Google AdSense Retires 'Ad Balance' To Focus On Creating Low-Quality Ad Blocker

Google AdSense - ad balance

Google AdSense has paid millions of online personalities and publications. Despite its popularity and usage, its features aren't immune to removals.

It started back on May 6, 2020, when Google announced that it would be retiring the 'Ad Balance' feature on AdSense.

This come to realization on May 20th.

Google said that its decision was based on feedback from publishers.

"We’re removing ad balance from AdSense accounts on May 20, 2020. We’ll also remove the ad balance experiment option, including all completed ad balance experiments, on this date," said Google at the time.

"If you’re currently using ad balance or running ad balance experiments, we’ll email you with additional information. If you’re not using these features, then you don’t need to take any action."

AdSense's Ad Balance was first launched in January 2017

Google developed this slider tool feature to help users control the number of ads they can show to their audience.

Using the feature, users can filter out low-quality advertisements without hurting their revenue too much. AdSense could do this because typically, the bulk of AdSense users revenue comes from a relatively small portion of their ad impressions.

By only showing the ads that make the most money, AdSense users could improve the overall visitor experience on their site for a minimal drop in their earnings.

And by "retiring" Ad Balance, Google said that it will instead focus on developing further blocking tools for low-quality ads.

"We appreciate your patience and understanding as we continue to develop our products. Any current Ad balance experiments will be removed on May 20th, as well as all of the options for adjusting these settings."

Google AdSense - Ad Balance feature
Google AdSense's Ad Balance feature showing the slider where users can set their desired ad fill rate.

As an A/B test tool, AdSense's Ad Balance was helpful to some publishers, as it allowed them to only show the highest-paying ads, and block low-paying ones.

With Ad Balance, some publishers managed to keep their revenue more-or-less intact, and improved user experience for viewers.

However, there are cases that Ad Balance was ruining its users websites' layouts. This happened because for plenty of times, Ad Balance in blocking ads simply created empty spaces that were not collapsing.

These unfilled ad units can ruin appearance, and may even move certain website elements away from their intended position.

After Google removed the feature, the change is expected to have "a neutral or positive effect on your earnings."

Users may also see "a change to your overall RPM and impressions too."

in an email, Google wrote:

"When we turn off ad balance, more ads will start showing on your sites as the ads which were excluded with ad balance will then be allowed. This will be the equivalent of setting your ad balance fill rate to 100%. If you currently have set a fill rate of lower than 100%, you will now start to see more ads on your site(s).