How To Make Jack

What I’ve learned about Google’s AdSense over the past three weeks:

1) AdSense makes sense for topic-specific sites and pages. Multi-themed sites like this one confuse the heck out of it. The topic is always changing, so Google deals with it by categorizing the homepage according to the top post the last time its bots swept by. Which is why you’ve been seeing ads for Ronald Reagan memorial statuettes for the past week (thanks for your ironic emails about this, but I was enjoying the perversity of it all :)

2) Unless people click on the ads, I don’t make jack. And birdhouse readers don’t click on ads (not that I blame you). The bottom line is… well, my agreement says I’m not supposed to talk about that. Let’s just say the birdhouse ads might buy me one used CD a month. Or one lunch. Depending. Kissthisguy is faring roughly 25-50% better than with standard graphical banners served through Burst Media, no complaints there.

3) AdSense lets you filter ads by URL, but not by entire category. I don’t want ads for other hosting companies appearing here, so I started filtering those out. Trouble is, there are a heck of a lot of hosting companies advertising through AdSense, and it was becoming an un-fun game of Whack-a-Mole.

I’ve removed the AdSense block from the homepage, leaving it on the more topic-specific permalinks. We’ll see how that affects my ongoing pursuit of the god-almighty electric plasma peso.

Music: Clem Snide :: Let’s Explode

13 Replies to “How To Make Jack”

  1. Vic, there’s been a 180px square in the right column just below the calendar for the past three weeks. Check a permalink page to see.

  2. Ah, there it is. I only see it if I check a permalink page. If I load the main page, however, it’s not there. Is that intentional?

  3. Vic, read the post and my comment above again. The ad was there for three weeks. I removed it from the front page last night and posted about the reasons why I removed it.

  4. God, I’m so dense. It’s how I read these days on the internet. I read halfway through an article and get sidetrack by a link or something else (“Oh look, a shiny thing!”). I never get around to finishing the original article, but I still comment on it and make an ass of myself.

    The internet has given me the attention-span of six year-old.

  5. Scot, I would rarely have the opportunity to click on a Birdhouse AdSense ad since I now read your blog through an aggregator. Any idea what proportion of people view your blog through aggregators vs. the home page? I realize aggregators skew your user logs with their multiple hits, but have you tried to parse this info?

  6. Michael, it’s not really possible to get that data from logs, AFAIK. All you see are requests. And aggregators generate http requests whether the feed is read by the user or not. If someone has a suggestion as to how this might be accomplished, I’m interested.

  7. I will click on an ad every time I visit from now on. You should put a “click on ad to help fund this site” prompt.

    I spotted the new “The Bills” side panel right away. I’ve always liked your side panel (20% bald.) I remember trying to figure out Taxonomy when I first started reading.

    Following your lead, I joined Adsense and added it to our MT family blog (all of 10 readers.) In 6 days we’ve generated $4.95. We’re going to use our Google funds to help pay for shareware and licenses related to MovableType. I didn’t read any of the fine print, so maybe I’m not supposed to talk about any of this.

  8. Hey Jeb, how did you generate $5 in 6 days with 10 readers when I barely made that in a week with 1000 readers per day? I’m doing something wrong…

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