So I couldn't come up with an exciting way to tell you that I'm testing out Google Adsense on my blog for the months of January and February. Sue me.
So here is how the ads work, why I'm doing it, and what my goals are.
How my system of ad placement works
I believe pretty strongly in the fact that subscribers, or frequent visitors, to a Web site do not really click on ads that often. Unless of course the ads are served in a personal way like on The Deck. The Deck has some really great products and services that are advertised across its network. Their motto is: "We wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t take an ad unless we have paid for and/or used the product or service." so the author of the site the ad is being displayed is essentially saying that they vouch for that product or service.
Unfortunately, I'm not on The Deck, and I don't get to pick and choose which ads Google decides to display on my site beyond their context. So I've come up with the following rules for how I display my ads, maybe they'll work, may they won't.
Ads display to the following people:
... that come from a search engine (i.e. Google, Yahoo)
... people that have not commented on my site
Pretty simple set of rules really. I have never, ever tried to boost this site's traffic beyond just my writing so my site doesn't get an enormous amount of traffic and as such I don't really expect to make a ton of money off of displaying ads. But I figured by using these two simple rules, I'd be keeping the experience exactly the same for people that either come to my site often or participate in the conversations.
Oh, also of note: If you get to this site via a search engine, I double the number of ads you see and I even bring them up above the fold. Ads displayed above the fold normally do much better than those below, but frankly I think they are ugly, so I limit the number of times I do that to only hits that come directly from a search.
Why I'm doing it
This is an experiment, of sorts. Through the entire months of January and perhaps February I'll be leaving this ad system on to see what type of return I can muster without being 1-bit obtrusive to the regular "audience". If you visit this site regularly, you will probably see a single ad below the post. If you comment, you won't see an ad. So it shouldn't affect too many of you reading this right now.
My "return on investment" from all of you reading this, to date, has been in the conversations we've had and in general those coming from search engines do not take part in the conversation. We've talked about the traffic I get from Google Images and I wanted to somehow get some sort of return on that traffic. Again, I have no idea if this will work - but we'll see.
What my goals are
I don't have any hard number goals that I'd like to achieve, but I wouldn't mind being able to buy myself one lunch per month off of this site's ads. Seems like a low goal? Remember, this is a personal Web site with a very small number of subscribers, less then five-hundred posts, and I only manage to write on here when I find the time. So how much does a good lunch cost nowadays?
I hope you all understand my reasons for doing this experiment and that it works well enough to stay out of your way. I guess the only thing I can say is, if you don't like the ads, comment!
PS. If you don't see any ads on this site, that means the ad system is working.