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Funny Google Ads and Author Payments

Thu Apr 29 16:46:52 GMT 2004 Funny Google Ads and Author Payments

I happened to call up my What's New page and was a little surprised to see Google ads referencing dog training books.

It took a bit to figure out why, but one listing this month was "Novell Chows Down" and the "chow" had to be it. Though why they'd select that word rather than the dozens of more technically related words, I really cannot imagine.

Apparently Google has made changes to its AdWords, promising advertisers tighter targetting - if you are advertising dog training books, your ad can be set to only appear on sites and pages that are strongly related. As expected, you pay more for such tight focus - and that naturally means that the site itself gets more when the ad is clicked on. Well, if I were selling dog training books, I wouldn't be too happy to pay for my ads appearing here. And as the site owner, dog related ads aren't what I want to see either, because my suspicion is that they won't generate much revenue for me. Unless - could it be that Google knows more than I do? Are all of this site's readers dog owners in search of training books? In that case, my ad revenues should increase this month, which makes everyone happy: the advertisers, Google, me, the people who write for this site (ad revenue is where their payments come from), and, we hope, the dogs too.

Alas, that doesn't seem to be the case. Google doesn't tell you what ads do well on your site (you'd think they would, so that you would be encouraged to write more in the same vein), but if anything, the new model has pushed revenues down slightly. That could be from any number of other factors, of course, not the least of which is diminishing interest in all things SCO-ish (yes, I know this site is about much more than just SCO, but still, that could be a factor).

So, regardless of actual cause, authors should expect lesser payments this month - as usual, I won't get around to calculating these for a few days yet, but they will be lower.

You might say that payments have gone to the dogs this month.

Update: I had to entirely suspend payments - this site barely makes enough now to be worth running at all.

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