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Customizing Google AdSense alternate ads

When AdSense runs out of inspiration (i.e.: no targeted ads are available), it displays public service ads by default. You can choose to replace this with a custom ad of your own choosing. To do this, you have to put a HTML page somewhere and change the alternate ads settings for the appropriate ad unit:

AdSense unit: alternate ads settings for HardhoutWiki leaderboard

Alternate ads settings for HardhoutWiki leaderboard AdSense unit

Instead of the public service ads, I wanted to serve a banner ad to promote our beautiful family vacation home. I created this image a few years ago for an AdWords campaign started by my uncle because he wanted to reach more potential vacation goers.

Schuilplaats banner ad

The 728x79 banner image

I put put up a page with the image at The HTML is very simple:

    <a href=""><img src="schuilplaats-banner-ad.jpg" /></a>

If anyone wants to promote our vacation home for free, all they have to do is to change Alternate ads or colors to Show non-Google ads from another URL and fill in

Although I put the alternate ad up over a year ago, I was prompted to blog about it because two months ago, for the first time, I suddenly saw the ad actually being serviced on my Dutch HardwoodWiki:

The alternate ad in action

The alternate ad in action


  1. AdSense Tricks

    Thank’s for the tips. Great post

  2. Tom

    thanks, that really helped me

  3. NP

    That’s great. I’m going to do that right now. Only a year to wait till I see it, but still…

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