What Do You Think of Google's New Minimalist Ads?

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There's a new ad unit design on the block for Google AdSense. And it's pretty minimal - white space, a little blue text, and nothing more. The folks over at WebmasterWorld are of two minds about it.

You can check out what the ads look like here: http://i.imgur.com/SpBFbH8.jpg (taken from the OP of the above linked thread).

User Calum_Jones writes that "They don't blend in AT ALL, the opposite of eye-catching." But lots of other users appreciate how minimal the ads are - no flashing lights, no bright colors. "I'd rather have one of these than some of the ones showing up on my sites now," writes netmeg.

Calum clarifies: "I agree that it looks nice but the problem is CTR. The nessie button being the same color as the page links and the layout of hte last ads were more likely to get clicked on than a small blank white arrow and some random line of color to the left. Nobody associates vertical lines with links..."

Which, for martinibuster, opens up an interesting point about ads and user expectations. "User expectation contributes to what gets clicked," he writes. "Think about this in terms of user expectation. It looks like a block of content. It does not resemble a link. It does not resemble an advertisement. In short, it does not resemble anything that a site user would actually click."

What do you think?