No Fancy Name
Monday, December 19, 2005
Firefox Extension: Google AdSense Preview Tool
Amit Agarwal at Digital Inspiration cooked up this very useful Firefox 1.5 extension for users of Google's AdSense: a Google AdSense Preview Tool. It is an easy-to-use extension that simply displays which Google AdSense ads would appear on a selected page.

Here is a series of screenshots I took, showing how it works:

Firefox Extension: Google AdSense Preview Tool (1/4)IMAGE 1: Right-click on a page to see the Google AdSense Ads that would be produced. This action will open the Google AdSense Preview Tool in a new tab.
[click to embiggen image]

Firefox Extension: Google AdSense Preview Tool (2/4)IMAGE 2: Click the new tab to see the items in the Google AdSense Preview Tool. At the top of the page you will see an ad palette customization form, and below this form are examples of ads which would likely be displayed on the page you used to generate the display. For reference, that URL is shown at the top of the page in the "Web Address or Keywords" field. Although only a subset of the text ads are shown in this screenshot, the tool also previews image ads and link unit ads.
[click to embiggen image]

Firefox Extension: Google AdSense Preview Tool (3/4)IMAGE 3: You can use the palette selection tool to see how ads would look in a selected standard Google AdSense color palette. Simply select a palette from the drop-down menu ("Black Knight" shown here) and press the "Preview Google Ads" button. The page will reload and show the ads in your selected palette.
[click to embiggen image]

Firefox Extension: Google AdSense Preview Tool (4/4)IMAGE 4: You can preview ads in your own color palette by entering values in the border, background, title, text, and URL fields. Once you have typed new values in the form field, press the "Preview Google Ads" button to reload the page and show the ads in your personalized color palette.
[click to embiggen image]

Things to remember: this tool does not take into consideration your own Google AdSense credentials, so if you are already a Google AdSense user and you fiddle around with palettes in this tool, those values won't be saved in your Google AdSense profile. Similarly, if you already have saved palettes in your profile, they will not appear in this tool as selectable items. There's no connection between your account and this tool.

However, that is not to say this extension is not useful—because it is! Using this extension allows you to see—with one click—which ads would be generated on a selected page. You can then tweak your keywords if necessary, or figure out some ads to disallow, and so forth. It's quick, it's easy, and it's useful—everything a Firefox extension should be.

UPDATE: This extension is now the "Contextual Ads Preview and Comparison Tool" and previews not only Google AdSense but also Yahoo! Publisher Network and Chitika ads and offers comparisons between all three. So, these screenshots are a bit different than what you'll actually see there now, but the idea is the same.

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