Tag Archives: wine blogs

Google AdSense, wine blogs, and Joe Camel

Google AdSense, wine blogs, and Joe Camel
Google AdSense, wine blogs, and Joe Camel

“Hey, kids. Why don’t you try some wine with your smokes?”

Most wine blogs can’t participate in Google’s AdSense network, perhaps the leading on-line ad service. That’s because, as I found out when I applied, we violate its terms of service: “We did not approve your application for the reasons listed below. Issues: Drugs, drug paraphernalia, alcohol, beer or tobacco. … Please remove all drug-related content from your site, then resubmit your application.”

That we’re doing nothing illegal and that we don’t have any drug-related content to remove seems like just another of those wonderful, Google-esque ways the search giant does business: Buying companies to close them, discontinuing popular services, or agreeing with the Chinese government that Internet censorship isn’t such a bad thing.

But Google’s decision to ban wine blogs from AdSense goes deeper than that, speaking to the contradictions inherent in wine and alcohol 80 years after Prohibition, thanks to the NeoDrys, fear of underage drinking, and the three-tier system. Google doesn’t object to wine, as near as I can tell. It just doesn’t want to be responsible for someone buying it who might break the law, because that could lead to nasty publicity, lawsuits, and the besmirching of its good name. More, after the jump:

Birthday Week 2013: More growth and some growing pains


One of the reasons I procrastinated about moving the website to a more efficient platform and updating its look is that I knew that one of the results would be a kick in the metrics. Sure enough, that’s what happened this year — a record-setting April, and then lots of ups and downs as changes in Internet search patterns and in breaking in the new site did what they always do.

Having said that — and as demonstrated with the always popular colored chart — we’re still making signifcant progress in bringing the gospel of cheap wine to the masses. All told, the number of average daily visitors has increased 4,172 percent from that first year. Plus, this year saw the first- and third-best days ever — the Two-buck Chuck gold medal controversy and the Treasury debacle.

The annual bullit points – almost as popular as the chart. On Thursday, I’ll count down the top posts of the past 12 months:

• Can’t report most of the Internet geeky stuff this year, like Quantcast rating or Google page rank. Much of the information was lost in the transition to the new platform.

• The blog’s audience is younger and more female again this year, as near as I can tell. My efforts in this area seem to be paying off, and I will continue them in 2014.

• The $10 Hall of Fame, for the first time ever, was not the most popular post. That honor went to the 2012 Barefoot review; the 2012 Hall of Fame was second and the 2013 Hall of Fame was fourth. This is significant, even though some of it was probably caused by changing platforms and the drop-off after April.

• Anyone who doubts the importance of sweet red wine should know that the ultimate guide to sweet red wine was the eighth most popular post over the past year, and the wine term post about residual sugar was 12th. The Winestream Media may not care or notice, but wine drinkers do.

• About 87 percent of visitors came from the U.S., a figure that was a bit higher than in previous years. A little more than five percent came from New York City, which was twice as many as the next two cities, Dallas and San Francisco, each less than 2 1/2 percent. The site had 12 visitors from Iran and seven from Mongolia. Think they had some availablity problems?

More about the blog’s history:
Birthday week 2012
Birthday Week 2011
Birthday Week 2010

Birthday week begins Nov. 14

The blog celebrates its fourth birthday the week of Nov. 14, which means a brightly colored chart, a couple of long posts with lots of bullit items, and the annual review of Tormaresca Neprica, the wine that has attracted the most visitors over the past four years.

Plus, of course, prizes — because the Wine Curmudgeon doesn't celebrate the blog's birthday without thanking the people who have kept me here since 2007. I'll give away a copy of George Taber's new book (hopefully autographed), "A Toast to Bargain Wines"; a bottle of Neprica; and two tickets to DrinkLocalWine's fourth annual conference, DLW 2012 in Denver. I'm still working on a couple of other items, which will probably be wine accessories.

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