First Things First:
As of 2 July, 2021, this change has been implemented.
Note to Apple News users: This change will not impact you. It is for the web version only.
First off, this is not a decision that was made quickly. Furthermore, this is a test, and I’m not about to start throwing ADs all over the site. While the site has had affiliate links for a while now, specifically for Powell’s Book and Neowing Corporation d/b/a CD Japan, both of whom I personally trust through years of doing business with them, this test will be bringing Google AdSense to the blog for the first time. This will be the first time I will not be entirely controlling what you see. This will also be the first time outside of YouTube that my commission will be actual cash; my agreements with Powell’s and CD Japan are for store credit instead. Since I actually shop with them, that option made more sense.
Where You Will See Ads:
That said, I will not being using Google’s auto ads feature. This test is being limited to an extremely small subset of posts that have been doing very well historically with external traffic. You will see ads after the main content of the post, right before recommended/related posts.
So why Google AdSense and why now?
The first part is easy to answer: I’ve already had an account with them for year though the YouTube Partner Program. As a result, it made more sense to stick with a platform I already use rather than try to onboard a new one. As for why now, the blog has been doing explosively well lately. This year is on track to be the blog’s best performing year – by far. That said, while I have “unlimited” hosting, it is hosting that is not cheap and it’s hosting that actually went up this year. While I’m happy to continue paying for it and the price increase is fair given the value adds that have been implemented in the last few years, it would be nice to offset some of that cost.
So how long will this run?
This test I am currently expecting to run for one month.
If I start seeing the blog get impacted negatively instead, I will pull them sooner.
If I see ads being served up that are spammy or I otherwise don’t think are a good image, I will pull them sooner.
If I end up not seeing any value in them, I will pull them sooner.
If I see a better option from Powell’s or CD Japan, I will replace them.
How This Will Affect You:
Since Google tracks you across sites you visit, you will be served ads reflective of your browsing history and search history with Google. I do not see any of your history. Unlike the affiliate ads I run from Powell’s and CD Japan, these will not be static, unchanging ads, but they should be text-only or text with a small image.
What You Can Do:
1. I’ll start with the easy one: install an AD blocker. It’s OK, I have one too.
2. If you have a Google Account, you have some control over the ads you see.
3. If you are a resident of California, you have the legal right under CCPA to opt out of your data being collected.
At the bottom of the page, click Do Not Sell My Personal Information.
Click Opt Out. Note: “we” refers to Google, not me. I do not collect any of your personal information.
4. If you reside in the European Union, you have a legal right under GDPR to mange your data.
You will be automatically served a GDPR compliance prompt by Google.