There’s something big happening on the neterwebs. Don’t know if you’ve noticed.
For whatever reason, Google has been taking a serious gut check. Lately, they’ve been cracking down hard on AdSense publishers from a number of angles (spammyness, mature content, etc).
Well, not “for whatever reason” – I’m sure its because they’re feeling pressure from some corner of the woods. I’m sure they feel dollars and cents and shareholders breathing down their necks.
I’m sure they notice things like the recent Real Simple article my wife showed me entitled “the digital doc” which outlines 5 rules to find good medical information online. What was Rule No. 1? Skip Google.
Ouch. I bet that hurt. The “don’t do evil” company let status quo evil reign for too long, while money poured into their bank accounts, and their search results got all facked up with spam. Now even the common person doubts Google. That’s sad.
Think about it. Google originally succeeded through grassroots word of mouth. Now their empire is on the downturn for the very same reason. I mean, thing’s can’t be good when the “Google isn’t a reliable source of information” meme gets into the mainstream. Larry and Sergey must be furious about negative PR like this.
In an effort to clean up its act, Google is taking down AdSense publishers left and right. Some of those publishers are at least mostly legit. They are trying to kill the beast they created.
The good news is that if Google executes this properly, it could ultimately help the web along with white hat publishers. I say that with multiple meanings. On the one hand, more room in the search space will hopefully open up for good content. But on the other hand, hopefully those of us who got stung by Google’s recent crack down will start to diversify out of the Google AdSense monopoly. Hopefully Yahoo will make its move into the market soon. Hopefully alongside Microsoft. Stung by Google, hopefully publishers will try out companies like AdBrite, AuctionAds, ContextLinks, Azoogle and more.
It’s in all of our best interests to stop the dependency on a single company that so many people have developed. If your livelihood depends on Google, do you have a backup plan? Have you tried out other ad systems?
Here’s a recommendation. Put a backup plan in place. Try out other ad systems. While you may not see the immediate results of AdSense, you may come to discover that with a good combination of partnerships, you can make as much or more than with AdSense.
I’m glad that my most profitable site was booted from AdSense. It forced my hand to try out other systems, and in the process to discover that my site’s were undermonetizing. Dependence on the ease of G can create artificial plateau’s on your profit.
So here’s to the collapse of the Google empire and to the success of the web. Let’s hope it happens quickly, smoothly and productively.
You know what the funny bit is?
As Gerard put it, Google is now the very same monster in the eyes of the public that Microsoft was.
What’s the basic problem? Google has so much power that it’s every move is viewed with an over-dose of cynicism.
Google hasn’t changed in its essence – it’s still the same search engine trying to deliver better results, with the web apps add ons that it’s pushing through to dominate the online workspace. Honestly, if you had the ability and resources to do so, wouldn’t you do the same?
Google will make mistakes. Every company does. It will compromise on its morality sometimes for long-term company gains. Every company does that.
The challenge for us is to recognise that Google’s here to stay, like Microsoft was all those years ago, and to capitalise on it without being completely dependent on it.
We can rail against Google all we want, but in reality nothing’s changed. The strategy – the optimal long-term strategy – is still the same. Do the best with what you have, but be strong enough to survive without it.
Oh, and if you need help with all that, let me know
Good post Ryan. I read something in The Independent today (wow, a real life newspaper) that reeks of anti-Google paranoia and raises privacy issues around their Search History feature. Even it takes the sensational stance – Google is building up a massive personal database about everybody on the planet.
Now, while that might not be strictly true, they aren’t doing themselves any favours. I personally think of Google these days as a huge impersonal corporate, almost like the Microsoft we all loved to hate a few years ago.
I agree that people need to diversify away from Google – even on the basis that all your information in Google’s basket is not a good thing. Not only are we becoming reliant on them as webmasters, but we’re feeding them buckets of personal information – emails, calendar, website stats, etc. Maybe it’s time to start spreading this info out a bit?
definitely. could have taken that angle as well. but i honestly don’t pay attention to keyword stuff. i just try to get good content and good recurring traffic. i think all the search engines have as a final aim to reward good content, so i just focus on that and hope they do their job.
Not just with ads, mind you – gotta plan backups for search traffic as well.