Adsense Nonsense: When you display too many ads

If you thought you could put as many Adsense ads on your blog as you want, then you’d be wrong. Google’s documentation clearly states how many ads you can display, but it’s easy to lose count in practice. If you do break the rules, then you’ll get some crazy blank spaces in all the wrong places— “Adsense nonsense”. I know because until recently my blog had extra spaces between widgets, and I could not figure it out.

Here’s the rule:

“AdSense publishers may place up to three AdSense for content ad units on one webpage. You may also place a maximum of three AdSense for content link units and two search boxes on each webpage.”

  • Ad units contain either text ads, image ads, or both. The ads are targeted to the content of your page using contextual and placement targeting.
  • Each link unit displays a list of topics that are relevant to your page. When users click a topic, they’re brought to a page of related ads.

Google further warns you that “ads may not always appear. In this case, the ad unit will show as a transparent box, or will contain any alternate ad or color specified in the ad code.” Those crazy blank spaces are ‘transparent’ boxes where you expected the ad to appear. So can’t they make the box height 3px instead of 450?

Here’s one of my ad units and a sample link unit:

Here’s how you get in trouble:

Many people just see 3 + 3 and assume they can have six of either type. Others forget to count the sidebar ads, or like myself lose count when we put ads between posts and then change the number of posts on the homepage. Awhile ago, I started to use Adsense and wrote about how you find the code to control ads between posts: Where did Blogger File That Adsense Code?

At that time, there were only 2 posts on the front page. So I had a link unit under the header, one ad unit on the sidebar and took the default of 1 ad unit after each post. Total: 1 link and 3 ad units. Later I started displaying 3 posts on the homepage, bringing the total to 4 ad units — hence blank boxes on the sidebar. Not too unsightly, but if I went to 5 posts, the big spaces would appear between the last two posts.

Adsense makes you do the math:

This is how you can adjust the post ads. Go to Dashboard, Layout and select the ‘Edit’ text link inside the “Blog Posts” element, lower right corner.

You’ll see a pop up window. Make sure you check ‘show ads between posts’.

You then see this expanded section for controlling the ads. You can configure only one type of unit, either ad or link. The warning repeats “up to 3 times per page.” The default is 1 ad per 1 post. If you have 3 posts on a page, you can’t have other units of that type in the sidebar. If you show more than 3 posts you’ll get blank spaces!

The solution is to adjust the “show after every” to a larger number. Use the drop down menu which goes up to 5. Just divide your planned number of posts by 2 to get the ‘show after every’ number. e.g. 6 posts means show after every 3 (6/2=3); that works for 7 also. (7/2= 3 + remainder of 1)

Remember to adjust by counting the same type in the sidebar and if you add more posts on the homepage. Just ask your kids to do the math for you. LOL


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  1. Your visit just topped it off! 😎 I published this post and got a good start on one explaining how to add a 'print this page' feature! [Print this post]
    I left you a message on MyBlogLog about your avatar image there…
    Also I see your blog requires horizontal scrolling. You may want to correct the footer — 1200 is too wide! make it 1060 to match the header & body.
    <span style="left: 5px; position: absolute; top: 12041px;">div #footer .footer section 1200×1434</span><span> </span>
    <span style="left: 5px; position: absolute; top: 12041px;">div #footer .footer section 1200×1434</span><span> </span>
    <span style="left: 5px; position: absolute; top: 12041px;">div #footer .footer section 1200×1434</span><span> </span>
    #footer {

    But even that is quite wide. Probably forced by the large header image. try resizing and making the other columns smaller. Happy Tuesday.

  2. I hate those sites that have barely any text and ads all over.  Or so many ads it's hard to see where the actual content is.

  3. You are absolutely right. I have seen many sites that completely have no content in them but are fully clubbed with Adsense units. I hate to see such sites. I will recommend every one to take a look at this post for proper placement of Adsense units. Thanks SBA!!!

  4. Google Adsense  will show irrelevant ads on your site if don't have much content .

    People usually click on ads if they find it relevant to the content.

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