Thursday, September 25, 2008

Context-insensitive ads

AdSense has a lot of cool aspects to it, such as openness to even the smallest blog and some amount of customizability. AdSense ads are context-sensitive, based on what Google knows about the page, and thus supposed to be relevant to the consumer visiting the page. However, context sensitivity is not enough to ensure the ads are appropriate.
Any completely automated system just follow rules. Consider the following ill-advised or just plain wrong ad placements:
  • Tummy flattening ads for a site on pregnancy
  • Snake ads on a Monty Python site
  • Gun sales on a site about the ten-most-wanted criminal watch
  • Similarly, babysitting services on a site about child porn or pedophilia
  • Coke ads on a page about plant life extinction ("Coke adds life", don't you know?)
That being said, I bet there's a lot of interesting, even appropriate, placements that the advertisers wouldn't have thought of that AdSense might. Can anybody think of some? Or have you seen a bad ad placement? Please let me know!

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