As you all know, advertising is an important source of revenue for Stack Overflow and it helps us support all the sites across the Stack Exchange Network and the resources that go into maintaining and improving the experience on the platform. We are going to be introducing middle sidebar ads, which have been on the main Stack Overflow site for years, to some of the tech sites including Game Development.

The middle sidebar ads have the same standards as any other ads on the platform. Ads are non-intrusive and static. Ads go through a vetting process to ensure they are appropriate for the communities on Stack Exchange. If you see an ad that may not follow our established standards and guidelines, you can let us know by using the "report this ad" functionality. Here is a mockup of what these will look like when two ads are showed (the existing ad placement and the new middle sidebar ad placement):

sample of ads on the middle side bar of the site

heads-up before you started seeing them. Ads are an essential line of business for us and we’re committed to giving you advanced notice whenever we introduce a new form of advertising on the network sites. If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know.

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    \$\begingroup\$ It's hard to "upvote" this because ugh ads, but I understand it helps pay the bills (so it doesn't deserve a downvote either), thanks for letting us know! \$\endgroup\$
    – Vaillancourt Mod
    May 3, 2023 at 16:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Vaillancourt are you sure it helps pay the bills? Do you know how much revenue currently comes from the ads on this site? \$\endgroup\$ May 6, 2023 at 2:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ @user1271772 what makes you believe otherwise? \$\endgroup\$
    – Vaillancourt Mod
    May 6, 2023 at 14:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Vaillancourt what makes you believe what you do? A quick search of Nasper's quarterly reports tells us that SO is making millions of dollars of profits per year and mainly from SO Teams rather than from advertising. Also, why is this relatively small site having to put up with ads while much larger SE sites that would actually generate revenue from ads, are not getting these middle sidebar ads? SO's profits per employee are much larger than they need to be, especially for a company whose value came almost exclusively from volunteers that don't get paid a cent. \$\endgroup\$ May 6, 2023 at 14:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ Revenue from SO Teams is not revenue from GDSE. Without ads, GameDev.StackExchange would still be a net loss to host. \$\endgroup\$
    – DMGregory Mod
    May 7, 2023 at 14:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DMGregory why is it that you didn't ping me in that comment? Also, do you have proof for your claim? For example, how many SO Teams subscribers came from GDSE? I subscribed to SO Teams and I found out about it because I was an enthusiastic user of a small SE site. Also, even if your unsupported claim were true, you haven't addressed the second point, which is why does GDSE need to make a net profit while the vast majority of the SE sites don't? Most SE sites will not be getting these huge middle sidebar ads, and also, the revenue from ads might be small, and might cause users to leave. \$\endgroup\$ May 9, 2023 at 14:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't appreciate the "as you all know" lead. I didn't know. \$\endgroup\$
    – Pikalek
    May 10, 2023 at 3:35

1 Answer 1


I'm not enthusiastic about ads.
With respect to the addition of ads as described, I greatly appreciate that they are:

  • static
  • non-intrusive

Personally, I might prefer if they were placed between the "Related Questions" block and the "Hot Network Questions" block, but it's hard to say if that would make much a difference.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Why not below the HNQ? \$\endgroup\$ May 10, 2023 at 4:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ Completely agreed. I'm not a fan of ads either, but hosting a site has costs. If an ad helps keep this community alive, so be it. Especially if they are static and non-intrusive. \$\endgroup\$ May 10, 2023 at 13:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @user1271772 I'm conjecturing on personal preference w/in the context of the format mentioned in the post. Placing it between existing items satisfies the middle constraint. Related questions are usually significantly more relevant to me than HNQ; I don't mind HNQ getting bumped down by ads. Time will tell if bumping RQ will matter to me that much or not. \$\endgroup\$
    – Pikalek
    May 10, 2023 at 13:42

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