Saturday, December 17, 2005

AdSense Nonsense

Since reviving this piddly little rant respository I see there's been some changes to Blogger.
I've been going in and tweaking this blog, making little additions here and there and now I see that we can have Google ads on our blogs.
Hmmmmm. The info that Blogger has on their Help pages explaining this and how it works seems counter-productive to the whole point of having a blog. In order for this to work, they say, one must write about stuff that will cause the ads to be more targetted to your audience (whomever that might be!) To me that means you are to forsake the real purpose of the blog and become a marketing whore. Well, ok, maybe that's a bit harsh, but if one wants to set aside creativity for the sake of a tiny commission then I guess they can. But it just seems wrong to me.

I have seen these ads at work on other sites and sometimes the results are quite hysterical. Apparently the program locks in on a keyword in the posts and generates a bunch of ads "tailored" for the site. In a perfect world, that would be nice-handy even, but in reality the end can be disturbing, since all the program knows is keywords-not the power that certain words carry in a society. So hypothetically, you could see ads promoting an online site for S&M products on an extensive post on a spousal abuse victims forum if the post has any mention of what a sadistic and domineering SOB the guy was. Again, that is an extreme example, and I don't even know if that falls within the Google policies about what ads will show up on your site-but you get the idea.
I frequent alot of conservative blogs that use AdSense and often whenever the word Liberal is used or Democrat then you see ads promoting Liberal and Democratic sites...offensive to their target audience, I would think. ( I know it annoys the crap out of me!)

On other non-political forums I visit I see the same thing occuring- counter productive advertising. On a forum for people in the Gift Services biz I see ads advertising Retail Gift sites! Sorry, we have the inside track, folks-we buy everything WHOLESALE! We don't need you. It's ridiculous.
Or say, for example, someone in passing in a post says :
" Yesterday, when I tried to tie my shoes..." The program will lock onto the word shoes and a flurry of shoe site ads will pop up!
WTF did that have to do with anything? You get my point.

So now I'm curious...the service is free to us with blogs. I'm pondering if I should give this a shot...not for pure capitalistic reasons-because I know there ain't no way I'll see a dime from it anytime soon, if ever. But purely for social experimental reasons. Just what would crop up? What sort of nonsensical ads would be generated? On one hand I relish the notion-on the other I cringe at the thought.
Oh, well...I believe it was Wavy Gravy who once said : "Y'know, Capitalism isn't all that weird."
But in the world of AdSense it can be.


Blogger Kathy said...

You could make a whole joke out of it. I'll bet you have the technical know how to make the ads show up inside some kind of box with a smart-butt title indicating it is a social experiment or something. Sounds intriguing.

12/17/2005 1:45 PM  

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