I hate this. Not sure how long it will last. Anyway, signed up for google ads the other week. Forgot about it. Then finally got a mail saying my account had been set up. Then the next day a nagging mail saying the all-powerful google had noticed I hadn’t actually got any ads up yet.


So here they are. Complete with an ad-ready template. Which I’m too tired to continue fiddling with tonight. I’ve already messed it up more than enough.

I’m not allowed, in the terms of the agreement thingy, to have an advert telling people to click on the advertising links. So I won’t. I’m not allowed to click on them myself because every click on an ad link generates some indeterminate (tiny) amount of revenue. So clicking on them myself would be like having a licence to print money. Which I don’t.

I suppose I shall have to stop having full posts in rss feeds in order to try to encourage the handful of people who read this blog to come to the site and exercise their mouse button finger.

Does this mean I shall have to start trying to write posts which are actually interesting? and contain huge numbers of carefully chosen phrases designed for maximum ad placement and click-through?

So far I appear to be championing the purchase of “Cat Vomiting” for those thinking of buying such a thing. The amusement provided by such suggestions will, I am sure, pall extremely quickly.

14 Replies to “Bleugh”

  1. I wonder if the Google ads have have chewed up your style sheet — the page is not displaying very well. 😦

  2. I’m sorry to say this, but you have managed to wreck your stylesheet without displaying any ads. Have you got the old template backed up?

  3. I’ve also considered this step. I haven’t gone so far as taking it, but I’m not completely averse to it like I would have been a year ago.

    You’ve certainly gone for an intensive implementation! If you really hate it, rather than removing them completely you could take them off the front page but leave them in the individual post pages. This means that they’ll still be seen by much of the random Google traffic that you probably get.

    Another option with WordPress is to use the plugin that shows them to first-time visitors only. It sets a cookie so regular readers only see the ads once. Not being a WordPress user (well, not actively anyway) I can’t remember the plugin’s name, but I can find it if you want it.

    I’d strongly recommmend not cutting down from full to partial RSS feeds to try to bring people here to the site. That used to be my approach, but the more I read, the more I start to suspect that actually it just puts people off. If they can’t read your full post text in their already full feed reader, they unsubscribe.

    Instead, tweak your RSS feed so that it includes the ads too. I’m seeing this done more and more by subject-specific sites and actually it’s not that intrusive at all. In fact, it’s usually less intrusive than displaying them on the site itself, where formatting tends to make them stand out.

    If all else fails and you just can’t bear having the ads on this site, there’s another option that I was going to suggest in that “income brainstorming” drinking session that we haven’t had yet. Set up a subject-specific site and fill it with ads instead. I was going to suggest knitting, of course.

    You’d need a niche, to persuade people to visit your site rather than the no doubt thousands of others, but that’s probably easier to define than you think. With your journo background and enthusiasm for the subject, there should be no issue with providing quality content. Might be worth a pilot project, at least.

  4. You really don’t need to have an all or nothing approach, and subtle google ads are far more likely to get clicked rather than turn off your readership.

    I’d stick with your old (visually pleasing) template and incorporate a small ad blog (with similar colour and style to your page) above the fold somewhere, and maybe one near your comments.

    RSS is a personal decision, I have kept full feeds, because I remember how annoying it was to get partial feeds when I had a full blown RSS reader, and in practise it just meant I never read anything more than a couple of sentences in most cases because I couldn’t be bothered. Now I have a slimmed down RSS reader which just provides the link to the page so I always click through anyway, so wouldn’t affect me either way.

  5. Thanks for the thoughts. Got to walk the dog now but will spend some quality time with this later. acb, maria, is the template still borked for you? it’s rendering fine for me on firefox…

    I suspect that this really isn’t going to be worth it since the “income” will amount to a dollar a week and the aesthetic cost is awful.

  6. Ah. This could also be because I am running adblock … I had thought that it left Google text ads alone. My principle is only to kill stuff that moves.

    But in ie7, you have three blocks of text ads on a single entry. By now I can’t remember, though, what it looked like last week. Where did the lovely photograph go?

  7. There’s a nice one on your home page for ‘Knitted Cats – very good prices on e-bay’ The relationship between ads and content often makes me laugh – doesn’t take much.

    As a minimalist, I really like this template actually.

  8. This is a specially optimised template for the maximum use of google ads and you’re allowed a maximum of three blocks, apparently, which I presume is why there are three blocks displayed.

    Jean, yes, I like minimal too, but I don’t like the blue. And I need a banner image. I’ll have a go at sorting out colours etc.

  9. Looking at other blogs (eg Fragments from Floyd) you don’t have to have the ads inside your latest post text, and you don’t have to have them as the very top item on your sidebar… on the other hand why bother at all unless they hit the eye and there’s some chance of readers clicking, I guess. Actually I have bookmarked (after clicking) several cat-care sites that may be quite interesting. Hope yours is still on the mend. Mine ate about half her own weight in mature cheddar that I left on the kitchen table last night, which cannot be good for a very old cat.

  10. I still think that three blocks of ads is two too many. The aesthetic of a site also says something to newcomers about the owner’s sensibility. But how does the layout look on picture-driven entries?

  11. I need to refine things. Consulting Hg on IM too. Yes, there are far too many ads. Yes, I should get rid of the big block in the post. I think I’ll keep the sidebar ads but might move them over to the right. I’m just being rather slow. A nice banner would be a good start.

    Jean… *how* much cheese? OMG! I forgot to tell you that Maizy ate all of that lovely cheese we opened the other night. I’d put it on the table to take the chill off it, turned my back and ten seconds later all that was left was small splinters of wood from the box. But *I* ate *all* the manchego. Hah!

  12. I may have exaggerated a little, but it was a lot of cheese for a very small, old cat Much as I love Maizy, I am not happy to hear that she ate all the rest of that fancy French cheese. Ah well!

    Like the banner a lot!!

  13. Glad to hear Jean rather like it as that makes me feel kind of validated, as your token cowshit-on-the-shoe know-nothing rather likes it too. I’m off to check out the constipation remedies( not often a problem but you never know…) and the hand-knitted Icelandic sweaters which I’ve always hankered after, ot perhaps I could just get you to knit me one only you’d have to pretend to be Icelandic (skalding hot as you are…shut up Lucy and go get the dinner… )

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