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I’m running Google AdSense on this website to help me get a few cents for the hosting bill (it’s literally cents, not millions of dollars, like some of you apparently think).  Google now in compliance with EU Cookie Law requires publishers to have the cookie warning.

Please ensure that you comply with this policy as soon as possible, and not later than 30th September 2015.

If your site or app does not have a compliant consent mechanism, you should implement one now. To make this process easier for you, we have compiled some helpful resources at

Usually, I don’t care about these things, or avoid them all together.  But since we are facing similar issues at work, I decided to run with it and see how it works and if it has any affect at all.

Gladly, I didn’t have to do any work at all.  The good folks have already implemented the Cookie Law Info plugin for WordPress, so that’s what I have now.  You have the choice to either accept the cookies, or leave the site.  I’m not going to fish out each cookie one by one and explain what it does.  Nobody cares. And if you do, you are probably here by mistake anyway.

Ad fail : Ukrainian beauties

Maybe it was the 3am, maybe I’ve been watching comedy videos for too long, or maybe it’s genuinely funny – I’ll never know for sure.  But it made me smile.  While watching Andi Oslo stand-up comedy improvisation, I saw this ad popped up:

ukrainian beauties

Blocking ads on your favorite sites

Jason Kottke links to a post in Ars Technica with an argument that people shouldn’t use ad blocking browser plugins when visiting their favorite sites.  The argument is as old as ad blocking browser plugins.  And I most often here exactly that side of the story – the site that you love depends on the advertising and by blocking it, you’re effectively closing its oxygen supply.

I don’t disagree, but I find this point of view too narrow.  I think advertising should work for both the site and the visitor.  If we are asking a visitor to take a responsibility, we should also ask the the site owner to do the same.  Because the truth of the matter is that most sites out there are overloaded with advertising.  Most advertising out there is irrelevant. And on top of that, most advertising out there is annoying.  I think if site owners were spending more time selecting an appropriate and relevant advertising, their visitors wouldn’t spend as much time blocking it.

Consider the practical side of this.  From all the people I know who browse the web, everyone (and I do mean everyone) is browsing through a whole lot of web sites.  It’s not one web site, not two, not ten.  It’s hundreds and thousands.  If you look at all those web sites collectively (no matter who the person is), you’ll agree that the majority of those web sites have too much of advertising, which is too annoying, and too irrelevant.  And from the point of view of the site owner, it’s often much harder to fix than it looks.

First of all, most site owners don’t have advertisers standing in queue. So the choice is quite limited.  You get what you get most of the times.  Secondly, there are tools like Google AdSense which help site owners show ads which more relevant.  But with that being completely automated there is just so much control over the results. Most of the times you don’t get to pick the company or ad content.  Thirdly, the fact that not everyone not everywhere is on the web has something to do with ads relevancy.  For example, I live in a small country of Cyprus in the middle of nowhere.  There are probably a total of 40-50 companies here which advertise on Google.  None of those companies have anything that I am interested in.  But because there isn’t much choice, I’ll be shown these ads anywhere I go (every site that uses Google AdSense).

Even being a site owner myself, running Google AdSense block, I am still a supporter of ad blocking browser plugins.  I think the end-user should have a choice. And not only have it, but exercise that choice too.  If someone is getting annoyed by a huge ad block in the top right corner of this site, please, by all means, feel free to block it.  You don’t see it, you don’t click it, you don’t care about it – you just improve my click-through rate.  That’s the parameter I worry about.  I’d rather have 10 people see the ad and 10 people click on it, than have 10,000 people see the ad and nobody click on it.

Waiting for an online advertising revolution

Quoting Stan Schroeder of Mashable:

The thing is, AdSense is just too easy to abuse. Click an ad, and there goes a couple of dollars. Turn it into a meme or a viral joke and thousands go down the drain, together with the entire idea of click-based ads.

I agree,  the system is easy to abuse and it is getting abused a lot.  But it still works.  It helps a lot of people make a lot of money. And until it is so, it won’t go or even change much.

Now the question is – what are the alternatives?