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May 28, 2006

AdSense thinks borderless is better

When I interviewed Kim Malone from Google a couple of weeks ago for Click This!, I commented that seeing the default AdSense color scheme - the one with that familiar teal border - was like nails on a chalkboard to me when I saw it in action. It never ceases to amaze me the number of publishers who don't even bother to coordinate the ad unit colors to their site... or at the very least, remove those often CTR-lowering borders from their ad units. Well, it seems AdSense thinks the same thing as they are revamping the color scheme used for default ad units, getting rid of that teal border on all defaults.

Publishers received an email which included the following:

We’re writing to let you know about a coming change to the appearance of your Google ads. Your ads currently display the default Google color palette, Seaside (formerly known as Mother Earth). In the near future, we plan to update the default palette to Open Air, a new palette containing the same set of colors, but without the blue border. We’ve found that many publishers prefer the cleaner look of this palette and have also seen that a blended color palette performs better for them — attracting user interest while still maintaining the distinction between ads and content with the ‘Ads by Google’ label.

Please note that this change will only affect your ad units where your ad code does not specify colors. For all other units, your color selections will be retained.

I do wonder why they didn't include this information when they made the color palette changes they noted a few days earlier on the AdSense Blog. However, this change was definitely a long time coming, and I won't have that nails on the chalkboard feeling as I used to, unless it is due to someone specifically chosing the color palette formerly known as Mother Earth, now known as Seaside. Now all default ad units will display the color palette Open Air which is identical to Mother Earth, but optimized with a hidden border.

Posted by Jenstar at May 28, 2006 09:48 AM

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Well, it is up to everyone to change the colors. Half a year ago I saw the default palettes from time to time, now I don't see them anymore.
But I agree with you, that the default colors are not the best. I can't remember seeing a page where the default colors blend well with the overall design :)

Posted by: anty at May 28, 2006 04:41 PM

Hanging my head in shame... Even though I have ALWAYS changed my color schemes, I never even considered dropping the border. I feel like such a schmoe... ;)

Posted by: Aaron Potts at June 1, 2006 11:57 AM

why cant google make transparent adsense ads. Every time i try to use a colour other than white for my main page the ads stick out. If they made ads transparent then this would blend in like the white ads on a white background!

Posted by: adam at July 9, 2006 08:57 AM

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