Google AdSense Link Ads Retiring in 2021

Google AdSense Link Ads Retiring in 2021

Google recently announced that they would be retiring AdSense link ads. They’ve taken into account feedback from publishers and advertisers and want to improve ad experiences continuously. As such, they will instead focus on creating new ad formats and improving existing ones.

What are link ads?

Link ads are similar to contextual ads and are topic lists targeted towards the interests of website users. The text link type ads can be displayed in a fixed or responsive size. Here’s an example of link ads:


What does this mean for AdSense publishers?

From March 10, 2021, publishers will no longer be able to create ad units for link ads. If you still have responsive link ads active on your site by the due date, they will start showing display ads. Any fixed link ads still active will stop serving completely. Google will attempt to collapse these ads where possible or show a blank ad.

Link ads compared to other AdSense ad types

Google continuously experiments and runs tests to improve ad performance. They’ve concluded that responsive display ads generally perform equally well compared to link ads. Even though link ads will be retired, publishers can still compare historical link ad performance with current ad units through the AdSense Ad Unit Report.

What should publishers do?

As mentioned above, you’ll want to make sure that you remove any fixed sized link ads before the 10th of March 2021 to avoid blank ads from showing and missing out on ad revenue.

Google also recommends that you try the following ad setups as an alternative to link ads:

AdSense auto ads

-Display ads

-Native ads (especially if you want users to have a customized experience)

-Matched content ads (if your site is eligible)

We highly recommend vignette ad units. MonetizeMore has vignette ad units that compete with multiple ad networks including Google to get high Ad RPMs.


Are you still trying to figure out AdSense? Do you feel like these regular updates complicate your life even further? Don’t sweat it! MonetizeMore has created a course just for you!

With PubGuru University School Of AdSense, we show you using step-by-step over-their-shoulder video tutorials, the A-Z of AdSense. Learn how to master your AdSense ad inventory and finally earn the ad revenue you deserve! Enroll today!

Kean Graham

CEO and Founder at MonetizeMore

Kean is the resident expert in Ad Optimization covering areas like AdSense Optimization, DFP Management, and third-party ad network partnerships. Kean believes in the supremacy of direct publisher deals and holistic optimization as keys to effective and consistent ad revenue increases.

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  1. berwirausaha

    This ia really really bad news for my, because my site earns 70% id from this ads type…

    Sorry for my English

    • Hariom singh

      my site earns more than 60% from link ads only

  2. Shankar Singh

    It is so sad for more earn without link ads.

    • Joseph

      You right man. I had been earning 72% of full revenue with link ads. now it’s much lower, I am getting 67% lower revenue now. after link ads retired. and it keeps going down. I don’t know what I am gonna do to wait for new ad formats or to stop and give up on everything. I am really shocked right now. It’s the only source of my income. now Last year I left job in order to work as a webmaster. I started everything was going great but then boom and this happened. I don’t know what to do now, Hope they will change something and will offer better ad units that will work. cause existing ones doesn’t work. I nearly got 5-6 clicks in a day before april I was getting 40-70 😞😞

  3. Sahaman

    Why are they doing this? I earned 70% of all revenue with links ads, What I am suppose to do without them? How can I balance my earnings? I am in Shock


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