For several years we've had advertising solely on technology-related sites. But many of our sites aren't about technology at all, so we haven't sold ads for them. Traditionally, that hasn't been a hardship since Stack Exchange sites have required only a small investment from the company to set up and keep live.
However, as we've continued to grow, the resources needed to maintain our network have also increased. Thanks entirely to the efforts of the network's communities, we have become an amazing resource on the Internet. Generating revenue from non-technology sites will enable us to dedicate more resources to meeting your needs so this is good news!
The test has been in effect since May 21, 2019, and our advertising team will be monitoring to see how ads are performing. We don't know how many ads will run on each site, we're testing different solutions. It could be just a few or a bit more. In either case, these ads will be carefully vetted and we'll be keeping watch to continue to provide good content.
If you see any ads that are inappropriate or have any questions about this experiment, please let me know by starting a new question and tagging it with advertising. This is a work in progress and we are expecting a time of learning and refinement as we move forward.
A few things to be aware of:
We've received reports about ads that redirect, and those have been removed. We've also received reports about ads that are spammy and those too have been removed.
If you wish to report an advertisement, please take a screenshot of the ad and paste the URL (if possible) along with the site where you saw it to a comment or answer. I'll report it to the ads team and we can track it down to investigate.
Some of the network sites will show more ads than others. This is not due to reduced ad privileges (which don't exist right now for the network) but rather to inventory allowances.
This is an experiment that will take us to about the end of the year. As such, we're learning about what advertiser networks will work for us and which can offer the quality of ads that we desire. I ask for your patience and understanding during this testing period.
Due to an already existing agreement, MathOverflow will not be getting ads and is not a part of this experiment.
Thank you for your help in reporting what you see and for forgiving us of the mess as we do some remodeling!