Testing Google Smartads

Brian G Turner

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#1
Just to let you know that Google Adsense emailed me about the release of Smartads - apparently Google will figure out where to place ads on the site, rather than me, and I figured I may as well try it.

So, just a heads up that you may some some adverts tested on chrons. However, please do give feedback if you find them intrusive or otherwise annoying.

This is just intended as a test run, so if it looks like a problem I'll be happy to stop it. :)

EDIT: If you're having problems with the ads please select the new "SFFchronicles - ad free theme", as mentioned here: Testing Google Smartads :)
 
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The Judge

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#2
Well, so far I've got a selection of books in the reading thread, an advert about optimising ads here, a publisher-seeks-author ad in Book Search, but oddly nothing at all in nixie's arthritis thread!

EDIT: and accident lawyers in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy thread! They clearly missed the chance to sell towels to us!
 

Brian G Turner

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#3
I've seen ads come up a few times, but they're just normal ads in the normal ad space that would normally be allocated in the forums. I've yet to see anything that looks smart - or different - to if I manually applied them.
 

Hugh

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#4
Ah! This explains the ads! I'd assumed I'd picked up one of those pesky advert inserting bugs.

So far the only one I remember is "car accident claim lawyer" between the headings and the posts.

Edit: and now "Great Meetings, Better Connections".

Edit (2): they seem to disable the watch/unwatch facility at the top of the thread on the right hand side.
 
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Abernovo

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#5
Brian, they are placing them so that they cover some of the links (please see below). When the links are visible, but the ads are not, the navigation links are not responding. Almost as if the ads are still there, in the invisible background, but overriding other components of the site.

Most funny ad I've seen is for something to stop ads! I feel like I should put in an Alanis Morissette gif here. :p

upload_2018-2-27_21-32-1.png
 

The Judge

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#6
Ah- ha! It's not just me!

I've just been in the Staff Room whingeing that I can't use the navigation buttons nor start new threads. Are you using the SFFCHRONICLES skin, Aber?
 

Abernovo

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#7
No, it's not just you, yer 'onour.

Yes, I'm using the SFFCHRONICLES skin. Tried the other ones, but the default skin works best for me.
 

HoopyFrood

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#10
Ooh hello, was just browsing this thread and a big banner popped down over the top portion of my screen (I'm on my mobile) offering home STI kits! I'd seen the other kinds of static ads around the site since last night (in fact there's two of those on this page now, too, at the top and bottom), but that's the first time I've seen that type.

EDIT: ah, OK, and now a third type, and while I'm fine with the other two, this one is far more annoying. A couple of times now I've had the full screen type of ad pop up, where you have to click the x to get rid of it and carry on browsing. Not such a fan of that one.
 

Hugh

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#11
I’ve got the STI ad as well. I can only assume that the google ad algorhythm thinks it’s a good match with Chrons.
 

Toby Frost

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#12
I don't mind adverts being there, but like other posters I'm finding that they are making the site more difficult to navigate, as they block the links to different areas. Also, when the links do appear (ie aren't covered by adverts), clicking on them has no effect.
 
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tinkerdan

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#13
It's that way on all my computers and browsers.
Is it possible to bump the position of everything to make room for the banner.
My suggestion would be to insert a banner the same size as the banner and either their banner will show when the adds are working or your mock-up banner will show up.

Or you could just do a blank space the size of the ads.

Apparently Smart Ads means they target the user and that seems to be working.
I just saw an add for the company I work for--we do pay quite a bit for ad space and I would have reason to be looking into those ads now and then and I've noticed that almost every website I come across those are there.

The problem with this is that I don't need them and I bet the potential customers that do are not getting them as much as I am.

I've discussed this a number of times with the man paying for the ads and he so far has been unresponsive though I think I'm chinking away at the armor. Google really either needs to start charging less or they need to find a better way to annoy people.

So far the results of thousands of potential clicks yields about 50 if were lucky and those lead to about 3 people a week who ask for more information and zero who become customers within a six month period. There have been some odd few that have come back a year later for purchases, those often are hard to identify depending on whether the initial person inquiring passes it on to someone else.

We pay around 3 dollars per click on one campaign
2 dollars on another.
and 1 dollar on another.
Usually as much as 1,200 per month.
It would be interesting to know how much websites like your get for those clicks.
 
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Montero

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#14
The ad at the bottom of the screen is fine by me - banner underneath where I am typing this and before the "similar threads" bit.
The one in the right hand column under the forums stuff also not a problem.
But both of these OK largely because I barely see them. :)
The one across the top clips the tops off the book covers in the 99p ad, and yes does cover the odd navigation bit. However on the plus side, thanks to that ad I have just downloaded a free audible short story by Ben Aaronvitch - so feeling fairly positive about the content.

In terms of content I did have a set of audible books, all in genre plus one on how to write. Then it swapped to more on how to write.
Then a New Space Opera SF Book series Stellar Flash. Again faintly curious about that.
Currently the top banner is really excited about end to end automated software testing. Hhm. OK, I used to do unautomated software testing. Quite a lot of years ago. I think Google missed with that one.

I'm on a PC with a nice flat screen, so fairly good on screen space.
 

Lumens

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#15
I get blank spaces between posts. No ads, just whitespace. Anyone else get this?

I will get used to the ads. I guess it's a necessary anvil.
 

tinkerdan

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#17
On some pages the ads are taking a long time to render and either there are blank space or you can see the menu items but they are no longer active because they are actually in the background. [This long time seems to sometimes slow the page rendering.] Text only ads are less egregious however I'm certain they pay less.

Also I'm getting a consistent number of script errors(directly related to the ads).

On a side note:: did I mention that those ads recently have contained scripts that are carrying the exploit that claims you have malware and then freezes your computer until you reboot and often you need to unplug the computer because any other action will cause malware to be loaded and if you call the number in the notice on the screen you will get a real person who will promise to fix your computer for 150 dollars and make sure you have your credit card ready.

This has recently shown up on my free mail accounts.
When I complained they suggested that I could get a paid account and the ads would go away.

If this crosses over to the forum I'm not sure there is any way a client could buy themselves safe from the malware.

They(google)can probably fix some of this; however unless you are paying them I'm not sure how receptive they will be in the conversation.

Note:
I take that back on the suggestion of text ads; since in some cases the ads that eventually show up are text ads in a stack of two.
 
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