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Annoying Ads

By Shamus
on Friday Oct 26, 2007
Filed under:


I notice my Google ads have gone nuts lately. Time to clean house again.

Since the ending of DMotR, this site has been pretty tightly dedicated to a couple of core subjects, so Google should have no problem figuring out what ads should be running here. But instead of better targeting, I’m getting ads for all kinds of stupid stuff. One of them is for some sort of “enviro-friendly waterless toilet. (Enviro-friendly? Is human waste no longer biodegradeable?) Whatever. It may or may not be something my readers might want, but Google seriously needs a checkbox labeled “NEVER EVER ADVERTISE PINK TOILETS ON MY SITE, EVEN IF IT’S A CHOICE BETWEEN THAT AND FURRY PORN.” Selling toilets on my website? Not in this lifetime.

That ad has been nixed, which means it should stop showing up in the next 24 hours or so. I’ve also killed some unwanted stuff for ringtones and that sort of thing. Still, I’d like to ask for your help in tracking down crap ads. Here are the sorts of ads I want to kill:

  1. Ads that are NSFW. Pretty girls are ok. Pretty girls in bikinis are not ok. Pretty girls with nothing on but some text or bits of cloth covering their naughty bits are right out. This is a geek site, not Maxim.
  2. Crap ads. I have no interest in mortgages, “Win a free “XBox 360”, ringtones, and other trashy, cheap, scam-like junk. I resent ads from these people (since they often ALSO send spam) but they make it worse on themselves by making their ads blindingly ugly. Jerx.
  3. Political ads. I keep my politics to myself on this site, so I’m not about to give the next batch of tyrants and cannibals a place to sell themselves here. Presidential ads in particular are very unwelcome.

If you see one of the above appear, please drop the domain name of the site in the comments, here or in any other post. If you tell me “I see an ad for free ringtones” that doesn’t help me, because I don’t know where it goes so I have no way of blocking it. If you tell me, “I see an ad for ringtonespammers.com” then I can block the ad. Note that the URL should be listed underneath, so you shouldn’t have to click on the offending ad.

Also: I see on other sites they have great ads for videogames and nothing else. I’d hate to give up on my existing ads, which include RPG dice and other cool stuff, but if Google is going to continue behaving like this then I’m going to look elsewhere. An ad for videogames or dice enhances my site. An ad for toilets detracts from the value of the site in ways I can’t begin to calculate. This ain’t no Home Depot.

But where do you go to run those videogame ads? I Googled around for an hour (er… maybe “Googling” was a bad idea in this case) and couldn’t find anything except services that wanted to provide advertising FOR me. Maybe those ads are only available for “large” sites and they don’t want to deal with hobby blogs. Still, if anyone knows about who provides those ads and where I can go to check it out, please drop a link in the comments.

(Also: If you are using some sort of ad-blocking and never see the ads, you really don’t need to brag about it. It’s a free net and I don’t object at all to surfing on your own terms. But, I pay for bandwidth with this ad revenue, so this isn’t a case where I’m going to give you a high five for your efforts. I’m not going to join you in cheering, “YEAH! Stick it to The Man!” in cases where The Man is me.)

EDIT: The ads at Kotaku are what I’m looking for. Videogames and technology stuff. I wouldn’t use that many (and I don’t need to, since I’m a lot smaller than Kotaku) but one ad that is reliably relevant and technology / videogame focused would be perfect.

Comments (102)

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  1. Dev Null says:

    This one:
    Was my favorite off of your site. (So much so I felt the need to blog about it myself, which is why I have the link to the photo lying around.)

    I mean ok: free online game.
    Lame: advertise free online game with picture of mostly naked woman with enormous breasts.
    Silly: advertise a _strategy_ game with a picture of… (what? Dating strategy?)
    Over-the-top Ridiculously Lame: Write “Free to play” between her legs.

    But the topper? Having ticked all of the boxes above, call your game Pox Nora. Oh! I get it now! Its a strategy game about trying to get cheap whores until you catch the pox from some girl named Nora! Uhm… no thanks guys.

  2. Shamus says:

    americainsingles.com – Gone.

    Thanks Katy!

  3. Rob says:

    I’m still getting Chatterbean and Tiger Balm. Huh. Anyway, there was one I saw constantly recently that said ‘Click if you are over 18’, which redirected to something completely unrelated to horror. Not NSFW, just annoying. But I haven’t seen it in the past few dozen refreshes. Already nixed?

  4. Heather says:

    I believe the “Click if you are over 18” was nixed when wife pointed out just how much she hated said ad regardless of where it actually links–it is EVERYWHERE and I HATES IT!

  5. Shamus says:

    It actually takes 24 hours for “killed” ads to stop showing up. No I don’t know why.

    Google, mysterious it is.

  6. Taelus says:

    I ran into these, so maybe they’re alright, but here ya go anyway:

    Double Sided Tape
    Find Industrial Services Solutions For Your Business. Get It Done Now!

    Sidewalk Display Signs
    Windproof, Double-Sided Curb Signs w/ Easy-to-Use PosterGrip® Loading.

    Enjoy the blockage and or ignoring of me :-)

  7. Rob says:


    [Button with heart on it]


  8. M says:

    I honestly didn’t see the bit about not mentioning it if I had adblocking.

    I didn’t *tell* Firefox to block ads from this site; it did that automatically, I’m trying to figure out how to disable it.

  9. M says:

    Sorry to double-comment, but:
    I really, honestly did not intend to be an ass.
    I managed to find the filter Firefox was using, and the ads are displaying correctly now. Both of the advertisements I’m seeing are for online games.

  10. Shamus says:

    M: I apologize for being rude. Please don’t hold it against me.

    I saw the comment and thought you were just trying to be be rude on purpose. I suppose I should have realized you probably skimmed the post.

    Sorry again.

  11. Roxysteve says:

    [Shamus] Your blacklists of unwanted tripe are probably listed in one or more of the umptytump MySQL databases Google uses to manage their content organ (according to a story on The Register today). You are in a scripted queue somewhere waiting for a scheduled database update would be my guess.

    The only way to expedite this process is to put more mango in your diet. 4 out of 5 doctors feel that mango is an important part of a healthy diet, and speeds the processing of SQL scripts on remote servers by up to 20 times when used in conjunction with excercise and parametric analysis techniques. At least they do when we pay them enough to say so. Why not enjoy one of our extensive range of mango products today?

    The Mango Marketing Board of Greater New York.

    Proud sponsor of


  12. CJG says:

    I get ads for this guy “Shamus Young” on Zazzle.

  13. theshiningfool says:

    Forgive my ignorance of web-commerce, but do you mean that you get paid for allowing advertisers to have their ads on your page, or do people have to be able to see the adds? If they have to be able to see the adds for you to get paid, do they also have to click on the adds? Currently I use addblockers, but that was because I thought you got paid for providing a place for advertisers to place their adds. If I need to click an occasional advert to keep my favorite sites in business, I will.

  14. neminem says:

    Congrats – you’re now the first person on my adblock whitelist. I didn’t even realize you had ads, of course, until now, but they’re quite tasteful ones.

    Of course, you realize that the more people use the phrase “furry porn”, the more likely you are to start seeing vaguely-furry-related google ads, right?

    Furry porn. :p

  15. neminem says:

    Oh, incidentally, I not only enabled ads on this site, I even *gasp* [i]clicked[/i] on one! I was curious what sort of free MMO would, despite being free, feel like spending money on web ads. Apparently: the kind whose website doesn’t like Firefox. Way to go, flyff.

  16. Sauron says:

    I must say, I really didn’t notice that this site had ads at all. In fact, when I saw this post, I started looking to see if Ad Block had become a standard feature of Firefox! It took me a moment to find out where exactly the ads were….

    On an unrelated note, neminem: Adam?

  17. Andre (xero) says:

    I block ads… but I enable them for sites I want to support, like yours.

  18. Ishmael says:

    Here’s an odd situation… I enabled everything I could in firefox and my addons for your site, and I STILL don’t see any ads… what exactly should I be seeing? ^^;

  19. Mari says:

    I just popped back ’round to read comments while I wait for my pies to bake and decided to add the following to the discussion: furry porn ;-)

  20. Shawn says:

    Man, I sure do love environmentally safe furry porn that’s on a toilet. Also, naked pics of David Caruso.

  21. Mari says:

    Shawn, you’re an evil, evil man to bring up furry toilet porn and naked David Caruso. Oh well. You could have done worse, it could have been furry toilet porn and naked David Hasselhoff.

  22. Taelus says:

    Mari: Isn’t that kind of redundant given how furry David Hasselhoff is? Also, my God in heaven how did this go from something about bad ads to being a random smut section?

    Ok, so I get why Shawn did it…he’s probably more or less immune to the blocking thing by Shamus since they’re working together, but the rest of us can soooo get curb stomped for stuff like this…that or Shamus will start throwing bricks…

  23. Joerg Mosthaf says:

    Just whitelisted your blog as well – and got an ad for kwc.parship.de a german dating service.
    So yeah – it seems to select ads by the ip-adress of the browser.
    Great blog – about the only one I read even after the DMotR has finished.

  24. Avaz says:

    Just saw one for roadkilltshirts.com

  25. Rob says:

    New one: Smarter.com; which is selling, of all things, Jacuzzis.

  26. Zaghadka says:

    Ghost Rider Ringtones


    And I really do think that the portal gun could revolutionize waste management.

    (P.S.: I think you might just go nuts trying to micromanage all the little text “blurbs,” perhaps you should just focus on the big honking graphics, or ban them outright?)

  27. DarkLadyWolf says:

    I like pink toilets.

  28. ngthagg says:


    Apparently teaches you to speak Hebrew really really fast.

  29. inky13112 says:

    Bathroom Toilet Guide
    Learn About Bathroom Toilets That Can Make Your Life Easier At HGTV.

  30. Rob says:

    So, are you going to tell us how much your ad revenue went up (percentage-wise) last month since you’ve had us clicking on all your ads to see where they go? ;)

  31. Candyman says:

    I’m looking at no less than 3 toilet adds and one ringtone add right now:



    You’d think with all the toilet adds you might be running a site filled with crap here, but I find quite the opposite is true. Thanks for the entertainment troughout DMotR and FtB, Shamus.

  32. dudecon says:

    has an add featuring a rather ineffectively armored female.

  33. Rob says:

    How easy is it to customize those ads? Looking into them myself!

  34. Tharwen says:

    Hehe. The two ads on this article right now are for toilets (www.greenlogicenviro.com) and bathrooms (Duravit – no URL).

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