Does Google's AdSense Make Sense?
from the good-for-content-sites,-not-good-for-advertisers dept
We were just discussing why I no longer think Google’s contextual advertising will work all that well, and someone over at ClickZ has written a much longer piece explaining why these contextual ads make no sense for advertisers. She points brings up a few more points than I discussed. First, she says that the program is clearly designed to appeal to content sites – and not to advertisers. There’s very little explanation as to how this actually benefits advertisers any. Second, she’s not convinced that Google’s “contextualization” is really that good. I haven’t seen enough examples one way or the other to say whether that’s true. Next, she mentions that all other “ad networks” have failed. This one I think is a bad argument, since most of the early ad networks were built on a very different (and very human intensive) basis. Since most of the Google program is automated, the cost in terms of human resources is much lower than other attempts at ad networks. Finally, she brings up the point that I (and others) have made about people on content pages not being in “search mode” and thus are unlikely to click on these ads. As a result of this, she believes advertisers will start to opt out of the contextual searches, as it will bring the overall effectiveness of their ads down. As advertisers pull out, it will also mean less money for the content sites, and can end up bringing down the whole program. In my own experiments with AdWords, I’ve already pulled a bunch of ads from the content sites, after realizing that most of the ads would only make sense if people were in search mode – and the (very) few clicks that were coming through from the content sites were simply wasting money.