Google will retire link ads in Adsense next year.
I received an email from Google this morning stating that Google Adsense is retiring its link ads.
Link ads are ads that list search terms. When people click on the search terms, they are directed to a Google page with ads related to the search term.
It surprises me that Google is retiring these ads. This is the same concept as parked page ads and they tend to work well. Furthermore, Media.net built an entire advertising business based primarily on this same type of ad using the Yahoo/Bing feed.
Link ads tend to deliver well for advertisers because they require users to click twice. Once to show interest in the topic, and then a second time to select the advertiser’s site.
But Google states:
Our experiments show that, for the vast majority of publishers, responsive display ads can perform as well as link ads. We are constantly optimizing responsive display ads to maximize performance.
Note the word “responsive” here. The nice thing about Link Ads is you could squeeze them in tiny spaces. Here’s an example link ad on one of my sites:
I suspect that Google will still deliver ads that are effectively link ads, just within responsive ad units.
Google will nix the link ads on October 3, 2021.