Webwork - 2:58 pm on Sep 8, 2009 (gmt 0) I would expect that people of reason and life experience, including those who yield the awesome power to linking, will ordinarily ask themselves, when thinking about linking:
It's 2009. Anyone with a clue understands that a website represents an investment of time and money. Anyone who begrudges another the opportunity to recoup that investment, if for no other reason than to make their website and/or web endeavors financially self-sustaining, is likely someone who is either pure beyond ordinary reason or who has yet to make the connection between the expense/costs of living and their life.
I would expect that people of reason and life experience, including those who yield the awesome power to linking, will ordinarily ask themselves, when thinking about linking:
My daughter and I have launched a few sites recently, each with what we believe to be a measure of thoughtful, thought provoking or helpful content. When the sites had about 15-20 articles we added Adsense. Lightly. And I plan to keep things that way.
Yes, in part because the site's focus is, and always will, be the visitor's needs/interests.
Also, based on my own experience I accept that there's a link between ad saturation and a dearth of link love. Sites that live by the heatmap and insist on putting big blocks of ads above the fold cause me to flee, so even IF the site's content is of some value, the ad-revenue strategy turns me away before I begin to explore. Large ad blocks above the fold send me the message that ad revenue is more important than the subject matter.
Lastly, if Google's ad-relevance technology actually works, then by turning down the ad-volume or the ad to signal ratio I believe, the ads that are displayed should those with the highest relevance to the topic of the page/site. Therefore, one presumably filters for the very best or most relevant ads by limiting the ad space to fewer ads or ad blocks, assuming there is decent ad inventory. The lower the inventory the few ads you should consider "allowing" to insure maximal relevance.
If you have 8 ads appearing in 2 large blocks what's the chance that some of the ads will be entirely off topic, marginally relevant, distracting or detrimental in some way?
Keep the advertising light and chances are visitors - and linkers - won't be put off. Make the content as valuable or more valuable than the ads and chances are the clicks that you generate will be valuable to advertisers, i.e., perhaps fewer but more valuable clicks - and maybe more visitors and clicks over time due to the value.