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malevolent design weblog

This blog is now defunct, but you can find more stuff over at my personal site


When Google launched AdSense, countless bloggers rushed to plaster ads all over their sites, cluttering and commercialising them for (in most cases) just a few dollars a month. Luckily that gold rush has calmed down a bit and more people recognise that there’s a real price paid for adding ads of any kind.

I’ve always avoided advertising on my sites (with hindsight I perhaps should’ve cashed in by putting ads on a couple of the most popular malevole pages, could’ve made thousands by now), but want some real data and experience, so I’m using this weblog as an AdSense guinea pig.

However, ads are only displayed to visitors arriving directly from the major search engines, to avoid annoying regular readers or those coming from other weblogs etc. (who wouldn’t click on many ads anyway). Google’s OK with that selective approach (I checked).

I’ll probably remove them in a few months, unless vast amounts of cash suddenly start rolling in (about as likely as Elvis crash-landing a UFO onto the Loch Ness monster).

(Update: experiment over)


Good luck with the ads. I've taken them off my Blogger blog, but they always just seemed to target "blog" no matter what the individual page was about, which seemed pretty pointless to me. I've also tried them on some of the articles pages on my technical site and didn't get any clicks to speak of. The site I have where it's worthwhile is my VW fixing one.

I think this is because there's basically two types of advert clickers: ones who haven't found quite what they're looking for and see it in the adverts on the page, and reward-clickers who like the page and click through an advert to give you a micro-payment for the info. The former far outweigh the latter, but I think there is a baseline of that behaviour in the tech-savvy crowd.

Although I hope you do get some dosh out of the adverts, to be honest I seriously doubt you will. The sort of crowd who are going to read your technical posts are likely to have severe ad-blindness, and you'll be lucky to get ranking on the bizarre posts for anything that matches someone looking for a service where they're going to like the advert.

Here's hoping I'm wrong!

Paul, 3rd Dec, 10:02pm

Nah, you're absolutely right, it'll barely cover the cost of my weekly bacon roll, but that's fine as long as I learn something.

Maybe I should head down the bookies and put the cash on that 14000000-1 Elvis/UFO/Loch Ness bet...

Matt Round, 3rd Dec, 10:29pm

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