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Why would you hate making money with adsense?

sometimes 'smart' people are dumb.

     
5:37 am on Nov 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I know a lady who runs a very nice, large, quality website. She refuses to run ads because she wants to keep it "pure". She also refuses link exchanges because she won't link to any sites that are commercial in any way. The design is crappy (long articles, not consistent structure) but the information is well-researched and honestly a great source. It would attract a LOT more visitors if she did any kind of promotion for it.

So... why are people like this? I just can't understand it. Where does this "ads are evil" attitude come from? If I could get my hands on this site... I'd add a little adsense and.... oooh, the possibilities!

5:50 am on Nov 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

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ads are evil

I think everyone knows that ads are intrinsically wrong because the only aim of an ad is to distort the marketplace. If they weren't a tool of evil then you would frequently see:
  • We charge more for the same product!
  • Our products are now cheaply made in China but the prices will stay the same.
  • New Improved, with lower quality ingredients but more artificial flavourings.
  • Don't buy our widgets, buy John's, his are better.

    Ads are biased; and being biased they do a disservice to the reputation of any well written content.

    Evil, yes; but there is always a balance to be struck between avoiding all evil and being able to sustain your website.

  • 5:54 am on Nov 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

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    Maybe she wants to maintain credibility and is trying to avoid a situation where her visitors form the perception that her articles are commercialy motivated.
    6:05 am on Nov 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

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    Not everyone out there is keen on making money. I once had this attitude as well, and looking at my mediocre revenues from Adsense (mediocre compared to any regular work) makes me think about removing Adsense completely.

    As a side note, I do not think that "ads are evil" per se. But the implementation of Adsense that admits bad advertisers (and publishers!) into the system - that's evil. Sending users to cr*p pages on parked pages - that's evil. Blending ads so much that users are tricked into clicking ads - that's evil.

    6:32 am on Nov 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

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    I don't see anything wrong with making money doing what you love.
    Which are you going to put your best effort into-- a job you hate or one you love?

    In my case if I wasn't running ads I would be working while going to school and not running a site due to lack of time.

    Money can (and should) motivate you to produce higher quality services and give you more credibility... why would I add crap which will lower my income when adding quality will make visitors happy and thus increase income?

    Look at hosting as an example... free vs paid hosts. I'm much more comfortable working with people who have something to loose-- that helps ensure quality.

    7:09 am on Nov 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

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    WebmasterWorld Senior Member jomaxx is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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    You actually can't understand why someone wouldn't put ads on a website they built? Why should she? What is this mania about trying to make money from absolutely everything?

    I don't have ads on every one of my websites, and NONE of my sites have ads on every single page. I could probably make a few extra bucks that way, but it wouldn't be life-changing and the bottom line for me is that I don't want them there so I don't put them there.

    10:17 am on Nov 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

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    I have a friend like that who swore never to put ads on his (good and popular) site during the graphical banner phase of the industry. Once adsense came out, after trying it for myself for a year or so, I showed him how text ads didn't have to be obnoxious (punch the monkey style), and yes, even *relevant* to the topic of the site, and persuaded him to at least give it a try for a week or so. Once he started making 5-10$ a day, he never looked back, and sometimes I even think he acts a bit greedy ;)
    12:00 pm on Nov 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

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    I know a lady who runs a very nice, large, quality website. She refuses to run ads because she wants to keep it "pure". She also refuses link exchanges because she won't link to any sites that are commercial in any way.

    How does this woman earn her living? What sort of work does she do?

    FarmBoy

    1:00 pm on Nov 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

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    So... why are people like this?

    If you have enough money you can afford to be snobby.

    Enough being what that person thinks is enough and not what another person thinks is enough.

    1:39 pm on Nov 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

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    Time was that people would feel rather shy about putting up their hobby websites, in case people saw them who knew the subject a lot better.

    Time was that a business was a serious undertaking which started with a business plan and a trip to the bank to withdraw one's life savings.

    Time was that people informed the tax office when they started self employment and went through the enormous accounting mess that entails.

    Time was when hobbies were for fun.

    1:49 pm on Nov 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

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    That lady actually is an original webmaster (webmistress) and not a very greedy human being, publishing something valuable and expecting nothing in return, I remember when the web started as such, when control was shifted from educational organizations & government to commercial entities money took over all other considerations and it became a game of numbers not quality, even quality for the sake of numbers not personal satisfaction. Such is everything in life now.

    If I was not doing this full time, I would have loved to have no ads on my site too, that's how it all started anyway, and that's how I advise people to start.

    1:55 pm on Nov 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

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    She probably does not get many visitors so that she is not motivated to find ways to pay for the extra bandwidth.

    It sounds like it's more of an outlet for her or some kind of blog that is more self-fulfilling.

    3:17 pm on Nov 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

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    I'm a widget-maker and some of my widgets are for sale and some are not. The "not for sale" widgets come straight from my heart, are freely given, and that's the way I want it to be. They are a gift, from me to you. (You're welcome.) Another branch of my widgets are for sale and I have no problem selling them. It's not a black and white thing for me. It's very complicated with lots of shade of gray.
    2:26 am on Nov 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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    she doesn't get many visitors... the site is hard to navigate and find, actually.

    to each their own, i guess... I can understand not doing something for money, but for me, adsense motivates me to add original, quality content to my site. I couldn't afford to do that if I wasn't making a profit. It has nothing to do with greed, just realism... living and going to school cost money.

    2:29 am on Nov 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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    Just look at Craigslist. They could make a fortune off Google ads but they refuse to run them. They are missing out on millions of dollars in revenue but would rather maintain the purity of their site.
    2:41 am on Nov 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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    it's a human nature to be jealous of other's progress. a visitor automatically gets tensed when he/she realizes that his/her visiting the page and clicking around can make the webmaster money. they tend to think "this guy is making money by getting us to view his page, why should we give him money?" that's how "ads are evil" theory mite have started. and prolly this lady you're talking about doesn't want her visitors to have that bad impression of hers.
    3:43 am on Nov 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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    sometimes 'smart' people are dumb.

    I don't know, why are you too dumb to understand why she doesn't want to run ads or do link exchanges?

    I don't do link exchanges on any of my websites. Every request goes right into /dev/null

    I also don't have ads on my highest traffic review site, just to keep it from seeming like there was any hint of impropriety. And before you say it doesn't make any difference, it is actually mentioned in a lot of the links to the site when people call it "the Consumer Reports of ...".

    That said, I also have review sites that have ads on them, and I accept that they will never have the same reputation (or the traffic) of the "pure" site.

    She does her thing, you do your's. It's best not to stress about it.

    4:19 am on Nov 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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    Yes, it's about reputation.

    she doesn't get many visitors...

    I'm not sure how a few cents a day (or maybe up to a $1 a day) would be motivating enough to give away 10-20% of a web page for ads...
    4:20 am on Nov 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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    they tend to think "this guy is making money by getting us to view his page, why should we give him money?" that's how "ads are evil" theory mite have started.

    Oh I doubt that very much. Ads can only blame themselves for acquiring that "evil" reputation, no need for shaky speculations. You have to remember that Adsense is actually one of the most appreciated type of ads out there, because it is textual and on topic.

    For most of the world, ads equals constant annoyance, loud tackiness and profound stupidity with a message of materialist lifestyle and artificial needs. Just turn on your TV or the radio and you'll see what I mean.

    As a finance source, ads can also be blamed for corrupting many things and influencing what can be said or not.

    8:03 am on Nov 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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    >I don't know, why are you too dumb to understand why >she doesn't want to run ads or do link exchanges?

    There's no need to be rude, BigDave.
    If you read my posts you'd see how I can understand it. I started the topic to get other people's opinions and (hopefully) some intelligent insight instead of insults.

    But looks like we started an interesting conversation here... :)

    Most ads are annoying and obnoxious, I agree. But just deciding to not run ads doesn't make a site more "pure" or reliable, I think that is a common misconception. Yes, plenty of people make crap just to run ads, but I have seen many ad-free sites that are poor quality too.

    9:03 am on Nov 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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    Ads are, in general, a widely accepted form of deceiving consumers in to buying something they don't need - or many times blindfolding them from getting the product they do need.

    At least my inner voice says so.

    Most creative ads, as much as I love to see them, has got nothing much to do with what is being sold. And that in reality is a creative way of deceiving others.

    Now if you excuse me, I have a few ads to write.

    [edited by: Habtom at 9:04 am (utc) on Nov. 4, 2007]

    10:26 am on Nov 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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    Whoa!...Hold the phone! All ads are evil? I feel like I am back in the commune.
    Lets all get our tied dyed t shirts on and picket city hall.

    Nothing wrong with advertising. It is what drives the American and the worlds economies. Without it all of us web entrepreneurs would be working at the post office or down at Starbucks.

    If you treat your web site as a hobby and a way to kill some extra time, ok you
    can be despairing about advertising.

    For all the rest of us we should be thankful for the advertsing and the life
    style we derive from it...KF

    3:36 pm on Nov 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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    I agree that it's a good idea for everyone to start out with an ad-free hobby site. I started this way, and I think it is the purer way to start, and then add advertisements slowly and judiciously--as opposed to striking out with a bucket-of-money mentality. It sets you in the right frame of mind from the start. To this day, I still have sites that are ad-free. And for the ones that have ads, I've always shunned the obnoxious stuff. People don't mind ads when you use them properly, but I do think any ad at all subtracts from the "purity" of a site--but it's a trade-off, and usually a good one to make. And I think that if this trade-off allows you to devote more time to improving your sites, it is a net plus for your visitors.
    5:59 pm on Nov 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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    There's no need to be rude, BigDave.

    Yo dude, you were the one that started calling someone dumb, and simply because you "just can't understand" their reasons for doing what they do. So let me just say to you:

    There's no need to be rude, uhwebs.
    Don't call people dumb when *you* are the one that is saying that *you* don't understand them.

    I don't think "ads are evil", I make a fair amount of money from them, but I also understand and accept why she thinks the way she does about sites full of ads.

    7:04 pm on Nov 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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    I don't know where your attitude came from but thankfully most WW posters are more mature than that. And you assume I am a "dude" :p

    I'm not saying she is dumb, she's a nice lady and knowledgeable. Its just that sometimes "smart people are dumb" which is an accurate statement. I have seen people who are very smart do dumb things on the internet and off... and I'm curious about the attitude I see and hoping to get some input. Looks like I started a lively conversation :)

    Fourdeg-- I started the same way. I never thought about runnin ads until my site was a few years old. Now the site is a lot more popular...

    King, I feel the same way; if not for my site's ads I wouldn't have a site, I'd be working somewhere in my free time.

    Yes, ads are very deceptive. I think that is wrong. But at the same time in a captialistic system, its the consumer that chooses who will and won't be successful by voting with their $$$.

    7:45 pm on Nov 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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    >>> Yes,ads are deceptive <<< That should read " Yes, SOME ads are deceptive"

    There are few absolutes in life and that certainly isn't one of them!

    I find most ads are informative and yes even entertaining. They are selling a
    product and that's OK. Ads dont actually "sell" a product, you have to get
    off the couch and go out to buy the product.

    If you find the product doesnt live up to the hype, you pass. This is whats called an informed decision.

    For the ten percent of the ads that are deceptive or dishonest (read EVIL)
    they normally dont produce and die a natural death.

    Bottom line? Most of us recognize truth in advertsing when we see it. The rest of us soon will!...KF

    9:55 pm on Nov 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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    Its just that sometimes "smart people are dumb" which is an accurate statement.

    It may be an accurate statement, but the decision on whether to put ads on sites is more of a personal value judgement than an IQ issue. Not everyone tries to make money from their hobbies and your friend with the website sounds like her site is a hobby site.

    2:03 am on Nov 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

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    This has nothing to do with the OP, but more the posts after it.

    I'm always confounded that people who believe advertising is evil bother to invest time in an AdSense forum. I'm sorry for being so dense, but where's the connection?

    2:30 am on Nov 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

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    I'm just reading the thread because it showed up on the active post list.

    My main site gets a fair bit of traffic (about 1000-1500 uniques per day, judging by the image hits, not the html). Number one in the serps for various searches that have 10-20 million results. Those aren't the ones we really want, but we accept the traffic load because it boosts the important pages on the more obscure traffic that we're after.

    On those high-traffic pages (10 out of about 500), we could do adsense but it would make us look cheap and money-grubbing, rather than the very cool NGO we are. Bad form.

    Any of you want to go that route, fine, but I'd rather hang myself than do it. And the big plus is that when all the MFA's and link-exhange sites get hammered in the latest algo change, it makes no difference to us. We just keep doing better and better.

    5:52 am on Nov 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

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    1) There are lots of sites that look less trustworthy with ads on them. Many sites will look downright grubby with ads on them.

    2) There are lots of sites for which Adsense, promoting the site etc. are not worth the effort. All the more so if you feel you should monitor the site for bad ads and filter them.

    3) If you turn a hobby into a business, it might stop being fun (depending on the hobby, and your personality).

    This 37 message thread spans 2 pages: 37