[Fred says: If you've surfted to web sites that seem to be only Google links, or clicked on a link that took you somewhere you didn't want to go, then welcome to the club. Google's reach has grown to astronomical proportions. With their recent 3.1 billion purchase of DoubleClick they are poised to be one of the biggest players in the internet advertising business. But not all is well in paradise... ]
Giving Up on AdSense
I am a painful critic for Google's AdSense program, as it pertains to Content (not Search). My beef is that it doesn't take into account any understanding of the target audience of a publisher, nor does it take into account Context or Intent.
As a result, it pushes out-of-context Ads, which have little chance of being clicked upon, and attempts to monetize on a CPC model.
Instead, what I want is a CPM-based ad network that DOES take into account audience segmentation, context, and intent. And one that shares the revenues with me, the publisher, rather than Google, who is basically following an extortionist policy on its AdSense strategy.
Is this too much to ask?
I cribbed about it earlier, by serving as exhibit a Hardwood Flooring Ad that was served up to my site.
Here's another one that has no synergy with the Context (picture). It offers low-cost treatment at hospitals in India.
As you can see, this was the straw that broke the camel's back, and I have finally switched out of AdSense as my main ad provider, to the Washington Post Blogroll Program, powered by Adify. We'll see how that goes in the upcoming weeks and months. AdSense will continue to provide the default Ads for inventory that Blogroll cannot fill, unless they shut me out for causing problems in paradise.
I haven't had a chance to research this yet, so let me put the question out to you: what % of Google's revenues come from AdSense? Someone said 50%. Well, if that is true, then this 50% is resting on fragile grounds of milking their publishers. Here's a source citing that Google made $2.7 Billion off AdSense last year. That does not make AdSense 50% of their 2006 revenues, which is $10.6 Billion.
How much do they offer to the publishers? 10% of revenues? Geez!
As the competition fortifies itself, this party needs to be over.
So far, here are some data sources on how much Google gives publishers, none confirmed:
I have been forwarding my toublemaking articles to Gokul Rajaram, the Director of AdSense Products at Google, whom I actually know for a long time through the MIT alumni association, and who is really a great guy, but he hasn't so far cared to dispel the ambiguity around the revenue share % number. This is concerning, since if the number was a good, reasonable number, Google would brag about it publicly. The fact that they're being cagey about it is already a sign that something fishy is cooking in Googleplex!
Sramana Mitra has been an entrepreneur and a strategy consultant in Silicon Valley since 1994. Her fields of experience span from hard core technology disciplines like semiconductors to sophisticated consumer marketing industries including fashion and education. She has a Masters degree in EECS from MIT and a Bachelors degree in Computer Science and Economics from Smith College. She is on the Board of the MIT Club of Northern California's Entrepreneurship Program, and Advisor to the fledgling MIT India program and the MIT OCW program, both based in Cambridge, MA.
A big "THANKS" goes out to Sramana for joining us today. You will want to be sure and visit her BLOG at: sramanamitra.com, and if you're like me, you'll want to bookmark it!