Google AdSense is one of the easiest ways to monetize a website, but the platform is about to say goodbye to one of its ad formats. Starting next year, Google AdSense will drop its link unit ads.

For those unfamiliar with AdSense, publishers have the choice of two types of ad blocks. The ones you’ll see throughout most of the web are display ads, but “link” blocks provide AdSense publishers with an option that’s a bit more lightweight. Still, those ads were never as modern-feeling or as effective for the advertisers, so Google has made the decision to cut them starting on March 14, 2021.

We’ve decided to retire link ads. This is to modernize our available ad formats, based on the feedback from users, publishers and advertisers. Going forward, we’ll be focussing on improving and developing other ad formats to help you grow.

After the March cut-off, Google explains that users will no longer be able to create new link ad units and that any responsive units will automatically switch to display ads. They’ll also be switched in the AdSense account with “[previously link ad unit]” appended to the unit’s name.

Link ad unit

As for fixed-size link units, Google will stop serving those entirely in March, either collapsing the ad or making it invisible on sites using them. Google recommends that users who require fixed-size ads switch to auto ads, display ads, native ads, or matched content before the cutoff date.

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