A few weeks back I wondered if I was evil for adding Google AdSense ads to Flowers for Al and Don. Well, I had no cause for concern. Despite that page receiving 4,838 views since November 5, there’s been one click. Worth three cents. Yes, my evilness has netted me three cents (American, so that’s 3.53283 cents Canadian).
What’s the problem? Here’s my theory. Google AdSense evaluates your page’s content, and then displays the ads most appropriate to that page. For example, this entry about Rolling Stone magazine (that also mentions the band) has ads offering the band’s music. I assumed that Google would check out the Flowers page and display, you know, ads for flower companies. Instead, it’s offering ads for AIDS charities and donating your car. These are noble causes, but nobody is hitting that page searching for noble causes. They’re looking for flowers.
Clearly Google isn’t sending people to this page–it must be other search engines. Other search engines have concluded, rightfully, that this is a page about flowers. Google thinks it’s a page about charities. Technically, it’s a page about both things (though you’d think ‘flowers’ in the URL, in most of the linkage and 57 occurrences of the word on the page might tip the scales) I doubt that Google has an appeal process for this sort of thing–it would be untenably gameable (not a word, but it should be). At this rate, I’ll be sending Lambda Legal their cut of my AdSense revenue sometime in 2783.