Some time ago, we announced that certain SE sites will have advertising enabled. This has gone well and we're extremely thankful to everyone for their support and feedback. Because it has been successful so far, we're going to be extending the program to the majority of our graduated sites. Well, we've pretty much already done that, but there are quite a few sites that have ads enabled, yet still display nothing.
The thing is, we don't really have an abundance of clients offering products that a bunch of really good cooks would find relevant, but Amazon has stand mixers, a selection of super fine chinois, deliciously sharp cutlery and enough cast iron to fill the Gulf Of Mexico with red-eye gravy.
Beginning as early as this week (week of 5 February 2018), our ad team is going to be hand selecting affiliate ads to be displayed on select sites. The use of inventory will of course depend on the availability of relevant ads to display which means:
Some sites might see very few, if any ads. Some topics simply don't come remotely close to orbiting anything worth advertising. Furthermore, while graduated, some sites simply don't have enough activity for ads to make sense.
Since these are hand-selected, it could take a while for ads to appear initially.
These would of course yield to inventory from clients if clients had products that were relevant to any given topic.
Nothing changes when it comes to the reduced advertising privilege. If you're used to occasionally seeing a community promotion ad, you'll just notice that you'll also occasionally see an ad for something that is likely to be of interest to someone interested in the topic that your site covers.
In fact, to be clear, this is simply a continuation of the announcement we made in November of 2016. We just wanted folks to know that we're going to be continuing the program where there's good potential to show relevant advertisements, even if we don't have clients lined up with a demand for it.
Where can I give feedback about a certain ad on [site]?
Open a meta post on your per-site meta and let us know. Please remember, the bulk of advertisements are an effort to get something small back from folks that hit the sites through search engines and are extremely unlikely to ever become contributors. Their soufflé stopped falling, and we'll probably never see them again. Maybe we can get a few bucks once they realized that copper ions help egg whites stiffen properly and buy a bowl or a proper bloom whisk.
However, you're the experts on these topics and we're very likely going to listen to you.
What sites, specifically? Are any sites exempt?
If you're a former Stack Exchange 1.0 site and / or subsequently joined the network under a special charter, nothing changes - don't panic :)
For the rest, we're just extending what we're currently doing with ads on graduated sites to also include those where there's an opportunity to make sensible use of affiliate ads. If a site has less than 15k (average) daily visits, or fewer than roughly 50k combined total posts - it might not yet be time to invest in selecting ads to be shown there. But, part of this exercise is also seeing what works best.
I don't really have feedback, just some suggestions
Ads aren't just an opportunity to sell stuff, they're an opportunity to really show people that we understand a given topic. That, of course, makes suggestions from people that do that stuff every day quite valuable. Post on your per-site meta and our community / ad critters will take a look.
Questions? Comments? Kvetches? Let us know in an answer or comment below.
If anything about the plan changes, we'll update this post to let folks know.