Watch your ad space (please)

February 22nd, 2006

This is a personal rant. I read a whole bunch of blogs everyday when I get a chance. It is a diversion, an escape and is a means of research. I like actually visiting blogs as opposed to reading them all through my reader. I have noticed an alarming trend that literally bars me from reading these at a public/semi-public location, that of ads with naked people on them and/or large text ads with offensive language.

I understand that ads make money and these ads pay more than others, but I also believe that ads such as these hurt your reader count and might turn people like me away from your blog. I rarely ever visit BoingBoing anymore for just this reason.

What do other readers/bloggers think of potentially offensive ads?




  1. (1 comments.) says:

    I am with you on this one. I do not return to blogs that have offensive pictures or text.

  2. Jim (3 comments.) says:

    Yeah, a lot of those blogs even get removed from my blogroll and feedreader. I just have no interest in even the chance of stumbling across them, so I remove any possibility of doing so.

  3. The Angry Fag (1 comments.) says:

    It should depend really. If the ad network has prior restraint on ads (meaning the blog owner sees and approves the ads before it goes live), then you have cause for complaint.

    However if the ad is from something like Google’s AdSense where the ads are picked via keywords then I think there needs to be some forgiveness. If an ad I find offensive or think my readers might find offensive pops up in my AdSense blocks, I try to filter it out using the options available to me but I still have to see/be told about the ad and it takes about an hour or so for AdSense to filter out the site.

  4. Janio Sarmento (1 comments.) says:

    Sorry, pal, but Google takes all the measures in order not to show adult or offensive ads on publishers’ pages.

    I think “adult” ads always appears under consent. The webmaster knows what’s happening with his pages.

    Just my humble opinion.

  5. CT (1 comments.) says:

    Nothing unreasonable in your stand. Just as newspapers, magazines and other media are cognizant of their audience before running certain content and ads, so too should blogs.

    I’ve run into this myself, while casually browsing blogs in the office. I put it right up there with any other junk that makes surreptious blog-browsing awkward: Popups, autoplay audio/video, etc.

    Blog owners will have to decide for themselves if the ad revenue is worth any decrease in traffic/feedback (or increase, if those ads become magnets for less desirable visitors).

  6. Podz (11 comments.) says:

    The Firefox extension RIP – – is excellent for such stuff, and they even use BoingBoing as an example.

    That said, it’s traffic that such sites watch for, so a reduction in visits will make the point more than blocking maybe.

    (Posted in IE and trying in Firefox fails – possibly due to the Cocomment greasemonkey script ?)

  7. Seth (1 comments.) says:

    I’ve been blogging for a long time and have made a decision to not have advertising on my site at all. I realize I might be able to retain my modest fees for hosting by advertising, but feel that my content (however insignificant it may be) is important enough to ME, that I would rather it stand on its own, as a gift (that sounds more egotistical than I’d like) to the people who are nice enough to make me feel good by reading.

    In the past I’ve published zines and reluctantly moved to publishing digitally and this has given me the ability to enjoy writing, and enjoy the fact that others apparently enjoy my writing at all.

    This said, I do realize that not everyone is in a position where they can do all of their blogging without covering the costs. Those who have advertising must be aware of the impact the advertisers and advertisements have on their readership. Usually one focuses their writings and advertising towards a specific demographic. Though as a reader we may be offended at having found advertising offensive, and maybe let down by the author in unknowingly excluding us due to content, but at the same time it is to be expected.

    The articles may be good, but playboy is still playboy.

  8. Rich (2 comments.) says:

    I agree. If I’m checking out a site that isn’t adult content, I don’t want to see adult content in the ads. When that happens, I don’t go back, ever.

  9. Fonzo (12 comments.) says:

    I agree 100%. And just like you, I purposely do NOT visit certain sites (or many blogs in general) for the exact reason that I never know what I am going to see.

  10. Dana says:

    I haven’t had a problem with offensive language in ads, at least not in most of the blogs I visit.

    What I have been seeing more and more than just drives me up the wall is ads that take up most of the blog.As well as ads strategically placed to make me accidentally click on them when trying to click on a navigational link.I absolutely hate that and never visit any blog that does that again.

    Just last night I came across a blog with so many ads I don’t think he could even be called a blog.

    More bloggers definitely need to control how and what ads are displayed on their site.

  11. Jason (1 comments.) says:

    I visited Boing Boing in IE 6.x and noticed a lot of ads. Then I visited Boing Boing in Firefox with Adblock Filterset G.update and Adblock Plus extensions installed. Most of the ads went away.

  12. Gordy (1 comments.) says:

    Amen! I have 4 children and having ads such as those are a definite turn-off.

  13. billg says:

    After being away from blogging for a couple of years, I’ve decided to jump back in and have been designing a new site. Naturally, the notion of grabbing some ad revenue is appealing. But, I’ve decided not to alter my design just to run ads. I’ve seen too many sites whose ads spoil an otherwise attractive layout.

    That said, if a site’s content — ads or otherwise — offends me, I’m not going back. This defeats the purpose of advertising, and blogging. If you run a blog, you’re reponsibile for all the content on it.

  14. Marty (1 comments.) says:

    I totally agree. In fact, basically, the only pictures I have on my site are those o homeless dogs (who need homes desperately). that’s what is great about : no offensive, in your face advertising or pop-ups.

    I think offensive ads maim the whole purpose of a blog.
    I use OutPost Pro by Agnitum to filter out ads (in addition to firewall) and Firefox w. its many ad blockers too. My experience of the internet is much different from most people. I never see ads unless I want to.

  15. CountZero (1 comments.) says:

    ads don’t bug me anymore since I started using firefox (then phoenix v0.2, when I ran across it) – just because of the adblock extension, which was my main reason to switch from opera to firefox. so it’s none of an interest for me what kind of ads are placed on any website – I won’t recognize them anyways ;)

  16. Johan (2 comments.) says:

    Just found out Boing Boing is blocked from work for me. Recently I’ve only been browsing the extracts via an RSS reader, so I hadn’t noticed. Somehow I do think the ads they show has something to do with it (reason was : Recreational / Nudity)

  17. Matt B. (13 comments.) says:

    I don’t see any ads either as I’m using Firefox with AdBlock Plus. No popups, no ads : paradise ;-)

  18. Ajay D'Souza (39 comments.) says:

    Will agree with you on this one.

    Though I rarely see ads because I either browse with Maxthon or Firefox with Adblock.

  19. Nils (3 comments.) says:

    Firefox Adblock is your friend.

  20. davert says:

    Firefox Adblock is your friend as long as you don’t mind webmasters giving up their sites because they can’t take time off from work any more…

  21. Nils (3 comments.) says:

    @davert: Don’t annoy people with ads and they won’t block them. It’s as simple as that. And people who block them won’t be buying stuff from the ads anyway. Use the carrot, not the stick. Whining about giving up the site isn’t going to improve my opinion of a blogger.

  22. Pande (9 comments.) says:

    I think just adsense or another contextual ads are good for blogs.
    Visual ads are very agressive.

  23. joel (1 comments.) says:

    i agree with you. sites with adds like that turn me off from reading them. if i can’t comfortibly read a website around my family i don’t get on them. replace the adult ads with ads for dog food, new cars, music or foods and you’ve got me back as a reader. *smile*

  24. Carsten (1 comments.) says:

    “Less desirable visitors”?

    Okay, BoingBoing has been mentioned as an example and the only ad showing any skin aside from the face (I hope you dont consider faces offensive) are the SG-ads (which arent even shown at the moment). Even these dont really show anything which could be considered offensive – at least nothing you wouldnt see on the streets, in the park and on the beach all the time. So, what is wrong about people visiting such pages? Why are they “less desirable”? Are they filthy? Not pure enough for you?

  25. Eva (3 comments.) says:

    I agree, and I guess I don’t understand why people put ads up for revenue on personal blogs anyway. I see it all the time, and it puts me off, regardless of the ad content.


  1. Watch your ad space (please)

    [^]Mark from Weblog Tools Collection wrote a good article about cleaning up the blogging act. To many blog sites are littered by ads with nudity and or vulgar language.
    I also must say i much agree with Mark and also find it a real insult to me when i …

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