Google Ads

Wednesday, April 28, 2004 at 5:32 am | Comments off

As you may have noticed, I just set up Google ads on this site. For now, I just have a 468x60 banner between the entry and the comments on the archived pages. I'm going to try that to start with (hopefully it'll be unobtrusive), though I may move it to a more conspicuous location/add them to the homepage if nobody sees/clicks them. I'm adding them with the hopes that they will generate enough revenue over the year to pay for the hosting and domain registration costs that go along with this site. Not sure how much ads are likely to make on a site like this, with my approximate traffic, but it's worth giving it a try.

Unfortunately, there's a downside. The ads didn't work when I passed the contents as an application of XML, which this site does. For now, I just set the archived pages to be passed as text/html. I guess it's not the worst trade off in the world.


April 28th, 2004
7:26 AM | #

Do you get paid buy the click with these things? Can you make money by refering people? Already seen an ad that I like and I am downloading the product.. Some sorta XHTML editor. Got to love Google's targeted ads!

And they blend in pretty good compared to others sites, colours work well.

April 28th, 2004
10:58 AM | #

Thats a good point. Do the ads use your stylesheets or do you have to set them up manually?

April 28th, 2004
11:16 AM | #

i can't take it any more. everyone makes a nice site with good content then ads all these banners and flash ads and everything else to it. it just cheapens the site.

sorry Ryan but your site has gone down a peg for me.

April 28th, 2004
3:09 PM | #


Yes, Google ads work only on a "per-click" basis. Impressions mean nothing. However, as you said, since they are targeted, they are often useful. I've already clicked Google ads, and I very rarely will ever click on ads. They work good both ways.


It's actually JavaScript. You have limited control over it, but there are several variables (for colors) that can be set, and several different styles of ads. The above is the 468x60 banner ad.


Thanks for the feedback. If enough users feel the way you do, I'd obviously be willing to remove them. However, I'd be willing to bet that most people will put up with them (and trust me, you aren't going to be seeing flash ads or other gaudy ads around here), or even find them useful. Hopefully you'll be able to look past the ads and will still find the site useful for it's content.

April 28th, 2004
3:15 PM | #

"sorry Ryan but your site has gone down a peg for me"

Nobody likes ads on web pages. But let's be reasonable. Ryan has to pay to keep this website online and he has to invest his time to produce the content that keeps us coming back for more.

I think it behooves us all to at least acknowledge that Ryan deserves to be able to earn enough money to cover his costs and, if possible, make a little bit of profit as a reward for his effort.

Of all the ad systems out there, Ryan chooses the very best in AdWords - it's discreet, it's targetted and, for now at least, you only see it on the comments page.

Ryan, I hope it works out for you. Personally I don't mind if you put AdWords all over the site - I will still visit every time you post because I enjoy your writing.


April 28th, 2004
3:38 PM | #

When I read your blog all I could think was, "what has he done???" But as it turns out, they aren't as intrusive as I thought.

If you were to put the ad's in a div tag with an id you could interfere more with the way that they look, like applying background images and such.

On the down side, you've taken a step back from the cutting edge of XHTML 1.1 sent as application/xhtml+xml to normal tag soup. Oh and they open new windows. :(

I just had a thought, you could just take a few URL's fron the links in their ad's and create your own custom ad banner. You could pick the links that you feel are the most relevant, perhaps even have a mini PHP ad rotater of your own, then you could have the best of both worlds.

I'm in support of your ad's and I hope they work out for you.

Robert Wellock
April 28th, 2004
5:51 PM | #

I had to laugh they don't appear in Opera I am disappointed but if your "xBlogPro" sales are rather low and don't cover the costs then fair enough.

April 28th, 2004
6:44 PM | #

Don't get me wrong i like your site and you have done a good job with the ads (colors etc) but i used to visit Spoono until every page had an ad on it. I just don't like to see good sites taken down the crapper by ads. Now most people have self control and i understand you like to make money (your human) but it is just something i don't like to see online on any site. You go to a site for content and design not to be to sold crap by flash ads you can't move and just pop up and flicker and get it the way.

April 28th, 2004
7:19 PM | #

"you've taken a step back from the cutting edge of XHTML 1.1 sent as application/xhtml+xml to normal tag soup."

Not at all. The pages are still all valid and semantic. The only change is the content-type.

"I just had a thought, you could just take a few URL's fron the links in their ad's and create your own custom ad banner."

TOS, you know. ;)

"if your "xBlogPro" sales are rather low"

Actually, when my new business site is released (soon), xBlog (Lite) will be freely available. xBlogPro (will temporarily be xBlog, though I'd like to rename it) is currently in the process of being developed, but I plan to release that for free as well. Maybe that'll make the ads more palatable, as well.

Finally, I've been contemplating adding the ads to the homepage as well, as that page receives a large percentage of my traffic (not counting the RSS feed). I'm debating between adding them to the sidebar, or under the first entry. Perhaps I'll test it out this way for a day or two, they switch it for a day or two and see how much difference it make, before deciding.

April 28th, 2004
10:42 PM | #


They look great. Being that they are targeted, I think it is valid to say that they may actually be useful. They are certainly unobtrusive. I say go ahead and throw them into the sidebar on the front page.

On another note, the execs at Google are smart cookies. They get completely free advertising ("Ads by Google") and simultaneously hose you by not paying for impressions. Anyone who understands marketing would give anything to have that deal. Working at an online newspaper, I can tell you that impressions are everything. Just like radio or television advertising, advertisers are buying a more-easily recognized brand. They don't pay the radio or TV station based on how many people come in and Super-Size their fries after hearing the commercial, they pay based on the fact that people now have it imprinted that they can get big fries for $.39. Google is essentially building their name recognition (and brand) for free!

But I digress...

Keep up the good work, man.

Sam Ingle
April 28th, 2004
10:53 PM | #

I would say definately put them below your first post. I rarely read the sidebar below the blogroll.

April 29th, 2004
5:36 AM | #

I say add more ads if you feel like it. They won't bother me as long as it doesn't end up like one of those sites where they have 2 ads on top several on each side, some in the middle of the content and then some on the bottom! Now that would be annoying. But a few here and there like you are thinking, would be completely fine IMO. :) And yea, they are good ads, I also rarely click on other ads, but if they stay as good as they are, I can see myself clicking quite often!

And for those who don't like it, I would assume Ryan excepts donations ;)

April 29th, 2004
6:22 AM | #

This may sound silly but, I actually looked for the ad, and couldn't find it. I guess my ad blocking is working better than I thought.

April 29th, 2004
6:43 AM | #

Just another thought, you have it so when you click the comments link you are brought to the first comment, which is below the Google ad, so many people might not even see it unless they scroll up. And if you are getting paid by click not just impressions you might want to change that! That way the ads you have will be more effective and you might require less of them. Just my 2 cents..

April 29th, 2004
10:08 PM | #

These ARE obstrusive. At first glance, they are not as obstrusive as a flashing ad or a banner ad, but obstrusive nonetheless.

I reserve the right to change the above opinion :-)
The reason is that the position of banner ads is fixed. For example, on, the banner ad is ALWAYS at the top, so I have "learnt" to ignore that part of the page. Not so in your case, as the positioning is relative. So, they will always be in my sight.

Possibly putting them on the right side bar will make them less obstrusive.

BTW, every time I visit your site, I will click on one ad. One only, not more... I don't want google to boot you.

June 7th, 2004
10:05 PM | #

Hi, can someone give me the CSS code for changing the Google AdSence colors?

June 7th, 2004
10:12 PM | #

It's done through the settings tab in the AdSense control panel. I just created my own color palette, one that's complimentary to the color scheme used for the rest of the site.

July 18th, 2004
6:40 AM | #
July 7th, 2005
4:56 PM | #

hm makes my blood boil slightly whenIsee a few people coming here reading it all for free and then not throwing a few dimes in hat ( google ads ) goes to click on one now . Wonders how many of the freebie searchers who criticise ever give anything fre at all. or are they already self made millinares..Exactly why should they NOT be obstrusive?
So ryan cant make a living ? Make them more obtrusive Ryan .Good luck !

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