What are Skyscraper Ads?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 04 October 2019
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Skyscraper ads are advertisements you’ll find on numerous websites, that tend to be skinny and long, and run on one side of the webpage. They’re often created for websites where the ads, if clicked on by readers, generate money for the website owner. You’ll see this frequently with advertisements from Google®, and other search engines. Website owners who blog about their interests can feature ads on their pages that will generate income per click, or sometimes per purchase.

As more of these content driven websites have popped up on the Internet, a frequent complaint has been that the ads are nuisance by getting in the way of web pages and interfering with the content of the site. Many of these content sites have excellent advice or great writing on topics of interest, but advertisements running horizontally across the page can be quite annoying.

To this end, skyscraper ads have become greatly popular. Since they run beside the text vertically, and are often contained in a box, you don’t really have to pay attention to them as you read the text of a website. On the other hand, if you’re interested in products related to the topic you’re reading, you can handily look at the skyscraper advertisements for any sites that might help you purchase a good or service you’ve read about.


You’ll additionally see skyscraper ads on actual search engines, where again they are to the side of the page. This means that when you’re researching a topic, most of the top sites that are listed will be information rather than attempts to sell you something. This is not always the case. Sometimes a topic with scant Internet information will feature adds directly under a search, in addition to skyscraper ads on the side of the page.

Web programmers who sell ads to their pages can build skyscraper ads. Many like them because they don’t interfere with text, and can run the length of the page. Essentially, however long your topic is, the text can be framed on one or two sides by tall “skyscrapers” of advertisements. The normal width of a skyscraper ad is 120 pixels, though some people tend to feature a slightly wider “building,” if their text is short and they’d like to squeeze in another ad. In Google's® adsense program, skyscraper ads are featured in two widths, or you can create your own size.

The trend to feature skyscraper ads is a good one. Lots of people now deliberately leave pages alone where large advertisements interrupt every word or every few paragraphs. These horizontal ads or hyperlinked words can be a pain for someone who wants to get information quickly, without a barrage of advertisements. Conversely, skyscraper ads don’t interfere with quick searching, but make it possible for people who want to see commercial sites or offers related to their search to do so.


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