Should I Use Adsense Link Ads in My Posts?

The good and the bad of link ads

Using link ads can be confusing sometimes. You look at it so cool and it mostly fits in for any content. Yet, you may not be so certain about its prospects.

Will this ad type give enough impression, CTR and CPC? Will it have more clicks than the regular banner ads?

Well, the only thing that works fine and gives the right result is experimentation. When it comes to using the right ad types – be it a banner or link ad, you have to go in and see the result first.

This post gives the summary of my experience using Google link ads instead of banners.

What’s Link Ad?

Link ads display a list of topics that are relevant to the content of your page. They're closely targeted to the interests of your users.

On the PC, it shows in 4/6 box-like links (usually in two lines) containing ad words on the targeted pages. On mobile devices, it's usually five links.

Below is the look on a computer page.

Here is the look on the mobile phone.


Do you Have to Use Link Ads?

As a matter of fact, just like you want to make more money with your ad placement, Google always wants to make more. Hence, when they give you a particular ad type, they want to win when you're winning.

As a result, they will continually be feeding you with different ad types to maximize your profit and theirs. However, it doesn't mean that every ad type available to you should be used. In fact, don't use all. Not all pay well!

What is best for you is to experiment with the ones that work fine for your content type. In fact, certain ad types that are perfect for a niche may not perform very well for others.

Niches Appropriate for Link Ads 

Generally, I don’t recommend this ad type for a website that is not targeting people who want to download. Websites such as book reviews, ebooks downloading, music and movies downloading, software downloading, and sharing are so perfect for link ads. Why?

The only way ads can perform well is to increase your click-through rate (CRT). This is defined as how frequently people are genuinely clicking your ads. 

If the ads contain the word “download”, “download here” etc., more people are likely going to click on the ads intentionally or by mistake.

Whether they do that by mistake or rightly, you win more CRT which will increase your CPC. The more people click on your ads the more competitive the cost per click (CPC) will be.

Therefore, it’s best to be choosy as to where you will use it.

If you place the ads on a blog discussing insurance, finance, government, politics, news, etc, it may not perform as well.

Link Ads May Win More Clicks But Earn Low

During my experimentation, I’d noticed that link ads usually get more clicks. More readers innocently click on it – mistaken them for part of the content they’re reading.

What is the effect?

They found themselves on the resulting page or the advertiser’s page and bounced back almost instantly. Why?

They clicked by mistake. They didn't need the product as much as they need your content.

People should click on your ads genuinely not by mistakes. This is what Google and similar ad networks want from your visitors. They want genuine interest in the ads!

Talking of Google and similar ad networks, they won’t give you payment for unintentional clicks. Where they do, the CPC will be embarrassingly low.

Look at the picture below. How do you explain the CPC for the 10 link ad clicks?

The CPC was $0.01 and the clicks were 10. But the estimated earning remained $.06.

Under normal circumstances, I'd expected the estimated earnings to be $.10, not  $.06. That is 0.01*10.

That’s one and immediate effect of clicks that the system detected to be mistaken.

The long-term effect of that is when Google deducts a certain amount of dollars from your total earning at the end of the month before showing your net income. They call that invalid traffic earning.

See that in the picture below.

Though invalid traffic earnings can also accrue from banner ads, it’s more common on a blog where link ads are used.

Link Ads May Take More Out Of You then It Gives

As already stated, people click on link ads more than banners. What does this imply?

You earn more from these clicks especially if they're genuine and the CPC is pretty convincing.

However, you can, in the long run, experience more drain than you’re earning.

One point those who don’t use native ads on their blogs make is – it drives traffic off pages to their competitors. Yes, that’s true!

Don’t forget, these ads are related to what you’re discussing on your blog. Most content marketers use this ad type to promote their articles too. Hence, they take people off your pages to theirs.

This may give you a few bucks. But in the long run, it may not be the worth.

The longer people spend on your pages, the higher you’re ranked. The longer they interact with your pages, the more likely they subscribe to your posts.  And list can be the best investment anybody can buy.

Link Ads Usually Appears Where Others Don't

As an advantage, link ads can help where others fail.

You might have experienced a few situations where ads don’t just show up in your post even though you have the codes embedded.

For example, when you just post a new article, that page may not show ads until a few hours later. Another is if the page or article is not receiving quality or regular views. Read this, if you’re interested in the other 9 reasons ads may not show in your post or on the entire blog.

I’ve observed that even where banner ads are not available to be shown in a post or Adsense limits the ads thereon, ads will still be shown. That can be a bonus.

Putting up this ad type may save the day if other ad types are not showing for the few visitors. If no ad shows up, you earn nothing in the first place. Then, why not giving it a chance?

Link Ads Are Better Combined

A few points above had shown you the good and the bad of link ads. Yet, you may still be finding it difficult or confusing to take a side. So, what’s the best take here?


In the earning screenshot above, the Adsense's owner combined a few other ad types with his link ads. That should feel better.

The fact that I said this ad type usually didn’t earn much didn’t shun it off. There have been times when I was surprisingly paid higher with it. But it has never been as consistent as banners.

Hence, to be on the safer side, find a way to blend the two. Where your post contains three ads, make "link" one of. You can make it right if placed at the center of the post. It seems to perform better there.


Link ads are cool, they’re less likely going to be ignored by readers. However, they come at certain prices. But if managed well, it can be better for you especially if your blog is young. With an older blog, you may not need it as banners should perform outrightly better.

Do you have any real experience using link ads? Share with us in the comment section below.

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