Sometimes Adsense is Nonsense

Sometimes Google’s Adsense service delivers complete nonsense. The O’Reilly Radar site is a group blog with Nat, Tim, Rael, and others opining on techology, data, Web 2.0, etc. Its use of the word “radar” is part pun and part metaphor, but the number of articles on the site actually about radio detection and ranging (radar) is pretty much zip — which is why the the screen shot at right of the Adsense ads on the site earlier today is so amusing.

The upshot: Google search works fine, but ad targetting is still hit and miss.


  1. agree totally – to the point that as a web investor it isa waste of space on our site. I wrote about it a few weeks back.
    Our golf website gets filled with useless text click dribble for crappy businesses.
    Google gets all this free branding – smart for now.

  2. Where are the geo targetted ads already. Google could be making 3 times as much if they would just learn from the dating sites.

  3. Google search works fine
    What? how often do you find the answer to what you have queried G* for on the first search result? Not to target G* specifically, there is no search engine is great. We are a looooooooooooooong way from any search engine “working fine”.

  4. The same problem extends to Google Adwords. It has a keyword tool that recommends keywords by “analysing the site”.
    It seems to come up with some possibly relevant keywords and others which are completely out of context.
    Here is a sample of keywords for
    o reilly radar
    reilly family
    reilly history
    weblog templates
    web 20
    psp hacking
    movable type
    blog tools
    blog archives
    blogging for dummies
    blog software
    blogger software