Google AdSense link units are completely removed
Last December, Google told us that it was removing link units from Google AdSense, one of the first popular ad formats in Google AdSense. Google has now announced that the company has "reached the final stage of this process" by "removing fixed-size link units from the AdSense interface."
Google wroteLast year, we announced that link units would be removed. We have now reached the final stage of this process: the removal of fixed-size link units from the AdSense interface. Since fixed-size link units no longer serve ads, you don't have to take any action. If you were previously using fixed-size link units, they will be automatically removed from your account's list of ad units."
AdSense link units were first introduced in 2007, AdSense itself was launched in 2003. Link ads display a list of topics that are relevant to the content on your page.
Google said they would be retired by March 2021, but I guess that was extended a bit to June 2021. Although many had their units down towards the end of March, that was the last time.
The people of WebmasterWorld have had mixed reactions to this news in recent months:
On my website, advertising units account for about 30 % of total revenue. I don't get it. Google always wants automatic ads, but automatic ads are very bad.
90% of my income comes from linkage 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, it will be devastating (and Google will also lose a substantial amount of money).
This decision leaves me completely perplexed.
A lot of websites/companies that rely on Adsense revenue will disappear because of this change. For those who don't receive substantial income from link units, this doesn't seem to be a problem, but link units outperform all the Adsense ad units I have set up (and I use them all). My income will drop from 70 to 90 %.
Yesterday was, I think, the first day without link ad units at all. From March 10 to March 26, the old link ads were slowly and gradually replaced by a new responsive unit.
If I look at yesterday's reports compared to the same day's reports from the previous week, here are the metrics: Estimated Gains -42% Print RPMs -33% Clicks -77%
Yesterday was my first day without ad links and what Google replaced with those links failed miserably. My earnings dropped by 75%. Google assumes that most webmasters are stupid and don't know how to monetize their own websites, it seems. However, they royally #*$!ed my earnings and I am not sure what I should do. Maybe if I let a week go by, Google will notice and backtrack. Kind of like the search team does after updates that have no intended consequences. Otherwise, I have to do a lot of testing and regain control of how my ads are displayed. If anyone finds a comparable alternative, please share!
Discussion on the forum WebmasterWorld.