Saturday, December 24, 2016

What Ads Should You Block on Your Blog?

Is it worthwhile to review and censor ads on your site?

Kellogg's made news recently by pulling its ads from the odious Breitbart site.  They foolishly made an announcement about this, raising the ire of Breitbart (which lives in fear of an advertiser boycott, which can work - ask Glenn Beck!).   But in addition to advertisers blocking sites where their ads appear, sites can block advertisers as well.  Google AdSense has an interface, which although slow and clunky, does allow you to see the ads and block them with a click.

Hint:  On Firefox, pull down "Tools" and under "Ad Blocker Plus" (which you have installed, right?) click on "disable ad blocker for this page" in order to see the ads on the AdSense "review" page.

So if you can control which ads you want on your blog, which ones do you block and which do you allow?   It is a conundrum.   Do you have the time to investigate every advertiser and then pass judgement on their worthiness?   Do some advertisers or categories generate more revenue per click or view than others? (Yes, apparently).   So is it a good idea to dump "junk" categories that generate little revenue per view in favor of higher revenue hits?

The answer to the last answer and the first is the same - it seems so far that "legitimate" advertisers generate more revenue per page view than sketchy kinds.   For example, finance and automobile categories generate about the same revenue in terms of percentage of income, as the overall percentage of views - almost 1:1.   Get-rich-quick schemes, on the other hand, generate only about half the percentage of revenue as the percentage of page views.   So you are "wasting" page views by allowing a get-rich-quick scheme to advertise, as that page view would have been better served by an ad for Weathertech floor mats.

Speaking of which, they are nice mats.   I don't get paid to endorse them, but I have bought them in the past, they fit well, last long, and do save the carpet in your car (great for the rear loading area as well).   In snow country, they are really essential.  They are a legitimate company selling a legitimate (if not expensive) product and I have no issue with them advertising.  Free endorsement!

But the reason "get rich quick" ads don't generate revenue for my blog as much as car ads is probably due to the nature of my blog.  I spend a lot of time decrying "get rich quick" schemes here and the people reading the blog tend to be (I hope) more skeptical of such nonsense.   So few people click on those ads.   On the other hand, I do have a lot of auto-related postings, so no doubt there is more click-revenue there.

You see where this is going? I am thinking in terms of what to write based on income.  Maybe I should start a blog about get-rich-quick schemes (there are a lot of them out there!) and scoop up that revenue.   I am sure someone already has.  The Internet is a crazy world, and internet advertising creates a whole lot of unintended consequences.

The other thought is, of course, that it is poetic justice that some con artist is paying me to write a blog decrying his scheme.  Due to how the ads are placed (by word count and such) and article decrying payday loans will no doubt be accompanied by an ad for payday loans!   Why not take their money - which is being wasted on my site?

Or take Gerber Life Insurance for Babies.   This is not a "scam" or "fraud" as they actually do sell life insurance for babies.   But as I noted in my article on the subject, I don't think it is a very good bargain, given the rates involved.   You would be better off shopping for a traditional whole life plan (perhaps paid-up) and getting the best price you can.   Or maybe not buying life insurance at all, as it turns out not to be such a bargain as a savings vehicle - as I have concluded.   A term policy for the "breadwinner" in the household when starting out might make sense to insure that income stream - during the early years.  Insuring babies makes a lot less sense.

Is there harm in having an ad for their life insurance accompanying an article that suggests their life insurance is, well, a pretty poor bargain.   Again, poetic justice?  For now, I did not block them.

By just mentioning these products, do ads appear for them on this page (Weathertech mats and Gerber life insurance?).   I would be interested to know.   Or do competing products appear?

Most of the ads appear to be "legit" and not utterly "raw" deals, even if someone might not get a good bargain, if they are not astute.   And ad for a KIA dealer isn't bad - I bought a Hamster from them, and it is a damn good car.  Now give me a free one for saying so!  (just kidding, or am I?  Old Sooze Orman is up to her neck in free Buicks and Sea Rays, right?).

But is even having ANY advertising a conflict of interest?   Advertising promotes consumption and consumerism, and that is the antithesis of this blog - even if an RV vacation in New Zealand sounds appealing (and is something I have thought about doing).  Or am I being influenced by these ads myself?   Arrrrrgh!

And frankly, do I have the time in every day to review ads and allow or block them - there are pages and pages of ads to review, and even just looking at them in AdSense marks them as "reviewed".   Ugh!   Who has time for this?

Damn, this gets complicated!

Anyway, where is what I have blocked so far.  Any suggestions on categories or sites to block?

Blocked categories:


Blocked sites:
waldenuniversity (an online college)