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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

About Advertising

Dear Readers,

I thought about using, "I don't support Scott Walker" as the title of this post, but that would be way too political for my liking. And while it would be a good SEO ploy, that's not what this post is about. It's about advertising that you see here on my blog.

I received an email today from a reader who was very concerned that I had accepted money from Scott Walker for an advertisement that she saw here on Free Technology for Teachers. First, I want to clarify that I do not support Scott Walker nor did I intentionally display that advertisement. That advertisement was a Google Adsense unit. I currently have two Adsense units on this blog. Adsense displays ads to viewers on an individual basis based on each individual's browsing and viewing history. I only receive a payment if someone clicks on one of those ads. If you want to opt out of Google's tracking I wrote about how to opt-out here. In short, I never saw the Scott Walker ad until it was pointed out to me because Google currently thinks that the best ads to display to me are about mountain biking, dogs, and airlines (they're actually pretty accurate too).

Where I messed up.
While Google Adsense does have filters for categories like "dating," "health," and other potentially PG-13 categories it does not have a filter for "political ads." It was my mistake not to foresee an ad campaign by Scott Walker and block the url for his campaign ads which is something I have done now.

What I'll do in the future.
The 2012 U.S. Presidential Election Campaigns will be in full swing this summer. In an effort to be as bi-partisan as possible, I will try to block urls from both campaigns.

Why don't you stop running ads?
I'm sure some people are wondering that. The short answer is, ads help me keep the lights on and feed my dog.  Researching and writing content for this blog takes 50+ hours a week. While I never intended to start a small business, thanks to so many of you and your loyal readership, this blog did turn into a small business. For that, I am very very grateful. Thank you for reading my blog and sharing with others.

All the best,
Richard

P.S. If you do see an advertisement that is inappropriate please feel free to email to me the url of the ad and I will block it. My email is richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers (dot) com