Link ads, introduced in 2007, were a sort of oddity to say the least, especially when compared to modern online advertisements. They were present on all sites with Google’s ad revenue service AdSense activated. The gist of it was that upon scrolling down such websites, users would encounter boxes with a few keywords written on them. These were usually the product of sponsored advertising, as business-owners using AdSense would pay for their ads to be featured across the internet. However, since multiple search results were shown together in a clump, clicking upon the link would then take the user to a separate landing page, with all the sponsored links. From there, they could choose to click on whatever link felt relevant, and move on streaming.
Our readers will hopefully forgive us if this author confesses to indifference about such a development. Link ads, while much more harmless than all the other two-bit misleading ads strewn across the web, were still ineffective at best and annoying at worst. Ineffective, since their clumping together results would only convey a mixed sense of advertising. Annoying since even if an individual found something of use in one of the given keywords, they’d still have to click twice to find something of pertinence: once on the link ads box, then secondly upon finding the relevant link on a separate landing page. All of this makes link ads come across as a very unnecessary hassle, especially compared to Google’s alternate methods of advertising, such as Search Ads.
Of course, such a decision can expect some backlash. A particular front for such derision can easily be the pages advertising using link ads. Link ads require that people click twice on them to get to a relevant location, which means twice the revenue for the webpages featuring them. Users forking out money for such advertisement can also be expected to show displeasure over such a decision. Then again, all such changes can result in adverse reactions. Especially from a relic of technology dating back to 2007.
Google’s reasons for discontinuing link ads boils down to modernization, or so they claim. Another reason stated by the company is that link ads currently exhibit the same amount of functionality as the more recent responsive image ads, and are therefore inefficient. Yet, there is no haste in the replacement process. The removal of link ads will take place on October 3rd, 2021, giving users time to advertise using the feature before carving it a new headstone for the Google Graveyard.
This post was written by Arooj Ahmed and was first posted to Digital Information World
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