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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.
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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tavalon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-30-08 11:42 AM
Response to Original message
1. I think it's time to up the ante to 1500 donations each quarter
With all of the nifty little extra things you guys do for us, it really shouldn't be that much of a stretch to do that.
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meegbear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-30-08 11:43 AM
Response to Original message
2. Kick
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Richard Steele Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-30-08 11:43 AM
Response to Original message
3. Good luck with this- Here's hoping the $$$ start increasing again!
:toast:
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NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-30-08 11:43 AM
Response to Original message
4. 50% is quite a hit
do what you need to do and in a few months I'll see if I can't up my monthly subscription a bit too

I should be able to do so this summer
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Skinner ADMIN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-30-08 11:50 AM
Response to Reply #4
9. Our hope is that you won't have to.
We appreciate the sentiment. But at this point we do not think it will be necessary for our members to donate any more than you already do.
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lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-30-08 11:44 AM
Response to Original message
5. DU joining the ranks of the rest of the downtrodden in this bushitler economy.
K & R
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lpbk2713 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-30-08 11:45 AM
Response to Original message
6. AFAIC ...



Do what you Admins think is necessary to keep DU available to us.

You guys do a great job. If anyone doesn't think so all they have

to do is just take a brief trip to some of the RW sites.


:thumbsup: :hi: :thumbsup:




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asthmaticeog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-30-08 11:49 AM
Response to Original message
7. Right on, whatever you have to do.
For my part, as a donor, I don't mind seeing ads, and I won't turn them off. If you make these new ads visible to donors you'll hear nary a peep from me, I want you to have more money than I can afford to spare you out of my pocket.
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HERVEPA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-30-08 11:50 AM
Response to Original message
8. Skinner: I assume it would be helpful if those of us with stars would allow the ads?
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Skinner ADMIN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-30-08 11:53 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. Yes, it is moderately helpful.
But if any donor wants to hide the ads, we encourage you to do so. Donors are already doing more than enough to help the site. You are welcome to turn off the ads if you want to.
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yodermon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-30-08 12:14 PM
Response to Original message
11. Have you thought about other ad networks?
or CPA-style sites? like azoogleads.com, neverblueads.com? Then you get go choose exactly which offers are displayed instead of fighting with google when an Ann Coulter book gets advertised ;) Plus their payouts are higher. There's also the Yahoo Publisher Network, which is Yahoo's version of adsense (context-sensitive ads).

This is totally at your discretion, but if you decide to pursue azoogle or neverblue (there are actually many others as I'm sure you well know), signing up via these links gives me a small commission:
https://www.azoogleads.com/corp/publishers/apply.php?i=...
http://www.neverblueads.com/signup?ref=aff_24975
one more: "rocket profit" https://www.rocketprofit.com/signup.html?referid=4054

let me know if posting these links is inappropriate.
-Tony
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Skinner ADMIN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-30-08 12:20 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. We have considered it.
At this point, we are leaving all of our options open.
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niyad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-30-08 02:00 PM
Response to Original message
13. I clicked on hypocricy.com and it froze on that site and I had to shut down and reboot.
that definitely needs to be looked into.
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Auggie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-30-08 02:02 PM
Response to Original message
14. Here's a kick
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lost-in-nj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-30-08 03:36 PM
Response to Original message
15. kicking for Skinner
:kick:


lost

and a rec
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hisownpetard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-30-08 04:26 PM
Response to Original message
16. K&R.
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Tresalisa Donating Member (537 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-30-08 06:10 PM
Response to Original message
17. Keeking and recomeending
:kick: (or maybe I should say recomeending and keeking...)
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DemoTex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-30-08 07:23 PM
Response to Original message
18. I hate 'em. Bad placement. Very distracting.
I check in "un-logged" several times a day. And I dread the sound of that "for the moment" caveat. Come on guys, this is way, way over the line. It sux.

Mac
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Subdivisions Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-30-08 09:30 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. Put your money where you mind is and ante up. n/t
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Subdivisions Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-30-08 09:41 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. Hi Skinner. I am also a website administrator and I completely
understand your dilemma and am willing to go along with whatever the you guys decide to do.

I think you should add a paragraph in yuur OP instructing everyone to refrain from trying to help you out by purposely clicking those Google ads to run up the click count, as per Adsense TOS. It is probably already being done by some well-meaning members but they should know that doing so could get you suspended.

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Theres-a Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-30-08 09:24 PM
Response to Original message
19. Kick
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wakemeupwhenitsover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-31-08 12:00 PM
Response to Original message
22. Kick.
:kick:
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rucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-31-08 12:10 PM
Response to Original message
23. Have you looked at this?....
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Skinner ADMIN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-31-08 01:14 PM
Response to Reply #23
26. I had not seen that before.
Thanks. Looks interesting.
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Hutzpa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-31-08 12:10 PM
Response to Original message
24. If they are so desperate
to get us into clicking then thats what we should do,

how about we a make a pledge to click on those ads

every time we visit a thread, that should make them

happy, but then again we don't want to fall into a

position where they can negotiate us into a corner,

thats not what DU is about.

Thats whats wrong with these corporation, with them

its all about $$$$$$.

What the heck, if it makes them happy, click...click

click is what I'm go at.
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Skinner ADMIN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-31-08 01:17 PM
Response to Reply #24
27. NO! DON'T DO THAT!
We could get kicked out of the program if people are just clicking for the sake of clicking. I was afraid to even post this discussion thread because I was concerned that Google would interpret it as "drawing attention to the ads," which is an offense that can get us kicked out. But we felt is was important for all of you to understand why we are increasing the number of ads on the site.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, DO NOT CLICK THE ADS JUST TO CLICK THEM.
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Midlodemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-31-08 12:42 PM
Response to Original message
25. Skinner, I have not disabled the google ads, yet I still can't see them.
Any idea why? :shrug:
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Skinner ADMIN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-31-08 01:17 PM
Response to Reply #25
28. You can't see *any* of the Google ads?
Or you can't see the new ads?
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Midlodemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-31-08 02:04 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. I can't see any ads at all. And, I never disabled them.
:shrug:

They didn't bother me enough, I guess and sometimes there was something of interest to me.
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Skinner ADMIN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-31-08 02:29 PM
Response to Reply #29
30. Did you, perhaps, set your preferences to hide Primary threads?
At any point?

If so, I had a similar problem. Go to your preferences page and see if your setting for "hide google ads" has changed.
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Midlodemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-31-08 02:40 PM
Response to Reply #30
31. I haven't set my preferences to hide anything at all.
And, this has been going on before you divided GD and GD-P into General Discussion and General Discussion :Primaries.

It's so weird.
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Skinner ADMIN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-31-08 04:16 PM
Response to Reply #31
32. Did you check your preferences?
They might have changed.
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Midlodemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 06:19 AM
Response to Reply #32
36. Yes, and no, they haven't. I have it set to display the ads.
It's weird, I know. I can't figure it out. :shrug:
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OPERATIONMINDCRIME Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 06:25 AM
Response to Reply #36
37. Do You Have Firefox With The NoScript Plugin?
That's the only other thing I can think of.
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Midlodemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 06:27 AM
Response to Reply #37
38. Nope. Running IE 7 currently.
Isn't it bizarre? :shrug:

I never turned the ads off because they didn't bother me and there were some things I found interesting so I clicked.

How are you, my friend? :hi:
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Skinner ADMIN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 06:42 AM
Response to Reply #38
40. I'm asking Elad to investigate.
If this is happening to a lot of people, we'll want to fix it.
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Midlodemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 07:51 AM
Response to Reply #40
41. Thanks! I appreciate it. I honestly don't mind the ads at all.
Edited on Fri Feb-01-08 07:52 AM by Midlodemocrat
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astral Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-31-08 11:25 PM
Response to Original message
33. My problem with ads is the movement
Ads that don't move don't bother me at all, and I will frequently click on something interesting. Ads that move drive me crazy and I will find a way to remove it from my line of vision before even reading a site, if I can't, I leave, because I really can't read a website with moving stuff going on in front of me, it feels like somebody is in my face screaming at my eyes.

I do most of my reading without logging in and have been an inconsistent donor. I understand your dilemma, though, but I am this way about every website, I can't help it.

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allalone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-31-08 11:33 PM
Response to Original message
34. when they magically appeared, you
had me thinking mt laptop was going south.
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Der Blaue Engel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 01:20 AM
Response to Original message
35. I logged off to take a look and ran smack into a large ad for a Republican senate campaign
in the body of someone's post.

1) Is there no way to prevent Republican campaign ads from showing up on DU?

2) An ad right in the middle of the post looks mighty strange, as if the person posting has added it themselves.

I understand the importance of ad revenue, but I don't think either of the above (content and placement) are positives for DU.

:shrug:
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Skinner ADMIN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-01-08 06:40 AM
Response to Reply #35
39. No, it's not completely positive. Situations like this require unfortunate trade-offs sometimes.
1) We cannot pre-screen or pre-filter any of the Google AdSense ads. We are able to block them after-the-fact if we are aware of them. We used to be very liberal about blocking ads, but now that our revenue has plummeted I wondering if we should consider letting a lot more of them stay. We definitely want to remove bigoted and offensive ads. But I wonder if permitting ads for Republicans is not such a bad thing. They waste their resources advertising on a website where they aren't going to pick up any supporters, and they help pay to keep DU online. Seems like a win-win.

2) We share your concern about how ads inside the OP might appear to be added by the poster. That is why we added a little text label indicating that it is an ad. Still, I think this isn't likely to be a big problem, because when people see the ads appearing in everyone's threads, they will figure out that they are, in fact, ads. (To be fair, the ad isn't in the middle -- it's off to the right side.)
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RedEarth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-04-08 04:08 PM
Response to Original message
42. Skinner, the ads seems to be popping up in ramdom posts through out DU
Edited on Mon Feb-04-08 04:13 PM by RedEarth
...is that a bug in the system...or is that what's suppose to happen? ....... BTW...I'm logged in. Thanks
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Fredda Weinberg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-04-08 04:12 PM
Response to Reply #42
43. Just saw one while logged in n/t
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OKNancy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-04-08 04:18 PM
Response to Reply #43
44. I'm logged in and I'm getting ads
on the upper right of the opening post in the thread.
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RedEarth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-04-08 04:20 PM
Response to Reply #43
47. I'm logged on as well....
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Sapphocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-04-08 04:18 PM
Response to Original message
45. They appear when I *am* logged in.
Donor here, with ads turned off. Just double-checked my profile.
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Solon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-04-08 04:19 PM
Response to Original message
46. I'm another one who sees the ads while logged in. n/t
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rocktivity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-05-08 06:38 PM
Response to Original message
48. I've logged out, looked at ads, and logged in again.
I think the ads should be switched--the smaller ads on top and larger ones on the bottom. The larger ad on top competes with the square one too much.

:headbang:
rocknation
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