Google is Retiring Its Adsense for WordPress Plugin in May 2017

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.

17 Comments


  1. That poor rated plugin is not a big loose for the plugin community even though the plugin had a few very nice and simple to use features. If someone wants to switch over to another plugin he or she could try out my AdSense plugin WP QUADS: https://wordpress.org/plugins/quick-adsense-reloaded/

    Its rated 4.9 of 5 and is used on more than 30k active sites.

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    1. Hi Rene
      The article says the changes will affect other asdsense plugins as well. Will yours accommodate the changes?

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      1. There is no need to adapt WP QUADS.
        Google AdSense is officially recommending the use of “text widgets” to copy and paste the ad code from the google analytics dashboard into your WordPress site for people who were using the Google AdSense plugin previously.

        > Create and place ad units by inserting the ad code in WordPress widgets:

        From a technical viewpoint WP QUADS is not doing anything else than taking the ad code and inserting it in a container. This can be between your content or as part of a side bar text widget.

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  2. Interesting and thanks for sharing this. I would have missed it otherwise. Does that mean that we shouldn’t be using other advertising plugins like OIO Publisher or Adsanity to display google adsense units at all?

    Thanks!

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    1. You can use other plugins to add AdSense code, of course. You can also try out Page Level Ads. Once you add the code on your site, Google will automatically show ads on your pages at optimal locations. I am trying that out currently.

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  3. They’re retiring the plugin for good. Even though it was the ‘official’ plugin, they didn’t support it, no changes etc. There are much better and easier ways to add AdSense on WP.

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  4. According to Google’s ad placement policies:

    Ads on thank you, exit, log in, or error pages
    Publishers are not permitted to place ads on any non-content based pages like thank you, error, log in, or exit pages. These are pages that visitors see on a site before potentially leaving the domain or after performing a specific action on the site such as a purchase or download.

    Ads that are the main focus on these types of pages can confuse a visitor into thinking that the ads are actual content, so do not place ads on such pages.

    This will be a challenge for adding AdSense in a text widget because the ads will show up in a 404 error page, which is against the policies.

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  5. The AdSense plugin is not being used by 200,000 people as you mentioned. It is just the download count. So, the impact of this retirement will be very very small. Nothing to worry about.

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    1. No, the number of active installs is more than 200,000, as measured by WordPress.org. The download count for all time for the plugin is 967,058.

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  6. Am I allowed to use the plugin even after its retirement? Will Google have a problem with that?

    I like the “15 minutes” remaining to edit my comment feature. What are the other amazing features you have? Plugin names? I see no ads here, are you running this site for free? Thanks in advance.

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