Don’t get me wrong I actually like Google Adwords. But there is a time and place for them. Here is a good example of how NOT to integrate google AdWords into your website that I came across while looking for AJAX tutorials today.
Whats wrong with this picture?
1. Hard to distinguish the difference between the Google ads, and the real content.
Now while some users (those who claim to make 5 digit incomes from Google ads) suggest that this is a good thing, think about your users. If someone stumbles across your site, for example looking for a tutorial on AJAX, and accidentally clicks a Google ad when they thought it was part of your site, do you think they will realise their mistake and come running back to you? Or will they just close the window and search elsewhere? If you answered yes (to them coming back to your site), congratulations you must have a loyal band of followers. But for the rest of us, chances are they won’t come back to your site again.
2. You can’t read the actual content
In the example above they have placed the ads between the article title and its body, which is a problem because:
a) it’s hard to determine which text is related to which article
b) you can’t quickly see how many articles are on the page, and if there are any that are relevant to what you are looking for
c) you need to scroll just to read one article which has only a couple of lines of text
So where should i put my Google Ads?
I personally find the best place for Google ads, is either at the end of an article (before the comments) or in the right column with any other advertising you might have. Google ads are clever in the way that they display ads based on the content for your page, so using them at the bottom of an article, can be a good way to provide users with additional information, without the need to research it yourself. This is also the most probable time (in my opinion) when users would be willing to click ads, as they have already found (and hopefully read) what they wanted, and are open to suggestions as to where to go next.
Want more information?
Here is just a couple of sites that I came across with some useful information on Google Adwords/Adsense.« Bring on the gravatars First screenshot of my GTD project »