Set Up Adsense Backup Ads (Tutorial)

If your are in a niche that does not have too many competing advertisers and you constantly end up finding your Adsense ads displaying a 'blank space', then you really need to look into implementing backup ads.

What are backup ads?

Google allows you as a publisher to display ads from other sources in-case there are no Adsense ads to display.

By default, Google will display a blank space in-case of none availability of ads. But why waste this space when you can replace it with your own Ad?

If you do not have alternative advertising to display, you can still consider promoting web-pages from your own site. This way you have the dual advantage of reducing bounce rates and also increasing your Adsense clicks.

Here are some things you can do using backup ads:

1.) Promote an affiliate product.
2.) Promote a well performing article(s) on your site.
3.) Promote your email marketing form page.
4.) Display a quote or any other interesting information to keep your users interested.
5.) Promote a category page on your site that has links to your popular articles.
6.) Promote your social media links.
7.) Add a call to action.

Let's see how to add backup ads to your WordPress blog or any other site for that matter.

Steps to create backup ads

Here are some rough steps to create your back-up ads:

Step 1: Create your backup ad on a .html page and upload it to your server.
Step 2: Login to your Google Adsense account and click on My Ads and select the ad that you want to edit.
Step 3: Scroll down until you find the back up ads section.
Step 4: In the space provided, add a link to the page that contains your backup ad (page created in Step-1).

Here are two ways you can display your ads

Before I tell you how to create back-up ads, let's have a look at two different styles in which you can display your ads.

  1. Display a single image with a link to your ad/page (external or internal link).
  2. Display a page with links to various articles on your site.

Now let's look at both these options in details and how to create them.

1.) Display an image with a link (external or internal link).

Here are the steps required to create a single image back-up Ad.

Step 1: Create your image and upload it to your server.

Create your Ad image and upload this to your server.

If your image is too big, Google will simply crop your image resulting in bad looking images. Therefore, it is best to add an image with a specific dimension.

For example, if you have a responsive blog and you are currently displaying 336x280 (large rectangle) ads, and the ads are set to resize to 300x250 (medium rectangle) on mobile browsers, then it is best to create an ad that is 300x250 pixles.

Once you have created your ad, upload this ad to your server. If you want, you can upload this to your WordPress uploads folder or somewhere in your server root.

Step 2: Create a .html page and add the following code to your page.

Once you have uploaded the image, you need to create a .html page with the image source and link to the destination page. Below is a sample code that you can use:


<a href="#" target="_top"> <img src="#"> </a>


This is how I recommend doing it:

Create a folder in your server named 'backupads'. This folder should be outside your WordPress folders. It is best to keep this folder in your website root directory.

Now create your .html file and upload it to this folder. Let's say you name this page 'backupads.html' So now, your URL would look something as follows:

Upload your image to this folder as well. Now the URL of your image file will be as follows:

Check if this URL is working by visiting the URL. The URL should display your image and the image should link to the respective page.

Step 3: Add this URL to your Google Adsense Account.

The final step of-course is to add the URL to your back-up Ad to your Adsense account.

2.) Display a page with links to various articles on your site.

The first method allows you to display only one image and one link, where-as using this method, you can create an Ad that displays many links. Here's how you can achieve this:

Step 1.) Create a .html page with links to your articles.

Google will simply grab the contents of this page, reduce its size to fit the ad and then display it. Of-course you will need to do a lot of fine tuning to get this to display correctly. But this is the basic idea.

<link href='' rel='stylesheet' type='text/css'>
<body class="backupads">
<div >
<b>More Articles</b>
<li><a href="" rel="nofollow" >Article 1</a></li>
<li><a href="" rel="nofollow" >Article 2</a></li>
<li><a href="" rel="nofollow" >Article 3</a></li>
<li><a href="" rel="nofollow" >Article 4</a></li>

Step 2.) Attach a style sheet and add styles to the page.

  1. Upload the page to a unique folder and add the URL of this page as the Backup Ad.

You can then style the above page using some basic styles as follows:


.backuplink ul{
.backuplink li{
	padding:5px 5px 15px 5px;

.backuplink a{

Step 3.) Add the backup Ad URL to Your Adsense Account.

Note 1: The only drawback as of now with backup ads is that you can only show static ads. You cannot rotate the ads or show dynamic ads.

Note 2: If you have more than one Adsense Ad being displayed on your pages, you can create and display multiple back-up ads.

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