WordAds Unleashed

As mentioned/promised/threatened previously, I turned on ads for the blog on October 1st.

For those just catching up, WP.com announced that they were going to start injecting “sponsored” posts into blogs that were on the free plan, and while I was technically on a grandfathered “No Ads” plan, my plan was still listed as “free,” so I opted to upgrade to the Premium plan.

Premium features

Among the features of the Premium plan is to be able to earn ad revenue.  So, in a swap of no small irony, I went from paying to have no ads on the blog to paying more to allow ads on the blog.  The hope is to offset the price of the premium plan.

The WordAds feature in WP.com… not to be confused with Google’s AdWords I guess, though I think Google changed that name a while ago… is easy enough to turn on when you have Premium.  You flick a switch, fill out a form, get processed for eligibility, and then you’re in.   Or I was in, anyway, the bar being low enough to allow that.

Having turned it on I went to my work laptop where I have browsers setup without Ad Block to see what happened.

For a while, there was nothing.  It takes some time to get going.  And then, suddenly, there were ads.  Ads in the side bar, ads anchored to the scroll bar, ads around posts, ads in posts every three paragraphs… the place was quickly swimming in ads.  Too many ads.

So I went back to the settings and dialed that back some.  The meanings of the settings are a bit… vague.  I mean, I know what “Display ads below posts…” means in my head, but what toggling that setting on and off did was not lining up with my expectations.

The ads, as most places, are served up based on what you, the reader, have been snooped on doing on the internet.  I thought it was pretty funny that one of the first ads I was served was about blocking ads.

Know your audience I guess – this is not an ad but an image of an ad

I also found it amusing that it injected an ad for hearing aids below the group picture in yesterday’s post about the group playing Diablo II where I identified us as an aging rock act.

Now it is showing me ads for Macy’s because my wife was looking at their online ad, which just shows they’re lumping us together in the same IP address.

Apparently I even earned some money my first day out, netting 8 cents towards my eventual payout, which comes at the $100 mark.  I also get a new stats tab on my admin page that tells me about revenue and number of ads served.  Something new for the annual blog review post I guess.  Another horrible metric to report on.

Anyway, if you see ads, this is why.  But if you have an ad blocker setup, which I do recommend, you won’t see any.   You also, so far as I can tell, won’t see any ads if you view my posts in a reader like Feedly.

As always, your feedback on this change is welcome.

12 thoughts on “WordAds Unleashed

  1. Ula

    I’m not seeing any yet, even though I don’t think I have an ad blocker in this browser. I wonder if paying WordPress users don’t see them? I could log out to test this, but you know how grumpy I get when I have to relog.

    Like

  2. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Ula – There is actually an option to not show ads to people logged into wp.com, but I didn’t select that options. So if you see no ads… well, I just checked on my open browser and I see no ads either. Maybe the first rule of Ad Club is “Don’t talk about Ad Club.”

    Liked by 2 people

  3. MagiWasTaken

    No ads in the WP reader either btw. Funny how it not only lumps you together by IP but also gives you an ad for skipping ads after you went from no ads to all ads!

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  4. bhagpuss

    Okay… in Firefox, my regular browser, where I run uBlock Origin and NoScript as standard, all I see is a big, blue, static banner on the right, reading “Earn Money From Your WordPress Site”. It’s supposed to go to the company that provides the backbone for WordAds, Pubmine.com, but if I click it uBlock blocks it with “uBlock Origin has prevented the following page from loading”. Other than that, which I doubt I would even have noticed had the post not drawn my attention to it, there’s nothing.

    If I go to Chrome, however, which I use when I want to do something without having my protection software wag fingers in my face, in the spot where the Pubmine promo is I see a bloody great black dog staring straight at me! There’s no ad copy at all and not the slightest indication why it’s there. It’s very weird and somewhat disturbing. Mousing over it tells me it goes to someone called Zemanta.com, which appears to be another company behind the WordAds service. Where it actually goes if I click on it, though, is to a very busy website called “Ohmymag” and a story about the dog in the picture.

    I wouldn’t call that an “Ad”. An “Ad” would advertise something. This doesn’t. I’d call it a portal, at best.

    In the body of the post itself, between the “Skip Ads” picture and the following paragraph, there’s an actual advertisement. It’s small, has a pink, rectangular border, black and white text (all words, no pictures) and a bit at the top where words fizz like a cloud of dust and reform into other words. It’s for something called “Crowdsignals”, which is a service that creates surveys and polls for websites. Given your recent comments on polls and WordPress that struck me as hilariously ironic – or ironically hilarious.

    Finally, stuck bizarelly to the border of my screen, well outside the margin of the TAGN blog page, there’s a brightly-colored picture of a a woman in loose-fitting knitted sweater and jogging pants (those aren’t knitted) in front of a wall of stripes that could be a stack of material swatches or a color chart for house paint. If I click on that one it takes me to Adobe.com and their current slogan, which would seem to be “Bring more color into your world”.

    That about covers it. Probably more than you needed to know. I’ll carry on viewing TAGN in Firefox with all my barriers up. I’m fine with static sidebar ads but I could do without stuff that jiggles.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. yadot

    Brave manages to block everything when site protection is on. With it off your blog becomes an unreadable horror story of clickbait. I don’t have a dog so see no need to find out the insane trick to stop it barking.
    I think I will wait until the first “injected post” on my site before I permanently delete my blog.

    Like

  6. Archey

    I browse your site solely on Safari on iPhone with no adblockers of any kind. I see – sometimes but not always – an ad at the top which only slightly annoyingly pushes down the banner I routinely click to refresh the site. And there are occasional ads in the midst of posts and between comments. Those, however, more often than not are half their intended height so I see some kind of video happening but it’s not clear what.

    Overall I don’t mind them at all and if it redirects some small amount of money to you, I’d say it’s well worth it. One question I have is whether you get more for click throughs, or the same for an impression as a click? I will occasionally click something innocuous if it helps.

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  7. Eli Olsen

    Chiming in from the Edge browser: Ublock Origin kills off absolutely everything, so with that on (my default) the experience is unchanged. Turning that off, on the other hand? Well, for one thing I’m getting that ‘skip ads’ ad you talked about, so it seems it knows me well. Also the the fuzzing-word one from Crowdsignal, and of course the ad for wordads, but that’s about it. It’s honestly not so bad as of now.

    …Whoops, wait, the no-ads ad wasn’t an ad, it was your image for the article itself… This is getting confusing.

    In any case, at a rate of 8 cents a day, you’ll get your first payout in about three and a half years. How much does the Premium subscription cost you in that time?

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  8. Mailvaltar

    I see only two ads right now. One in the top right corner, relatively small and not animated, so it doesn’t bother at all.
    The one just below the post and above the buttons to like the post etc. is somewhat bigger, unsurprisingly, and it also has moving parts. I really don’t like the latter category, as those are obviously rather distracting.
    I guess I’ll have to look into ad blockers after all. :-)

    Like

  9. potshot

    With AdBlock turned on, nothing different. With it turned off, I’m no longer confused about where to go for watchband repair. I’m also reassured that the internet agrees with my recent purchase of a replacement filter set for our kitchen sink filtered water dispenser. Such magic!

    Like

  10. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    Oddly, when I go over to my other blog, EVE Online Pictures, it shows me ads for WordAds and how I can make money from my blog. Also, I just got that “Skip Ads” ad in the post just below my image of the “Skip Ads” ad, which is a bit more meta than I figured. My wife must not be looking at the Macy’s ad now.

    Like

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