When you think about Google, you think about Google Search, YouTube, Gmail, and, of course, Google AdSense. Google AdSense is the primary product that has evolved Google into a world-class company, and—what some would argue—one of the greatest companies in the world. So, when the advertising markets slow down, you would expect Google to push harder, right? Try to find ways to innovate amidst pressure. So, why does Google insist on reducing the amount of advertisements displayed on the internet? The answer isn’t that difficult, at least from Google’s perspective.
This story broke around a week ago, and Saul Hansell of The New York Times discussed what Google has in mind for the future. Google’s advertising revenue was not as impressive as it could have been, and Hansell believes that this was primarily “self-inflicted.”
Saul Hansell covered a conference call that was held by Google last week:
Virtually any other company facing slow economic times would be interested in increasing the places in which it could sell ads. It [Google] certainly wouldn’t take steps to reduce them.
But Mr. Rosenberg [Google’s senior VP for product management] said that Google had no plans to increase its coverage because of its efforts to improve what it calls ”ad quality” — the idea that Google should only show ads that users actually like. Mr. Rosenberg said that the company’s co-founder, Larry Page, would like to see even fewer ads.
Sergey Brin, Google’s co-founder, questioned if Google has gone too far. He believes that the company has decreased the amount of exposure that AdSense has by too much. While he believes that the company should have more quality and better targeted advertisements, he doesn’t want these actions to contribute to Google Adsense’s potential decline.
[Story Credit: “Google’s Quest For Ad Quality May Be Overdone“—Saul Hansell of The New York Times]
What are your thoughts on this?
Agreed. And thank you for commenting on this!
I also think this is a great thing for Google to take on. Thank you for writing this.
Yeah, I’m thinking this is pretty good news that one of Google’s co-founders acknowledges this issue.
I agree with your other points as well. This needs to happen if Google is to keep their AdSense program somewhat effective in the future.
Thanks for commenting!
This is definitely good news. Thanks for covering it.
If AdSense drops in quality, because it’s so prevalent as an advertising medium, a lot of advertisers will lower their online advertising budget. However, if Google improves the quality of its AdSense targeting, then advertisers will be more likely to use it because they know they can reach their target audience.
All right, time to break out of journalism mode and throw my two cents in.
I think this is a sign that Google has expanded its reach so far, that the effectiveness of each individual advertisement has decreased. Supply has far exceeded demand, and Google realizes this.
Larry Page, the other co-founder of Google, has the right idea. He wants to reduce the amount of advertisements while increasing the quality of each existing advertisement. It makes sense. Honestly, the company has diluted AdSense.
The company should focus on ways to better target each individual user, and the company should also ensure that the AdSense system is being used fairly. Hell, I’m sick of seeing so many AdSense units on blogs and sites these days. They are extremely ineffective, and I no longer really see them.
This was one reason as to why I didn’t believe that Google purchasing Digg was completely out of the question—it would allow Google to see what a nice chunk of Digg’s users like to view online. This could have resulted in much better targeted advertising.
Even if Google doesn’t acquire Digg (which it probably will not, but no one can be 100% sure), their social component that is being tested for Google Search will be a great way for users to designate content they are most interested in. It will allow users to have better search results while Google has more information about the user’s likes and dislikes.
Overall, I think this would be a smart move by Google, but disagreement from both co-founders will—most likely—mean that these changes will come only with time.
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