Thursday, 15 February 2007

Alternatives to AdSense: Element Ads

I recently noticed an advertisement for Element Ads (aff) among the Google ads on this blog, so I thought I'd try them out.


Element Ads (aff) provide semi-contextual text ads, very similar to Bidvertiser or AdSense. They are only semi-contextual because they are actually based on keywords that you enter for each web site on which you want to place their ads.

[Aside: at the moment you cannot edit these keywords either, the interface doesn't handle that yet. If you want to edit them, you have to email the changes to Element Ads directly.]

Element Ads also offer a nice range of ad unit sizes as well as the typical color scheme customization. They also seem to have a good advertiser base - at least, they do in this blog's niche!

As well as publishing ads, you can also earn money from Element Ads through their affiliate program.

The sign up process was also easy to complete, with no big hassles at all. The site is also pretty clean and crisp and easy to navigate and find your stats.


As far as customization and choice are concerned, Element Ads do well. However, my biggest concern is that their ads simply don't fit properly into the ad unit sizes in all cases. For example, in the wide skyscraper that has appeared on this blog, the ad title is often truncated, so you get ads containing text such as: "XML Affiliate F," "Earn Extra Mone," and "Work in the Com, " etc. Also, the boxes in which each ad appear contain a LOT of whitespace beneath the text. All in all, they look pretty tacky compared to AdSense.

In terms of earning potential, at the moment I cannot really judge this effectively but my gut feeling is that it may be quite low, but I could well be proved wrong. My ads are in a low visibility position so I wouldn't expect a high click thru rate. Thus far, they have had 274 impressions with no clicks. I think this is in part due to their position on the page and partly a result of the poor fomatting of the ads.

My rating for Element Ads as compared to AdSense: on the basis of the variety of options, 5/10. This could be increased or decreased when I am better able to assess their earning potential.


If you want to display Element Ads on the same web site as AdSense, you may do so under the new AdSense competitive ads policy. However, in order to differentiate them from the Google ads, you will have to ensure that you use distinct color schemes for the two ad programs, otherwise you will be violating AdSense policies.

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