Ads on the web come in all shapes and sizes. Google introduced the aptly named "link ads" back around 2007, but tastes evolve over time. Now Google is moving on in favor of something more modern, so say your goodbyes — link ads are soon to be a thing of the past.
Starting next year on March 10, publishers will no longer be able to create link ad units to include on their web pages. Existing link ad blocks will begin to serve more standard display ads instead.
Here's what a link ad looks like.
They may have loaded faster and required fewer resources than ads with images or animations, but there's no denying that the way link ads work is somewhat convoluted. Once you click on the ad, it takes you to another page that serves as a kind of hub, displaying ads based on the search term you clicked.
And this is where clicking on it takes you.
Google says that the decision to retire link ads was made in order to "modernize" the available ad formats, but like all choices that have the potential to impact website revenue, some people won't be happy with the news.
The web will certainly look a little less classic without them, but you know what they say about change: it's inevitable. So if you're browsing AP next year and find yourself fondly reminiscing about your favorite little link ads — don't blame us.