Monday, June 7, 2010

The power of Advertising

NOTE: This was written when I was fairly HAPPY with Google's eBlogger. But since then, over the last 16 hours, their administration functions have prevented me from posting per my normal blog schedule which was very frustrating. Sorry for the lapse - but it was beyond my control - W.C.C..

When I decided to start a blog I went ahead and allowed Google-provided advertising on my page. The reasoning behind this was three-fold. Obviously if I provide content that people actually want to read, then eventually such ads might produce some coin for my trouble. Secondly, by dedicating sidebars on my site I have placeholders for interesting widgets like the debt clock or maybe something I design myself in the future. Third, let’s face it , just like in grade school, the bigger the borders and margins, sometimes you can fool the teacher into thinking you have written a lot more ‘good stuff’ than you really have – are you fooled yet?

Anyway, I have been basically happy with the idea of limited advertising on my blog. It is not too intrusive and especially since I write on a wide variety of topics, Google constantly feeds ‘content-relevant’ ads which might be beneficial to my readers. The truth is that more often than not, the ads will pique MY interest far more than any of you. For example, If I write on ‘the magic of toilets’, Google will send me ads about toilet accessories or magic tricks. If I write a post on brass, then Google will send my site ads on metal cleaners to marching band supplies. Oddly, I am the type of person who is legitimately interested in learning more about ALL of these things.

The problem is of course is that we who sign-on to Ad Sense revenue, agree to a strict contract which does not allow us to click on any ‘pushed’ ads on our OWN websites. While sometimes frustrating, this is totally understandable. Even web advertising can be expensive so it would be inherently unfair to sign on every day and just start clicking ads to boost hit counts for stuff I have no interest in. However, more than once, I actually HAVE had to leave my site and look up whatever an advertiser is selling, BUT AWAY from my blog. I have never bought anything yet, but at least the little ads are doing their job generating interest … MINE!

But today, on my blog, something new with the side-bar ads, gave me moment to pause and an even longer moment to laugh. The content sensitive crawler that Google’s Ad Sense uses to send my blog ads, posted an advertisement something akin to: “ Lesbian love potions …”. I refreshed my ‘canned meat’ article in disbelief and the ads switched over to accounting and other mundane topics. I refreshed the page again and THERE WAS MORE??? - “Meet Local Lesbians”.

Now I honestly do not know what ‘cute’ phrase or keyword pairing that I wrote which triggered such provocative ads? Would anyone in love really respond to the notion of being playfully referred to as ‘canned meat’? Could It have been the liberal use of phrases like ‘buttered bread’ or ‘special handling’. Regardless, if you ever decide to click on my blog ads or even monetize your own website, you are now in the know. People with alternative lifestyles APPARENTLY love canned meat just like ME! I can’t wait to tell my wife … she’ll will finally be so happy that after all these years, I have finally found a group with which I can truly identify!

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