Those who visit directly (as opposed to reading posts via RSS) may note something missing.
In the sidebar.
Those little text ads from Google.
I just removed that section from the sidebar template.
Why? Because I only get revenue when someone actually clicks on an ad, but those ads show up everytime someone’s here. And, it turns out, almost nobody ever clicks on an ad: I believe there were zero clicks so far during July, and since I turned on the ads, there can’t have been more than a dozen total.
Oh, and I don’t get to collect revenue until there’s $100 worth. At the current rate of earnings, that would be some time in, oh, 2010.
I concluded that, for me, given a total lack of interest in being a Big Deal Blogger, given that my ethics conflict with suggesting that people click on ads they’re not really interested in or clicking on the ads myself (both of which are, morally if not legally, click fraud), it’s a form of commercialization that makes no sense: Ads with no revenue.
This weekend, I’ll try to figure out how to inform Google that I’m no longer participating. Maybe they can contribute my $8 (or whatever) to some good cause. Or it can just sit there…
Am I suggesting that anyone else should or should not have ads? Nah.
(I’m not crazy about getting long text ads interspersed with RSS posts, which I’ve seen from a couple of blogs, but I’m not going to lose any sleep over it either. If the nuisance of the intrusive ads [I don't consider the sidebar ads intrusive] exceeds the worth of the blog, unsubscribing is even easier than subscribing.)
Am I going to put up some self-congratulatory “ad free zone” icon? Not bloodly likely. Hey, I own stock (via mutual funds and CREF). I know full well that most of the magazines I enjoy most, all of the TV I enjoy, and most of the daily paper are paid for by advertising–and I continue to regard local advertising as one virtue of metro daily newspapers. There’s lots wrong with some forms of advertising. There’s lots right with advertising as well.
This is a narrow decision: For this blog, for this time, the Google ad box was pointless.