This document is available on the Internet at:

Google Takes a Step in the Wrong Direction

Date:  13th May, 2004

Filed Under:

I've just received an email from Google's "AdSense" department announcing a new, er, feature.

It seems Google is about to move in to the dreaded realm of graphical advertisements...

Now, in addition to text ads, you can choose to show highly-targeted image ads on your web pages. Unlike traditional banner ads, Google's image ads are contextually targeted to the content of your page, providing your users with a high impact, high value advertisement - and providing you with the opportunity to earn more revenue.

I have always admired Google's methodology for AdSense. The text-based adverts are non-intrusive, consume little bandwidth and are highly targeted, serving up ad's that actually compliment the content of the page they're presented on.

The introduction of graphical advertisements is something I would never have anticipated from the hallowed labs of Googledom. What really worries me is the thought that Gmail and the search-engine itself might one day be adorned with the damn things.

Unfortunately, I expect to see some of my favourite websites adopt the ad's since Google is promising "the opportunity to earn more revenue."

I have only recently introduced AdSense onto this website. I did so because I like the format and I genuinely believe the ad's are beneficial to my visitors. But, in my opinion, graphical adverts are annoying and distracting - they won't be appearing on the Urban Mainframe.

Thanks, but no thanks Google.