Jul 18 2007
Last night I was used as an example of a site that has Google ads in a blog post on the Computer Defense blog. No offense was meant, or taken, but it got me thinking: do putting ads on your site mean you’re any less passionate about your blogging? Does wanting to make a few bucks off of the traffic coming to your site make the content on the site any less valuable? As I commented on the site, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to make a few bucks off of what’s basically a hobby. I think of it as being almost exactly the same as an amateur furniture maker who sells what he makes at a local store; he’d doing what he loves and making a few bucks off of something he’d be doing anyways.
I’m passionate about security and I really enjoy blogging. I like the minor income that Google ads bring in, but it’s not much more than enough to take my wife out to dinner once in a while. If readers told me the ads were obnoxious and annoying, I’d remove them as quickly as possible. But in the time I’ve had them up, this is the first real negative feedback I’ve gotten. Maybe they’ll disappear when I eventually get around to redesigning the site, but truthfully I think they’ll stay.
I’m not going to be putting any ads in my RSS feeds, that’s one thing I can state without equivocation. I find that almost as annoying as Ty and the other commenters do. And the extra $20 a month really aren’t worth annoying anyone. And I have to agree with LonerVamps comment that number of ads I’ve seen popping up on different forums lately is infinitely more annoying than ads on a blog.
Ads are the staple for some sites, mostly sites that get a lot more traffic than I do on a daily basis. Some people even make a living due to the ads they have on their sites. Does that make their contribution any less valuable? I don’t think so, though if the author starts concentrating more on revenue stream than post quality, both will suffer. Are ads to distracting to the other information that’s on the site? This is a definite possibility if done poorly, which I admit may be the case on my site.
I’m interested in knowing what readers think. Do you think the ads are distracting or obnoxious? Or are they just part of the landscape of the blogosphere? Do you filter them out unconsciously, or read each and every one? Or are you like me and have installed NoScript and AdBlock in Firefox and don’t even see most of the ads. Heck, I don’t even see my own ads most of the time for exactly that reason.