I have my blog configured to publicise new posts on Facebook and when I posted my previous entry a friend commented over there that he was surprised to see ads on my site. I asked him about it and he sent me a screenshot which shows an ad for Sky TV after the post but before the “Share this” buttons. Apparently when he clicked on the “About these ads” text it said something to the effect that I had chosen to allow ads. I don’t remember doing that so I had a poke around in my account and found something under Settings > WordAds:
To keep your blog free, we sometimes run advertisements on your blog, and you can remove these with the purchase of a No Ads upgrade or a Bundle.
Ads are not shown to logged in wordpress.com users, which is why I have never seen any, so I tried logging out and viewing the entry but still no ad. I then remembered that I am running the excellent AdBlock Safari Extension so I paused that and bingo, the ad appeared (well sort of, for some reason there was just a plain yellow rectangle where it should have been). I was then able to click on the “About these ads” text and it took me to a page called About These Ads which gives two possible reasons for their presence. The first is that the site is part of the WordAds program and has elected to show ads to earn money. That must be what my friend had read but was not the reason for the ad in this case (I only get around 200 views per month so I am guessing that I could not earn any significant amount of ad revenue even if I was willing to go down that road). The second reason is that the site has not paid for the No Ads Upgrade.
The upgrade costs $30 and I am reluctant to spend that much on a low traffic blog, particularly if ads appear as infrequently as wordpress.com seem to suggest. Have you noticed ads on my blog and if so then what did you think? You can of course reply in the comments but I have created a simple poll and would appreciate your participation.