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February 25, 2007

The Blank Test Ad

It's meaningful. It has a black background to suggest the lack of light, the power of simplicity and to contrast with the white of the text. It's the ad of the emptiness, of the void. It's an empty piece of paper where you draw your dreams, expectations and ideas.

Google Talk is the void where you put your words. It's the simplicity of an experimental software that started with the naked kernel and grows in front of your eyes.

* Note for the puzzled readers. This is a recent AdSense ad for Google Talk. Many people were curious about its meaning, so I thought it's a good idea to reveal it.


  1. How mystical! It makes me conscious of the void within my own soul. So is this created by you, Alex, or Google? Can I buy an ad in that space, or will it continue to be an abstract spiritual statement?

  2. No, John. It was created by Google (who else would make an ad that sends you to

    Here's a context from another blog.

  3. I was going to comment to you about this ionut, because I was little puzzled when I saw it on your blog yesterday, but yes, it's by Google.

  4. Click on "Ads by Gooogle", "Send Google your thoughts on the site or the ads you just saw", "Report a Violation", "The ad's landing page doesn't offer what the ad said it would offer"

    Who else could get away with such a miserable, off-topic ad. What a waste of money, what a punch in the face for on-topic ads that were out-bid.

    By the way, it doesn't necessarily have to be from Google itself -- anyone can set up an Adwords campaign to go to any site. All you have to do is pay for the clicks (or the CPM).

  5. Softplus is right, everyone can set up such campaign, as long as you have a deep pocket.

    By the way, I am seeing the same ad for all the pages on this blog... ???

  6. So I can set up an ad for that says: "Useless search engine. We don't have too many visitors"?

    I also see this strange ad on (:_:).

  7. Yes you can -- as long as you abide by the Adwords ToS (which would for example not allow you to use the word "Google" in your ads + other trademarks, etc etc).

    You can set up any kind of campaign with any kind of allowed ad that points to any URL of your choice. I could run ads for your site, I could run ads for Google, I could run ads for Hillary Clinton (not that I would). Of course there are certain rules regarding the whole thing, but in general, if I stick to the ToS, I can run ads for anything.

    Oh, and of course the person who puts up the ads pays for the clicks, not the site that is linked to :-). So if I put up a "blank text ad" for Google and people click on it, then I'll be paying for those clicks -- it might be cheap fun, it might be expensive. I could even site-target your site to push the ads only here (which might be funny to do now, lol)