Google AdSense Link Units Fully Retired

Google AdSense Link Units Fully Retired

Last December, Google told us they are retiring the Google AdSense link units, one of the early popular ad formats within Google AdSense. Google just announced the company has “now reached the final stage of that process” by “removing fixed-sized link units from the AdSense interface.”

Google wrote “Last year, we announced that link units were being retired. We’ve now reached the final stage of that process: removing fixed-sized link units from the AdSense interface. Since fixed-size link units are no longer serving ads, you do not need to take any action. If you previously used fixed-sized link units, they will be automatically removed from the list of ad units in your account.”

AdSense link unit were first introduced in 2007, AdSense itself was launched in 2003. Link ads display a list of topics that are relevant to the content of your page.

Google said they would be retired by March 2021 but I guess this deadline extended a bit through June 2021. Although, many saw their units drop off towards the end of March but this was the last bit of it.

The folks at WebmasterWorld have been having mixed reactions to this news over the past several months:

On my website ad units represent about 30% total revenue. Dont understand. Google still wants Auto ads, but auto ads is very bad.

90% of my revenue comes from link units.

I have no idea why Google wants to remove them since they clearly work. If the replacement ad units are not close in revenue generation, this will be devastating (and Google will lose a substantial amount of money as well).

I am completely confused by this decision.

A lot of websites/companies relying on Adsense revenue will end due to this change. For those that do not see substantial link unit revenue, this seems like a non-issue, but link units outperform every Adsense ad unit I have in place (and I use them all). My revenue will drop by 70%-90%.

Yesterday was, I think, the first day without link ad units at all.
From 10th March to 26th March the old link ads were slowly and gradually replaced by a new responsive unit.

If I look at yesterday’s vs last same weekday reports, these are the metrics:
Estimated earnings -42%
Impression RPM -33%
Clicks -77%

Yesterday was my first day without link ads and whatever google has replaced them with have failed miserably. My earnings are down 75%. Google is assuming most webmasters are foolish and don’t know how to monetize their own websites it seems. However, they have royally #*$!ed my profits and I’m not sure what I should do. Maybe if I let it ride a week Google will notice and revert back. Kind of like the search team does after updates that don’t have intended consequences. If not I need to do a lot of testing and take back control of my ads being displayed. If anyone finds a comparable alternative please share!

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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