It may seem somewhat hypocritical of me to bash Google like I do, and then put their ads all over my site. I agree. But I boycotted AdSense for a year during the run up to their IPO and no one gave a crap. I mean, if there was ever an example of Being Evil it was when Google responded to my criticism of their heavy-handed AdSense policy by slapping a gag-clause on their terms and conditions. But not one reporter bothered to do their homework about this last year and eventually I just decided that I was losing money and gave in.

However, I just discovered there's an AdSense competitor: BrightAds by Kanoodle. A week or so ago during the big Google ad conference the Kanoodle execs came up to SF to play spoiler and got some press, and when I saw that I immediately signed up. I guess this was launched last October, but I hadn't heard about it until now (nice job guys!). It's been a few days and I just went back to see if I was approved and I was - so I just replaced the AdSense ads on this site with the Kanoodle equivalent. Ahhh! Hypocrite no longer!

First - the process was as easy as AdSense or easier. Sign up, get approved, copy some JavaScript on your page, wait for the PayPal payment to arrive. Neat. Compared to a lot of other ad services out there, this is the only one I've seen that's just as easy as AdSense. From there, however, the results have yet to be determined. There's *no* context at all in the Ads. I'm just getting random text ads (or based on my general description of my site when I signed up). I just compared the ads on my iPod Shuffle review page. AdSense had four ads for - of course - iPod Shuffles. Kanoodle had five ads, three of which were for generic Microsoft Office products and the other two were equally as irrelevant. So that's bad. I think most of my ad revenue (which pays for the server as well as shiny new toys like my Mac mini) comes from search engines, which means context is king. Without that context, I really fear the usefulness of the ads are going to drop tremendously.

And after that, will the ads pay as much and as regularly? That's the other question. I'm willing to experiment and find out. I made an average of $28.65 a day in January using AdSense, so we'll see if Kanoodle can match that. If not, I can always switch back (until Google finds some reason to boot me).

For the variety of websites out there that have been falsely banned from AdSense, Kanoodle is a second chance for them. Here's a hint, see a reputable site with a lot of traffic that mysteriously still doesn't have AdSense? It's probably because they did have ads at one point and were booted because of unsubstantiated "click fraud" - which means that for whatever reason, they were not as profitable for Google as other sites and therefore were banned. I've got emails from several of them (who didn't want to be mentioned for fear of retaliation in the index. No joke.) Now these guys all have other options.

Stay tuned...


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