Monday, March 10, 2008

I See No Sense in AdSense

I've decided to take the AdSense ads off my blog. I've been considering this move for months now, but inertia (Ok, laziness smile) just kept them there.
There are several reasons I'd like to see those pesky ads go away:
  1. Content - I can not control the ads content to my satisfaction. Several inappropriate ads appeared on the blog, at odd times.
    The latest of those was so out of character with this blog and my personal beliefs, that it prompted an email from one of my readers.

    To make it clear, you can filter those ads out: you then have to log in to your AdSense account and manually filter them out by URL or type.
    The problem is type filtering doesn't seem to work: you try to get rid of religion-based advertising, and you end up with an ad for bible software (classified under "Software").

  2. Time - Loading times are horrible. To be sure, the opening page of this site takes quite some time to load. Blogger sites are notorious for their load times.
    Add to that the Amazon recommendations widget (that seems to run slower and slower every time - what's up with that Amazon?), the several script renderings (the calendar for example) and the images, loaded from yet another Google server. If I drop the ads (served off yet another Google server), I hope to shave a couple of seconds over all.

  3. Revenue - After 6 months, and 60,000 eyeballs, I've earned $14.52. Almost enough to renew my domain address for another year.
    Yes, I haven't followed the tips to maximize my exposure type/rate. And I haven't followed the SEO maximization rules. I haven't tinkered a lot with my account.
    You have to pump your site, improve its ranking, adjust the ads... you know what? I'm not interested in doing it.

    My blog was not meant to generate revenue for me - I have that angle covered by my day job. I hoped to get some free money, along the way of fulfilling my writing needs. Guess what, apparently you can't get something out of nothing.

  4. Hassle - Along the way I ran into all kinds of hassles, including emails from Google, threatening to close my AdSense account if I won't take my (what I thought) funny title off my page (a reminder, it read "be a mensch, click an ad :)"). Frankly, I don't need this.

So, until someone else comes up with a different ads revenue model that works (and there are several initiatives in the work right now, driven in no small part by Microsoft), I'm off AdSense.

I've left the Amazon widget in place (despite its load time issue) because it's part of my recommendations feature.

Every time I recommend a book, I want you, the reader, to be able to click a button and get it. This is not a revenue decision (Amazon now owes me about $10 smile), it's more about convenience. You are always free to buy the book elsewhere, if you liked my recommendation (in fact, if you haven't read Freakonomics yet, stop wasting your time here and go get it).

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