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Adsense takes the place of valid and important content (?)

I know I have been posting alot about Google, and as much as I use many of their products, as much I am also critical about their function and uses.

This is if you want Google-bashing, because it is Google that brings this topic forward, as much as it would be Yahoo or MSN-bashing if they would do this.

Have a look at the accompanying heat map, presented by Google, who propose that the indicated coloured areas (especially the darker shades of orange) are the locations on your website that users tend to focus on, so either plonk your Adsense there or around it. Now, websites are using this to stick Adsense smack bam in the middle of the page and over flood what was once good content with distracting ads.

Well, I do admit, the premise seems plausible, but since various websites have initiated this concept it clearly has not become the focal area of my attention any longer. Now half the pages are filled with Google Adsense where content once lead on to each other, and one has to scroll down to read accompanying text.

This is extremely annoying, and whoever tells me that they focus on the centre of the page now, especially since advertisements are placed there, must be clearly cross eyed! It personally leads me to close the page and look for something easier to navigate.

The centre of the page was most probably proclaimed the focal hotspot because it once had content which was relevant and placed directly under the headline. This idea and its implementations of positioning advertising in the centre of the page will definitely bewilder many viewers.

Buckland, who posted about this a while ago, stated that Google uses the heat map as a guide to show you where you should position Adsense on your site, or any other kind of advert for that matter, or if you do not like adverts just put important content there.

But, and, however, since Adsense is easy to get hold of, and since people get hold of it to earn their monthly $1.30, they have taken this guide way too literally. See this page as an example, and let me know what you think.


  1. Blogger Wallfish | Thursday, June 01, 2006 10:29:00 pm |  

    Choice. People with websites choose to have Adsense; they also choose an area to display the Ads.

    Simultaneously you, the avid content consumer, choose to go to a site; you choose where to look within the site and you choose to participate in what is offered.

    If it's too 'hot' in the kitchen, why don't you choose to either opt out of Adsense or opt out of browsing the content site?

    Let me try to anticipate Maher's argument: Google is brainwashing the world into looking at ads by giving them a pretty picture that explains consumer behaviour. There is no free will in the post-modern world because Google has pre-ordained where to look at what to do.

    I end as I began: Choice.

  2. Blogger Gregor | Friday, June 02, 2006 1:47:00 am |  

    I can't really 'leave the kitchen' if it is the place where I normally like to cook, prepare my food and dine!

    This topic ties into the whole trust issue, people trust Google’s suggestion and without being critical enough and commonsensical enough to notice that by putting ad-sense in the centre of a site, looks aesthetically crap and chases away users.

    And because any one can add ad-sense to their blog / website and think they can become millionaires by doing so, they obviously opt to agree what those who offer the actual service suggest to do.

    Your ‘choice’ argument has no substance, I can choose to trust, I can choose this, I can choose that…it’s all relative, but when I revisit a site which I have enjoyed because of various elements, as mentioned above, and suddenly it’s flooded with ad-sense I do get angry, their choice of adding the ads was initiated by the trustworthy ad-sense distributor.

  3. Anonymous Vincent Maher | Friday, June 02, 2006 8:32:00 am |  

    Wallfish, as usual your argument is based in the humanist tradition where everything is a conscious decison, no-one else is to blame for anything. Kinda like in China, by your Google logic the Nepalese must have chosen to be persecuted all this time. yeah that must be it, you're a genius.

    Actually, the point I would have made about this post if you hadn't attacked me first is to say that the status of blogging as an alternative voice to the commercial media is in question, simply because this exampe shows how little editorial independence there is in the blogging community, because the publisher and editor roles are concatenated.

    Imagine the scenario where a newspaper editor gets a visist from the business manager of the paper, who tells her that the advertisements must be plavced between the headline and the body of the stories.

    This isn't Google's fault, its the blogger's fault.

  4. Blogger Wallfish | Friday, June 02, 2006 11:28:00 am |  


    I don't have Google logic - I have Graeme logic. Google logic belongs to Google. We are seeming to have a tough time distinguishing the two. If you read my blog and then read the google blog you would see a stark contrast between the two. I doubt Google smokes pot on the weekends either. The Nepalese did not choose to be prosecuted, they also didn't choose to be impoverished - but at least Google is going into Asia and trying to do something about it, something you choose to ignore.

    I do like your scenario in that it proves my point: The business manager is not forcing you to put the ads between the headline and the body of the story. You choose to do it. If you are really concerned about the content of your site you won't put the ads in the middle of what matters most.

    Concurrently Gregor, if your favourite content is being ruined by ads then shouldn't you question your taste in content? Perhaps the people who feed your mind are more concerned with making monetary than intellectual ground.

  5. Blogger SA Knock News | Friday, June 02, 2006 1:19:00 pm |  

    Wallfish, i think that you have lost the plot a bit and are taking your argument to irrational proportions.

    Content placement is often not decided on by the editors and is dictated by the business manager. That is just the way it is, if you disagree then you have been mislead somewhere. And everyone in the world, however absolutely independant of the system, makes choices that affect the content of their site adversely, such as choosing to destroy a good site with neverending adsense.

    Unfortunately it is not as easy as saying "oh well there is the adsense let me find another blog to replace this one".

    I dunno, i tried the adsense route, it made me stuff all money and tarnished the goal of my site, so i took it off. others believe in capitalsm, stick with it. it is a choice, but remember choices have consequences.

  6. Blogger Ceridwen Devi | Friday, June 02, 2006 2:36:00 pm |  

    We read web pages like an F.