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Sunday, 7 April 2019

Adsense Revisited

Old Blogger+Adsense screen
Old Blogger + Adsense Screen, 2014

By far the most visited and commented-upon post on this blog is one of the earliest: Adsense, Blogger and YouTube from November 2014. It’s one of several off-topic, technical pieces written out of an interest in how the web works behind the scenes, using some of the skills I learned writing user manuals for a software company around nineteen-ninety. 

The post describes a way of setting up Adsense ads on both Blogger and YouTube together, something Google used to make difficult. It was easy enough easy to have ads either on one or the other, but not both. From the comments, it appears some found the post helpful, although, from a technical point of view, the original post is now redundant. It became so some time ago when Google changed the criteria for YouTube ads. It also never applied to WordPress where you have no choice: with a free WordPress blog, you get ads, like it or lump it.

To test things out at the time, I set up ads on this blog where they still appear on the right and below (unless your browser blocks them). I set them up as a demonstration, not to make money – I would need to produce far more interesting content and get thousands more hits and clicks to make it financially worthwhile. In the month just ended, it generated the exhilarating sum of 10p, which is typical. Often it’s less, but just occasionally, it will be more if someone shows interest in an ad. In the unlikely event of me still being here if and when it reaches the £60 payout threshold, I’ll donate it to a worthy cause, perhaps by asking long-suffering readers for nominations. 

Unfortunately for me, some readers detest blogs that carry ads and shun them. Some have actually said so as if I’m unclean. It’s a pity because many of them write rather interesting blogs.

Actually, I quite like the attractive blocks of colour that, by means of some impenetrable algorithm, Adsense places on the page. I wonder about them. I can see why the original post about Adsense attracts ads from computing businesses, and why posts about stamps and coins pull in ads for philately or numismatics, and why posts about school and college get ads for educational services. I feel miffed that some posts are apparently unworthy of ads. I’m disappointed when a post gets one of those ads that crop up indiscriminately almost anywhere, such as the ones for genealogy or PDF converters. And sometimes, there is the delight of an absurdly misplaced ad – the ones Private Eye call “malgorithms”.

I can’t match Private Eye’s quality of malgorithms: e.g. reports of overseas terrorist incidents accompanied by ads for holidays in those countries, or articles about paedophiles attracting ads claiming child models have never been so much in demand, but the other day I did notice that one of my posts about hi-fi stereo was adorned by an ad for hearing aids. Or was I just targeted because of my age?

Ads may be putting off some readers, but I am going to keep them, at least for now. It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to.

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