On Google Adsense link units

James Ryan Jonas

Got the following email from Google Adsense a few minutes ago.


As a publisher using link units on your pages, we’re writing to let you know about a recently resolved reporting issue that affected your account.

We discovered an issue with the way earnings from link units were being shown in publisher accounts, which resulted in some of your ad unit earnings being incorrectly attributed to link units instead. However, this was only a reporting display issue and so your overall earnings and payments were not affected. We’ve resolved the issue, and as a result, you may now notice slight differences when you look at reports for previous months. Specifically, when you generate separate reports for link units and ad units, you may see that earnings from link units on a particular day have decreased, but that the ad unit earnings for the same day have increased by the same amount.

Again, please be assured that your aggregate earnings and payments were unaffected, so you’ve been credited for all valid clicks and impressions. In addition, this issue has not affected your ad performance in any way.

Your reports will now accurately reflect your earnings from link units and ad units — we apologize for the inconvenience and any confusion caused.


The Google AdSense Team

What this means is that Adsense apparently made an error in recording our earnings. Instead of crediting the ad units, some earnings were credited for link units.

What are Google Adsense link units?

Link units are the listing of topics which, when clicked, will show a page of related ads. We don’t earn yet when these topics are clicked. We get to earn only when the ads on the resulting page are clicked. On this blog, the Adsense link units are located under the PMT Archives section on the sidebar, right under the dropdown options Choose Article Category and Select Month of Publication.

Although there was an error in attributing the earnings to the appropriate unit, Google promised there was no effect on our past total earnings. Meaning, the earnings were just reallocated but the total amount remains unchanged.

Intrigued, I logged on to my Adsense account to see how the link units are performing.

Income from Link Units vs. Total Adsense Income

Although the link units’ daily performance seems to be erratic (there are days when it’s really high and also days when it’s low), on the average it accounts for only 6.7% of my total daily Adsense earnings.

This only goes to show that they’re not really the best performing ad categories in Google Adsense.

I’m not sure if removing them would cause an increase in the income performance of the ad units but, right now, I’m not keen on trying this experiment yet. For now, I’m ok with the link units contributing even a small percentage of my Adsense income.

How about you? Are you having success with your Adsense link units?

James Ryan Jonas teaches business management, investments, and entrepreneurship at the University of the Philippines (UP). He is also the Executive Director of UP Provident Fund Inc., managing and investing P3.2 Billion ($56.4 Million) worth of retirement funds on behalf of thousands of UP employees.