What the Loom Giveth, the Google Ads Taketh Away

By Carl Zimmer | April 30, 2005 11:22 am

Thanks to the various readers who have noticed the creationist Google ads that pop up on some of the Loom’s pages. Such are the hazards of letting robots handle ads. I will talk with the good people at Corante about this.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: General

Comments (9)

  1. I don’t mind letting them waste their money here :)

  2. Mike Hopkins

    I doubt that there is much you can do about creationist Google ads if you have Google ads since Google bases the ads largely based on content of the page. Advertisers can choose keywords in pages in which their ads appear. This blog is just loaded with words that will set off fundamentalist Google ads. The biggest on the list is “evolution.”

    The previous commenter is right: those with browsers that will display Google ads can click them and make Google richer and the creationists a little poorer. I doubt that there are many readers for this blog unaware of creationist websites so there is not much of a chance that the creationist can get much for the ads anyways. That your readers are overwhelmingly pro-science also is a factor.

  3. Henry Astley

    Best I can recommend is adding a little note under the ad saying “The Loom is not responsible for the content of these ads” or somesuch.

  4. The creationists probably hate it as much as you do…It’s hard for me to believe anyone would take the google ads at face value, but I’d probably be surprised. Anyway we loyal readers know you’re not a creationist.

  5. Don’t the creationists get charged every time someone clicks one of their Google ads? If so, shouldn’t we all be clicking them – a lot?

  6. You can twiddle with https://www.google.com/adsense/urlfilter, but why forgo the comic relief and ad revenue?

  7. Your GoogleAds manager permits you to exclude domain names from appearing on your site, exactly for reasons like this, which can happen on almost any subject where the webpage ‘takes a position.’

    Of course, as other commenters noted, maybe you just let them waste theri money.

    But note that GoogleAds TOS policies forbid you (the webmaster) from drawing attention to the ads, encouraging your readers to click them, or (in general) from commenting on them.

    Technically, even this post might be a violation, but I doubt Google would call you on it.

  8. outeast

    It will be a sad day when creationist ads stop popping up on biologists’, skeptics’ etc websites – the cognitive dissonance of that always makes my day. I love it!

  9. I am sure it is no accident, the creationists want their ads on biology and evolutionary sites. They do not care about the regular readers but those who stumble on the site and see ads which say “Is evolution real?” or something else objective sounding.

    The chances of someone who would be open to the… whatever it is that Creationists offer…

    (Assertions? No, to legitimate sounding. Sentences? No, that does not convey the falseness and general nut-baredness of it all. Clap-trapitudes? Perfect!)

    The chances are good that someone who would be open to the clap-trapitudes of the creationists
    would probably not be interested in a science site long enough to notice the ads.

    Sill, you could try surrounding the Google ads with permanent links to other sites which specifically address creationist claims like Panda’s Thumb or Talk Origins. I don’t think that would violate the terms of service for the ads but I am not positive about that.

    Just a thought. Now I think I will see what new and exciting arguments they have for people who do click the links.

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The Loom

A blog about life, past and future. Written by DISCOVER contributing editor and columnist Carl Zimmer.

About Carl Zimmer

Carl Zimmer writes about science regularly for The New York Times and magazines such as DISCOVER, which also hosts his blog, The LoomHe is the author of 12 books, the most recent of which is Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed.

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