Google’s April Fool’s joke: Adsense for Conversations

James Ryan Jonas

Google does have a funny side and it shows every year in its collection of April Fool’s Day hoaxes.

In the past, it offered TISP, a free broadband service that would make use of a standard toilet and sewage lines to provide free Internet connectivity.

It also launched Google Romance, an online dating service which uses “Soulmate Search” to get back search results that could, in theory, include the love of one’s life.

Google started venturing into food and beverage too by introducing Google Gulp, a line of “smart drinks” designed to maximize people’s surfing efficiency by making them more intelligent, and less thirsty.

Adsense for Conversations

This year, Google took the contextual advertising power of Adsense further by offering Adsense for Conversations.

Adsense for what? That’s Adsense for real and actual conversations, where people talking will “begin displaying ads that are relevant to the topics you’re discussing — in an unobtrusive screen above your head.” (see image)

How does it work? Read on.

How do I add Google ads to conversations?

Google will send you an adjustable screen and special AdSense headgear to attach it to. Just assemble it and select the desired ad size, such as the very effective 300 x 250 mm. Want to customize the look and feel of the ads? You can do that in the ‘Manage Ads’ section of your account!

Can I prevent ads from appearing in some of my conversations?

Sure, that’s why Google lets you choose which conversations to target using the ‘Allowed Conversations’ feature, located under the ‘AdSense Setup’ tab in your account.

The ads are not targeted to my conversations!

That’s because you haven’t discussed a particular topic long enough for Google’s system to determine the meaning of the conversation. Ramble and repeat yourself over and over to help the system pick relevant ads to display. Also, you may wish to try the ‘voice targeting’ feature where you speak more loudly to emphasize certain phrases. However, this may result in socially awkward situations, so proceed with caution.

What if I accidentally clicked on my ads?

Don’t worry, Google understands that accidents may happen. You don’t need to report those instances to Google every time. However, make sure you don’t always “accidentally” click on the ads because you might get banned from Google Adsense from having a lot of invalid clicks!

Belated Happy April Fool’s Day from Google Adsense and Pinoy Money Talk!

James Ryan Jonas teaches business management, investments, and entrepreneurship at the University of the Philippines (UP). He is also the Executive Director of UP Provident Fund Inc., managing and investing P3.2 Billion ($56.4 Million) worth of retirement funds on behalf of thousands of UP employees.