I noticed a couple of days ago that the AdSense ads on some various sites had been slightly altered to give a bit more spacing around the ad units and to help the text “pop” more. However, the change seems to have gone largely unnoticed by publishers and hasn’t been officially confirmed by AdSense. Unfortunately, although the new style looks much better, this is also causing issues with how some ads are displayed, resulting in ads within the ad units either not showing the URL under the ad, or only partially showing the url (such as the top ad in the ad unit only showing the top half of the URL line). In others, the “Ads by Google” on the bottom right runs over top of the ad text. Several of the screenshots were taken from the JenSense blog ad unit you can see to the right of this post, so you can see it in action too.
Here are some screen shots of some of the ad units I have seen.
By contrast, here is the old style from the AdSense ad unit format page.
The last time I remember AdSense changing anything significant in their ad units was a couple years ago when they began allowing a variety of fonts.
I do like the new spacing in the ad units, it helps them stand out a bit better, it becomes much more obvious when you compare the old and the new styles how much the new styles catch a visitor’s eye. Unfortunately, there seems to still be a bit of tweaking to be done for the ads to display properly, especially in the smaller sized ad units. I didn’t see any problems with the large rectangle ad units, most likely because they seem to run 1-3 ads per ad unit rather than the maximum 4, and which the majority of AdSense publishers seem to use. However, I suspect some publishers would get a little cranky if the ad units that usually show 2 ads are reduced to single ads in the ad units to accomodate the new ad look, especially when you consider that the liklihood of a click goes a lot higher with multiple ad options, when it isn’t a case of the units being auto-targeted with single ads because they have the maximum CTRs.
If advertisers are running campaigns specifically on the publisher network and you can afford to do some tweaking, it might make sense reduce the ad copy slightly so it fits better and you do not have to worry about losing the URL, especially if your company is well known or branded and people click because they notice it is your specific URL. The Google YouTube ad above is ironically a perfect example of an ad copy that fits perfectly with these new ad style changes.
Forum discussion on Digital Point, the change seems to have gone unnoticed on other forums.