Sorry for asking a question of potentially very short validity. (Though it's been this way for at least one week.)

I've noticed that the ad that sometimes appears in the side column on the right on at least Stack Overflow and Server Fault links to a URL that starts with http://googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pcs/click?. However, the ad that appears here always appears to be an internal ad for Stack Overflow Jobs. Here's a screenshot (look at the URL in the status bar).

Would it cost Stack Exchange money if I clicked this ad? (And aren't they paying just for showing it?) (Or does Google Ads show internal ads for free, and is there some benefit (e.g., analytics) in using Google Ads even for internal links? (Or is there some other explanation for all this?))

Update: Unless I'm missing something, this is not a duplicate. The suggested page (All sites will be switching Ad Servers on October 1) does not appear to address why they serve ads for their own product on their own site over Google's ad network, which seems to me like it would incur fees.


1 Answer 1


You're not wrong. We do serve these ads via DoubleClick for Publishers / DFP, just like we do other types of ads. It makes sense to do so, since we get all the same nice infrastructure as we do for the other campaigns, and it's one less system to worry about.

  • 1
    What about fee? Isn't it lots of money to spend? Mar 24, 2018 at 16:02
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    DFP is used for all the ads on the site, sans job recommendations, so it's not like we're using it just for our own house ads. Mar 24, 2018 at 20:05
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    To be clear, yes it would cost us a small amount of money. It's worth it for us though, as Horia mentioned, for all the infrastructure and tools we get by using Google's DFP system.
    – rossipedia
    Mar 24, 2018 at 23:09
  • Understood, thanks a bunch! /cc @ross :) Mar 25, 2018 at 6:54
  • 2
    For future readers: both the answerer and @rossipedia were employees of SE at the time of posting. Their answer is thus "official".
    – Luuklag
    Oct 14, 2020 at 9:55

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