Why I stopped blocking ads?..

..from Google Adsense/Adwords?

I never thought the day would come.  Some years ago near the dawn of Firefox I learned how to block the majority of the obnoxious spamming ads that permeated my internet browsing.  It was a wonderful change that made my online interactions both more pleasant and more productive.  Using the tools Firefox provided I closed the door on nearly all online advertising and never thought I would look back. But in developing some of my recent sites I’ve learned about the evolving policies and capabilities of some of the larger online advertising providers like Google Adsense.

When I first started blocking ads, I’m not even sure if Google Adsense existed to say nothing of what their policies were.  But my experience of ads overall back then was that they were obnoxious, imposing, and irrelevant.  Ads just got in the way.

Google as a whole seeks to develop great product for low consumer cost and let the results speak for themselves.

In the last few months I have learned the difference between my experience back then and what Google Adsense offers now.  If you’ve ever used any of Google’s many wonderful mostly free services, then you have probably unwittingly become a devoted regular customer.  The reason for this is Google as a whole subscribes to a rare business model. That is if you offer a great product for low cost, enough people will consume your product to justify it’s expense and make profit.  Most businesses seek to develop a product, great, good or otherwise, and then ask the question how much would a customer be willing to pay for our product then try to convince you that you need it (Apple for example).  Google’s business model focuses on developing great product for low consumer cost and letting the results speak for themselves.

Google Adsense/Adwords forces its advertisers and publishers to adhere to policies intended to keep ads from “getting in the way” and exercises resources that turn them into a supplement that actively enriches the internet and user experience.

In that light, Google Adsense/Adwords invests resources and enforces policies focused on eliminated scams and spam, and seeks to actively enrich the internet and user experience.  At the start of the process advertisers, the companies who want to be advertised, prepare their ads through Google Adwords and submit them to Google for consideration and placement.  Though no guarantee can be made Google invests resources to promote quality of advertisements, filter scams, and cultivate legitimacy.  Ads provided that do not meet quality standards or prove to be illegitimate are pulled from all Adsense/Adwords feeds, formats, and media. In the end of the process, once approved, the ads are “fed” through Google Adsense to publishers (like me) who run blogs, websites, and the like who want to make money from showing ads on their sites.  Publishers must adhere to certain content and placement policies that regulate the quality of site content, the ratio of site content to advertising, and the layout of these components. These policies force publishers to focus on the development of good site content that is supplemented by advertising rather than a platform for advertising that is supplemented by content.  Publishers who fail to uphold these policies can have all ads pulled from their site or sites and have their funds withheld. In between these two steps lies the brilliant piece of machinery that made us all fall in love with Google in the first place, Google’s Search Algorithm, an ever evolving component that steadily improves our ability to find the things we need. It is with this beautiful device that Google Adsense/Adwords turns advertising into an experience enriching service.  With Google’s Search Algorithm, Google Adsense scans the content of a page upon which a publisher has placed ad space, then fills that ad space with ads from Google Adwords which pertain to keywords indexed from that page. So the user is fed additional relevant content suited to his interests without the user expending any additional effort to find or the publisher expending any additional effort to produce hence providing quality ads that enrich the user’s experience.

Google Adsense Publisher Policies regulate the ratio of site content to advertisement and the layout of these components.

A basic guide or rule used by many printing publications for decades is 30% of your visual real estate should (or at least can) be devoted to advertisements.  If you look at your screen right now and observe the ads on this page or anywhere else on my site, you’ll notice that the most coverage the ads have on this screen is about 30% (most likely it is considerably less).  No where on my Google Adsense Publisher Policy Adherent site do I exceed that basic proportion. And I expect it doesn’t strike you as either imposing or distracting.  In fact there is a good chance that utilizing Google’s Search Algorithm you have been shown an ad that is actually relevant to your interests and that you can feel safer clicking on knowing Google’s policy on filtering illegitimacy.

Google manages this basic proportion by enforcing a few simple policies:

  1. No more than 3 Content Ads per page.
  2. No more than 3 Link units per page.
  3. All ads should be separated by site content.
  4. Ads cannot appear on pages developed strictly for the purpose of placing advertisements.

There are other policies that refine contingencies about Publisher Advertising utilizing Google Adsense.  But that is the meat of it.  That is was keeps Publishers focused on developing site content and that is what keeps users from getting spammed with advertisements.  And of course, again, Google Search Algorithm is what keeps users seeing ads relevant to their interests.

Google Adsense/Adwords helps to keep advertising expenses reasonable and fully utilized.

Having worked in and with a great many small and medium sized businesses I know first hand the challenges businesses can have maintaining clients and justifying cost.  In comparison to some advertising mediums (which first off can be a crap shoot as far as getting any results at all but still cost you the full amount) Google Adsense/Adwords provides a competitive medium that at the very least provides competition for traditional advertising mediums to be reasonable with there cost but are also generally reasonable with there CPC, Cost-Per-Click, rates and offer the security that your advertising dollars were not wasted in that every single dollar at the very least brought someone to your site.

A properly regulated online advertising standard promotes a quality rich, dynamic, free, and open internet and the free exchange of useful ideas and information.

We all like free stuff. Whether, it’s a car, cold hard cash, a cool technogadget or a sandwich, we like it. And while that is all wonderful.  Truth is, it’s a myth.  Nothing is free.  Everything costs someone something, even the wealth of “free” information on the internet costs in the way of domains, hosting, time and effort (the resources publishers must expend to offer their services). There is a day coming much sooner than many of us realize in which books, magazines, and the like will no longer be published. Information in all it’s form and splendor is already readily available at any time from almost anywhere and this is a phenomenon that is only going to increase. And again that is all wonderful.  But the illusion that it is all free can’t last forever. The true best we can hope for is exceedingly reasonable cost.  Because eventually if cost does not stay dispersed monopolies will pop up who will exercise their control to offer you a choice, “Do you want free information or quality information?”  And I submit that it will be the first priority of the “quality information” they offer to be maintain their monopolies.  If you are a regular user of content from publishers such as myself striving to offer a quality product at exceedingly reasonable cost (in mine and most cases, simple exposure to ads that may bring you something of interest) then I encourage you either trust Google Adsense and their policies of maintaining internet quality as a whole and unblock all ads from Google, or simply unblock ads from the domains you visit and of course if you see an ad that shows you something interesting, pay it a visit. To put that in perspective, not doing so is a bit like going to a nice restaurant and not tipping.

Google Adsense/Adwords is a very reasonable and respectable outlet and resource.  It strives to offer advertising to advertisers for a reasonable cost justified on a dollar by dollar basis by each and every click.  It is respectful of it’s advertising publishers giving them a 60% – 78% share in proceeds helping them to justify the expense and investment necessary to develop worth while content for the internet. And, with their standards, policies, and resources, work to keep the internet safe and productive.  And that is why I stopped blocking ads from Google Adsense/Adwords.

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