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Skinner ADMIN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-30-08 11:38 AM
Original message
We are testing some new ad placements. For the moment, they only appear when you are not logged in.
Advertisements [?]
Edited on Wed Jan-30-08 11:39 AM by Skinner
If you are a lurker or someone who reads DU without logging in to an account, you undoubtedly noticed that there are a few more ads on the site today. In fact, you should be seeing one in this very thread, on the right side of your screen. For reasons entirely out of our control, our advertising revenue has dropped significantly in the last three months, and we reluctantly decided that we need to make some changes in order to make up some of the shortfall. So we are testing some new ad placements to see how they perform. Allow me to explain.

Why our advertising revenue has declined

We have run two types of advertisements on this website for the last two years: BlogAds (the vertical column of ads appearing on our homepage, the Latest Threads page, and selected other pages), and Google AdSense (the more traditional banner ads, squares, and skyscrapers that appear on most of our pages). As our site has grown and our traffic and bandwidth have increased, these advertisements have provided us with much-needed additional revenue so we can continue upgrading and improving the site -- without asking our members to pay more.

In the middle of November of last year, Google AdSense made an important change to their advertisements which has dramatically decreased the revenue we -- and other publishers -- receive from their ads. If our ad representative at Google is being truthful, this change has also decreased the revenue that Google receives from their ads. Here is what they did: They drastically decreased the clickable area on their text ads. This change only affected the text ads (the little blue links with black text and a little green web address), not the graphical ads. The reason for the change is a legitimate one: They want to make sure that everyone who clicks on these ads actually intends to do so. With the formerly large clickable area -- the entire area of the ad -- some of the clicks were likely unintentional. Now that these ads have a new smaller clickable area, consisting only of the little blue link and the little green web address below it, the number of clicks on the ads has decreased significantly. And fewer clicks means less revenue. Our monthly revenue from Google AdSense has decreased by more than 50%.

What we are doing

In order to make up some of the shortfall in advertising revenue, we need to make some changes to our Google AdSense ads to improve the number of clicks they receive. In practice, that means three things: 1) We need more prominent ad placements on our pages; 2) we need to improve their relevance to our site, and 3) we probably need to increase the total number of ads. Our goal is to make the ads more prominent and relevant, without cheapening the appearance of our website and/or annoying our visitors. We believe it is possible to find a middle ground which most of our visitors will find acceptable.

Admittedly, we are not experts at this, so finding the optimal placements for our advertisements is going to take some experimentation. We are going to try a number of different ad placements over the next month or so in order to track their performance and learn what works. During this time, we want to minimize the annoyance to our visitors as much as possible. While we are experimenting, these new experimental ad placements are not going to appear on the screen for those of you who are logged in to your DU accounts. But if you are logged out, you will see them.

When the experimentation process is complete and we have found the optimal ad placements, we will decide whether we need to serve these new ads to those of you who are logged in to your DU accounts. As always, if you are a DU donor, you will continue to have the option to turn off Google AdSense advertisements. (To do so, just click the "Options" icon at the top of any page, then click "Edit your preferences." Look for the words "Display Google ads?" Select "no," then click the "Update" button to save the changes.)

Thank you for your patience as we work to maintain and improve this community.

David Allen ("Skinner")
Dave Allsopp ("EarlG")
Brian Leitner ("Elad")
Democratic Underground Administrators

Please kick and recommend this thread, as needed, so more DUers can see it. Thank you.
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  -We are testing some new ad placements. For the moment, they only appear when you are not logged in. Skinner  Jan-30-08 11:38 AM   #0 
  - I think it's time to up the ante to 1500 donations each quarter  tavalon   Jan-30-08 11:42 AM   #1 
  - Kick  meegbear   Jan-30-08 11:43 AM   #2 
  - Good luck with this- Here's hoping the $$$ start increasing again!  dicksteele   Jan-30-08 11:43 AM   #3 
  - 50% is quite a hit  AZDemDist6   Jan-30-08 11:43 AM   #4 
  - Our hope is that you won't have to.  Skinner   Jan-30-08 11:50 AM   #9 
  - DU joining the ranks of the rest of the downtrodden in this bushitler economy.  lonestarnot   Jan-30-08 11:44 AM   #5 
  - AFAIC ...  lpbk2713   Jan-30-08 11:45 AM   #6 
  - Right on, whatever you have to do.  asthmaticeog   Jan-30-08 11:49 AM   #7 
  - Skinner: I assume it would be helpful if those of us with stars would allow the ads?  HERVEPA   Jan-30-08 11:50 AM   #8 
  - Yes, it is moderately helpful.  Skinner   Jan-30-08 11:53 AM   #10 
  - Have you thought about other ad networks?  yodermon   Jan-30-08 12:14 PM   #11 
  - We have considered it.  Skinner   Jan-30-08 12:20 PM   #12 
  - I clicked on and it froze on that site and I had to shut down and reboot.  niyad   Jan-30-08 02:00 PM   #13 
  - Here's a kick  Winebrat   Jan-30-08 02:02 PM   #14 
  - kicking for Skinner  lost-in-nj   Jan-30-08 03:36 PM   #15 
  - K&R.  hisownpetard   Jan-30-08 04:26 PM   #16 
  - Keeking and recomeending  Tresalisa   Jan-30-08 06:10 PM   #17 
  - I hate 'em. Bad placement. Very distracting.  DemoTex   Jan-30-08 07:23 PM   #18 
  - Put your money where you mind is and ante up. n/t  Texas Explorer   Jan-30-08 09:30 PM   #20 
     - Hi Skinner. I am also a website administrator and I completely  Texas Explorer   Jan-30-08 09:41 PM   #21 
  - Kick  there-s a   Jan-30-08 09:24 PM   #19 
  - Kick.  wakemeupwhenitsover   Jan-31-08 12:00 PM   #22 
  - Have you looked at this?....  rucky   Jan-31-08 12:10 PM   #23 
  - I had not seen that before.  Skinner   Jan-31-08 01:14 PM   #26 
  - If they are so desperate  spokane   Jan-31-08 12:10 PM   #24 
  - NO! DON'T DO THAT!  Skinner   Jan-31-08 01:17 PM   #27 
  - Skinner, I have not disabled the google ads, yet I still can't see them.  Midlodemocrat   Jan-31-08 12:42 PM   #25 
  - You can't see *any* of the Google ads?  Skinner   Jan-31-08 01:17 PM   #28 
     - I can't see any ads at all. And, I never disabled them.  Midlodemocrat   Jan-31-08 02:04 PM   #29 
        - Did you, perhaps, set your preferences to hide Primary threads?  Skinner   Jan-31-08 02:29 PM   #30 
           - I haven't set my preferences to hide anything at all.  Midlodemocrat   Jan-31-08 02:40 PM   #31 
              - Did you check your preferences?  Skinner   Jan-31-08 04:16 PM   #32 
                 - Yes, and no, they haven't. I have it set to display the ads.  Midlodemocrat   Feb-01-08 06:19 AM   #36 
                    - Do You Have Firefox With The NoScript Plugin?  OPERATIONMINDCRIME   Feb-01-08 06:25 AM   #37 
                       - Nope. Running IE 7 currently.  Midlodemocrat   Feb-01-08 06:27 AM   #38 
                          - I'm asking Elad to investigate.  Skinner   Feb-01-08 06:42 AM   #40 
                             - Thanks! I appreciate it. I honestly don't mind the ads at all.  Midlodemocrat   Feb-01-08 07:51 AM   #41 
  - My problem with ads is the movement  astral   Jan-31-08 11:25 PM   #33 
  - when they magically appeared, you  allalone   Jan-31-08 11:33 PM   #34 
  - I logged off to take a look and ran smack into a large ad for a Republican senate campaign  Der Blaue Engel   Feb-01-08 01:20 AM   #35 
  - No, it's not completely positive. Situations like this require unfortunate trade-offs sometimes.  Skinner   Feb-01-08 06:40 AM   #39 
  - Skinner, the ads seems to be popping up in ramdom posts through out DU  RedEarth   Feb-04-08 04:08 PM   #42 
  - Just saw one while logged in n/t  Fredda Weinberg   Feb-04-08 04:12 PM   #43 
     - I'm logged in and I'm getting ads  OKNancy   Feb-04-08 04:18 PM   #44 
     - I'm logged on as well....  RedEarth   Feb-04-08 04:20 PM   #47 
  - They appear when I *am* logged in.  Sapphocrat   Feb-04-08 04:18 PM   #45 
  - I'm another one who sees the ads while logged in. n/t  Solon   Feb-04-08 04:19 PM   #46 
  - I've logged out, looked at ads, and logged in again.  rocknation   Feb-05-08 06:38 PM   #48 

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