Jumping right into the next square offering from Google Adsense, we have the 200×200 – Small Square. If you’re sidebar or content area is to small to accommodate the 250×250 – Square or the 300×250 – Medium Rectangle, your next option is the 200 x 200 – Small Square. The 200 x 200 – Square is multifaceted and can be placed in many areas of your page. Additionally, with some testing as to placement and design, this ad unit can produce a respectable amount of clicks. However, just like the 250×250 Ad Unit, the 200 x 200 has been relegated to the disapproved list by Microsoft Advertising, as well as the IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau), in favor of the 300×250 rectangle.
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The Google AdSense 120×240 – Vertical Banner is a shorter version of the 120 x 600 – Skyscraper. The AdSense version of this ad unit is only available for text ads, due to the small area. Once again, the 120 x 240 – Vertical Banner ad unit size is also used by Microsoft Advertising, while it has been delisted by the IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau).
This small, vertical banner is ideal when you have a small area under a thin column or you have a small area available in a large header or footer. While the 120 x 240 – Vertical Banner shouldn’t be relied upon as your main income generator for a page, as it doesn’t attract a lot of attention, it can be very effective if placed correctly. If you’re trying to place a skyscraper under a menu or in a sidebar and it is just too long, the 120×240 vertical banner is a good alternative.
Next up in the series of posts on Google AdSense ad sizes are the ads in the Google Adsense “Other – Vertical” banner category, starting with the 120×600 skyscraper. The reason the ad unit is called a skyscraper is because it is tall and thin and can dominate the space, like an actual, physical skyscraper. This ad unit is not in the AdSense top 4 recommended sizes and is listed in the Delisted Standard Ad Units category of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Ad Unit Guidelines. Microsoft Advertising, however, continues to list the 120 x 600 – Skyscraper as part of its standard ad unit sizes, both for marketers and agencies, as well for small and medium businesses.
The original skyscraper was thinner than the current commonly used version of the skyscraper, to accommodate the small side rails in the layouts of many web sites. As site design has changed and elements, including sidebars, of site layouts have gotten larger, the Google AdSense 160×600 Wide Skyscraper has become the more prominently used ad unit.
Ah, the original banner ad. Now relegated to the description of 468×60 – Banner in the ”Other – Horizontal” category of AdSense, it is the original banner ad that showed up all over the Internet in the late 90′s and early 2000′s. This ad unit is the grandfather of Internet banners. The 468×60 reigned supreme in the days of 640×480 and 800×600 screen resolution, but has given way today to leaderboards and skyscrapers with the advent of larger screen sizes.
When was the last time you saw the small version of the classic banner ad? No, really. I have searched and searched across sites for examples to put in this article, but haven’t been able to find any on major sites anywhere. I did find a few smaller sites that still use the 468×60 banner, but they also plaster ads all over the page – not really the type of advertising you want to be associated with.
The wide skyscraper is another ad unit that has taken over as one of the most prevalent ad units visible throughout The Internet. This ad size is recommended by all of the major ad networks, including Google AdSense, Microsoft Advertising and the IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau). Unlike most of the square ad units, the skyscraper is designed for very specific locations, as it is very tall and thin, although not as thin as its predecessor, the 120 x 600 – Skyscraper. The skyscraper is very useful for small columns, or rails, on your site, under menus, categories, tags or other, similar list-type content.
Because of this, the 160 x 600 – Wide Skyscraper has become harder to find, as wider screen have allowed the navigation columns to expand to 250 or 300 pixels, accommodating the larger square ad units. However, a lot of properties are starting to put the Wide skyscraper next to a list or menu in the wider columns that are now found in most modern layouts.
Ah, the Leaderboard – it is the younger, flashier cousin to the original 468×60 banner and is now widely used throughout the Internet. While the 728×90 – Leaderboard is one of the standard recommended AdSense ad sizes by Google, it is also a standard size recommended by Microsoft Advertising (Bing/Yahoo!) and the IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau).
When used in AdSense, the 728 x 90 – Leaderboard ad unit can contain either text ads or image/rich media ads and is intended for the very top or bottom of a site and doesn’t usually fit in the constrained area of a blog content area.
An example of the text version of the AdSense Leaderboard can be found below. Leaderboards typically contain graphic banner ads and not text ads as shown in this example. However, if you click on the text (not the link) in the banner above and move your mouse to the right, the content area should scroll and you’ll be able to see the rest of the text that Google puts into the text version of the 728×90 Leaderboard in AdSense.
Google’s second recommended ad unit size for AdSense is the 336 x 280 – Large Rectangle. This ad unit size is not listed in the most popular sizes on the Yahoo! Ad Network, but is on the listed in the Microsoft Advertising PubCenter for ad publishers for small businesses, but not in the Standard Ad Creative Acceptance Policy for Marketers & Agencies. On the IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) Ad Unit Guidelines, this size is listed in the Delisted Standard Ad Units as of February 28, 2011.
While this size is available in AdSense for both text and image/rich media ads, it seems that this size is used mainly for small publishers and due to it’s size, is commonly used to take up a large area of the content. Google offer examples of the 336×380 Large Rectangle and they are all embedded in or below the content.
This is the first of a series of posts on Google AdSense ad sizes. The main reason I’m doing this is for my own reference. There won’t necessarily be any great insight or advice on how to use these ads. It is mainly a test environment so I can see all of the current AdSense options in action. It will also compare Google AdSense ad sizes to standard agency ad unit sizes.
Four Recommended Ad Sizes
AdSense has four main recommended AdSense ad unit sizes, which are the following:
- 300 x 250 – Medium Rectangle
- 336 x 280 – Large Rectangle
- 728 x 90 – Leaderboard
- 160 x 600 – Wide Skyscraper