Trying out Google AdSense

Jun 13, 2005 19:40 · 350 words · 2 minute read

This blog has always been for my personal use. I’ve been free to write what I please here and link to whatever I think is interesting and that I want to remember.

I’ve decided to try out Google’s AdSense ads here because:

  1. I don’t feel that the ads will change my freedom to write what I wish here. Nothing I’ve written over the past 4 years violates the Terms of Service, so I have no reason to expect I’ll start now.

  2. AdSense ads can be unobtrusive. I’ve chosen the text-only ads at this point, and I have no plans to put ads in my RSS feeds. An ad-per-entry in an RSS feed would be nasty, and I’d have to be really sure that they’re not getting in the way of my main content.

  3. AdSense *can* add value. I’m going to watch what kind of ads show up, but Google has a terrific advertising model.

  4. This site gets enough traffic that some of my hosting costs will be offset by the ads.

To expand on #3 above, I think that Google has grown to $1 billion a year in *profit* because they went after an advertising model in which everyone wins. Overture (formerly Goto, and now part of Yahoo!) pioneered the auction-style pay-per-click model, but Google added a really important element: performance. In order to keep an ad in rotation on Google, the companies have to get a certain percentage of clickthroughs. In other words, the ad has to be relevant and interesting to users.

I’ve seen many people with the same kind of attitude about this that I have: it’s an experiment. If I like what the ads are showing and don’t feel in any way constrained or influenced by them, they’ll stay. Most of the blogs that I’ve seen that have added the ads have stuck with them, so I guess they’ve been working well.

One thing I can assure you that I’m not about to start doing is writing about asbestos or some other topic in which I have no interest whatsoever. That just seems like a waste.