Hurricane's Hints

Everything you always wanted to know about Web Design, PhotoShop and Flash .... but refused to buy the book! A collection of helpful hints, tips and tricks for creating stunning computer graphics and keeping your computer running smooth.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Should you have ads on your website?

Does Adsense Make Sense?

I know lots of people are making a pretty good buck using adsense (or at least Google is making a good buck), but personally, I'm not particularly fond of sites with ads on them.

One of the things that bothers me the most is the fact that adsense ads rotate. The same ad will not appear on the same page every time, and you have to be damn sure that the ads that do appear are not a conflict of interest, or direct competition to your business. I'm certainly not an expert on this, but I'm told you can select which ads will not appear on your site. Will Google notify you when they sign up a new client to make sure it's ok to appear on your site? Or is it your responsibility to monitor and cross off sites when/if you happen to see them? I don't really know for sure.

That is not to say that you can't sell static ads to hand picked advertisers (with products or resources you endorse) on your own. Lots of sites have a few hand picked ads with a link that says "advertise on this site". The link goes to a page where they are given information, prices, reciprocal link agreements, etc...

This is one way to generate a small amount of income, and still be able to control the quality and content of the ads that appear on your site. Sure, it's a bit more work, but I'd sleep better at night knowing that I'm not promoting a product or site that I don't approve of. Unless of course you don't care about that sort of thing.

I recently had a client who had their mind set on running ads on their new website with the idea that they were going to rake in the cash. My advice to them was this:

Go to Google, search for a topic and click on a few of the results until you come across a site with ads, and ask yourself, do I want my site to be like this? Then check the reputation of the site your looking at. Are they a quality site, or are they just a vehicle to get people to click on ads?

There is a free download called the Google Toolbar which measures the "Page Rank" of the site you are viewing. On a scale of one to ten, with one being low and 10 being high. This page rank is based on the age of the site, link popularity and content quality and lots of other things, but it can be a good indicator of a sites reputation and/or quality. Some say never link to a site with a Page Rank less than 4. Some also say that Google page rank can be swayed by sites that promote Google with adsense ads or other forms of compensation, but there has never been any solid proof of this.

You can download the Google toolbar here:

PS - Page Rank is one of the Advanced options of the Google toolbar that must be turned on. It is not active by default.

I hope you find this info helpful.

Hurricane Bob

Visit the Hurricane Graphics website for more information on custom web design and search engine optimization and promotion.