However, the 125px ad blocks – aren’t we all becoming blind to these within the niche these days? I for one barely notice them anymore. Maybe there’s a challenge – to break that ad unit cliche?
Spot on, at least almost. While these 125×125 pixel ads certainly are very common, personally I at least give them a glance, and occasionally click them (which goes for all ads, I don’t shy away as a principle). To me, they haven’t degraded to the way one shies traditional banners on regular, ad-crammed sites, but maybe that’s just me.
Personally, I think a good solution is to place ads between post and comments. That’s a great spot, very user friendly as well. In theory, there are several advantages with this positioning:
- The reader is done reading, so now what? Either comment, or move along someplace else. A curious reader is more likely to look at the ads, and perhaps even click them.
- Ads between post and comments aren’t very obtrusive. Sure, the reader will have to scroll a bit to get to the comments, but as long as the ads aren’t huge this shouldn’t be such a problem.
- Readers are more likely to tune out the sidebar, the traditional place for 125×125 pixel ad blocks, than the content area. Actually, this goes for the sidebar-content relationship overall.
I don’t think it’s very likely that ads between post and comment will be the new de facto standard. Advertisers are way to focused on the above the fold rule, which means that they want ads to be shown without scrolling. While that might be true for some sites, depending on niche and what kind of readers it attracts, I sincerely doubt that it’s a general rule for all. Think about it, when you arrive at a site from your bookmarks, then you want to see what’s new, read up on it, and so on. That usually involves scrolling. Same goes for links to posts, for instance – you usually arrive at these because you want to read them, so that means you’ll scroll down, hence not seeing the ads above the fold.
What do you guys think? What’s the ideal ad solution in your minds?