Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Adsense Nonsense

I want to talk about the ineffective targeting of Adsense, but first I wanted to share with you, briefly, how I conquered ticking today.

I was ticking pretty badly. Vocal tics. Facial tics. Head flying backwards to meet my feet tics. Buckets and barrels of fun. I needed a nap. Being an insomniac put a small crimp in that plan, however

(I stayed up very late trying to coax an Epson printer to not be clogged. Bad idea. The Epson was dead set on remaining clogged. I even soaked the ink syphons in Windex. Perhaps if I sucked on them as if I were sucking venom from a wound? Nah, I'd just end up looking like a clown, and not just because my fanny would be sticking up in the air while I did that.)

Anyway, I thought maybe if I wrote in my blog I might engage my mind and subside the storm. The results were fantastic! Not only did the ticking stop, but the depression I had that I hadn't noticed yet lifted as well.1 Let's talk about Google's Adsense instead.

Adsense is a great idea which needs better implementation. I put ads on this blog to help offset the costs of hosting my webpages. I thought ads related to the subject might interest my readers and throw some pennies in my direction. And although my fractal site brings in a small bit of adsense revenue, this site doesn't do so well. I don't think it's because people don't want to support me by clicking on the ads. I think it's because the Adsense ads are so offtopic that they're wacky.

Adsense doesn't target well with niche topics, or neurological topics either. The other day my Ellen Feiss page had Seventh Day Adventist ads. And ringtone ads. Nevermind that neither of those ad types have anthing to do with Ellen Feiss. What the heck do they have to do with each other!?! Is it any wonder that site brings in 3¢ a month in ad revenue? I wouldn't click on them either. And this site is just as bad. Today the page was filled with American Idol ads. Look, I like Bo Bice as much as the next guy but unless he's become the national spokesman for Depression his presence on my page is suspect.

Google's Adsense simply isn't working for me. Not on these sites anyway. If the ads aren't wildly unrelated to the page, they're not anything I'd approve of either. Snake oil salesmen. Wonder drugs I've never heard of. Ads about blogging. Ads selling expensive software to "cure" AD/HD. Plus the bizarre ads that defy reason. One day this blog featured ads for a Spiritualist who likened life to a full course meal that one must sample and taste and Hello? I want people who read this blog to find useful or mirthful information about neurological problems. I didn't intend for the ads to be part of the entertainment. As much as I enjoy eating, the last time I checked eating to fight depression was a bad thing. Now, I realize she was speaking in metaphor, but poorly targeted ads just come across as spam.

And this is the problem with Adsense. Anybody can select a block of keywords and pay money to have their site advertised whenever those keywords show up. But if the advertisers abuse the keywords, then Adsense loses it's effectiveness. I suppose I'll end up yanking the ads off this page (after sending this blog to Google) and putting up a tip jar. In the meantime I humbly request that you share this blog with other people. (Here's the link.) I can't imagine I'm the only person disillusioned with Adsense and it's lousy targeting. Let me know what you think. Do you find the ads laughable or just annoying? Do you know of other blogs that have covered this topic? Share the URLs in the comments section. Thanks.

Coping Strategies:

1) When your brain is misfiring in a neurological frenzy, sometimes a 90° turn into something completely different can shock your mind out of it's slump. With depression or ticking I have found engaging my mind with something that excites me usually works wonders. It's taken me many years to find the activities that do this for me, so keep at it and experiment. Just don't adopt BASE Jumping or Driving Blindfolded for that jumpstart to your brain! The point is to be productive, not dead.

Update: 7/26/05 By the end of the day nothing could stop the ticking except a good night's rest. As a side note, I have a brother with epilepsy who thankfully is NOT an insomniac like me. When he is neurologically off he takes long naps. I can't help but think I'd be better off if I could sleep when I needed to.