A note to WUWT readers; an experiment

Given the traffic that has put WUWT in the top WordPress blogs on a semi-regular basis (see below) I have been given a unique opportunity by the kind people that run the WordPress.com free hosting service. This wasn’t just a standard offer, this came in a  personal email from the VP of Automattic, Inc., the parent company of WordPress. This is a beta trial for them too.

click for larger image

They have invited me to participate in the Google adsense program, which they offer only to blogs on their VIP hosting service, some of which you see in the top 10 list above. So, effective immediately, you’ll see some of these ads. For example after you click the “read more” below.

These are purely on a trial basis (my decision) and if they get in the way, I may turn them off. For those of you that support the work here at WUWT, you can now support me by visiting the advertisers on this blog.

I can’t control the content of the ads, (though I can block them from sites I don’t want) so you may find yourself presented with contextual ads from Al Gore, political groups, or even Greenpeace at times. Worthy of note, they pay for clicks made.

There’s a division of ad revenue. The ads at the top under the post title are the ones that benefit WUWT, and the ones at the bottom go to WordPress.com

I hope it is not too obtrusive, I welcome feedback on this experiment.

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Mike Bryant
May 6, 2009 8:53 pm

It’s not obtrusive even in the slightest. I’m sure most people will be thinking, “Why did he wait so long?”
Thanks again for all you do,
Mike Bryant

May 6, 2009 8:59 pm

The greens want us all to be poor, I want you to be rich!

May 6, 2009 8:59 pm

Follow the money…

Methow Ken
May 6, 2009 9:00 pm

If ads like this help WUWT continue operations and get the message out to the wider uneducated world:
No problem.
Compared to some (many (maybe most) ) of the leading commercial sites, your above ”sample ad” is relatively unobtrusive; and above all:
LOW CPU-resource use (many of the ads on CNN, Fox, et. al that use Flash Player, complex animated video, etcetera are major resource hogs). ”Static ads” like this one are almost a relief from the video ad overload on some of those other sites.

Tim McHenry
May 6, 2009 9:01 pm

The ads are small and don’t require me to click them away. No problem.

May 6, 2009 9:04 pm

What Mike said.

May 6, 2009 9:04 pm

Don’t waste time clicking on Al Gore’s ad multiple times. Once is enough. Google has software that filters out fraudulent clicks.
Nonetheless, I am glad you can monetize your traffic.
Do you have a projected completion date of the weather station survey? We have not heard you mention it in a good while.

May 6, 2009 9:05 pm

See this at lots of sites that are way less interesting, so no problem.

Just The Facts
May 6, 2009 9:05 pm

My first impression is that I don’t like the ads that are placed between the article header and the article/picture. The ads placed at the bottom of the article between the “Possibly related posts:” and the comments are much less intrusive and blend in much better.

Bobby Lane
May 6, 2009 9:10 pm

I think the offer is dubious at best. Money always comes with strings. And with ad money you are likely to see a drop in voluntary donations. This seems too much like the Obama stimulus package for me. Sooner or later Google, or somebody else, will begin to set rules about this kind of thing. Then it will be that if you want to get paid you will go along with the rules. Sure, you can pull the plug later, perhaps, but at least make sure you have a savings account of sorts set up. Money is power. And to maintain freedom we must always have at least some power at our disposal. Beware geeks bearing gifts.
REPLY: I have complete control, I can turn it off at a moment’s notice. I would not have accepted it any other way. – Anthony

May 6, 2009 9:13 pm

If they’re as unobtrusive as the examples here, I don’t have any problem with them. Especially if it helps pay the bills and keep WUWT up and running.
I was sort of expecting something distracting like this. But the ones here are so subdued, they’ll be essentially invisible to us after a few days. Go for it!

Jim B in Canada
May 6, 2009 9:14 pm

Ya they are very intrusive, BUT having said that you deserve to make a buck. Maybe lose the ads right under the header and add a new column, but leave the ads between the article and the comments.
Also make sure wordpress is giving you a fair cut of the ads revenue, could you go direct to google, cut out the middle man?

May 6, 2009 9:17 pm

I tend to agree with (Just The Facts), placing the ads at the bottom of the article between the “Possibly related posts:” and the comments section would be much less intrusive and blend in much better.

Just The Facts
May 6, 2009 9:17 pm

Also, the links are much better than the giant picture ads. I just got a picture ad for “Become a Marketing Rock Star” that was a train wreck and looks like it is part of the article versus an ad.

Jeff L
May 6, 2009 9:18 pm

If you need them to keep WUWT going, use them, otherwise lose them.
This is a science blog. You wouldn’t find adds like this in a scientific journal. I think it cheapens the site & degrades the perception of the trust-worthyness of the content.
Just my opinion …

George Bruce
May 6, 2009 9:20 pm

Lane has a point. I suggest you never rely on such ad revenue to the point that you cannot do without it.
Having said that, go for it.

C Shannon
May 6, 2009 9:20 pm

In regards to the ads from pro-AGW outlets I would point out that this actually presents an opportunity for us to foster and maintain a greater level of familiarity with the opposition. Not exactly a bad thing.
As for the idea of ads more generally: I would say you clearly put quite a bit of work into the blog and can see no reason to fault your decision to opt into some compensation for that work. I hope you make a tidy profit from it as a matter of fact, it will only ensure you keep maintaining and updating what has become, for many, an indispensable source of news and information.

May 6, 2009 9:24 pm

I am in favor of capitalism. No problem with the ads. In fact, we see so many ads when browsing these days, I am not sure they even “register” anymore. It seems quite natural to just skip over them while reading stuff.

May 6, 2009 9:24 pm

I don’t know. By accepting google dollars, there’s a chance that you’ll become more wealthy. As a greedy fat cat, you’re much more likely to increase your CO2 footprint.
And, since we’re teetering on the path of no return to global warming-caused catastrophe, one more person with an increased CO2 footprint will probably tip the scales. I have a computer program that has run all the numbers to prove it.

Fluffy Clouds (Tim L)
May 6, 2009 9:28 pm

if it helps the stations project go for it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Terry Jackson
May 6, 2009 9:38 pm

Anthony, do what is best for you to keep the site up.
In winter I have a cable connection at 764 or whatever. In summer I must settle for a dialup, which most days runs at 28. My only request would be to be patient with the poor dial-ups.

Jim Norvell
May 6, 2009 9:43 pm

Some will claim that you have sold out to the oil companies. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
REPLY: Actually, I can block ads from any venue, so I can put in a block to exxon.com or to wecansolveit.org easily – Anthony

Reply to  Jim Norvell
May 6, 2009 9:48 pm

Why would you block ads from wecansolveit.org? Take the money and revel in the irony.
REPLY: According to the adsense report generator, I already have. ka-ching – Anthony

May 6, 2009 9:43 pm

Feed your bank account!!! ;–)

John H 55
May 6, 2009 9:45 pm

Clearly Gore and Hansen deserve a cut of the action.
Without them, this would not be happening.
Send me their share and I’ll make sure they get it.

May 6, 2009 9:46 pm

{optimistically} If you end up getting all your revenues from google ads which you don’t control the warmists can’t claim your working for special interests…

Leon Brozyna
May 6, 2009 9:47 pm

I see no problem with ads.
In fact, I see no ad. Me and my nefarious and diabolical ad block.
I’ve got the usual offenders blocked so I manage to miss half the ads on the net.
Hey, but go for it. Let’s see if it swings a little $$$$ your way.

May 6, 2009 9:48 pm

Why not charge $20.00 per year for ‘Comment Memberships’? Anyone can read the articles, but if you want to post a comment you will have to buy a yearly membership. This way, even the trolls will have to pay up.

May 6, 2009 9:48 pm

If running a few ads enables you to continue the fine work you do here Anthony, by all means run them. Hopefully this will allow you to recoup some of the income that you have surely lost by devoting so much time to this endeavor and the Surface Station Project. Your continued public presence in the area of climate science is desperately needed. Go for it!!!!

May 6, 2009 9:48 pm

Sans picture and sound these links are unobtrusive.
And, I have no problem following one on occasion if it will help to support this important site.

D. King
May 6, 2009 9:49 pm

REPLY: I have complete control, I can turn it off at a moment’s notice. I would not have accepted it any other way. – Anthony
Given that, it sounds good. Congrats!

May 6, 2009 9:50 pm

It’s about time. You deserve compensation for all you have done, are doing and are going to do. Money will enable you to do much more for the cause. You provide information and work which we would only have access to (if it were available) for a hefty fee at most locations providing the latest scientific research.
Do not listen to (or take to heart the words of) people discouraging you from earning advertising dollars. You have nothing to prove related to your integrity and devotion…making a little coin to bring your WUWT income up to $1.50 per hour retroactively should be encouraged. If you keep it fresh, maybe a well-deserved raise will be in the cards. LOL!
Keep up the good work, and the advertising. I just checked out a few advertisers as a show of support…will give others a shot in the future.

E Philipp
May 6, 2009 9:52 pm

the ads don’t bother me a bit—well as long as they aren’t ‘personal enhancement ones’! 😉 I think you have a great site–always updated, you deserve to have it pay its way. That they asked means you’ve got to be generating some impressive stats–congrats!

May 6, 2009 9:53 pm

However, is any link we may follow guaranteed by Google Adsense to be safe?
REPLY: AFAIK, yes. There’s no porn or scam sites allowed in my adsense account. – Anthony

John F. Hultquist
May 6, 2009 9:59 pm

Last month I was on a “skeptic’s” site and an ad for saving the polar bears was inserted. There was that brief moment of “What the ….?” and then I had to laugh. As Anthony says above – you can’t control these things and if you accept the irony of it, and learn to enjoy it, your blood pressure won’t rise and you practice controlling the stress in your life. Or treat it like having a coo-coo clock in your house. You’ll just tune it out – unless you decide to tune it in.
Consider one of the ads above: “Care is working to help women affected by climate change.” WUWT?

May 6, 2009 10:02 pm

My understanding is that there have been some….ummm….hiccups with adsense in receiving payment due. However, it was revamped since I last heard much about it, so maybe things have improved.
No problem with it at all…if it starts to bug me there’s always privoxy. 😉

John F. Hultquist
May 6, 2009 10:04 pm
F Ross
May 6, 2009 10:09 pm

If WUWT can maintain its scientific impartiality – and from your statements, you can – then the ads seem fine to me. Any reader may disregard them at will. Hope you make megabucks from the ads.

Jim B in Canada
May 6, 2009 10:15 pm

Knowing that Greenpeace will help support your site is a delicious irony that will warm my soul, during many a long cold Canadian winter.

G Alston
May 6, 2009 10:18 pm

I don’t run javascript or activex, and I see no ads. Win win.

May 6, 2009 10:22 pm

If clicks put money in your pocket, I’ll hold my nose and click away. You deserve rewarding for your excellent work.

May 6, 2009 10:25 pm

No popups, animated ads, or autoloading video or audio.
Other than that, ads are fine by me.
And why would you block Exxon.com?
Is their money not green?

May 6, 2009 10:25 pm


May 6, 2009 10:25 pm

I find the ads somewhat amusing – comparing the content of the ad to the content of the article has already yielded amusing juxtapositions. I wonder if ad placers can set a filter so that they won’t be putting ads someplace where people might do some research and then post an essay about it. If so, I suspect we won’t see the wecansolveit.org ads for long. Ka-Klunk!

May 6, 2009 10:26 pm

I agree with the majority.I will click on the ads,happy to.

May 6, 2009 10:29 pm

And another thing – how many sites would tolerate ads from their competition?
I’m sure we’d have a good time if RealClimate ad showed up. If a WUWT add showed up at Realclimate, I bet their filter would be modified within minutes. 🙂

May 6, 2009 10:32 pm

Seeing these kinds of ads just stresses to me how much money is being pumped into the AGW scam by all these advertisers.

May 6, 2009 10:35 pm

Posters, please do not encourage indiscriminately “clicking”. People can click when appropriate. Encouraging abuse of advertising dollars can lead to a loss of the opportunity.
jeez aka charles the moderator

May 6, 2009 10:36 pm

I’ll even click an Al Gore link for you, man.

May 6, 2009 10:42 pm

Perhaps then WordPress will let you use the fancy version with preview and edit capability…
REPLY: I asked the VP about that very issue, and he agreed it would be a useful feature to add. Hopefully we’ll see it. – Anthony

May 6, 2009 10:50 pm

I’m not exactly keen on ads, so I keep my filters battened down. In other words I see nothing of the ads, so can’t participate. It therefore bother me not a zot, except perhaps not being able to make Al Gore pay you money.

May 6, 2009 10:51 pm

Go for it, Anthony!
Many thanks for the omelette last Sunday, sir.
You are a master.

Bill Adams
May 6, 2009 10:54 pm

Put me down as a daily visitor with no objections to your making a buck if you can.

May 6, 2009 10:54 pm

So long as it does not influence content, I have no problems with ads and making a buck to pay the bills.

May 6, 2009 10:59 pm

It’s ok for me… Go on, Anthony!

May 6, 2009 11:04 pm

Just simple ads are OK but I hate those animated ads that simply distract one from the main course.
That type of ad just turns me right off that advertiser.
And Please, is there anyway to include a preview function for prior viewing of postings before they are posted on WUWT.

May 6, 2009 11:07 pm

I don’t have a problem with the ads.
I do have a problem with Google and their profiling of individuals.
I’ll continue to make donations via the tip box as and when funds permit.
I think Par5’s suggestion of membership for posters has some merit. It would keep the casual trolling to a minimum, and might supply Anthony with more revenue for his important work here and with the surfacestations project. I would be happy to pay an annual membership of say $15 and feel I had a stake in improving the quality of the data all sides of the debate rely on.

May 6, 2009 11:12 pm

As long as you can keep that ice graph going up no problem (just joking)…

John Edmondson
May 6, 2009 11:29 pm

Did you ask for a link to WUWT on the advertisers’ sites?

May 6, 2009 11:30 pm

If I know how Adsense works, I’ll expect there to be a lot of Pro-AGW ads.

Ozzie John
May 6, 2009 11:32 pm

All OK with me, especially if it keeps WUWT moving forward.
I did notice one Google ad …..
Find Out What Nostradamus Says About The Years 2009 – 2012.
The AGW alarmists that visit here will enjoy links like this !
I’m sure Nostradamus’s future predictions on sea level rise and temperature would be more accurate than the IPCC 🙂

May 6, 2009 11:44 pm

ok Charles the moderator
I will only click now and then.

May 6, 2009 11:44 pm

I hope I link affiliated with Al Gore come’s up, I will spend all day clicking on it!
REPLY: No need, they have detectors for such things. – Anthony

May 6, 2009 11:59 pm

I think any ad image under the title can be very distracting. A better location would be the right column above or below the weblog award logo if that’s possible.

May 7, 2009 12:08 am

Have you ever seen a beautiful woman, and afterwards noticed her ugly tatoo? Same thing here. Btw, If I click on an ad, does Google or Automattic, Inc copy my IP address? I am with TALLBLOKE on this one- I do not like Google profiling individuals.

Chris Schoneveld
May 7, 2009 12:24 am

I am all for it since it relieves me from my guilt not having donated via the tip box.

Chris Schoneveld
May 7, 2009 12:26 am

Anthony, could you keep us informed of the revenues that it will generate? Just out of curiosity.

UK Sceptic
May 7, 2009 12:32 am

Ads – no problem. It’s rubbing shoulders with the likes of FAIL and Lolcats that gets me.

Claude Harvey
May 7, 2009 12:36 am

“This wasn’t just a standard offer, this came in a personal email from the VP of Automattic, Inc.”
If you wish to turn this into a money-making business, you have certainly earned the right to do so and I will cheer for your success. Just don’t fool yourself that compromises won’t be required. Many a man has thought his integrity had no price, until a mind-boggling price was offered. But you ain’t ready for the “big game” if a personal E-mail from some corporate VP impresses you (most substantial corporations have lots of them and they work for Senior VPs who work for Executive VPs who work for….).
Reply: I’ll keep him honest. I’m the little angel on the right shoulder. Evan sits on the other one. ~ charles the moderator.

May 7, 2009 12:36 am

It WUWT needs the revenue then they are a necessary evil…
But I am always happier when i don’t see this triage and the “Ads by Google” logo… and I sleep easier when i know they are not tracking my every move or profiling a special interest group… ask yourself: Why now?

O. Weinzierl
May 7, 2009 12:41 am

Ok, Adblock Plus deactivated for your site only 😉

May 7, 2009 12:49 am

I see no ads.

May 7, 2009 1:09 am

Apparently profiling is utilized with this adsense nonsense. Not cool. The information on the site is good. But I can’t support websites that are whores to corporate profiling campaigns for a little cash.

Bill McClure
May 7, 2009 1:21 am

No problem with the adds and I enjoy the irony of the global warming adds. I wonder how long it will be before they pull the warming adds from your blog.

May 7, 2009 1:22 am

As a blogger who uses adsense on my own site, ace-exchange.com, which isnt exclusive to wordpress, it seems to me like wordpress wants you to do this revenue splitting adsense deal so that they can pay for the massive bandwidth cost your huge readership puts on them (assuming wordpress handles some of your content). Otherwise, if I were you I’d just go to google and sign up for adsense separately and put the code into your own template like I do.
I make about $100 bucks a month on my blog, which pays for a pretty nice dedicated server, and I only get about 6,000 hits a day. You should be able to make a goodly amount more than that with your titanic traffic.

May 7, 2009 1:31 am

Its a good idea if you need the cash generated, however keep in mind that by clicking the link to Gores site, you give his site a hit… enough hits and they might start to think he is popular rather than just bilking his site for cash:P

Jack Simmons
May 7, 2009 1:36 am

Why did you wait so long?
This is really a good option, particularly because you maintain control.
Congratulations a very successful site.

May 7, 2009 2:17 am

It would be OK if the ad was halfway down the page and not right after the title.
It’s visually detracts and undermines any write up when a alarmist advertising is right after it, plus Algore has shares and influence in/on Google.
If Google is supposed to be advertising to our board population, shouldn’t they be sites that we might be interested in?
Not AGW religious advertising. It’s like having an abortion clinic advert on a pro life site.
Oh, and I’m pro choice just in case you might misconstrue my example. 😉

May 7, 2009 2:21 am

Good idea, but like Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch, which has google ads for Muslim dating services, the ads themselves are unlikely to be tailored to the particular audience that reads WUWT – they just pick up on a few keywords which we have in common with ‘the enemy’. Not a very effective advertising strategy, but then again they may improve the algorithm in the future.

Mark N
May 7, 2009 2:39 am

I always make a habit of clicking through on sites I like. Wow! It’s great to make money out of Al Gore, dont you think!

Dave Wendt
May 7, 2009 2:50 am

It’s a tasty bit of irony that Algore will be voluntarily contributing support to a site that will eventually lead to the demise of his plan to compel us all to involuntarily contribute to our own.

May 7, 2009 2:53 am

I think it would be nice if we all made a concerted effort to click on every top-of-article add for the next few days-to-a-week. (I just open them in a new tab, and then just close them off). If after a week of this Andrew makes some money, then good on him, and we can go back to ignoring the adds !
I doubt this will make him any real money, but I`d be interested to know what power have here ? We might be suprised (but I doubt it !)
Reply: I will repeat my earlier comment:

Posters, please do not encourage indiscriminately “clicking”. People can click when appropriate. Encouraging abuse of advertising dollars can lead to a loss of the opportunity.

~ charles the moderator

May 7, 2009 3:11 am

Go Anthony, go.
And everyone else: please click on the ads to help pay for all this.

May 7, 2009 3:29 am

You do such a great job, you deserve compensation.

James P
May 7, 2009 3:59 am

I’ll just click the ones at the top, then.. 🙂

Chris Wright
May 7, 2009 4:24 am

Sorry to be, shall we say, sceptical, but I think these ads are pretty awful. If you must have them, could you at least stop the ones pushing the CO2 delusion?

May 7, 2009 4:26 am

I think it’s great. I found wecansolveit.org pretty amusing and it is sweetly ironic that they are paying to support this site.
For the people that are so worried about being profiled, unless you are a serial killer, the only thing that profiling does is get you more interesting and appropriate ads. This site supports freedom and truth. I would advertise here If I could target people with woodstoves on the East Coast, because I am producing a new product and think that efficiency geeks and nature lovers like us would be interested in it. But I don’t want to bother people with no interest.
I actually found this site by following links from the weather underground blogs. I only go there for weather now though, because the ads have gotten so aggressive. One just started that intermittently blocks part of what you are reading to try and get you to click through. And it is not interesting to me at all- for some HVAC equipment that I am well aware of.

May 7, 2009 4:35 am

I have no problem with the ads if it helps you pay the bills and keep this GREAT website up !!

May 7, 2009 4:41 am

I just looked at the screenshot at the top. WUWT is less popular than “Celebrity Baby Blog!” I guess there’s still work to do. Either that or it supports the polls that show people aren’t concerned about AGW.
> Posters, please do not encourage indiscriminately “clicking”.
I suspect that once the novelty wears off, most clicks will be driven by curiosity.

May 7, 2009 4:55 am

Clicking on ads is a lot cheaper than sending you a US Grant every now and then, and it takes fewer clicks of the mouse even.
Steamboat Jack

Barry Foster
May 7, 2009 5:05 am

Anthony, you do realise that there are thousands of warming-worriers who will just wait for you to have an oil-based ad there. Then they can say that you’re in the pay of big oil! : )

May 7, 2009 5:36 am

The ads between the post title and body are very intrusive and distract from the professional appearance of the site. The ads between “Possibly Related Posts” and the comments aren’t so bad. I hope they help keep the site going and I really do hope you make some money off of them. I just don’t like them so much…

May 7, 2009 5:48 am

What I am worried about, Mr Watts, is that once you get a taste of that sweet, sweet, Mammon, you will realize that AGW is where the real money is, and merge with that media giant RealClimate!

May 7, 2009 5:56 am

I’m cool with it. I especially like this part: “Worthy of note, they pay for clicks made.” So I will only click on the warmist’s links. 🙂 If I see a link to a site I’d like to visit, but not burden with the cost of a click through, I can do that on my own.

May 7, 2009 6:17 am

They are fine with me … if they work for you Anthony, use them to generate revenue. I bet the crowd here is smart enough to work with them.
One point, have you considered threaded comments, that may make discussion easier. I believe wordpress has a plugin for just that sort of thing.
REPLY: We tried threaded comments for about a week, and went back to linear. They just didn’t work well here. – Anthony

May 7, 2009 6:23 am

I clicked on one and got here:
It’s a very slick promotion for AGW and the Copenhagen conference, with lengthy discourses in soft grey type from chaps in coats and ties. I had to resist the temptation to waste time reading them, and then commenting (which would probably be moderated into the trash).
If I had a blog site, I would be very wary of Google ads. True enough, they simply feed off keywords, but by doing so they open one up to the appearance of supporting the places and products advertised. I think the Copenhagen conference will be an abomination, and I wouldn’t want an ad for it on my site. By giving them clicks and eyeballs, you’re supporting them.
Then too, the heads of Google are firmly in the Algore-Obama camps. You may be supporting this site, and WordPress, but you’re also supporting Google.
Not that I have any problem with ads in general (except distracting blinkies and movies), and if you can make a little money from your excellent work here, you should, absolutely. There are, I believe, other sources of blog ads (one called ‘BlogAds’, I think), and I’ll bet some of those could be tailored better to the philosophy of WUWT.
Layout suggestion: Get the ads OUT of the middle content column, and put them over on the right or left; if you can’t use the grey spaces, then under the Meta list. I think they pollute the content some.
My 2 cents, FWIW.
/Mr Lynn

May 7, 2009 6:28 am

Anthony I agree with the majority. Do what you are comfortable with. The ads are far less intrusive than Jennifer Marohasy’s. You and team do such a stunning job of keeping quality and consistency and integrity here, I’m humbled and gobsmacked.
And with you in the battle.

May 7, 2009 6:32 am

I agree. Follow the money. There are a couple of sites I don’t go to anymore because large full screen ads pop up with frustrating regularity, but those are exceptions. Hope you do well with this.

May 7, 2009 6:44 am

I’m looking forward to the advertisements that are certain to generate irony as well as income.

The D Man
May 7, 2009 6:44 am

The Ads are no problem . I have Noscript and Adblock.

Bill Illis
May 7, 2009 6:45 am

Like it did with TV, advertising is keeping the internet relatively inexpensive and allowing better (and itself expensive) content to be made available.
So, in my mind, it is saving me money and providing a better product. Its all good.

May 7, 2009 6:46 am

I learned as a child (from parental advice and practical experience) to ignore ads because they contain significant amounts of false claims. As long as they don’t overwhelm the blog, however, let the marketers do their work.
Otherwise, I’m more concerned that WUWT is behind blogs on failure, celebrity babies, and cat tricks. Hmm… although there are plenty of posts on failures (e.g., the Catlin Expedition), there might be some opportunity in the baby and cat areas to exploit. I’m just sayin’….

J. Bob
May 7, 2009 6:48 am

Go for it!!

May 7, 2009 7:14 am

No problem at all – thanks for the great work and also to Dr. Leif Svalgaard, E.M. Smith and the other ‘regulars’. WUWT is the first bookmark I hit in the morning.

Mike Lallatin
May 7, 2009 7:20 am

Great way to cost Gore mony by tapping a key!

Bob Montle
May 7, 2009 7:20 am

I am a daily visitor (actually multiple visits per day.)
I cannot express properly the gratitude I feel for the OPPORTUNITY to be able to visit. This blog keeps me informed on the latest developments in the areas in which your readers are interested. You have feedback and discussions from known scientists and from intelligent readers who have expertise in other fields. Your blog brings these people together and the resulting discussion may result in sudden insights which would never happen without the exchange of thoughts and theories.
We get all of this for FREE!
Great entertainment, mental exercises to keep our brains young, companionship of fellow bloggers who seem like friends by now, and all for FREE.
Being here is like being in an upscale gentleman’s club in Great Britain, without the cigars and booze and with the addition of some educated ladies.
Come on now, having these small unobtrusive ads helps assuage my guilt from enjoying so much for so little.
PLEASE put them in and get something back for all you do for all of us by maintaining this blog!

May 7, 2009 7:37 am

Just a PS to my layout suggstion above:
In the print media it’s generally pretty easy to keep advertising and editorial content separate, just by layout (different columns, boxes, etc.). If you can’t move the ‘Ads by Google’ off to a separate column, at please put a dark box around them.
As it is, right under the headline, “A note to WUWT readers; an experiment” we have “Help Solve Global Warming” and other misleading come-ons. They look to browser and casual visitor like they’re part of the site’s content. I don’t think you want that impression.
/Mr Lynn

May 7, 2009 7:49 am

Fine idea, as long as you don’t get steaming piles of ads for the wrinkle-blog or cash-blog scams. Or any of the scams with headlines that contain “rule” and “obey”. Know what I mean?

Bill P
May 7, 2009 8:00 am

My first click on “Read the rest of the entry” got me a total freeze and a “not responding” after I hit Cntrl Alt Delete.
Ah, the wonders of being tracked for the benefits of advertisers.
You deserve to make something for your efforts. I’ve wondered that you’ve resisted for this long. I don’t have to like it.

May 7, 2009 8:17 am

I never see any ads, adblock does wonders for me. I just sent a small donation that probably more than pays for any lost revenue from random ads by one viewer. I love this site and the surface station project. I work with solar energy and am surrounded by Goreists. This is my sanity sanctuary. I am trying to keep an open mind and maintain a sound scientific approach to things, but it is difficult with so many “smart” people who don’t look at the facts.
Keep up the excellent work!
William W

Alan Chappell
May 7, 2009 8:22 am

Just count the money and EXPAND.

May 7, 2009 8:36 am

It’s a good idea. Any misplaced ads only add to the hilarity of the intentional stupidity which too often is the topic of an article. And I look forward to an increase in relevant ads as sanity increases, and as the ad technical staff improve their algorithms.

Bobby Lane
May 7, 2009 9:11 am

REPLY: I have complete control, I can turn it off at a moment’s notice. I would not have accepted it any other way. – Anthony
You misunderstand me. It is not a question of turning “on” or “off.” It is not a question of that kind of control. I am talking monetarily. Right now, as far as I understand things, this site and/or surfacestations.org depends on people buying weather gadgets or directly donating. If you are dependent upon ad revenue for your monetary base, people will be less likely to donate. That is my opinion. In order to get paid, you have to play by Google’s rules. Those rules may be innocuous for the moment. But if it comes to a point at any time for whatever reason that you want to turn it off, it would be wise to make sure you have a financial base settled so that this site and your other works can continue before this “gift” came along. If donations do decline as a source of support because people see you have ads to support you, like every other website, and you decide to turn the ads off for some ethical/moral/legal reason, then you should not be caught flat-footed financially. That is my concern. My vote is not one way or the other. Do what benefits you. But make sure you have a back-up plan so that you are not under anybody’s control. Money is power. And power is control.

Bill P
May 7, 2009 9:25 am

@The D Man (06:44:28) :

The Ads are no problem . I have Noscript and Adblock.

Could you explain how these things can be obtained? How much do they cost? Do you experience delays in browser function?
On re-opening this site a second time today, all the businesses represented above and below the thread headline were suddenly from my home state. Oh, joy!
There was a T.V. show with an appropriate jingle: “I wanna go where everybody knows my name (… state… address…phone…i.d…. i.p…. u.r.l….)
@ Anthony: I agree with the others’ effusive praise above. But, with regard to privacy issues, is this just the way the cookie crumbles?

May 7, 2009 9:36 am

I’m all for capitalism, even in the strange format of internet ads.
The only ads I have trouble with are the ones with flashing or moving bits. Static ads are fine. If the ads are busy then I have to copy the text of the post to Word to read it — the eyes have a tough enough time as is.
If you change the key words in the title of a post, will it change the ads that show?

Don Owen
May 7, 2009 9:54 am

I agree with those who feel that the ads detract from the site’s scientific cachet. I have donated in the past and I would be very willing to pay an annual fee for the privilege to comment. Of course, if we’re talking about a significant amount of revenue from the ads I do not want to suggest that WUWT doesn’t deserve to profit from its success as the leading sceptic’s blog. This fight is still far from over and anything that will enhance the value of WUWT in name of scientific sanity is to be embraced.

May 7, 2009 10:11 am

It is about time…

May 7, 2009 10:17 am

I think you might also consider Amazon links to relevant climate books, you know, the way http://www.Instapundit.com so shamelessly hawks Amazon’s wares. I don’t mind him making a living and monitizing his traffic. You should think about it too. You have enough traffic that you ought to be able to make a little money at this. You have a readership that actually buys books. You earned that readership.

May 7, 2009 10:19 am

The ads are fine and here is a tip for those who are annoyed: instead of immediately clicking the headline, read the story on the front page then click “read the rest of the story” and you will never see the ads.

May 7, 2009 10:36 am

For what its worth I only see text not a pictorial advert. They cause me no problem at all. I don’t know what other people are seeing though as some seem a little concerned.

May 7, 2009 10:58 am

I’m not a fan of the ads. At the very least I won’t be able to say this anymore, when sending your site to others: “The best part is, the guy running this site doesn’t do this for money…no ads!”

May 7, 2009 10:59 am

Do what you have to do. Heck, you can sell mugs, for all I care. Or those Denialist Decks I emailed you about, with Gore and Hansen as jokers.

Tim McHenry
May 7, 2009 11:02 am

Bobby Lane (09:11:10)
If I understand Bobby’s point, just don’t grow dependent on the ads. Consider them an extra and that way if you ever decide that there are any strings attached you can shut them off without making sacrifices.

Lykke Andersen
May 7, 2009 11:29 am

Your old fans will probably just scrool over the ads, and go for the excellent content they know they will find below. But you might lose new readers, since they have to scroll to even see the first line of real content.
I would recommend putting a smaller add on top, so that the first paragraph of contents can be seen without scrolling. Or, unless the adds generate serious money, eliminate them altogether. People don’t come to this site to browse and click adds. They come to read some of the best science articles on the web.

Mike from Canmore
May 7, 2009 11:55 am

It’s what makes the world go round. I hope you become a gazillionaire!!
Watch your KPIs for a drop in traffic in case it is driving the lurking majority away. They may add revenue, but they may not necessarily add value.
If you become a gazillionaire, remember us little folks and keep the site going. I learn too much hear to see it dropped.

May 7, 2009 12:38 pm

Wow, you should really find a way to filter some of those ads… here is what I saw here…
“Ads by Google
Climate Change is Here
Climate change is a scientific fact and it affects you. Learn more now.

Greg R
May 7, 2009 2:02 pm

If the ads get you some income, I say that’s great. My only suggestion is that, since you already have the gray margin around the white page, you could put the ads there. They would be even more noticeable than they are now, but without sitting between the headline and the text.
By the way, the variable gray margin and fixed white page width make for a nice, clean layout. It keeps the thing looking more like a printed page, and avoids the overly long lines that can sometimes be difficult to track.

Tim Clark
May 7, 2009 2:13 pm

I’m waiting for the ad that sells WUWT denialist tee-shirts in ecogreen.
Take the bucks from Big Al while you can. Use them to offset you carbon footprint. ;~P

May 7, 2009 2:24 pm

Actually Adolfo, Gore is a senior advisor to Google. In any case, the fact that they approached WUWT for ads is the proof that they are only in it for the money, including Gore.
Reply: Google did not “approach” WUWT. WordPress did ~ charles the moderator

May 7, 2009 2:41 pm

Charles the moderator, sorry, my mistake… but those ads are still from Goggle!!! Again, Google does not care where their ads go… as long as someone click on them.
But for WUWT to make moeny out if this, people will have to click on the ads.
My take on their position would also fall on either left or right margins… just to keep the articles and comments clean.

May 7, 2009 2:51 pm

I think we are all at the point were google ads are normal everywhere. I don’t even really see them unless I’m looking for something.

Dan Evens
May 7, 2009 3:53 pm

I’m ok with the ads as long as they don’t add a lot of download or CPU to opening a page of WUWT. Lots of web pages have dozens of ads per page, and they have lots of active content. Like, I see some pages that have like a dozen “SWF” files that have to download to complete a page. My poor little laptop gets overwhelmed.
But a few links at the top of the page is just fine. I’m very happy if you can make some cash off this. You’ve earned it.

May 7, 2009 4:21 pm

If you could set up your own domain, or have someone else do it, you could have the ads in different locations, like to the side instead of just above the post. With as much traffic as you have, you could probably make more than enough to pay to have someone set it all up for you.
I have a small site with a lot less traffic and I earn enough for a domain and to have someone set up the web hosting.
(I’m not soliciting business as I have no desire to do any of this for anyone else — just pointing out the possibilities)

May 7, 2009 5:32 pm

Why don’t you put Banners instead of Google ad-words?
– You will profit more
– Less confusing for us readers.
Just add banners on the sider bar of your blog.

May 7, 2009 5:50 pm

First lesson you’ll need to learn with running these ads: encouraging users to click on Google Adsense units is a breach of the program’s TOS.

May 7, 2009 6:19 pm

Hi Tony, We are all getting a priceless product from you, and I for one would like the site to not only pay for itself, but make you wealthy in the bargain. (Sure, we know that’s not likely, but I consider you’ve done a heck of a lot more for the world than that billionaire Gates, for one example. I think those who oppose ads (not many, it seems) need to re-evaluate.)

p.g.sharrow "PG"
May 7, 2009 9:33 pm

When first encountered, I thought, whats with these ads. After reading the article and comments I find that I have aquired a better understanding of web page layout and web site finance. WUWT is always a valuable visit. Thank you.
I may even click on a ad from time to time.

R Aughton
May 8, 2009 12:27 am

If people are capable of independent thought what does it matter?

James P
May 8, 2009 3:37 am

Curious how virtually all the ads I’ve seen are to AGW sites. Is that because they are in a huge majority or is Google just not that smart?

May 8, 2009 4:14 am

Having given it a couple of days…
Keep the ads. No problems here and I’m glad to see you’ll get some revenue for your efforts. Two thumbs up!

May 8, 2009 5:14 am

The more I think about it (which admittedly hasn’t been a lot), the more I think you should eschew links to Alarmist sites. AGW gets quite enough publicity from the mainstream media. WUWT is one of a handful of sites fighting a rearguard action. Why give aid and comfort to the other side?
/Mr Lynn

Mike Bryant
May 8, 2009 5:20 am

“James P (03:37:21) :
Curious how virtually all the ads I’ve seen are to AGW sites. Is that because they are in a huge majority or is Google just not that smart?”
Don’t forget that Gore has $300,000,000 just for advertising… I don’t think that WUWT or CA’s budget can compare to that.

May 8, 2009 5:56 am

I say again, better put Banners on your sidebar instead of those Google Ads.
At this moment you’re advertising Dating Services here…

May 8, 2009 6:46 am

I don’t know, I think it is great that they put up alarmist sites. You can click on the “We Can Solve It” ad and transfer a tiny portion of that $300 million budget to were it would be put to better use.

Ron de Haan
May 8, 2009 6:53 am

I have postponed my response to the Google Adds at your site.
I think you can continue your experiment without any negatives.
I am using Firefox in a mode that suppresses the ads to text only and they don;t don’t interfere with your postings at all.
I even see advantages because now we are confronted with AGW sites and services we otherwise would have missed.
So my overall experience is POSITIVE.
I hope the adds will turn out positive for you as well.
This leaves me with thanking you for asking the opinion of your humble readers and posters. You and your team are doing a great job.
REPLY: good to know

Chris Knight
May 8, 2009 7:24 am

Been away for a day or two. Didn’t even notice the Adsense inclusions, until I dropped in on this topic. Maybe I am just Adblind.

May 8, 2009 8:22 am

Chris, I’m the same way. I totally ignore Google ads. The few times I’ve clicked on them I’ve found them completely worthless. Often times you’re just taken from one link to another to another to another, never really getting anywhere, yet generating revenue for someone for clicking links.
Someone in another thread mentioned CO2 Cap and Trade, that some would become rich without actually providing any benefit or producing anything. Google ads are exactly like that to me.

Bill P
May 8, 2009 8:25 am

The following was a good comment, which I agree with:

Greg R (14:02:46) :
If the ads get you some income, I say that’s great. My only suggestion is that, since you already have the gray margin around the white page, you could put the ads there. They would be even more noticeable than they are now, but without sitting between the headline and the text… keeps the thing looking more like a printed page, and avoids the overly long lines that can sometimes be difficult to track.

I noticed this was one of several comments along these lines.
Since I’m just here as an inquisitive (perhaps naive) learner, I look forward to your decision on this experiment. I’d like to be a better informed reader generally, and the site generously offers readers this opportunity. Since I know very little about what’s going on behind the scenes with these marketers, it might prove interesting to watch as some of the shrewder observers offer their comments on this. I’m pretty sure that advertisers are tracking folks’ movements and preferences. I noted above that all the ads here, on re-opening your site a second time, now target me from my home state and city. There were a few seconds of delay as the ads popped up, a process that can occupy up to 20 seconds on some pages with a lot of busy ads. During that delay, I am unable to scroll away from the most obtrusive ads; also, I’ve noticed it takes longer for the “real” content of these pages to appear. Since this contagion is now pandemic, I’d say your site represents a relatively mild case.
Thanks again for the great site and all your efforts.

May 9, 2009 9:07 pm

You know, it is sometimes hard to distinguish between the sometimes outlandish WUWT images and the advertising images. The polar bear stories are attracting very (inintentionally) amusing ad images.

May 13, 2009 3:06 am

As a fanatic reader of your site I have to say that I do find the ads very obtrusive in cases. After a week I have seen several full color flash and picture based ads. As long as the ads are just text based they are OK with me. Otherwise I would suggest to get rid off them, they are very annoying!

May 21, 2009 12:14 pm

I wonder how much Google makes from ads that don’t show to people. I’ve click on quite a few ads of things that might interest me and the page comes up blank. Just because of that I would never use adsense for advertising.

Bob Kutz
June 23, 2009 6:00 am

So . . . I can cost Al Gore & Co. money, just by clicking on their ads?
I think I’m having an cathartic moment!
I’ll have a script available shortly that will simply identify any ads that he is responsible for and . . . oh my (insert non-denominational supreme being of choice here), this is going to be GREAT!

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