There's no doubt anyone visiting my site doesn't realize that I monetize the site with Google Adsense. I remember the first time I heard Adsense described, the person said it was Webmaster Welfare. I tend to agree, it doesn't even cover my hosting costs. However, I do appreciate offsetting the cost of my site and Adsense is pretty targeted in their approach with relevant advertising.
That said, a while back I modified my Adsense settings by removing all the available regions on my site and, instead, enabling Adsense to optimize where it placed ads.
I let Adsense optimize ad placement for a few months and did see a little uptick in my monthly revenue. However, the massive banner that Google places above my leading gallery of articles is absolutely obnoxious:
Contrary to what you might think, Auto Ads does allow you to control the regions and number of ads that Google places on your site. If you login to Google Adsense, select Ads > Overview:
On the right panel, there's an edit button on your publication. When you click that button, the page opens up with both a desktop and mobile version of your site where you can see where Google is placing your ads. And, best of all, you can actually remove the region altogether. I did this with the obnoxious header banner that was taking up my entire site.
While that banner may drive more click revenue, it's terrible for my user experience and makes me look like I'm just a spammer trying to make a buck. I removed the region.
I also turned down the minimum number of ads per page to 4. You can find that in the Ad Load section on the right and side. 4 is the minimum that they allow you to select.
There are other options you can enable and disable on your site, including in-page ads, matched content, anchor ads, and vignette ads that are full screen ads that appear between page loads.
As a publisher providing a ton of free research and information, hopefully you don't mind that I monetize my site. Simultaneously though, I really don't want to irritate people and stop them from returning!