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How Many Ads Should a Blog Have? – A Visual Breakdown

Engadget Ads

Photoshopblog has an interesting post that highlights (in visual form) the breakdown of different components of Engadget – specifically looking at the amount of the blog dedicated to the article itself, comments, site navigation, advertising and Weblog Inc navigation.

See the full visualization here.

The post under analysis is quite obviously much smaller in terms of post content than any other aspect but it is worth keeping in mind that they’ve done the test on just one of thousands of posts that Engadget has in their archives. Some posts will come up better under such analysis and some worse.

I can also think of a variety of blogs that have more or less content than Egadget does in comparison to other elements.

The comment thread in the post is pretty interesting and shows the diversity of opinions that people have on the topic of ads on blogs.

What do you think about the content/advertising balance on Engadget? How does it compare to your own blogging projects?

Found via Blog Herald

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Comments

  1. Sammy says:

    When we’re talking about Engadget specifically, they’ve definitely gone way overboard with ads.

    How does it compare to my blog? I’ll admit, I personally can’t stand ads on blogs. There is one exception. I don’t mind the ads that are placed just below the header logos(primarily found) with one row of about 5 words and that’s it. We all know what ads look like. We don’t need to bombarded with banners and descriptions, etc. If a person is truly interested, they’ll click. Otherwise, what a waste of precious space for content.

    Just out of curiousity, I placed some Google Ads on my blog, but I’m thinking about pulling them down. I don’t like them at all. I’ll live without the dollar here and there I would have earned.

    Personally, I would rather bloggers use affiliate links and hyperlinks in their posts if they’re looking to earn revenue from affiliate or ads. Less intrusive.

    But hey… that’s just my opinion.

  2. joker says:

    “Just out of curiousity, I placed some Google Ads on my blog”

    To Sammy:

    U have no idea what google adsense is and your placement of adsense is totally crap. This only shows that you are a total noob.

    On top of your google ad u even labelled ‘SHOW YOUR SUPPORT’. Losers like you that complain about google adsense should learn more or else you can just leave this blog.

  3. Darren Rowse says:

    Sammy – I think what joker is trying to say is that if you’re wanting to use AdSense effectively you might want to get rid of the ‘show your support’ heading above them (not allowed as it can be seen to be encouraging readers to click) and you might like to think about your ad placement (I’ve written some suggestions here and here. ;-)

  4. Stanley says:

    What a coincidence. In the last post on my blog I explained how I use ads in my templates to force me to stay away from short posts. By including a 600px high skyscraper in the template for single posts I force myself to write articles of at least 350 words.

    It’s just a different approach, but at least it’s an approach aiming to serve content.

  5. jim says:

    Open up any magazine these days and it seems as though they’re suffering from the same thing, don’t you think? The only difference is that often times the ads are on full pages so it doesn’t disturb the reader’s experience as often (unless you’re trying to find an article on a page).

    This is another reason why you should be reading stuff via RSS if it’s possible. :)

  6. Paul Short says:

    Engadget is pretty tame if you look at some of the other sites out there. Go visit a major news site or a scraper and try and find the real content, it’s nearly impossible. And like Jim said above, open up any magazine or daily newspaper.

  7. What annoys me when people complain about adverts on sites is that they are being disrespectful of the work writers are putting in to produce articles.

    Words on a screen don’t appear out of thin air and good sites that have built up an audience have done that through the quality of their writing, not because they don’t run ads.

    If you are disrespectful of your readers and stick ads in the way of your words you will soon see your audience drift away – so it works both ways.

  8. Grokodile says:

    No point in worry about it… if the ratio gets too extreme or if the ads start to hide the content, people will stop linking to it and stop reading it.

    There is a self-corrective process here… ;)

  9. Patrick says:

    No problem with it at all. It’s an appropriate number. And they look fine to me. They appear to be in appropriate locations. You have to be top heavy, because that is where people look, generally what makes the most money – and what advertisers want.

    The thing that is lost here is the lack of consideration for the fact that (to my knowledge), they don’t serve popups, popunders, invues, interstitials, etc. I’m not a regular reader, but that was my understanding. Personally, I’ve always been astonished to see people complain publicly about on page advertising like this on sites that they do not own.

  10. A.B. Dada says:

    Darren, I found the best balance of advertising can be found at my favorite blog that I write:

    http://www.thetrendcellar.com/money/lookhere.html

    I’d highly recommend it for everyone who wants to balance content with advertising

    :)

  11. A.B. Dada says:

    (FWIW that link is a joke, but it is appropriate for the topic of discuss).

    Grok is correct about the balance of advertising versus content. Sites that over-advertise are the ones that are quickly ignored, and this will show itself in a drop in income. Less is not always more, but more is also not always more!

  12. Catnabbit says:

    What’s getting scary is the number of people that see an advertisement and instantly say “no! no ads! i don’t want to be advertised to!” These are the same people who fast forward through commercials on their Tivos. Do they also not look at billboards on freeways and do they rip out the advertisements from their magazines? Tasteful placement of advertising should be allowed. There are also ad-blocking mechanisms out there if someone truly dislikes seeing ads. Why be so on-fire about it? If it is so terribly bad, they don’t have to look at the site at all.. but consider the alternative that without any advertising at all, one might never know of a special deal or a way to save money or a nice event that they could have attended. Opening up to a little tasteful advertising really doesn’t hurt — and it might even lower the blood pressure a bit.

  13. Deborah says:

    I think the Engadget blog is ad-heavy, but it’s not overhwelming. As long as I can read some good content, I don’t care how many ads are on a site.

    Because the majority of my readers don’t like the ads, I’m conservative with my placement. As a result, my AdSense earnings are pitiful. I’ll be looking into text-link ads shortly to see if this will help me raise the earnings bar.

    A. B. Data: That was a fabulous parody! :D

  14. A.B. Dada says:

    Deborah: Thanks :)

    As for your conservative ad placement, I think there is a fine balance between too much and too little. Your 486x ad units at the bottom of each post aren’t too flashy, but they’re 2 columns wide which can annoy some people. I switched the 336x large rectangles in the same spot as your 486′s and I get more clicks (and the ads are laid out better even if occupying more space).

    One big thing to help get your ads balanced is to ask people you trust to review your site. I did that, and I actually lowered my ad count significantly but my CTR went way up. Sometimes people don’t mind ads if they’re tastefully placed AND relevant.

  15. Deborah says:

    Thanks for your help, A.B. :) I’ve jotted down your suggestions so I fix all of my blogs.

  16. Stuart says:

    It kinds of flies in the face of the theory that “less is more” when it comes to Google adverts — four adblocks and a link unit on a single page — I guess that’s a reflection on the volume of traffic they get thet is worth still running a fourth block with four adverts — how much could a click on Advert #15 possibly pay??!!

  17. Pewari says:

    Engadget is okay – just about bordering on the useable in terms of ad/content ratio. There are some blogs I’ve come across though where you actively have to play “hunt the content” and they’re an instant turn off, for me at least.

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