How to Stop and Get Rid of Adsense Auto Ads and Get Your Old Adsense Ads Back

If you run any sort of website at all, it’s likely that you have at least dabbled with Adsense. And if so, you may also have decided to give Adsense Auto Ads a try. And if you did try Adsense Auto Ads it may be that you regret it, and want to get rid of the damned things. Which turns out to be easier said than done. Here’s how to stop Adsense Auto Ads and get rid of them for good.

Auto Ads were introduced by Google AdSense almost exactly a year ago (they introduced Auto Ads on their Adsense blog on February 21st, 2018, and this article is being posted on February 5th, 2019), so we think it’s fitting that we are helping people disable Adsense Auto Ads on nearly the first anniversary of Auto Ads’ first darkening publishers’ virtual doorsteps*.

*We recognize that not all Adsense publishers have had a negative experience with Adsense Auto Ads, but enough have that people are trying to figure out how to remove them, and we’re here to help those people.

As Google explained in that blog post launching Adsense Auto Ads, “Auto ads use machine learning to make smart placement and monetization decisions on your behalf, saving you time. Place one piece of code just once to all of your pages, and let Google take care of the rest.”

Google touted the benefits of using Auto Ads as being optimization, revenue opportunities, and being easy to use.

The premise is basically that Google knows better than do you where ads should go on your websites. And in theory, that could have been true – and even should have been true. And it may even be true for some publishers.

 

But for a whole lot of other publishers, judging by the posts and posted questions we’ve seen, it’s definitely not true. It certainly wasn’t true for us. Adsense Auto Ads put huge banners up before our treasured readers even saw the very first word of our articles – in fact before they even saw the title of the article! It was, in a word, fugly. Perhaps more importantly, our ad revenue, while initially taking off, eventually plummeted. And as soon as we ripped out the Auto ads (as in, the same day) it started rising again.

That same Google blog post says that, after you add the Auto Ads code, “Auto ads will now start working for you by analyzing your pages, finding potential ad placements, and showing new ads when they’re likely to perform well and provide a good user experience.”

The entire last half of that sentence turned out to be anything but true for us and, apparently, for many others.

Google explains Adsense Auto Ads in much the same way on their Adsense Auto Ads video page on YouTube, saying that “AdSense Auto ads are a family of ad formats that offer a simple and innovative way for you to monetize your content. With Auto ads, you place the same piece of ad code once on each page. After you’ve added the code, Google automatically shows ads at optimal times when they’re likely to perform well for you and provide a good experience for your users.”

So for all of those who have found that no, actually Adsense Auto Ads did not perform well for them, and that no, they did not provide a good user experience, here is how to turn those Auto Ads off and get rid of them.

How to Stop and Get Rid of Adsense Auto Ads

Here’s the first thing to realize in order to get rid of Adsense Auto Ads: if they are appearing on your site, then at some point in time you (or someone with the ability to admin your site) added the following code to your site:

<script async 
src="//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js">
</script>
<script>
     (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({
          google_ad_client: "ca-pub-6XXXXXXXXXXXXXX2",
          enable_page_level_ads: true
     });
</script>

This is both the necessary – and the only – code to allow Google to decide what ad formats they think should be displayed on your site, and where they should be displayed, and then to actually display those Auto Ads on your site.

So the first thing that you need to do is rip that code out of your site. You (or whomever) either put it directly into the header file (i.e. header.php), or into another file that has the <head> and </head> tags in it and between which the code was placed, or, if you are using WordPress or another content management system (CMS), into a plugin or add-on that manages codes. For example, this is a WordPress plugin called Quick Adsense into which such codes are pasted:

how to get rid of adsense auto ads

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Now, in theory this should be all that you need to do in order to stop Auto Ads from displaying on your website. But we have seen reports of those ads still showing up even after that code has been ripped out, so for a belt-and-suspenders approach, you should also go into your Adsense account and turn off all of the different formats of Auto Ads. Note that there is no place to actually turn off Auto Ads itself – but you can turn off the various types of ads from within the Auto Ads section of your Adsense Account.

So, go to your Adsense account home page and click on the Ads section:

adsense home ads

From there click on Auto ads:

adsense auto ads settings

In the Global settings (should be the very first option in the Auto Ads section) click on the pencil icon, which is apparently the international symbol for ‘edit’.

google adsense auto ads settings

Now turn off all of the various types of Auto Ads.

turn adsense auto ads off

Be sure to click on ‘Save’ at the bottom of the page to save your settings.

adsense save button

Now, at this point there should be no way for Auto Ads to be displayed on your site – if you are still seeing them, it’s likely because either your browser or your site itself is caching the ads from earlier. So clear your caches and check again.

How to Get Your Old Adsense Ads Back

Adsense Auto Ads automatically override any of the other Adsense ads that you had been publishing on your site. If you are using a plugin or add-on to manage your Adsense ads, it’s quite likely that you left your original Adsense ad codes in the plugin and the removal of the Auto ads code is all that you need to do to make your original (non-Auto ads) ads appear. However, if this is not the case, simply go back into your Adsense account, go to the Ad units section, and get the code for whichever ad units you want, and add them back on your site.

turn original adsense ads back on

Note: You do not have to add any site-wide code for regular Adsense ad units to start displaying again. If it has been a while, you may have some dim recollection of adding some other Google code to your header – and indeed you may be remembering correctly, but it has nothing to do with Google ads; it may have been Google’s site verification code, or for another Google product, but the Adsense ad units are self-contained and require no site-wide code. So don’t make yourself crazy trying to figure out what you need to add site-wide to re-enable your original Adsense ads, because the answer is “nothing”. :-)

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Summary
How to Stop and Get Rid of Adsense Auto Ads and Get Your Old Adsense Ads Back
Article Name
How to Stop and Get Rid of Adsense Auto Ads and Get Your Old Adsense Ads Back
Description
If you run any sort of website at all, it's likely that you have at least dabbled with Adsense. And if so, you may also have decided to give Adsense Auto Ads a try. And if you did try Adsense Auto Ads it may be that you regret it, and want to get rid of the damned things. Which turns out to be easier said than done. Here's how to stop Adsense Auto Ads and get rid of them for good.
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