Using AdSense Link Units in the footer & navigation

AdSense Optimization Boot Camp Tip #7 

AdSense Link Units can perform very well for AdSense publishers who get the placement nailed down.  On regular content sites (ie. not blogs or forums), adding Link Units to both the footer and the side navigation are two of the best placements.

If you haven’t used link units before, essentially what they are is a list of four or five keywords or keyword phrases related to the content of the page.  When someone clicks on one of the keyword links, they are taken to a page that only includes ads for the keyword selected.  So any link a visitor clicks on that second page will make you money.

 One placement that works well is in the footer, either above or below traditional footer links such as your privacy policy (which is now mandatory for AdSense publishers), about us page and copyright information.  People often look at footers for information such as copyright date (to see how stale the information is) or to look for contact information, so it can be a good placement that gets noticed, without worrying about potential banner blindness that could happen with having an AdSense ad block in the footer.

For link units in the footer, use the 728×15 size.  Then choose either the version that displays 4 links or 5 links based upon the text size in your footer – you want to match the on-page text size as closely as possible, the the link unit that displays 4 keyword(s) has much larger text than the one that has five.

A second great placement is having it positioned within your left side navigation.   You can have it above, below or even within the AdSense navigation.  There are four widths to chose from (120, 160, 180 and 200 pixels) so you can select the one that fits best within your navigation.  And again, select either 4 or 5 links based upon your navigation text size, so that it closely matches it for the best blending.

It is important to make sure you select 4 links versus 5 based upon your on-page text size.  Many publishers mistakenly believe that having one more keyword phrase as an option means more revenue, but my tests have shown that using the one that blends and matches best with the text currently on the page has the higher CTR rate.  So only use the ones with 5 links if it actually is the one that matches the text best.

You can view the various Link Units here.  Let me know if you have a great example of Link Units in footer or in the navigation and I will add some screenshots to illustrate this better.

Not sure if Link Units work for you?  Pop a channel on it and track their effectiveness on each site.  You might find the footer Ad Links rock while no one bothers with the one in the navigation, or vice versa. 

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6 comments to Using AdSense Link Units in the footer & navigation

  • Do you think they don’t perform well on blogs and forums for some reason? I’ve been using them on my forums for a year now and they seem to work out alright.

  • Thanks for the tip, I just tried this out on my new site –

    Feel free to use as an example!

  • You said, “It is important to make sure you select 4 links versus 5 based upon your on-page text size.”

    I really appreciate having this explained. I have been one of those who didn’t understand how to make a wise choice for this add type. Thank you for the information.

  • I have a few spots to show for using Ad Links on forums and blogs that work quite well 🙂 I’m going to try and do them this week now that I’m back from SES New York.

  • thanks for explaing it. l have been have aproblem with putting the code on my bottom pages but this has really helped.

  • thank you so much for this article! i’ve been using adsense for almost 2 years and never thought to put a link unit in the footer. …and the thoughts about 4 or 5 links makes brilliant sense. Never thought of that either! 🙂

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