Discussion of best number of ads for most forums...


Well-known member
On my older forums I've always used either two or three - that is, one at the top and one at the bottom, and sometimes an extra one at bottom, but with other content, such as a legend and the number of members, etc. between the two bottom ones.

Do any of you have any opinions or wisdom regarding the "right" number of ads which can maximize revenue and somewhat help the user (my ads are relevant to the subject at hand)....as opposed to the "too much" craziness some sites display?

I've been to a google corporate adsense seminar, and they seem to use 3 as the best number - but that might be for their adsense and not totally relevant to my case - where many banners are privately sold by me.

My forum is a DIY home improvement subject - if that matters.

Any opinions welcome.

BTW, I've had decent results - both in adsense and privately, with 2-3 on a page. I guess I am wondering if any have experience with using 4 or 4+, or is a point of diminished returns?


Well-known member
i have two. they are at the bottom of my forum and it works fine.
specially in a forum they works very well when the user clicks "whats new" and there is no new post - then the ads are still there :)


Well-known member
I think this may be on the right track - that is somewhere in the realm of 2-3.
I do see some opportunities to perhaps sell a sidebar small ad or two - or maybe a few using special conditionals (in profiles, etc.)...

If and when I move to XF (purchased yesterday, but have 1,000,000+ posts and other things because Forum is EE-based), I will definitely do some A-b testing and experiments and report back.

As an aside, I really increased my adsense income after the google seminar! This was their "adsense in your city" tour, which I think they have done again this year. It's neat to hobnob with the google folks and see how they run seminars and other stuff...you know, maybe some IQ points will rub off!

The main take home stuff was to use their "heat map" as far as where on the page ads are. In some cases (not forums, IMHO) you can be a bit in-your-face and yet not turn off users. An example was in a QA section I had. I put one in-between the question and answer...where before it used to be just at the top and bottom...and got a really good return on it.

At the same time, I'm with most of you to keep things relatively clean where possible. Users don't want to be blinded by these things!