As both a publisher and a reader of blogs, I don’t like AdSense. As a reader, I find that the ads look too much like the content and I have to scan pages until I find what I really want to read, and what I really want to ignore (the AdSense!). People trying to make money off their blogs put AdSense ads everywhere – above posts, under posts, in posts, on sidebars, in headers, footers, and anywhere else they can stick them. They’re just intrusive and annoying. But I guess like spam, enough people click on them to make sure that bloggers still use them on their sites.
Besides the clutter, I think that AdSense ads are just plain ugly. I don’t care if you’ve customized the border and background to match the color scheme of your site; they are still ugly. I’ve come across blogs with appealing designs, but you can barely see the design for the AdSense!
This blog is my first attempt at adding AdSense to a site. While the process is pretty straightforward, I have to say that I think the ads are an eyesore. The only ad that I think is pretty is the one for Firefox with Google Toolbar. I put that one because even though it probably has less of a chance of making me any money, at least it looks nice.
I don’t mind ads per say, as long as they are non-intrusive and attractive. For example, Tech Crunch has all these pretty square ads at the top-left of the page. They actually even have Google AdSense, but they’ve kept it to a minimum and have placed it in a non-intrusive, ad-appropriate place.
For now I’m leaving the ads on this site because I’m curious to see if they’re worth anything. But if they don’t perform, or Google doesn’t introduce anything prettier, they’ll probably come down. My primarily goal with blogging is not necessarily to make money directly off my site (although that would be nice); it’s more to make connections with the other amazing bloggers out there, and to hopefully give something back to the web so that I can help others, just as I’ve been helped by the web.