the blog is advertising free, again

I don’t like spending any money unless I feel it’s absolutely necessary, especially on the blog. I get queries for WordPress plugins and SEO “guidance”, all of which ask for money. I normally lump WordPress plans into that same category of not worth spending money on, until one day I looked at my site without having logged in, and discovered this:
This is a screen capture off of my iPad using Safari. It’s not the Best Buy TV deal that bothers me, but the fake wellness advertisement underneath. The second is one of the milder ones. Over a short period of time I spotted ads for toe fungus, anti-wrinkle cures, male impotence, and so much more. If the ads were limited to simply hawking tech or cars or some other “regular” item I wouldn’t object (not much). But it’s not. WordPress is allowing truly questionable, morally reprehensible, if not right on the edge of illegal, snake oil ads to appear on my site. So this morning I pulled out the credit card and paid for two years of WordPress’ Personal Plan. It’s more than I really wanted to spend, but I at least saved a few bucks with two years instead of just one.

I refuse to put up with these ads, and I’ll be damned if I subject my readership to them.

This isn’t the first time I’ve paid for a Personal Plan. I had a Personal Plan on the site almost from the beginning. In 2018 I stepped up to their Business Plan, in part because I wanted to see what the advantages might be, in part because I thought I could use this site to anchor work in retirement, and in part because they pro-rated the cost by subtracting what I’d already paid for my Personal Plan at the time. WordPress even knocked an additional $100 off the top of the Business Plan. Such a deal! In the end I didn’t renew the plan because the next year would have cost me $300, and that was way over my threshold. I’d also discovered my dreams of financial independence via the blog were delusional. As of mid-2019 I wasn’t on any plan and the ads came back. I wasn’t paying attention to how bad the WordPress ads were until recently, when in a short span of time I discovered how truly awful they were.

Along with the plan I also picked up yet another domain. This little blog now has four domains, the original WordPress domain (arcanesciencelab.wordpress.com) as well as these:

  • arcanesciencelab.com
  • arcanesciencelab.org
  • arcanesciencelab.net

I’ve been collecting them slowly over the years, with the .org domain name coming with this latest Personal Plan subscription. Two of them are paid for by the plan, the other two are $18/year. These are all the “old school” domains (.com, .org, and .net) and are usually the targets of squatters, not that anybody would ever find my little blog so important and thus so valuable that they’d want to squat there, but still. Better safe than sorry, especially for any visitors.

My writing is bad enough. No need to further antagonize you with shit advertising. You’re welcome.

2 thoughts on “the blog is advertising free, again

  1. Ad Blocker: never use the Internet without one.
    I agree with you about the lack of ethical standards in the ads, but that is pervasive. Even our local supermarket puts promotions for so-called “immune boosting” products in their sales flyers. Companies argue they can’t edit content, but at the same time have the legal right to reject any ads for whatever reason. They simply don’t bother to.
    The other annoying thing about the ads is placement: smack in your face we-are-more-important-than-what-you’re-trying-to-read. They will never learn that an unobtrusive and inoffensive ad will go further towards selling the product than a screaming poor-taste lie-in-the-face will. In fact the majority of ads on the Internet probably turn people away from companies rather than attract them. If businesses ever realize how ineffective Facebook “targeted” ads are the mighty social web site would lose almost all its revenue.

    Liked by 1 person

    • With regards to ad blockers, I’m not sure I believe they work as well as they claim. Better to just remove them to begin with.

      That ad placement right in front of you is another reason I decided to just remove the damn things.

      The reason Facebook et. el. get so much money is based on clicks, or “click through”. And they can measure them, and charge based on how many clicks. The includes the fine folks doing click fraud with malware all over the web. If the clicks weren’t there then the money wouldn’t be either. And never underestimate stupid. The same level of stupid that keeps our spam folders so full, because there’s somebody stupid enough to follow through. Remember, 63 million idiots voted for Trump in 2016.

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