In the past there was a large JapanesePod101 banner at the top of the page, which was only seen by guests (unregistered visitors), most of which come from Google searches.
Advertisers often prefer more unique visitors over "returning" (ie. members), since they will get more visits that way. So it was convenient to limit advertising to Google searches/unregistered visitors, and keep the layout relatively clear for members.
That said, I wanted to split this banner in three standard smaller "square" ad zones so that I could find more sponsors. Once in a while I get a request for advertising on the main site, but often there is not enough space. There are also some sponsors that would do better on the forum I think.
Once I created that layout, I thought there was enough space to allow at least one to be shown to everyone. Even if you aren't interested in it, it creates more pageviews and this makes it more attractive to potential sponsors.
So anyway, keep in mind I'm just experimenting. Don't worry I'm not going to plaster ads everywhere. I also ask advertisers to avoid annoying/flashing images.
Those of you who really don't like ads already know how to turn them off I'm sure
Sounds fine to me. I only resent ads if they have sound that turns itself on or are complicated enough to slow down my computer. Anything else and I'm glad to see my favourite sites making some money. ^^
As long as it is not about claiming your Nth free iPad, I'll be fine.
No definitely not, because they are not Google Ads. Advertisers like Mirai LLP (the official RTK App) and KanjiPoster are individuals who contacted me directly.
Recently I am experimenting with isocket, to make it easier for an advertiser to apply, and hopefully help them find the site, but it's still very much like direct ad sales, and the website (the "property") is categorized under tags like "kanji", "japanese" "learning" etc.