Print Story Google adverts
By hulver (Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 01:37:16 AM EST) (all tags)
I got an email from Google this morning that's been bugging me.

The income from Google adverts has dropped off a lot recently, I'm not sure why as it seems to have gone down a lot quicker than the traffic has dropped off.

So I've been considering dropping the adverts anyway. This has pushed me over the edge and I'm going to remove them from the site. I think it's a step too far, and I don't want to participate in it.


We're writing to let you know about the upcoming launch of interest-based advertising, which will require you to review and make any necessary changes to your site's privacy policies. You'll also see some new options on your Account Settings page.

Interest-based advertising will allow advertisers to show ads based on a user's previous interactions with them, such as visits to advertiser website and also to reach users based on their interests (e.g. "sports enthusiast").  To develop interest categories, we will recognize the types of web pages users visit throughout the Google content network.  As an example, if they visit a number of sports pages, we will add them to the "sports enthusiast" interest category.  To learn more about your associated account settings, please visit the AdSense Help Center at

As a result of this announcement, your privacy policy will now need to reflect the use of interest-based advertising. Please review the information at to ensure that your site's privacy policies are up-to-date, and make any necessary changes by April 8, 2009.  Because publisher sites and laws vary across countries, we're unfortunately unable to suggest specific privacy policy language.

For more information about interest-based advertising, you can also visit the Inside AdSense Blog at

We appreciate your participation and look forward to this upcoming enhancement.


The Google AdSense Team

Am I overreacting?

< Like the Mary Ellen Carter, Rise Again | Partial Vindication >
Google adverts | 33 comments (33 topical, 0 hidden)
No you're not by Phage (4.00 / 1) #1 Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 01:46:52 AM EST
This has been all over the place recently wwith Phorm and BT in the UK (Recent link) and similar companies in the US. I believe that the US solution was to make it illegal. Link.
A quick Google shows that there are a lot of people quite upset about this. Indeed, one of the factors in my recent choice of ISP was whether or not they would be using this sort of service.

You are not overreacting by stevew (4.00 / 2) #2 Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 02:11:25 AM EST
This is evil.

I shut down two of my sites which are high bandwidth and adwords supported after getting one of those letters yesterday.

My adwords rep told me there was a lot of negative feedback and they were considering an opt out - but no promises.

Google has not just taken over doubleclick, they have become doubleclick.

Just don't be shy about asking for donations when they are needed - everyone knows this ain't no CMF scam.

If there was an opt-out... by wiredog (4.00 / 2) #3 Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 02:32:30 AM EST
But there's not, so you're not overreacting.

Oh, and this place has a privacy policy?

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

It does. by Phage (4.00 / 4) #4 Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 02:36:42 AM EST
Don't say anything stupid that may come back to haunt you. If you do, it's your own fault, and we may mock you.

[ Parent ]
Privacy Policy by me0w (2.00 / 0) #16 Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 04:29:53 AM EST
People pay me $5/month to keep all their dupe accounts and real identities secret.

You haven't paid in a while ....

[ Parent ]
Bring it on. by mrgoat (4.00 / 4) #20 Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 05:58:51 AM EST

--top hat--
[ Parent ]
the parent post needs a MisterQueue reply by infinitera (2.00 / 0) #32 Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 10:39:40 PM EST

[…] a professional layabout. Which I aspire to be, but am not yet. — CheeseburgerBrown

[ Parent ]
Are you sure it doesn't have one? by mrgoat (2.00 / 0) #33 Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 10:21:33 AM EST

--top hat--
[ Parent ]
Not an overreact by Merekat (4.00 / 1) #5 Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 02:57:19 AM EST
The did not inform you of any way to opt out of the feature, so your only option is to opt out of the whole service.

There is a sort of opt out by hulver (2.00 / 0) #7 Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 03:20:10 AM EST
But it's surrounded by all sorts of caveats. It stops my site participating, but doesn't stop them displaying adverts based on where users have been.

I feel like I'm being a bit patronising, like I've decided that my users are too stupid to decide for themselves if they want to turn this off.

Maybe if the ads were still generating $60 a month, instead of $6 I'd feel differently about this. I doubt it though, I think the whole thing stinks. Yes, it might be good for the advertisers, but I put up with adverts on sufference anyway. I think this goes too far, and I'll be installing adblock to make sure I block all google ads in future.

I used to make sure that adblock displayed google adverts, but not any more.
Cheese is not a hat. - clock

[ Parent ]
Your users may not be too stupid to do it by Merekat (2.00 / 0) #8 Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 03:27:24 AM EST
but is that any reason to inconvenience them by making them think about it and do it?

[ Parent ]
Hell, man by ucblockhead (4.00 / 2) #21 Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 06:15:14 AM EST
I'd kick you $6/month myself not to be part of that crap.
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
I suggest by komet (4.00 / 2) #6 Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 03:15:22 AM EST
switching over to Project Wonderful.

<ni> komet: You are functionally illiterate as regards trashy erotica.
Looks interesting by hulver (2.00 / 0) #9 Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 03:43:23 AM EST
Cheese is not a hat. - clock
[ Parent ]
Didn't give you much notice, did they? by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #10 Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 03:54:03 AM EST
That's less than a month.

Would it be cheeky to ask how much money Google Ads was bringing in?

It's political correctness gone mad!

Probably gives a fair idea: by gazbo (4.00 / 1) #11 Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 03:58:32 AM EST

I recommend always assuming 7th normal form where items in a text column are not allowed to rhyme.

[ Parent ]
Not cheeky at all by hulver (4.00 / 1) #12 Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 04:00:43 AM EST
It's all on the accounts page

You'll have to look at the previous years account though, because I've not had a payment since September. They only pay you once you've got over $100 in your account. As the income has dropped from $60 a month this time two years ago, to $6 a month now.
Cheese is not a hat. - clock

[ Parent ]
That's a massive drop by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #13 Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 04:02:55 AM EST
Any ideas why?

Anyway it hardly seems worth the moral complexities of what they're doing now.

It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
No idea by hulver (2.00 / 0) #14 Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 04:17:47 AM EST
Other than a fall off in overall traffic anyway. I've not done any tweeking for a while either.

Not worth it really.
Cheese is not a hat. - clock

[ Parent ]
I suspect that by Breaker (4.00 / 1) #17 Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 05:08:40 AM EST
Google's revenue is also drying up and they're trying to offer more to advertisers to keep the money machine churning.

[ Parent ]
first off... by clock (2.00 / 0) #15 Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 04:25:21 AM EST  it's not overreacting.  at all.  that's bullshit right there given that there is no opt out.

secondly, if you need cash let us know.  i think we can score more than $60.  as mentioned above, this ain't no CMF.

I agree with clock entirely --Kellnerin

Not a bit. by Breaker (4.00 / 1) #18 Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 05:09:48 AM EST
Is this the bit where Google suddenly becomes "do no evil unless it's for the money?"

Simpler by Phage (4.00 / 3) #19 Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 05:40:56 AM EST
Do no apparent evil.

[ Parent ]
They want to dictate your site privacy policy by dark nowhere (2.00 / 0) #22 Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 06:38:59 AM EST
and they've expressed dismay at the fact that they can't word-for-word it to you.

Fuck that. I think it should be more offensive to you as the site owner than to any of us. I'd give them an earful if it were me.

See you, space cowboy.

Answer: No by FlightTest (2.00 / 0) #23 Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 06:51:00 AM EST
Oh, look, Google is just like any other company.  Whoudda thunk it?

I'd guess their ad revenue, and by extension yours, is way down because damn near everyone uses adblock or something like it anymore.   Hard to get ad revenue when hardly anyone sees the ads.

Gold by duxup (4.00 / 3) #24 Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 07:01:31 AM EST
Have you thought about selling your unwanted or unused gold for cash?

I've been considering... by Vulch (4.00 / 1) #28 Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 08:00:30 AM EST
Risky by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #30 Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 09:29:28 AM EST
I'd look to state backed steel and building industries.  As long as they're state backed (and the state that backs them is committed to keeping them afloat), they'll be the first to rebound post depression.

#include <stddisclaimer.h>, I am not a qualified financial advisor etc.  If I put my hand in the fire would you do the same?

[ Parent ]
Action taken by gpig (2.00 / 0) #25 Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 07:04:14 AM EST
  1. Sent a month's worth (at the old rate) via RemittanceBuddy.
  2. Installed AdBlock, 'cos not everyone is as principled as you.
Thanks for the heads up!
(,   ,') -- eep
Cheers by hulver (4.00 / 1) #27 Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 07:37:39 AM EST
That's very generous.
Cheese is not a hat. - clock
[ Parent ]
That explains why by MohammedNiyalSayeed (2.00 / 0) #26 Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 07:25:09 AM EST

I've been seeing the same tactical gear ads on every site I visit lately.

You can build the most elegant fountain in the world, but eventually a winged rat will be using it as a drinking bowl.
No, actually, that's not just you by R343L (2.00 / 0) #29 Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 08:48:53 AM EST
It turns out that all internet advertising these days is tactical gear. All that paranoia about civilization falling apart.

"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot
[ Parent ]
Awesome... by MohammedNiyalSayeed (2.00 / 0) #31 Fri Mar 13, 2009 at 10:25:39 AM EST

I'm adding "visionary sociologist" to my resume right now.

You can build the most elegant fountain in the world, but eventually a winged rat will be using it as a drinking bowl.
[ Parent ]
Google adverts | 33 comments (33 topical, 0 hidden)