Google announced that it is retiring its official Adsense plugin, previously known as the Google Publisher plugin. For the past three years it has allowed WordPress users to easily add Adsense ads to their sites, enable mobile-specific ad layouts, and manage ads with a point-and-click interface.
“After reviewing the AdSense Plugin for WordPress, we’ve decided that in the future we can support WordPress publishers better with new innovative features like our automatic ad formats and other upcoming initiatives,” Google said. “As a result, we will be deprecating the AdSense Plugin for WordPress in May 2017.”
Google published the following timeline for sunsetting the plugin:
- Early March 2017: New publishers will not be able to sign up for AdSense by using the plugin.
- Early April 2017: Existing publishers will not be able to change their ad settings or ad units through the plugin.
- Early May 2017: Google will no longer provide support for the plugin.
Although Google’s Adsense plugin was used by more than 200,000 WordPress sites, the company has not provided support for the plugin for the past two years. It has been poorly reviewed throughout its three-year listing on WordPress.org and is currently hovering at 2.7/5 stars.
This change will also affect dozens of other Google Adsense plugins, as Google is changing its ad display recommendations and does not endorse or support using any other WordPress plugins for this purpose.
Affected publishers received an email with information on how to display ads without the plugin. Google recommends deactivating and removing the plugin, followed by using the QuickStart option or creating and placing ad units by inserting the ad code into text widgets. Those who are manually placing ads using widgets will need to make sure they comply with Google’s detailed ad placement policies.
The new QuickStart method is a page-level ad format that automatically displays ads at “optimal times” when Adsense deems they will perform well and provide a good experience for visitors. These ads can be turned on by placing the QuickStart code within the tag. It’s easier to set up but not nearly as flexible as placing ads in text widgets, which can be conditionally displayed or hidden on pages, categories, tags, and post types using widget visibility rules offered in Jetpack or another plugin.