Comments on the Google4Paul Pledge

An Open Letter to Ron Paul supporters and especially bloggers
On May 30th, 2007 danda says:

Please consider taking the Google4Paul pledge and posting my "Open Letter to Ron Paul supporters and especially bloggers".

The letter is here:

- - - - -

Thanks Danda. I appreciate your initiative and good idea. I put the Google links up, just below the main mast-head. We'll see how much money we can raise. I'll report back.

One kind of complicated caveat: I use Google Adsense on my other site -, where they produce part of my regular income that I live on. Google Adsense is set up in such a way that a person can have only one account with them. They also have something called, "Smart Pricing" which I think is kind of stupid. How Google calculates click revenue is highly secret, and based on ad relevancy. Because I write about the stock market and money and such things over at Bullnotbull, the ads are targeted to that subject matter, and due to the subject matter, pay fairly decently.

The ads that are currently showing up here at clearly are not targeted. At the moment, there is an ad for Paul Harvey, Sign up for your own blog, Buy a new air purifier, etc. From my own experience, I know that these low-priced ads very low paying - a few pennies max, should someone decide they want to search for Paul Harvey merchandise on Ebay and click on that ad. That is fine for what it is - every little bit helps, right? - but due to Google's "Smart Pricing" it could (and likely will) impact my revenue over at my other website. If that is the case, I'll likely have to pull the ads here in order to save my income over there.

Otherwise, I think the Google4Paul Pledge is a great idea, but I'd like to open the floor to see how other people feel about it. How do people feel about having advertising on the site? If not Google, then how about other advertisers?

Ideas and suggestions welcome. I'll keep you posted.

Thank you!
Michael Nystrom

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Michael Nystrom's picture

This is what Google said:

The person I asked apparently doesn't have the answer for sure, but said,

"I've forwarded your comments to our team of specialists so that they can look into this issue further...

... to clarify the policy, I wanted to let you know that publishers are not permitted to encourage users to click on Google ads or bring excessive attention to ad units. For example, sites cannot contain phrases such as "click the ads," "support our sponsors," "visit these recommended links," or other similar language that could apply to the Google ads on that site. Publishers may not use symbols or misleading images that direct attention to the ads on their sites, and publishers may not label the Google ads with text other than "sponsored links" or "advertisements.""

They say they'll get back to me, but it doesn't look good. Not allowed to "bring excessive attention to ad units..." sounds like where the hammer would come down.


I'm not sure that I like the

I'm not sure that I like the idea of putting ads on my site. If someone came up with a nice small donation graphic that was uniform across all Ron Paul blogs (or any site) that would take them to the official site to make a donation, I would put it in a prominant place on my site right away. I would also periodically write a post encouraging people to donate.

I want to keep my site ad-free so no one thinks I am making money from my volunteer work.

Joe Naab

I replied to the "open

I replied to the "open letter" but I will offer my comment here as well.

While google ad sense can be a win / win for everyone involved, I believe that actually "promoting" the "pledge" as was suggested will be interpreted as (and is) a violation of the Google Ad Words terms of service which clearly states:

"We therefore require that Web pages do not include incentives of any kind for users to click on ads."

Since the aparent intent of the "pledge" is to encourage visitors to click not based on their genuine interest in the ads, rather for the sole purpose of generating ad income for the pledge maker, it is in essence encouraging click fraud and violating the intent of the above term.

I too applaud the creativity and good intention regarding this idea, but would personally discourage anything beyond simply placing the adds on one's web page.

Michael Nystrom's picture


Philly Dave -

I see your point. Clicks are running very high, and I highly doubt that the readers of this site are interested in the actual products being advertised. Google will shut such down accounts without warning that are in violation of their terms. I'll contact Google and see what they say.

In the meantime, I'm taking down the link to Google4Paul. It would be a big disaster for me if Google yanked my account. I know they do it - and it is just about impossible to be reinstated.

Michael Nystrom's picture


Yesterday I put the Google links up, and made $5.49 from clicks from this site. Not a bad pull for something I would have been doing anyway for free. Now, if we can duplicate that across all the hundreds of other Ron Paul sites out there...Let's conservatively say 100 sites - that is $549 per day, or over $16,000 per month for the campaign! I encourage other webmasters to take the Pledge as well.


Here's an idea with a similar theme

I'm not sure how election law covers this or if it even does yet... but as an alternative... how about the Ron Paul campaign gets it's own google adsense account and allows all of us with various web sites, blogs, etc, to put THEIR ad banner on our sites. That way they'd get the $ directly right? Can campaigns generate their own money? They sell buttons and stuff right? I don't see a big difference... and for many people the decision will only be one of how much ad space on their own site do they want to donate. There'd be no signing up and no exchange of cash. Obviously someone adsense savy would have to oversee it, but basically I'd imagine it would simply be a matter of making sure a participating site meets the TOS requirements of google before passing on the code. Am I totally wrong here or would this work?

I think that perhaps it could work.

Hi tsoldrin, the only caveats I see are:

1) The Paul campaign would have to initiate it, instead of a totally grassroots effort like

2) It likely violates the AdSense terms of service to be giving out the AdSense code to third parties. Would need to be investigated.

3) This method is not as visible a show of support. Would be good to incorporate an image of some type and a website to explain things.

RE: Google 4 Paul

What Ron Paul needs now, I believe, more than money, is new faces looking at him, which should automatically translate into more money. Instead of trying to raise Ron Paul money, on this Ron Paul site, I suggest that we try and raise Ron Paul awareness (i.e. watch the upcoming debates on June 5th) on EVERY other supporters website. I'm suggesting a banner farm where everyone can go and pick Ron Paul banners of different sizes, telling something about Dr. Paul's positions, his standing on the internet, his poll wins, etc. I think that it's important to capitalize on the fact that Ron Paul is getting more and more attention RIGHT NOW, and may not get as much later when they crowd the field in an attempt to steal his thunder. So, if you have a plumbing website, put Ron Paul at the top and throughout. If you make your living off the net (which Dr. Paul would like to keep free) then put a banner where your money comes from. Sign you emails with a signature (Ron Paul for President - 2008) with a link to the RP website. That's my idea for now.

Bill Kosloskey

Restore the Foundations - "If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?"

Digg on keeps failing

Will check in the morning

Yeah, that's tricky.

Hi Michael,

It is tricky givent that Google doesn't allow more than one account per person.

I think though that the spirit of the pledge is in relation to a single site, or even a single page. So as long as they provide a way to break down the earnings by URL (or domain), then it should be simple to calculate the pledge percentage.

Ultimately though, it comes down to what you think is the right thing. There's no pledge police. :-)