“Adsense (probably the biggest ad network worldwide)”
If you are a Christian who is a web publisher (either skilled or non-skilled like myself), you will likely have come to consider monetizing your web content. Which consideration would likely have brought you to look at selling ad space through online ad networks amongst other content monetizing channels. Which more than likely have introduced you to Google’s ad network called Adsense (probably the biggest ad network worldwide) – which should more than likely be the reason why you are reading this.
Whether you already have an active account with ads serving on your site, still have a pending account application or you are just looking up a Christian’s point of view on the subject before you should make efforts toward monetizing your web content through the same channel, the experience accounted below should be all-applicable.
“First hand experience”
Unlike those reading this journal entry before any effort is made toward securing an Adsense account, I sadly went so far as having ads served on a site I co-owned for around a year (approx. April 2015 to August 2016). Hence you can be rest assured that I am sharing what I have had first hand experience with (nothing I am at all proud of). From a technical point of view, Adsense’s ad system is without doubt the best in the industry. However, from a Christian’s point of view, Adsense’s ad system has one essential component to be desired by a web publisher who is a Christian – Christian-friendliness that is. Unfortunately, since Google Inc. is a pagan incorporation, this attribute cannot be demanded of them by virtue – instead, the opposite can be rightly expected any day.
I have however found that they would serve a couple innocent products and services amongst their abominable lot (when looked upon in light of Holy Scriptures). Abominable products & services such as astrology as well and wizardry, alcohol as well as night life to name a few. That said, I did/do not judge it wrong (I think also that I have the Spirit of God) to find an Ad network and configure it to only serve what I count innocent (if there be any). My stay with Adsense sadly proved to me that their overall level-blocking feature (which would be the only hope for Christian publishers) was not effective enough to meet the trickiest standards demanded of holiness.
“Image ads “
While a need to exploit the level-blocking feature was sounded right from the early days of the account, the first sharp battle was with regards image ads (an ad type said to be better paying than text ads). When we realized that even ads for innocent products/services like a bank ad would come on a banner that featured an image you would not wish to be associated with for Christ’s sake. A simple bank ad with a female figure in a sensual clothing for example. And when one sought to address this, one found that they either had to block the particular ad unit or the entire advertiser’s ad account. The latter meaning that even innocent ads (both text and clean image banners) from the same advertiser would not be able to serve any longer.
While the first option seemed to work best, it soon proved to be reactive in nature. Because advertisers run ad campaigns for a limited period of time, you soon (or later) find that you have to deal with another banner ad with a sad image on it. And this may often be sometime after careless visitors to you site have had it served to them and have drank from which ever well the image bore – very sad. This then quickly proved to be a lost battle so far as I was concerned – disabling image ads from being served proved to be the only option (to revenue figures’ dismay – which dropped by about 50%.
Then left with text ads only, had enough time to focus thereon. Vigorous reviewing of served ads continued. Which reviewing soon led into the 2nd sharp battle. Ads were no longer offensive by virtue but once in a while one would come across an ad that advertised a product or services that a Christian would not be proud of. A typical example being a secular image stock site – the cleanness of which offered stock images often could not be vouched.
With Adsense being composed of tons of sub-networks, it did not seem practical to keep up with the need for filtering (which also meant a direct negative bearing on revenue) nor did such a reactive measure prove hopeful. This realization however followed shortly after the event on this diary entry had ensued.
“The sum of the whole”
The sum of the whole was that Google Adsense was not an option for believers. Unfortunately, I despair it ever will as non is working on it toward the same end. While I can not recommend any sound Christian ad network that sincerely labors to not trample Christian ethics to the greatest degree possible, I do not believe that any shall be sympathized with who shall knowingly embrace Adsense.