June 1st, 2006

Google Reality Check

by

News flash: Google is indeed fallible — and vulnerable. I predicted on several occasions (here, here, and here) that Google’s Print Ad program was less than promising (to put it kindly), and sure enough:

GOOGLE’S RECENT FORAY INTO PRINT advertising fell short of the company’s expectations, a company executive said Wednesday. Speaking on a conference call with investors and the media, Jonathan Rosenberg, Google’s senior vice president for product management, said the venture to auction off print ads in magazines, which launched in February, has been one of the biggest disappointments in the last six months.

In other news, the long tail is starting to wake up to its deep subservience to Google and is trying to wag the dog:

IN ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF A social networking site reaching out to brand advertisers, StyleDiary.net, a fashion-oriented site, has stopped accepting Google AdSense links in favor of cost-per-thousand impression-based ads.

StyleDiary isn’t the only social networking property to recently start offering image ads. Photo-sharing site Flickr also recently struck a deal for its first branding campaign. In Flickr’s case, the marketer was the camera company, Nikon.

What if the Google proletariat were to suddenly rise up en masse and throw off the yoke of AdSense?

What if the masses of sites that only make a few bucks a day off of Google decide that the chump change isn’t worth being complicit in supporting Google’s hegemony?

What if we all tell AdSense to take a frigging hike and stop living off us like leeches?

To misquote Morrissey: Content producers of the world, unite and take over!

I’ve taken down my PPC ads for a day in protest — care to join and see what happens?

  • Tom, your blog's sponsorships (congrats, BTW) represent the real threat to Google -- those kind of branding sponsorships will continue to command dollars that Google can't tap into. So the way you run your site is more than a symbolic protest -- it's the threat to Google fully realized.

  • Scott, Why take down AdSense for one day? That's not much of protest especially since they provide a buck or two...

    Yes, content producers will cut off AdSense. I don't run them because I don't want to give up the real estate on my pages to ads that pay a couple of bucks per day. I think there will be Google free zones...

  • Was using "long tail" and "wag the dog" in the same sentence intentional?

    Amusing metaphor collision...

  • Scott, I'd take my GOOG ads down, but that $0.03 buys my daily gumball. And until there's a patch, I can't go without.

    ;-)

  • It makes sense for any large-scale site to drop Google and go with their own system. Many larger companies already outsource their text-link programs or have created their own systems. We run an in-house system for our local clients. We consider Google ads as filler, and a good way to add revenues while building the product.

    PS: I doubt Morrisey would approve of your misuse of his song title. Perhaps "Bedroom bloggers of the world, unite and take over" is more in line with the sad and lonely sentiment of "Shoplifters of the world..."

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