Using Vignette Ads from AdSense

Should You Use AdSense Vignette Ads on Your Blog?

Last Updated on by Michael Brockbank

AdSense is one of the easiest and quickest ways to monetize your blog. But should you use vignette ads in between page views when a visitor explores your website? They might be more important than you realize.

In fact, they might provide more revenue than other forms of advertisements.

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What Are Vignette Ads?

Vignette ads are those that appear occasionally when someone clicks a link from your website. The background of the page will blur as the vignette ad appears. Think of it as an advertisement in between page views.

Vignette Ad Example
Example of a Vignette Ad

From the vignette, the visitor has to either click the “Close” or “Open” buttons before they can continue.

How Vignette Ads Affected My AdSense Income

Recently, I conducted a case study to see if contextual-related posts made a difference in page views per visitor. This is when your site shows similar articles the reader might also be interested in viewing.

During this study, I disabled vignette ads to see if it made a difference in whether someone abandoned the site, which would show as a low page-views-per-visitor number in analytics.

What I discovered is that vignette AdSense ads had no impact on page views per visitor. However, there was a significant decrease in how much money I made per day across all three of the test websites.

Keep in mind that all three of the websites tested are of completely different niches over the span of several months. In this sample, the sites consist of writing, health and fitness, and gaming.

All of them also have varying levels of daily traffic, which is why two of them make just a few cents per day.

The bottom line, though, is that after many weeks of recording data, the income was significantly lower without vignette ads running.

Throughout the first contextual-related posts phase, this was the difference between $70.04 and $37.28 in total.

So, What’s My Suggestion?

Despite how intrusive vignette ads may seem, there really is no difference in page views per visit. It appears visitors are content with simply closing down the ad and continuing on to the page.

As these ads launch only when a link is clicked, there is no performance impact as you would see with other types of advertisements from AdSense.

Based on how much I lost on all three websites and the fact people are still exploring the blog, I’d suggest leaving them turned on. There is no real drawback to using vignettes outside of losing money.

For the most part, I’ve seen vignettes that were both contextually related as well as based on my own personal preference. That means they are often in line with things I would want to click on anyway.

Of course, this is based on my experience visiting other people’s blogs. I try not to look at my own when there are ads running. The last thing I want is for Google to flag me as fraudulent.

Still, there’s no denying how much of a difference vignette ads make when it comes to making money on AdSense.

Can you imagine the loss of income if the blog had over 10,000 visitors per month? Or, perhaps even 100,000? That would be a lot of money from a single ad placement.

As I’m constantly testing ads on the sites, I’ll update this post with new information when it becomes available.

Enabling and Disabling Vignette Ads

Enabling or disabling vignettes is quite easy in AdSense. It utilizes the Auto Ads system from Google, which means you’ll need Auto Ads enabled if you want to show vignette ads.

Once you make any changes in AdSense, it could take several hours before you notice a difference on your website. In some cases, this can take up to 24 hours.

However, I don’t think I’ve ever seen it take longer than two.

How to Enable or Disable Vignette Ads

  1. Go to the Ads Section

    From your AdSense account, click the “Ads” option on the left.
    Go to Ads

  2. Go to the Settings Page

    Click on the pencil icon of the website you wish to change to enable or disable vignette ads.Open Edit Screen

  3. Open the Overlay Formats Section

    On the right side of the screen, click the “Overlay formats” option.Open Overlay Formats

  4. Select or Deselect Vignette Ads

    From this window, you can check or uncheck the box to enable or disable vignette ads on this particular website.Vignette Ads Check Box

  5. Apply Changes to the Site

    Once you’ve made your selections, use the back arrow next to Overlay formats at the top right to go back to the settings page. Then, click the “Apply to Site” button. Apply Changes to AdSense

As you can see, you can also enable or disable anchor and side rail ads.

In my experience, a large portion of the income from AdSense comes from anchor ads, so you might want to keep them enabled. However, it’s never a bad idea to test this yourself on your own blog.

Every audience and website is different.

Disabling Auto Ads

An alternative to enabling or disabling vignette ads comes in the form of managing “Auto Ads” in general. You can turn auto ads off on the first settings screen by clicking the switch.

Managing Auto Ads

Keep in mind that disabling Auto Ads means that you’ll have to enter the AdSense code manually if you want to earn revenue.

Turning Off Vignettes on Larger Displays

Another option you might want to consider is being able to “Turn Off” vignettes on screens that are wider than 1000 pixels. This would include most desktop and tablet displays.

The option to do this is on the main settings screen near the bottom on the right side.

Display Size Control

How Do AdSense Vignettes Work for You?

Although AdSense doesn’t pay as well as many other methods of monetizing a website, it is one of the easiest to get started. And you can pull in a few bucks while you’re working on boosting your website’s popularity.

Any form of monetization is going to rely heavily on visitor traffic. So, use AdSense to get started, but keep an open mind that you might not need AdSense as your website grows.

In reality, a lot of AdSense ads impact site performance, which will influence PageSpeed Insights scores. That’s kind of funny considering Google uses this as a ranking factor for your content.

In any case, vignette ads can help pull in quite a bit of money over time. But I still suggest testing on your own website to see how much of an impact it makes.

Michael Brockbank
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