The (Malevolent) Genius of Google Adsense

When I started blogging at this site, I threw in a Google Adsense ad basically to fill up a column.  That was a year ago.  Today, on a whim, I decided to check out my earnings.  As you’d probably expect, I have about enough in the account to buy an 18 pack of domestic beer.  

Luckily, I like domestic beer.

So I figured, I might as well take the payout.  Why leave it with Google?

They had an answer for that question: we do not pay out until you have earned over $100.00.  That is exactly where the genius of this program lies…how many people end up providing free advertising to them because they never manage to cross the payout threshold? 

You see, Google has it all figured.  They think about Adsense (and probably everything) with a very simple premise:  Take lots of pennies everywhere and it will add up to something big.   Hence the payout threshold is higher than with similar products, and the cpc rates are a little lower.  

Am I shocked? No.  I’ve heard grumbling for years.  Google Adsense is the bottom rung for web advertising, with virtually no barrier to entry.  

So after a year, no payout for me.  Google you owe me a beer…actually an 18 pack.

Churbuck on Questioning Ad Networks

Read his post here…

A quick taste:

The question comes down to Long Tail economics in a mass audience world. How can a small, but strong “niche” site, get paid for its pageviews without assuming the massive cost structure of its own salesforce and ad ops team?

How can a mass site move its unsold remainder inventory without devaluing itself?

Egads, the truth shall walk up and punch you in the kidneys…

I’m on the bandwagon, once you start running ads from the bottom of the barrel, you’ve devalued your entire inventory. I’ve had advertisers cancel, only to show up almost right away as banners out of Adsense (they got banned…) and I’ve heard kvetching about brands getting mixed in with the bozos.

The big problem is that few niche communities do it all well. And the one area many of us miss is ad sales. That’s why many niche communties are chucking in the towel and taking on real media partners, or aligning with domainers who have the ad staff to monetize their sites.

Is it time for a quality boutique ad sales network for niche sites? Probably, but the logistics will be tough…