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Searchblog's New Look, Ad Update

By - September 06, 2004

currencyAs you may have noticed by now (or sometime soon, as servers update), Searchblog has a new look. While I’d like to take all the credit for this (I will take all the blame), all due plaudits go to Scot Hacker, my webmaster, who rocks. (If any of you want amazing hosting with truly personal service, you should check out In any case, Scot suggested my color scheme was getting a bit tired, so we spruced it up with the new greens. Also, we went to three columns, which I rather like.

Speaking of green, you will notice my great Searchblog Ad Experiment has begun. I am starting, after listening to a lot of your input, with the easiest and most ubiquitous solution of them all, AdSense. I expect to try this out for a while as a level set, then try others as we go along. AdSense does not allow you to place any other kinds of ads besides AdSense on the page (except for hand rolled sponsorships), but others will, so I’m starting with AdSense and moving to the others – I expect to try out MarketBanker, BlogAds, and Kanoodle, if they’ll have me.

Yes, I was worried about accepting checks from Google even while writing the book, but the fact is, I’m not really expecting to make a lot of money here, and the firsthand experience will allow me to write about this stuff in a more thoughtful manner. If the money comes in faster than my expenses running the site, I will be donating a significant portion of it to my favorite charity: My kids’ school, where I am a trustee.

Thanks to all who helped me grok this move, and supported it. And please, send feedback on the new look, and whether the ads are bumming you out, to the comments below or, alternatively, to my email at jbat at battellemedia dot com.

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10 thoughts on “Searchblog's New Look, Ad Update

  1. Hi John,

    First of all congratulations to the new look. I like it, very Scot. I know Scot from BeOS times and actually started to read your blog when he posted that you are now hosted on The circle closes 😉

    As for the ads, I suggest you let go the top right small sky, unless you keep it as an experiment. The CTR on the one under the article will be A LOT higher and I presume about 80-90% of your revenue will come from that one, even though it is not on your start page. Just a suggestion.

  2. Tim says:

    I can’t see the ads. Then again, I run Mozilla Firefox with Adblock and the recommended blocking string, so I don’t see most ads. If Firefox gets more popular, with this be a threat to the search engine’s business model?

    P.S. I totally agree that Scot rocks.

  3. Sid Yadav says:

    I think this looks better. Much more “occupied”.

  4. John

    Unfortunately the redesign does not play well with Safari. The blue navigation portion runs across the page, at the top of the page, and the content is below that.

  5. Scot Hacker says:

    Francois – Safari was the main development browser used in production of this site, and both John and I use it as our primary browser. Can you send me a screenshot of the issue you’re seeing please?

  6. Lisa Catullus says:

    Enjoy your blog very much but I don’t like the new design I’m afraid.

    In the old design I liked having the latest stories at the top with thier corresponding pictures in full view. That way I knew whether I need read further (because there is a new post) or go to another site on my reading list. For me, the picture was an excellent cue in defining newness or not – quicker than the text.

    The new site design means that I need to either scroll down (to see the same as before) or try to remember yesterday’s stories and compare to the ‘recent entries’ section. Both methods are slower for me – not a lot but a little. And sometimes it is the little things that nag.

  7. Scot Hacker says:

    Lisa – We’re not sure we understand – what has changed in regards to having most recent stories at the top, with their corresponding pictures?


  8. Lisa Catullus says:

    Hi. Well that is odd.
    All is OK again today and what I liked is back on screen. So I have no idea what was happening yesterday. The browser? Me? Who knows.

    Yesterday, the content in the middle section was well below the crease and had been replaced by the ‘categories’, ‘comments’ etc sections that spread right across the screen from left to right…
    Today it is back in as normal. So all is good again. Hooray!

  9. Sandeep says:

    John, the new look is great. The little photo on the left top corner adds a very nice touch, I think.

  10. Jason says:

    Big improvement, I like it much better!