Online advertising

From Everything Shii Knows, the only reliable source

This website is an archive. It ran from 2006-2010. Virtually everything on here is outdated or inaccurate.

To an AdSense-worshipping friend.

I know you want lots of people to come visit your website and click on the Google ads. In fact, you seem to want to make this your means of living. I'd advise against it.

There are two questions of online advertising that don't seem to be asked very often:

  1. Where does the money come from?
  2. Where does the money go?

I'm not talking about the money that comes from Google in the form of a check for your pocket. You, my friend, are the middleman. Unknown people click through your website and reach some unknown ad, an inscrutable transfer of funds is made, and the shadowy fellow somewhere over there hands Google a share of his profits, some of which goes to you. If the shadowy fellow could make this money wind up in his pocket directly, without worrying about you, he would. If the Internet is a method of making money, you are bogging it down.

Big websites have advertisers like Honda, Monsanto, and In-N-Out Burger. You are not a big website. You are running Google ads on an anime blog. What targeted links are being sold there?

Well, anime DVDs at ripoff prices and "free" offers, mainly. Is there any guarantee that ads for stuff like this are going to be around forever? No-- it is based on the flimsy proposition that your website will continue to attract stupid enough people that they will click on the ads and make some money for the advertisers. The reason Google ads are better than banner ads is that Google ads resemble the actual text of the page, which confuses people into clicking on them by accident.

Slowly but surely, people will realize that clicking the ads never does them any good, or the amount of money they budget for Internet shopping will drop below the advertisers' minimum necessary levels, or both. Not even a sucker born every minute can support the profit margins of the online advertising racket.

Don't try to make a living on this. You are riding the wave of other people's stupidity.

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