Online Advertising

It’s impossible to pickup a business magazine or major newspaper without finding an article detailing how online advertising is going to change the technology landscape. Many of these same article have declared Google the hands-down winner in this mystical realm.

The people who write these article must not use the internet like I do because I never click on online advertising. I visit MSNBC, Digg, Facebook and Google multiple times a day yet I’ve never once clicked on an ad. Never. I’m left wondering who are these internet users who are driving such wild speculation? I mean, Google continues to mint money and Microsoft seems hell-bent on wrestling parts of Yahoo that will boost their own presence in this area. We know that Google is selling a lot of ads but are the people paying for these ads getting a reasonable ROI or are they scared into not participating in the “next big thing”?


I believe all this talk about online advertising is a bunch of hyperbole that’s being perpetuated by the participants themselves who clearly have the most to gain by its growth. People see Microsoft trying to crawl out of hole and get in the game by swallowing Yahoo while Google continues to increase marketshare because MicroHoo is distracted and clueless.

Online ads. Who cares.

What I do care about is when someone I trust recommends a product. When Seth Godin blogged about Sigg bottles, I bought 6 of them. When I decided to purchase a DSLR camera, I looked at what Ken Rockwell recommended and bought the Nikon D40. This week my father purchased two Nikon D40 (one for work, one for himself) based on my recommendation. A coworker told me about Ecco shoes a few years ago and I’m hooked. The same goes for dozens of other products that came to my attention through friends, coworkers, family and bloggers I trust.

Go ahead Google. Continue stuffing more ads next to my search results but you can’t fool me. I won’t click on your ads. Same goes for Microsoft and Yahoo and Facebook and Digg and whomever else foolishly believes online ads will take over the world.

One last thought: If Google provides both the search results AND the ads next to these results, what incentive does it have to refine the results and make them as relevant as possible? Wouldn’t it make sense for Google to make the free results less accurate than the paid ads so that users take the bait and click on the paid ads?

Comic provided by Geek and Poke

3 thoughts on “Online Advertising

  1. The ads on my blog are solely paid by pageviews, not clicks, because if it was by clicks then nobody would ever get paid to host ads on their site.

    I think a lot of these advertisers just want to be seen. To be in the mix, or as one PR guy told me, “to create a buzz.”

    I don’t know… When I see the same web ad over and over everywhere I go, it does leave a mark in my memory.

    The only ad I can remember clicking on in the past year was for a GE Caulk Singles promotion, where they were giving away free samples. Based on the sample I received, I’ll buy more. It worked well. So, in the end, the ad worked.

    That’s the way these companies can get my business… Free samples!!


  2. I make about $200 a month from Google AdSense – and I’m on a 50/50 split with the blog owner (different from – that’s all me, and I’ve topped $10 a month once!)

    I have clicked on Google ads for dog supplies and travel this week. They really do work.

    I have purchased AdWords to promote and they work. Just not targeted enough to keep me coming back.

    and hell sometimes I’ll even click on the ad that pops up with the search results rather than the unpaid search result!

    Disclosure: I own GOOG. So click, click, click! Did you read where one minute Family Guy episodes will be shown on some blogs in AdSense spots?

    Sometimes just to help the share price, I will click on the ad rather than the search result!

    And you do know that people will type in an accurate URL in the search box?

    How about embedding the flag video I have on your site. It’s pretty cool.


  3. I think the ads are a lot like billboards. They are there so people see them. The ads that only pay you if people click on them are mostly getting free advertising because most people don’t click on them at all.

    I don’t like to look at sites that are very cluttered and busy with ads. I still visit a few of my favorite ones that do this, but generally that drives me away. A few ads that don’t take over the page don’t bother me.

    I haven’t clicked on many ads, but I have clicked on ads for a few games (because I am a game nut), a quiz or two, and I remember clicking on an ad for a little girl’s dress shop recently. Considering how often I am online that is not much at all!

    I totally agree that a recommendation from someone I trust is a far better way to get my business. That is my favorite kind of advertising!


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