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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Cracking the Code


You're welcome!

Loyal readers will recall that, a few days ago, the Solipsist commented on the irony that, despite his snarkiness towards private jets and the billionaires who love them, Google Ads had seen fit, for several days last week, to place an ad for a private-jet charter service.  The Solipsist speculated that there was some sort of algorithm in operation at Google headquarters that sifted through the various blogs, keying in on words and phrases and placing ads "accordingly."

Apparently, algorithms don't know from context.

As proof of this theory, you need only look at the ad currently (as of this writing) residing on "The Solipsist": custom-printed coffee cups!  This, of course, is a direct result of YNSHC's panegyric to comfort mugs.

Do you know what this means?!?

Well, of course you do.  The Solipsist has just told you what it means.  The more important question is: How can the Solipsist make money off of this?

Now, the Google ad guidelines are rather explicit about bloggers exhorting their readers to click on the site's ads.  This is a no-no.  So note: The Solipsist is NOT--he repeats, NOT--exhorting you to click on the ad for custom-made coffee cups.  He could care less whether you click it or not!  In fact, he'd just as soon you DON'T click the ad, just to make sure that all feathers remain unruffled.

But wait.  The Solipsist only makes money off the ad if people click it.  Hmmm. . . .So, let's get this straight: One earns money from the readers clicking the ad, but one is not allowed to ASK people to click the ad.

What sort of "don't-ask-don't-tell"-esque inanity is this?

All right, so, the idea must be that the algorithm reads your blog, keys in on, well, keywords, and then, assuming that the blog's readers are interested in the things about which the blogger is blogging, places ads relevant to the blog's content.  The readers, being interested in the blog's content, will then click on the ads out of sheer consumerist lust.  Capitalism rules!  The virtuous circle is complete.  This, of course, assumes that the blog's readership consists of more than just the blogger's wife, childhood friend, his college buddy, his mother and mother-in-law, and perhaps someone who accidentally stumbled on the blog while looking for porn.  (Boy, THAT person must have been disappointed!)

So, the Solipsist, to make money--the stated or unstated goal of all human endeavour--must either attract new readers (questionable) or only blog about things that his readers are interested in, thereby attracting ads that they will find clickworthy (more do-able).

So, from here on out, you will be reading a lot about "Star Trek" and cereal.

Address your complaints to the Google algorithm.

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