Apologies for the ads

Due to all of the attention I’ve gotten (good and bad) over my PBS appearance, the people at wordpress.com have identified WUWT as a high traffic blog and have added advertising to the top and to the sidebar.

For example, my WUWT rank today out of millions of wordpress.com blogs is #2

I do get a little revenue when somebody clicks on those ads, but I have my limits.

Unknown to me and against my wishes, yesterday they added a fourth ad The “Content From Sponsors, by Taboola” which was particularly maddening, as it was nothing but schlock of the National Enquirer variety – entertainment/starlet news and such.

I asked them to remove that today, and told them in no uncertain terms that it was a deal killer.

I’ve considered moving to a private server, but after seeing the kinds of DDoS attacks Jo Nova gets on her website I’ve thought better of it since my wordpress.com hosting effortlessly repels such attacks due to it being cloud based – there’s no central point to take down WUWT. Still, I couldn’t tolerate those Taboola ads. Tough choice – I don’t pay for hosting, but get the benefits of a world class hosting and publishing platform.

I’m happy to report they removed the Taboola ads after I complained.

The others remain. We’ll see how it goes and I’ll review it again later.

117 thoughts on “Apologies for the ads

  1. No need to apologize. People can download NoScript if they use Firefox which will also have the benefit of stopping them from getting new viruses if they are smart with it.
    Maybe you can find something useful or amusing to do with the money if it turns out to be significant? How much does an ad in the New York Times cost?

  2. Anthony,
    The ‘no-ads’ add on from wordpress is inexpensive, and I’m sure the readership here would be happy to chip in for whatever you lost in revenue.

  3. No apology needed from these quarters. I appreciate you efforts in elucidating as you do on topics various as you have and continue to do …

  4. No problem … I just went to my internet options and listed taboola as a restricted site and … poof … their ads disappeared.

  5. As you discovered from your PBS interview, raising your profile has costs as well as benefits. It’s part of the price of fame – and congrats on the high ranking of WUWT!
    I doubt that your loyal readers will desert you because of a few banner ads, as long as they don’t run that picture of Scott Mandia in tights (shudder).

  6. I had the Taboola ads this afternoon, but they have now disappeared. They were only a little annoying, and if you want them back for a little extra revenue I for one would put up with them.
    REPLY: Thanks but no, you’ll see a guest post from Joe Romm before you see those ads again. – Anthony

  7. P.S Do you know how many more visitors per hour/day/week/month you need to take the number 1 spot from Koreanindo?

  8. “reples such attacks”?
    I dont mind the ads an I sometimes click on them as a donation.


  9. I’m happy for you to earn some dosh for all the work you do. Alternatively you could ask your big oil sponsors to increase their contribution. 🙂

  10. I miss the old “Get a Master of Environmental Management Degree in Madrid” ads.
    Ten months in Madrid to “pursue high-impact and exciting careers in environmental management, such as consulting, risk analysis, resource management, eco-innovation, green business, corporate social responsibility, communications, policy analysis and research, or lobbying and advocacy.” seems like a tempting deal.

  11. Wow. You’re even beating Stoopid housewives. Maybe I should re-phrase that, You’re out-ranking Stoopid housewives. Now you know you’ve made it into the big time.

  12. Heehee… Congratulations on being #2 Anthony, but think how embarrassing it’ll be if you get overtaken by STOOPID HOUSEWIVES…
    P.S. Re the ads: the gal wearing SnorgTees on the right of my screen at the moment is actually almost sorta cute. You should see the sort of “content targeted” advertising the Free Choice sites get hit with… THOSE would be solid grounds for complaint! LOL!

  13. I’m seeing a Fluke instrument company advertisement. As an engineer, that is probably the best ad I’ve seen on the web (friom my point of view). A decent company that makes good equipment.
    Gerry parker

  14. Roy UK says:
    September 20, 2012 at 11:43 am
    P.S Do you know how many more visitors per hour/day/week/month you need to take the number 1 spot from Koreanindo?
    The only problem is, half the people who read this post are now going to say wtf is Koreanindo and go visit it to find out. I wonder how many climate sceptics there are in Korea?

  15. No need to apologize. When you read posts header is not visible anyway. And any income is worth having – now I know you get income from our clicks I will click on the ads.
    What you do is hugely important, don’t get down with stupid ads.

  16. LOL… Your right there one above stoopid housewives.
    That is funny.
    No reflection on the science at WUWT, rather the viewing public in general, Maybe not so funny afterall. So I figured maybe Anthony will overtake KoreanIndo. Weeelllll… there is a lot of pseudo fetish androgeny there. Maybe Anthony, we can only hope.
    In the big scheme of things WUWT is competitive with chatty celebrity and creepy asian fetish sites. I am ok with that.

  17. I personally enjoyed the ad for the National Equirer article: “Climate Scientists launch secret covert guerrilla group to infiltrate skeptical work groups.”

  18. Can’t we have an auto clicker which also sends the answers into the black hole behind the LED layer of the screen? Or maybe to an additional TAB in the background which can be closed with one click.

  19. You’ve hit the big time, Anthony! You have United Airlines and Hertz car rental paying for ads on your pages!

  20. Gerry Parker says:
    September 20, 2012 at 11:54 am
    I’m seeing a Fluke instrument company advertisement. As an engineer, that is probably the best ad I’ve seen on the web (friom my point of view). A decent company that makes good equipment.
    I saw their ad weeks ago and responded to order the printed edition of their “book” on thermal devices. I got a phone call and emails from marketing. No book.
    At $2k to $10k per device, I had a serious interest. Not to question their products but their marketing is at a loss, at least from me.

  21. I checked out your top competitors and am pretty sure I will never visit those blogs again. It must be pretty scary for the alarmists that a skeptic blog is beating out even social celebrity blogs and the alarmist readership has become non-existent..

  22. Don’t sweat the adds, I reached add saturation years ago, actually did not even notice the change and I am a daily lurker.

  23. Anthony, I always click the ads to reward the blogs I read. And I actually like my ads. If anyone’s dissatisfied with the ads, just search what you want to see on google with cookies enabled. Google instantly adjusts. One time a colleague wondered whether everyone on the Internet gets model train ads like him. I assured him that that is not the case.

  24. Congratulations on your new ranking. I wonder if the warmists realize that it is probably their vehement reaction to the PBS interview, as much as the show itself, that has brought you the increased traffic.
    Wordpress have got to make money somehow. It was good of them to comply with your request but instead of suggesting that you might move to a private server you could just point them to all the positive comments you have made about their service, including this one. I’ve considered setting up my own blog (and may still) and WordPress is my first choice because of what I’ve read here. I’m sure I’m not alone in that.

  25. No prob with ads here, especially if you get even a small percentage. Just keep up the great effort–you are really #1, but they just don’t want to admit it….

  26. Appreciate the change too – I noticed this a day or so ago and it was a pain. I recommend flashblock for, er, flash ads and setting the image_animation_mode setting in Firefox to “none” – everything seems better then.
    I would also contribute to a no / fewer ads version – maybe a membership ? I’m sure it would also trigger the SKS “conspiracy of membership” posting too 😉 although I am a lukewarmer

  27. Liked the T Shirt add. Refreshed to see another girl, but got someone in Penn who spreads road salt??? Now it is a LGBT book store. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

  28. To WordPress Management,
    The banner ad is, in my opinion, very NEGATIVE advertising for WordPress. They should keep it up only If they want to repel new business.
    That WordPress would stomp upon your page design so blatently is reason number one other business owners should not to use WordPress as a blog or publishing platform. WUWT might have too much invested in the WordPress design and database to warrent changing. But everyday the banner remains is a reminder not to choose WordPress for new projects.
    I have no problem with the advertizing “below the fold”, below the main post and tags and above the comments.

  29. I just added taboola as s regular filter to AdBlock Plus, and they were gone. But I’m very happy that it’s a deal-breaker to you…if my filter hadn’t worked, I would’ve been here less.

  30. A guest post with Joe Romm? Man!! How we could have some easy fun with that!! But seriously, some of the ads can be entertaining and they are usually easy enough to block. Not going to affect my visitations one whit.

  31. “I do get a little revenue when somebody clicks on those ads”
    OK, now back to reading. 🙂

  32. Well I’m happy for any revenue that might accrue to you as a result of those ads.
    I don’t know how long the internet has existed; but however long it has been, I have never; as in not ever, clicked on ANY add deliberately. Now when I go to the star to click on that t bring down my favorites list to go to WUWT (or anywhere else) that favorites list comes down on top of those ads, so If I screw up and double click on WUWT, I will end up with the ad site first, and some of those ads agressively won’t let you leave. So whenever any of those ad sites opens, I simply hold down the power on key and turn off the computer, and deal with any lost info that occurs when I reboot. This includes ads for things that might be my most favorite things in life
    So notice to advertisers; I know when I want to buy something, and will go and shop for it then. I will never buy anything in response to an ad, especially ads that intrude on what I am doing.

  33. Anthony,
    I have no problem with the ads at all.
    Congratulations on the significantly increased exposure of WUWT!!! You deserve it, and I mean that in the most complimentary way.
    Regarding the PBS piece containing your interview, you have benefited from the broader public exposure of WUWT as being reasonable and balanced in direct contrast to the extremes and imbalance of such venues as John Cook’s site.
    Most importantly, as a result of the PBS exposure, I think a significant number of the new visitors at WUWT will find the balance more convincing than the alternatives; which will result in more widespread reasoned knowledge of the climate science dialog. One cannot ask for a better result than that if you are an independent thinker.
    With regards to the discussion about you staying with WP or not, everyone has only so much energy. I suggest the most important reason for WUWT staying with WP is so you can direct your very valuable energy to the most import things like content and being proactive. With WP you would continue to not need much energy for webhosting processes. Take care.

  34. Re: “Is there another bear markety around the corner?” banner.
    OK, the picture looks almost like a polar bear, but theydl get more attention if it were swimming for its life, not just standing there on the ice growling!

  35. I’ve barely seen any ads in the last several years ANYWHERE on the internet. Certainly not seen any here. AdBlockPlus (for Firefox) is clearly doing a fine job.

  36. Under the “Better to light one candle..” department.
    I use IE9.
    Goto Tools, Internet Options, Security Tab,
    Restricted Sites, click Sites button.
    Add this website to the zone:
    click Add.
    Banner ad is now gone. So is the tolerable ad below the fold.
    Google, be sure to thank WordPress for making googleadservices.com personna non grata on my browser. It might not be a permanent solution, but it feels so good!

  37. Stoopid Housewives…they’re probably the ones doing peer review on anything coming out of UEA, UVA, and all the other CAGW fountains of fear-mongering folly….

  38. Anthony, no worries, there was only one objectionable ad I saw…. it had Lewandowsky in red tights trying to portray a climate superhero landing on the moon……
    or something like that…..

  39. Basically I agree with Dirk @ 12:17; using Google Chrome. Want to see ads for cars – go to a car site. Guitars – visit Gibson. How about a computer – visit tiger direct. And so on.
    It is also easy to ignore them. Have you ever lived near train tracks?; got a cuckoo clock? After a few days you don’t hear them – unless you want too.

  40. I have no problem with you making money off of the ads. Besides, the National Inquirer et al have more integrity than the NYT, WaPo, ABC, MSNBC, etc. put together. The National Inquirer is honest about what they are.
    Steamboat Jack (Jon Jewett’s evil twin)

  41. The ad just below your article and before the comments at present here in UK is for Rugby League – I bet you don’t know what that is and it is certainly not something I would expect to see on WUWT.
    Seriously, I don’t mind the ads at all.

  42. Well done Anthony. Since the targetted ads don’t seem to include lunar landing conspiracy oriented theme’s maybe get Prof. Lewandowsky to check the targetting algorithm’s? They must be wrong, right?

  43. Anthony, it was only when you raised the subject, did I discover that I must have developed a cerebral filter system that somehow constantly filters out ads of no interest to me (most) and occasionally allows one through if suitable. Seriously, they are not a problem and if it helps finance your activities, that’s great.

  44. Make some spare change, Anthony. No need to apologize.
    In general, I barely notice them, but now and then one of the targeted ads does catch my eye and I click.
    Confession: some of the targeted ads crack me up! Because I’m visiting a climate blog, every now and then there’s an ad for something meant to appeal to the CAGW-WAGTD-acolyte and I just have to giggle when they miss the target so badly. (Anybody else?)

  45. I love the ads, so many of them are deliciously inappropriate for the articles they are attached to. If the advertisers realized what the articles were about, they would have apoplexy over paying for ad views. I even click on the ones that are both appropriate and interesting. Snorg Tees are actually entertaining.

  46. After years of using the Internet I can just sort of “Ommmm” them out of existence.
    You do what you have to do, but I rather think that the absence or presence of ads is unlikely to deter the regular readers of this site.
    More traffic is good. As my dear old Dad used to say on the subject: “Every knock is a boost as long as they spell your name right!”

  47. I, for one, enjoy clicking on warmest or just general liberal sites. Anthony gets a little$$ and it costs them.

  48. Just like free TV, ads are what allows much of the free content on the Internet to exist. So, just like 30 second TV spots, I tune them out. If I were you, I would keep where you are, I think the benefits to you outweigh the aggravation to us. Plus the possible future aggravation from running your own site.
    But I really like the fact that you care! That say quite a bit about you!

  49. Personal note…
    Five or six years ago it was against blog policy on Climate Audit
    to discuss how to go about blocking webhost inserted ads.
    Here on WUWT as on ClimateAudit, over the years, all I’ve ever seen
    are single line links instead of banners, boxes or things that go “blink”
    on the screen.
    Stephen Rasey says:
    September 20, 2012 at 12:59 pm
    Goto Tools, Internet Options, Security Tab,
    Restricted Sites, click Sites button.
    Add this website to the zone:
    click Add.
    Steve, you’re giving away some of our best tricks !

  50. Certainly, no apology is needed for success.
    Nor the actions of those who glom onto said success.
    We know where to find the posts, it ain’t that hard 🙂

  51. george e smith;
    and some of those ads agressively won’t let you leave. So whenever any of those ad sites opens, I simply hold down the power on key and turn off the computer,
    Wow. Now that’s doing it the hard way. Turn “pop up blocker” on, and 90% of that cr@p goes away. If you hit a web page that won’t “let you go back” just double click the back button instead of single click. In most cases there’s a background script running, so a single click takes you back to the beginning of script while a double click backs you out of the page.
    If you still can’t “get away” just close the browser. No need to reboot the whole computer.

  52. I guess this also counts as an answer to all those people who were asking on the other threads whether l’affaire PBS was getting you extra hits. (And reminds me of those other ads “We’re only No.2 … so we try harder” … Move over, Koreanindo!)
    Seriously, pretty damn impressive, and well done. Let’s hope a few folk wake up to what’s going on. No, make that a lot of folk.

  53. Glad to hear that you found the Taboola ads distasteful and inappropriate for a science blog. I was wondering what had changed when I noticed the new advertising the other day; your explanation makes perfect sense.

  54. Feh. There’s so damned much advertising on the Intertubes nowadays that it seems kinda existentially wrong somehow for my Firefox add-ons to have nothing to block

  55. I’m also using the latest version of Firefox with Adblock Plus enabled but the “Taboola” ads were NOT blocked and I definitely noticed them. They first appeared in the Steve Schneider atrticle a couple of days ago and I was really surprised that it slipped through Adblock. After inspecting the elements on the page I created the following custom Adblock filter: ||taboolasyndication.com^$third-party …and — poof! — the ads disappeared.
    Now I’m checking WUWT in IE9 (which does not block ads) and I can confirm that the Taboola ads are no longer there. So to those who think Adblock plus is blocking them, you are mistaken. At least for me, the ads initially slipped through Adblock totally unscathed. And believe you me, they were very annoying flash-based ads about cheesecake recipes. I was wondering which sites I had recently visited to trigger such targeted advertisements. I don’t remember watching any Golden Girls episodes on Youtube recently. Not that I watch Golden Girls or anything…

  56. No need to worry unless you’re overtaken by “STOOPID HOUSEWIVES”.
    Thanks for the tip, I’ll check it out. Might be interesting. Or a dating service?

  57. I presume that’s the deal you signed up to. Don’t look bad to me (other than usual marketing ability to communicate – the Cresline USB stick ad showing a very common design of stick is meaningless, no information to motivate the reader). Can you reject categories of advertisers?

  58. The only time ads are an issue is when you are trying to read from your &*@#%! phone that can’t seem to actually live up to the 4G hype… or 3G, or 1xRTT, or 300 baud… sigh…

  59. Yeah, yeah, apology for the ads.
    Don’t try and kid us. We know you have a money bin where you swim in the five billion quintiplitilion unptuplatillion multuplatillion impossibidillion fantasticatrillion six hundred and twenty-three dollars and sixty-two cents you have garned from the ads on this site. ( johnpetroff told us in the Glaciation thread.)
    So just sit in your CO2-emitting private plane, sup up that champage, and gloat.
    And send a few $$$ to me, please.

  60. One thing about clicking on those ads to get Anthony some money – they also bring money in for WordPress.
    I did click on the Fluke color IR imager in hopes WordPress/Google/whatever would be more inclined to put up geek ads instead of abs ads….

  61. jorgekafkazar says (September 20, 2012 at 11:56 am): “Ads? There were ads?”
    Exactly. I think a lot of us just tune out most ads automatically. And I put up with a lot more ads on sites I like a lot less.

  62. I turned on an ad-blocker the the other day. It works. Some of them I actually miss, but glad to get rid of the popups, especially the sticky ones.

  63. Roy UK 11.42 pm asks how could you beat Koreanindo
    One way would be to develop a computer game with great graphics with scientists showing up alarmists of all sorts.Start with earth orbit crossing planetoids hurricanes global melting floods immersion of coral atolls and death by exotic disease together with species extinction. A good CG graphics would ensure success. Then release it virally on the internet.

  64. I for one appreciate the ads. I click on them to get the informationI need to add their product to my “do not buy this EVER” list. It gives Anthony money and tweeks the nose of zealot companies.

  65. It is very, very nice that more people know about WUWT. Plenty of good reading here! 🙂
    And all the visits make it clear that people are not convinced and are searching for what is the truth about “global warming”.

  66. I also get the Fluke ads which I presumed was the result of looking for lab equipment like an FTIR and such like. In fairness I only click on ads for things I am actually interested in. But I do, like Pamela, use them as a filter : never buy anything advertised on TV or the Internet.

  67. Thanks for the tip: it really speeds up my browser.
    James Padgett says:
    September 20, 2012 at 11:29 am
    No need to apologize. People can download NoScript if they use Firefox which will also have the benefit of stopping them from getting new viruses if they are smart with it.
    Maybe you can find something useful or amusing to do with the money if it turns out to be significant? How much does an ad in the New York Times cost?

  68. In addition to Google’s own, I get ads from AGW surfing companies (“We can measure your CO2 emissions …) , ie snake oil selling companies that seem to do anything to gain money on the AGW hoax .. .

  69. No problem.
    Having seen what DDoS can do to a Website that dealt with security and had the willing/free help of security experts (with authority to act) at major ISPs; you made the best choice.

  70. The Ads don’t bother me. (Though my wife did ask me why there was a the girl in her underwear and a tee shirt on the screen.)
    But I did find it amusing the “banner ad” at the moment reads, “Bank of America®
    Our Goal is to Reduce Our Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 15%.”
    Two thoughts:
    1. Really wrong site for that Ad.
    2. Just get Obama to stop burning our money.

  71. Have clicked on adverts. Please enjoy the small injection of funds at their expense 🙂 I think I’ll keep doing it!

  72. So that’s what Richard Black was twittering on about! He noticed before the rest of us.
    I didn’t know Black was a WUWT “fanboy” as the warmist say
    How do i embed an image?

  73. I was amused to see a Stat Oil advert across the top yesterday.
    The ads aren’t intrusive for me. Interesting articles and interesting comments make them fade into the background.

  74. I don’t mind the advertisements, they’re an amusing game to see what kind of peer group the advertisers think we are.

  75. @prjingigo
    The adverts are probably targetted by the use of cookies, so the chances are you are receiving ads related to your internet habits. In the EU users have to agree to these cookies or opt out, which screws the target ads.
    If your receiving ads for battery operated “rabbits” 😉 it’s not the groups fault, you need to avoid certain sites (j/k)

  76. Oh, that’s why there are references to NoScript. With Javascript enabled I see the ads, with it disabled, I don’t see the new ones. I generally view WUWT from my main computer with Javascript disabled because my ancient Firefox loads WUWT pages much faster that way.
    I use an add-on called QuickJava that adds a couple buttons in the lower right that toggle Java and Javascript on and off. See http://quickjavaplugin.blogspot.com/
    I dynamic ads so Flashblock is a critically important add-on too, see https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/flashblock/
    I’m not familiar with NoScript, but I stumbled on it at http://noscript.net/ , it looks like it’s the way to go. Maybe I’ll try it on my laptop.
    I had hoped to build and move to a new computer this summer, but never got past step 1 (Clean the office). Sigh.
    Now that we’re finally getting cool weather in New England, fall is worth a couple months of outdoors activities, so maybe November.

  77. I must confess that I am so use to ads (on any website), that I had not really noticed them until others mentioned them. Needless to say, you are not earning any money from me as I never click them.
    The price of success I guess. But fortunately, as long as they do not “fly over” the content, they are easily ignored.

  78. Mama taught me to ignore advertisements when I was very young. I totally tune them out whether they are on the screen, tv, radio, or billboard. Just don’t notice them anymore. It’s a wonderful skill to cultivate.

  79. connertown says:
    September 21, 2012 at 7:11 am
    Well handled. Thanks for sharing.
    I agree with others that you should have a “tip jar”.
    Anthony Watts says:
    September 21, 2012 at 7:17 am
    There is a tip jar, on the right side bar –
    It doesn’t say “Tip Jar”. It’s an oval yellow button around the word “Donate”.
    Perhaps Anthony should add the words “Tip Jar” in the area for those used to seeing that?

  80. http://www.keithsketchley.com/crestlad.pdf is an example of marketing people not thinking. That’s an ad that showed up on WUWT.
    It shows what some people will recognize as a particular USB stick from Kingston, it or equivalents are readily available in retail stores like Best Buy. But you can’t buy a few from Crestline, they want to sell you 50 or more customized with your organization’s logo/name.
    A silly aspect is that they have versions that aren’t in most retail stores, with a key ring for example. But they don’t put their best forward in the ad. Even the words are obscure – what is “Solved”?
    So the ad will get clicks from many people who want only a few, yet won’t get clicks from the buyers they want because it does not communicate what the real offering is. (Products with your name on them that people will use in a way that they see your name frequently.)

  81. Don’t worry for the adds, good if they bring in some sponsoring money. I miss the climate adds, at least that would be a right redirection…

  82. @ R.S.Brown says: Sept 20 at 2:56 pm
    RE: “against blog policy …. to discuss how to go about blocking webhost inserted ads. ”
    True. Ads pay the bills. Until now I never went to the bother of blocking ads, much less tell others how to do it. I plead “Justifiable Addicide”. WordPress got greedy and needed to be taught a lesson. If WordPress gets a call from GoogleAdServices, so much the better.
    I believe that for every action, there is an opposite reaction, not necessarily of equal magnitude.

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