On WordPress and Advertising

It never occurred to me until recently that I have ads on this blog.

I’m sure somewhere in the back of my mind I realized I did, but because I use Adblocker Ultimate, I never see them: out of sight, out of mind.  So I was surprised to stop by my comments section recently and find that a few commenters had noticed surprising ads on my blog – and, moreover, they they had discovered surprising ads on theirs including links to political or secular organizations they did not favor, the Mormon church, and so on and so forth.

I went in search of WordPress’ policy on blog advertising, wondering if I could register a preference for the sort of ads I might prefer on my blog. What I found instead was this:

We screen the ads we display for mature or illegal content. Sometimes, however, you or visitors to your site might still see ads you object to — for example, ads for political causes or products you oppose. We do not endorse the content of any ad, and we encourage you to inform your audience that ads are not selected by site owners, but rather generated by our advertising software (link).

To possess an ad-free blog and avoid this issue, WordPress users are encouraged to purchase the basic paid plan.  I know some users who have decided to do exactly that. Frankly, I find it irksome: I already pay for my blog’s domain name, and I don’t like the idea of paying extra to WordPress to solve a problem that they’re causing with their own advertising software.  Additionally, this doesn’t seem to be an issue for everyone: some viewers have reported seeing ordinary run-of-the-mill ads here, and others ads for Christian items, programs, or churches.

With that in mind, I wanted to write this post both to share this information – since it was a new discovery for me – and to make the following clear:

  1. I do not choose or select any of the ads that run on this blog.  WordPress’ advertising algorithms determine them, in the same way that Google determines what to show you at the top of a given page.  No ads on my blog, good bad or otherwise, were given approval, validation, preference, or acceptance by me.
  2. I am not affiliated with and I do not recommend or approve any products, items, programs, groups, or organizations appearing in advertisements on this blog.  I understand some of these ads might actually be Christian, but since I can’t predict what sort of ads will pop up on my blog, I think a blanket disavowal is best.  If I ever recommend a program, a product, or an organization, those recommendations will appear in the blog itself.
  3. If advertisements disturb your reading, get adblocker software.  Most browsers now offer some forth of adblocker.  I now refuse to take mine off.  I had to reinstall it, once, and during the brief period it was removed I was horrified to see what the internet looked like with ads plastered all over it.  I never went back.

My solution to this issue at the current time will be to post some version of the above on my blog as a disclaimer over the next few days.  But I certainly understand those who would rather purchase the basic package to keep their blogs ad-free.  And I thank those who let me know about this – I hope others who might be unaware are now better informed.  The more you know, the better off you are!


6 thoughts on “On WordPress and Advertising

  1. I haven’t really thought about ads much since I only read in the WordPress reader. I do however visit a site when I am deciding whether to follow someone new. Because I want to see what they their set up is like, what they value and if possible read an about page. And ads do make a difference if they get to much in the way. I know it is not the writers fault so I try to ignore them, but it takes a pretty good post to keep your attention through all the hullabaloo.

    However if one wants to avoid them just stick to the reader. It is really convenient and a compilation of posts is available if you click on the site name to the left.

    But yes, I did pay for an ad free site, because it gave me peace of mind which I valued more than the money they wanted.

    Love your posts by the way, I am constantly talking about them with my family. It is crazy how often your post align with a current topic of conversation around here. Providence maybe?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very interesting. I wonder if my blog is the same way. I know I pay for my domain, but I don’t know if I purchased a ‘paid for’ plan. I’m going to look. If you see anything, please let me know.


  3. I looked into my account and it appears i have the personal plan which cost me $3/month and it states the site blocks wordpress ads. Thank you for the heads up.


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