Thursday, December 28, 2006

I Just Sold Out To The Lowest Bidder

So I was thinking, “I’m sick of being broke and I don’t have time to take a second job. I wonder if I could maybe make a buck or two off this here blog o’mine?” So I signed up for Google AdSense. The idea is that the Googlebots would notice the content on my site and then put in ads tailored to my readers’ interests: posts about the joys of crocheting might result in ads for crochet patterns, for example, while posts about problems with childrearing will result in ads for parents’ magazines or diaper coupons. Then, if anybody is interested enough to click on an ad, I’ll earn a fraction of a penny.

So on my blog, which talks about topics like atheism and libertarianism and the benefits of reason over faith, what were the first four ads that came up in my sidebar?

Got Gout? Have Faith? See what God has provided for his children to overcome gout

Understanding The Word break through traditional teachings to truth and the word of life

God Is Love See a 60 second video on God’s love for you

Hell Does Not Exist and you can prove it. Get the facts—see for yourself. The big hell lie.

I wish I were making this up.

I’m not gonna make a DIME.

And when the hell did I ever post about gout?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're welcome. Although I know a smattering of HTML, I'm not familiar with what Blogspot allows you to edit, so I can't answer your second question off the top of my head.

Of course, you'll probably get more eyes on your question once the blogday (formerly known as workday) begins. Good Luck.

7:31 PM  
Anonymous A moose said...

Ha! I got Brittany Spears via in the heck that THAT combination work? In any case, it's (marginally) better than finding out what God has for me to take care of gout.

7:34 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I'm STILL getting the same four religious ads, Moose. I got Britney once, when I refreshed my page, but when I refreshed it again I went right back to gout, God, hell and God.

7:42 PM  
Anonymous smartass sob said...

Well, Jennifer, I just clicked on one of the ads - the one about Hell not existing, so I hope that will make you at least 1 mil (tenth of a cent) wealthier. I could click on a few more, if it will help. ;-)

8:58 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Yes, yes, SOB! Clicky clicky! And if you get a muscle spasm that forces you to click spasmodically and uncontrollably, in less than a week I'll make enough money to buy a cup of coffee at Starbucks!

I'll admit, I'm actually tempted to click on the gout ad myself. But I'm not allowed to click on my own ads; that would violate the terms of my AdSense agreement, and it would be unfair of me to cheat the cure-gout-through-faith guys of that half-cent.

In all seriousness, it WOULD be cool if everyone would click on just one ad each time they visit. But I'm not going to ask, because that too would probably violate the terms of the agreement.

9:05 PM  
Anonymous smartass sob said...

Just clicked on one of the easy money ads. Wow!!! I can't decide which are the worst scams - the easy money,something for nothing offers - or the religious garbage!!! But hopefully you'll make money off both. ;-)

9:08 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I'm not getting any easy-money ads, SOB. I'm still getting that damned ad about gout.

The Googlebots think my blog readership consists primarily of faith-healing believers with gout. Isn't that spiffy.

9:14 PM  
Anonymous smartass sob said...

I refreshed my page and now I'm getting religious ads again. I clicked on one of your previous posts and got ads about Google Adsense. I think it must have something to do with which ISP you're using and their particular server...or something.

Anyway, we'll buy ya that cup of coffee. ;-)

9:26 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I went into the archives for June, my first month, and found that Britney Spears on eBay ad Moose originally mentioned. As well as an ad for a baseball blog. I'm pretty sure I made no posts about eBay, Britney or baseball that month.

Or ever.

I'm still a long way from a cup of Starbucks coffee, SOB. I can't even afford McDonalds.

Probably just as well, though. Too much coffee might give me gout.

9:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apparently the idea of targeted advertising does and is working though. I'm an unbeliever and yet I was sufficiently intrigued by the no-hell ad to go look at what it was about. But gout?!! Hmmm. Can't figure that one. On the other hand, I didn't click on that one either.

9:45 PM  
Anonymous smartass sob said...

that was supposed to be Smartass SOB...sorry.

9:47 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Now the gout ad has been replaced by "Christ. The hunger for him. And the adoring of him. Everything he can do for Man and Woman."

My most recent posts are (going backward in time) this one, a post discussing the moral implications of buying Chinese products, a hypothetical about my boyfriend suffering from melanoma, a combination holiday greeting and shill for said boyfriend's book, and an incredibly disgusting scatological joke about Bob Barr.

All of which appeal to religious people with gout.

9:54 PM  
Anonymous smartass sob said...

Hmmph! Do you even KNOW any religious people? Do you KNOW any with gout, Miss Smartypants? You must have faith, my child. The Google software has a PLAN. ;-)

10:06 PM  
Anonymous smartass sob said...

You're in the wrong racket, Jennifer. If you want to make some quick easy money, you should be selling a "Christian doctor approved" remedy for high cholesterol like that from faith based Think of it! A thirty day supply of the latest miracle of "nutraceutical" medicine at less than two dollars a day! Google only knows what's in those pills, but it's "all natural" (and probably extremely inexpensive to manufacture.) You could clean up!

On another note: Holy galloping googlebots..."nutraceutical" really is a word! I found it in the online dictionary. And with that I'll wish you a goodnight.

10:59 PM  
Anonymous smartass sob said...

Oops! It's faith instead of "faith based".

11:05 PM  
Blogger rhhardin said...

You sold out to the highest bidder, not the lowest. You're the lowest bidder.

Google doesn't allow you to mention the ads, at least in any context that suggests clicking on them. It makes the ads worth less than they contracted for with their buyers.

12:03 AM  
Anonymous AdSense Tips said...

Welcome to the AdSense family. Remember that slow and steady wins the race - the first $100 will seem like a mountain to climb but never go chasing clicks. I also recommend you avoid mentioning your ads in future posts - it only serves to draw attention to them and Google is very strict about that. Good luck.

3:38 AM  
Anonymous A moose said...

Welcome to the AdSense family.


it only serves to draw attention to them and Google is very strict about that.


Good luck.

Ye gods, Jennifer, what have you done?! Where's Britney? She's gone, replaced by the "10 laws of truth". Let's see, Moose's 10 Laws of Truth:

1) When a blogger shows up who apparantly seriously an advertising type, making posts welcoming you to the family when the general vein of the discussion is trying to figure out why you've got "God at the right price" ads all over, run.
2) When the advertising place doesn't let you talk about their ads, run.
3) Britney Spears with firecrotch definitely beats three pair of religious fanatics every time.

The others don't matter as the first two would have kept your soul attached to your body......

4:45 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I would run, Moose, but it would hurt too much because I just stubbed my toe. Or maybe I've just come down with gout.

If only there were some way I could cure it without resorting to expensive medication. . . .

6:39 AM  
Blogger Anne O'Neimaus said...

@Jennifer: I'm pretty sure I made no posts about eBay, Britney or baseball that month.

Of course, in this post you have now mentioned all three. I think your gout ad is simply because the word "faith" appears in it.

I would gladly set up an ad-clicking
for my Firefox browser, but for some reason I don't seem to get ANY ads at all. I've looked around on your blog - no ads anywhere.

8:46 AM  
Anonymous Jeff P. said...

Now I'm hungry for Christ.

I think I've got a stack of communion wafers around here somewhere.

9:06 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Thanks for the offer, Anne, but I'm pretty sure a clickbot would violate the terms of the agreement. Hell, even mentioning the existence of the ads apparently violates the terms of the agreement.

But you don't see any? That's odd; maybe your Firefox has an ad-blocker. What I see on my right sidebar is the four ads underneath my profile and above my list of links.

Installing the ads into the code for this blog was an enormous pain in the ass, because I couldn't figure out WHERE in the sourcecode to put it. So first the ads appeared 'way down at the bottom of the page, where nobody could see them; then they appeared at the very top, where that's all you could see. . . I ended up having to "republish" the blog something like a dozen times. I'm still not exactly happy with where they're located now, but I figure that's the best I can do.

HTML sucks.

10:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nothing pisses me off more than when a person complains about being broke but says they don't have time for a second job. Why not?

10:45 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Nothing pisses me off more than when a person complains about being broke but says they don't have time for a second job. Why not?

Because the hours I work for my current job vary from week to week.

You know what pisses me off? Cowards who make anonymous criticism because they lack the balls to identify themselves.

10:52 AM  
Blogger Anne O'Neimaus said...

You know what pisses me off? Cowards who make anonymous criticism because they lack the balls to identify themselves.

Canonically, that would apply to approximately half of us, whether we actually identify ourselves or not...

Of course, I'll be the first to admit that my ID isn't much better than "anonymous".

12:33 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Canonically, that would apply to approximately half of us, whether we actually identify ourselves or not...

Strictly speaking, yes. But there's at least a thread of continuity; I can read your comments on this thread and know they were made by the same person who made certain comments on another thread, even though I wouldn't know you from Eve if I saw you on the street.

But some whiny little anonymous "I know jack shit about your schedule but I'll still take offense at your saying you don't have time to take a second job" commenter is another matter.

12:39 PM  
Blogger Anne O'Neimaus said...


I do have AdBlock Plus installed on my copy of Firefox. However, when I examine it's page-specific details, it claims to block "0 out of 12" items on this page - and does not list anything looking remotely like an ad in the list of examined elements.

I also use the NoScript plugin. But I have just enabled scripts for both and (the only sites listed as interested in running scripts), and that has no noticeable effect, either.

Sorry. If I ever figure it out, I'll let you know, so you can provide a FAQ about "how to pay Jennifer back for her time," or somesuch.

12:44 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Well, Anne, don't come crying to me if you're ever afflicted with gout and have no idea how to make God cure it for you.

12:49 PM  
Blogger Anne O'Neimaus said...

I guess I'm just "special", or something. I'm now writing this using a vanilla version of IE 7.0.5730.11 (annoying - no built-in spell-checker). I have no "personal firewall" running here on my work computer, although we do have a (pretty basic) corporate firewall.

Still no ads.

12:55 PM  
Blogger Anne O'Neimaus said...


If I start up an independent virtual machine, running Windows 2000 Workstation (instead of XP), and use an old version of IE 5.00.3700.1000, I can see google ads on your main page.

Since I'm here already, I'll probably click through the one about "Why Jesus Matters", just for grins. However, this is way too much fun for me to make a regular habit of it...

1:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you're not running JavaScript, you won't see the ads.

2:12 PM  
Anonymous a moose said...

I think your gout ad is simply because the word "faith" appears in it.

I'd agree with that.

Sorry you can't run for gouty toes, but perhaps a bike or wheelbarrow would do.

I'm still freaked out about they guy (in the unisex "waitron" kinda usage of the word) who says "Welcome to...". Just has an eerie chill about it that would cause me to write/phone someone and say "I've changed my guys are creepy" or something akin.

I think my hard drive needs to go shower.

8:03 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Yeah, Moose, that is creepy, in an insane sort of way. I can put up ads, but can't mention that I've done so? It's legitimately hilarious that mine of all blogs should have ads designed not merely to appeal to a religious demographic, but a religion-in-lieu-of-sanity demographic. But I guess I shouldn't mention this.

"These are not the droids you are looking for."

I wonder what Google would say if I changed "in praise of gonzo libertarianism" to "visiting blogs without clicking on their ads makes Baby Jesus cry?"

8:11 PM  
Blogger rhhardin said...

I'm sick of being broke

An easy alternative is to be poor. Apply for social benefits.

2:07 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Apply for social benefits.

HELL no. I'll put religious ads on my blog, and I'll hint that it would be nice if everybody would click on an ad or two each time they visit, and I'll buy my clothes at thrift shops and my food at discount grocery stores (all of which I actually do), but I will NOT apply for food stamps or any other form of welfare.

3:49 PM  
Anonymous NoStar said...

Red, I thought I'd help you out. I clicked on the "No Hell" site but I immediately had to back click.

That site violates the "Do not trust anyone who uses an initial in place of a first name followed by a middle name." "L. Ray Smith" is emblazened across the top of that page.

This rule has kept me safe from the likes of L. Ron Hubbard, J. Edgar Hoover, L. Brent Bozzell, G. Gordon Liddy and E. Howard Hunt.

On principle I refuse to read F. Scott Fitzgerald.

7:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Witness the terrible price of unfettered capitalism! Because of the need for cash, you have willingly donned the fetters of God's cure for gout.

(By the way, the BEST cure for gout is a change in diet. Otherwise, you walk around like I did for a while, with a big toe feeling like it was ready to explode.)

I suspect that were I to expose my blog to the wolves of advertising, I would have many of the same ads - considering half of my posts are labeled as atheistic.

And just a comment on this:

"Nothing pisses me off more than when a person complains about being broke but says they don't have time for a second job. Why not?"

I'd love to see a new thread just on that topic. "Nothing pisses me off more than..."

...a person who naturally assumes that your poverty is SOLELY due to your lack of the so-called Protestant Work Ethic. For instance, while I was a stay at home father, I was damn well working, but I sure as hell wasn't getting paid for it. Did I worry about money? Yep. Did I have the time and opportunity to get a job to help out? Sure - if I wanted my daughter to be raised by my version of wolves (two small dogs, in this case).

What cheek!

8:35 AM  
Anonymous Stevo Darkly said...

You know, Jennifer, there has been a fair amount of religious discussion here, including some high-falutin theological conceptin', especially if you include recent comments as well as your actual posts. Maybe the targeting software is picking up on all that.

Assuming that comments are also being sifted for clues to use in targeting ads, what can I say to trigger more ads for products I'd actually be interested in?

And suddenly my mind is filled with random images: girls gone wild girls gone wild girls gone wild battlestar galactica and firefly on DVD boobies boobies naked naked nude nude star trek the original series movie soundtracks movie soundtracks CDs CDs Russell athletic t-shirts omaha steaks delivered to your door laissez faire books dinosaurs lingerie spacepships ... nope, I can't focus, can't think of anything.

10:45 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Stevo, I was thinking of making a similar post solely for the purpose of affecting the Googlebots into creating ads that might appeal to my readers.

Red-hot monkey lust on Battlestar Galactica reminds me of how easy it is to make money at home in my spare time by passing a pre-employment drug test after impeaching the president like I saw on the Sci-Fi Channel.

I'll write more later.

6:13 AM  
Blogger Anne O'Neimaus said...

Obviously, it doesn't matter to me what sort of key-words I might enter. However, one wonders what sort of paid advertisements would be generated by words like:

Abortion, Cloning, Genetic Engineering, Gun Control, Minimum Wage, Constitutional Rights, States Rights, Civil Disobedience, Ku Klux Klan

Unfortunately, I already know what sort of ads we'd get to some other hot-button topics:

Slavery, Child Abuse, Spousal Abuse, Corporal Punishment.


7:26 AM  

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