Monday, March 28, 2011

The Google AdWords Conundrum

The expiration date for my $100 -- now $75 since March 11 -- Google AdWords gift card is looming and I'm not sure what to do. I feel silly for passing up an opportunity to advertise my blog for free and potentially increase hits to it, but I just don't like the idea of putting my blog in Google advertising. Why? I hate most Google ads that I see. They're hardly ever relevant to what I'm searching for or what I'm looking at.

I remember when I used to have Google Ads on my blog. This was back when I wrote mostly about my ongoing health issues, so I kept getting ads about MRI centres and remedies -- that kind of thing. I wasn't even complaining about MRI wait times or anything, but because my words and phrases matched the tags chosen by certain advertisers, those MRI ads came to me. I wasn't about to promote MRI centres. That's not what this blog is about. And how can I support an MRI centre I haven't even used before?

Also, Blogger doesn't seem to have any meta tag formatting for pages. A meta description is the summary of a website you see when you look at in a search page. It's under the title of the page. So I can't have proper meta descriptions without doing some hardcore html work on my blog's template. It's complicated and I don't really understand how it works. Instead, if you Google my blog title Beyond Passing Time, under each entry title, you'll see meta descriptions that just have lumps of text from that post, or even lumps of texts from comments. I'm not about to post that in Google ads because they wouldn't really make sense to people. Who would click on them?

My blog hasn't suffered from my lack of proper meta descriptions, though. By analyzing my blog statistics, I regularly see that people click on my blog after finding it on Google through searches. My discussion about the film Black Swan still gets traffic this way. I'm happy that Google ranks my posts high in certain searches. I'm confident that continuing to write about what people want to read will bring more traffic to this blog than Google Ads ever will.

Maybe I'd get even more traffic with better meta tags, as having popular and relevant words and phrases in your meta descriptions is important for search engine optimization of your site.

And maybe advertising my blog on Google would draw great traffic to it if I had good meta tags. Or who knows, maybe I'd get better traffic through Google advertising even with my bad meta descriptions. I don't know. I might take advantage of the $75 remainder of my Google AdWords gift card... Just to see what happens. I think advertising my poor meta tags would make me look like an unprofessional writer/amateur webmaster. Plus, I don't click on Google Ads. I don't even read the whole ad if the meta description is not a summary of the page. I don't expect people to do or hope that they will do what I wouldn't do myself.

Plus, I think the hippie in me is afraid of selling out. That's also partly why I very seldom post Amazon ads on here. I don't expect that if I put Google and Amazon ads on my site again, that I'd get enough clicks on the ads to get a significant profit. That's where the profit comes from. You don't get money from people seeing the ad on your site. Only if they click on it. And the amount of money depends on how much the site proprietor pays per click. It's not worth putting ads up just to make pennies a month.

Also, I just don't like the appearance of Google Ads. The design makes the ads looks so spammy and unreputable.

I think offering me free advertising and thanking me for using their services was a good online pr move on Google's part. It shows that the company is grateful for my help and wants my site to succeed, but also, like any freebie promotion, it can hook people in, so they'll want to continue using the service after they've used up the free part.

Do you ever click on Google Ads? Would create a Google Ad for your own blog? If you do advertise using Google Ads, does it generate significant traffic to your blog?

6 comments :

  1. I'm sorry but this is one way Google 'creeps me out'. I am so tired of seeing their suggestions on the sidebar of my in-coming or out-going mail. It rarely is anything actually relevant. Example: I wrote a friend about 'Mule Day', an annual celebration out here in the country that showcases the history of the mule in farming, so Google throws me an ad about 'mules', a woman's shoe style, that are currently on sale....

    so, who else is screening my activities? Well yes, spam engines run my blogs now and then and try to get in...for the most case my spam blocker cuts them off, but now and then they leave some remark on a post...like dog's peeing on a fire hydrant to let others know they were there! "Go away, you creeps!"

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  2. You lost me at "meta tags" Sorry! I hope others can answer your questions!

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  3. I had google ads, but no one ever clicked on them. I removed them after a month or two.

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  4. Don't be fooled by meta tags. Haven't been here in a while, but I'm a web dev / paid ads professional in real life.

    Meta keywords have been abandoned by Google for a few years now.

    Meta description is what shows up as the description in search engine results most times. I think that's what you're saying you're missing - and I don't think it's an option in blogger.

    The title of your page is what shows up as the hyperlink in search engine results, and Blogger places the name of the post in the title - along with the name of your blog. So that's taken care of.

    Everything else is content as far as what the ads pull from.

    Sorry, it's probably already too much. If I can help in any way, my contact email is in my profile on my blog. (And I don't mean contact me and I'll quote you and then help you - I mean all blogger-follower friend free. Anything I can do through email or even phone, I'm just happy to be a resource.)

    Oh, and Great Post! Have a great day!

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  5. I have received emails asking me if ads could be placed on my blog saying that it would increase traffic. Why would I want to increase traffic? I am not writing for the masses. Already, and this has me dumbfounded, my daughter placed a counter on my blog in July 09 for total page views and it shows over 115,000! I like your picture – you look healthy on it – I hope your health issues have been resolved or at least are much better.

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  6. Mythopolis - Yes, the ads seldom seem relevant and I'm assuming this is limiting how many clicks these ads get. See, if I saw relevant ads that interested me, I'd definitely click them! Thanks.

    Bossy - Ha, don't worry they can. Sorry I lost you! Thanks.

    the Tsaritsa - Yes, my case was the same. I'm sure lots of people can relate! Thanks.

    Ricky - Yes, thank you! I meant meta description, not meta tag. I'm not sure why I got those phrases confused, but I've corrected them. No, it's not an option in Blogger. Well, there's no easy way to do it, anyway. Yes, I know that the title is in the URL which can be so important for SEO, so that's good. Thanks so much for your help!!

    Vagabonde - I guess some people would be encouraged to put ads up if it would give them more traffic. So many crave traffic. I know I do. I'm not surprised so many people come to your blog because it's amazing. That picture is actually over two years old, before my nasty long illness, but I was healthy in it and I'm doing well now! Thanks so much for your comment.

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