdSense for Content, you can only have a maximum or 3 Ad Links and 3 Link Units per page.
  • For AdSense for Search, you can only have either 2 AdSense search boxes per page (and no other Google ads) or 1 AdSense search box and 1 Link Unit (and no other Google ads) per page.
Ad Units

You will almost certainly be employing some Ad Units. As you saw above, Ad Units are offered to you in 3 variations - images only, text only, or allow Google to randomly drive either contextual image or text ads into the ad "shells" you set up.

eg of Text and Image Ad UnitsHere is a quick visual example between a TEXT Ad Unit vs. an IMAGE Ad Unit. I am only showing one size/format but Google does offer Ad Units in multiple sizes. (We will come to that later).

The default (and Google recommended) setting for Ad Units is to choose "Text and Image ads".
According to Google, the combination of the image/text ads will is more engaging for your users and will add "interactive content" to your site. Also it will increase competition for your ad space as advertisers will bid for space on your site whenever your site's content is relevant for them. Google also says:

"By choosing to display image ads in addition to text ads, you can help make sure that you'll have all available advertisers bidding to appear on your site. Both text and image ads will compete in the same auction to be displayed on your pages and we'll automatically display the ad(s) that will be most effective for you on your site."
- from Google's Newbie Central - Ad Formats

Make sure that you're using an ad format that supports image ads to take advantage of the full ad inventory for your site.

You will get paid each time a user clicks on an Ad Unit displayed on your web pages.

Choose Ad Type: Ad Unit

For the purposes of this learning, let's choose:
Ad Type = Ad Unit [text and image ads (default)] 
choose AdSense Ad Unit as ad type

Then let's proceed to the next step in AdSense setup: Choose Ad Formats and Colors