Google Ads Run Amok, or How Not to Monetize Your Website

Hyperlocal editors tend to place Google ads throughout their sites to try to make money when they can’t sell larger display ads. The ads bring in a few pennies a day, and if placed in the right spots are generally harmless. The more Google ads, obviously, the more pennies. But some sites have become so littered with Google ads that they overwhelm the content. Oddly enough, one of the country’s most respected newspapers appears to have chosen to apply this strategy.

The New York Times has apparently decided to plaster every inch of white space on archived articles that you access from Google with Google ads. If you get to the article from the Times itself, or from another search engine like Bing, the ads don’t pop up. But if you come from Google, ads pop up all over the page, even in the middle of the article breaking the page in two. There’s an ad at the bottom of the page and ads along the left-hand side, along with whatever current ad the Times is featuring on the right side of the page. Check out the screen shot below of a Times article from November 1989 about the Berlin Wall coming down.

Those pennies are nice. But are they worth making an article about a historic event look like spam?

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