However, after some 45 years of growing older & wiser, I've now reached
a state that might best be described as 'zen'. If, even after 15 years of
sharing my thoughts, certain visitors of Malt Madness still can't grasp the
fierceness of my independence, they probably never will...
Also, there's a limit to what one can achieve by simply throwing lots of
time at a problem. So, it was in the Spring of 2010 that I decided to go all
capitalist on everybody's arse by adding some Google Advertisements and
other display ads on this site. All for the good cause, mind you - proceeds
will be used only for enhancements to these websites - and my life. (*)
I already have my eye on some 'professional' software that should
come in handy for some upgrades and expansions that I have in mind.
Besides, around 2010 I noticed that more and more whisky web sites
showed advertisements. This made me realise that my determination to
avoid any perception of being "influenceable" by the advertisers on the
site proved mostly one thing: the fact that I actually care a little bit more
about the opinion of other people about me than I'd like to admit... ;-)
So, I decided to allow adverts on the sites - primarily through AdSense.
How the Google AdSense system works
For fifteen years, I avoided displaying advertising on the Malt Madness and
Malt Maniacs sites altogether - well, except for a subtle link to our long time
hosting sponsors Canvas Dreams at the bottom of every page. I wanted to
keep advertisements away from these pages, because I didn't want visitors
to think that these websites were anything else than 100% independent.
However... There are some disadvantages to the system as well...
The AdSense system may be neutral, but it also takes away any form
of control that the site owner has to select the "worthy" advertisers.
Or even relevant ones... That means that companies that offend me
with their cheapness (indeed, I'm talking about GroupOn here!) can
also advertise on MM. Ah well, I guess that's a price I'll have to pay.
Why are there so many strange adverts?
Surprisingly enough, the Google advertising slots
faily unexpected adverts at first. Some adverts for the Glencairn glass,
a guy who organises whisky tastings, whisky tours through Scotland
and some generic web ads from GroupOn, Booking.com and the like.
I didn't see any of the big names of the malt whisky world pop up;
no whisky producers, no whisky bottlers and no whisky stores...
For me, one of the biggest advantages of AdSense is its 100% neutrality.
The Google AdSense system matches advertisers and advertising slots (like the one at the left) via an auction system.
That way, the writer and/or site owner (in this case yours truly) has no contact with the advertisers and there is no
way for advertisers to influence the content. The highest bidder for a certain ad spot simply gets that space. Great!
Finally, Google has invented a system that allows independent publishers to generate some modest revenues.
I finally discovered the reason when a whisky bottler e-mailed me
about the possibility to advertise on Malt Madness. I replied that I
didn't display banners and the like on Malt Madness, but that he
could write some text ads for the Google AdWords program instead.
However, as it turns out, nobody can actually advertise for whisky (or
any alcoholic beverage) on Google AdWords; only for related products.
To cut a very long story just a little bit shorter: these days you can find some advertising on the Malt Madness web site. (*)
Nothing fancy, mind you - just a few advertising banners throughout the site. You can find the available advertising formats below, and you may notice that most of them are eerily similar to banner formats that are used by Google. By using standard and compatible banner sizes, it's easier for me to switch adverts around when the situation calls for it. The main format is the 'leaderboard' below.
The 'leaderboard' ad
at the right is used at
the top of each page
of a site section - and
there is a slot of the
same size at the very
bottom of every page.
Specifications for display advertisements on the Malt Madness website
All advertising positions on the Malt Madness site are either banner advertisements or text ads served by Google AdWords.
These display adverts can be used for 'branding' and to help human visitors find their way to the web site of the advertiser.
In order ot achieve the best possible balance between the content on the site and the adverts, the following rules apply;
On each page of one of the five site sections below, there is room for two 'LEADERBOARD' adverts of 728 x 90 pixels.
One ad is displayed at the top of each page (apparently the best position for a banner), while the other is placed at
the very bottom (the place where visitors decide where to surf next). These ad positions are offered per site section;
* = If you are still concerned that the advertising on Malt Madness might affects my independence or my judgement, I'm
happy to point you to the Liquid Links page. There you can find links to more than a hundred other whisky web sites.
When I write this, some of them - like Serge Valentin's Whiskyfun site - are still blissfully free of advertising. However,
I'd like to think that most readers will have learned to respect and/or fear my pigheadedness enough to realise that I'm
not likely to start writing industry-friendly malt whisky reviews after fifteen years of doing a lot of quite the opposite ;-)
If you want to know if a certain position is still available, just click on the link. The default 'placeholder' adverts are
served by Google. If you see the Google adverts at the top or bottom, this position is available for your banners too.
Just contact me if a certain position you're interested in currently shows Google ads and you would like to know more.
All five sections of Malt Madness are aimed at whisky lovers around the world, but the focus of every section differs.
As a result, the readers of one section might be more interested in a particular message than visitors of another part
of the web site. For example, readers of the Beginner's Guide might be more interested in books than normal people.
If you like these rules and would like to learn more, simply contact me by e-mail...
Apart from these 'leaderboard' adverts (which are linked to a specific site section), there are two advertising formats that can be placed on
specific, individual pages. Above and to the left is a vertical 'HALF SKYCRAPER' advert (size 120x300 pixels), while you can see an example
of the horizontal 'BIG BROAD BANNER' advert (size 899x124 pixels) below. This advert offers the largest amount of "screen real estate".
So, these adverts can be placed on the home page or any other page of Malt Madness you like. Just contact me about rates & conditions.