Google changes, it’s hard to accept mistakes

Google search engine | January 23rd, 2008 | 5 Comments

On late November 2007 Google AdSense made a drastic change decreasing the AdSense Click Zone on the publisher textual ads. On that change I was confident that it won’t have a big impact on the CTR as my believe was based on the fact that when users want to click somewhere they tend to hover the mouse on parts of text that distinguish from the rest of the content.

It was hard to track this on my websites as they don’t receive a HEAP of clicks, so a click less today and a click more tomorrow wasn’t actually giving me a picture of what was going on (actually, the past month, December 2007 was one of my best months with Google AdSense).

After 2 months you were bombed with this latest information with changes Google AdSense, more specifically on the Google AdSense referrals where the decision of Google AdSense team was to cut-off a huge market share from the referrals (whole continents including Europe and Australia). It was not bugging me much this decision taken by Google even tho I decided to give them a go with FireFox and Google Toolbar on this site (now removed) but what was bugging me is to realize how come a company would decide to penalize (in some sort of way) referrals of their own company. You have heard this story lately maybe on all blogs, and since the blogsphere was flooded all over with this information I decided not to blog about this (heck, same information all over you turn your eyes over).

Last night I ended up on a really interesting information (or rather report) which kinda cleared up my view on this decision Google AdSense has taken and they are decreasing revenue for affiliates for FireFox and Google pack and as John Chow says

We understand that these changes may decrease revenue for some of you? Doh! Google did add one piece of good news. They’ve decided to allow AdSense referrals from Japan and Latin America. Affiliates in Europe and the UK are still out of luck.

Aside the fact that UK is in Europe John is right, they have drastically decreased their market share. Later on reading john’s post I found out a really useful information that does give better picture on whats going on with Google adsense and referrals pay.

Markus Frind CEO of PlentyOfFish.com on January 4th reported that after the Google AdSense ClickZone modification the CTR (Click Through Rate) on plenty of fish has decreased for 60% and he feels constricted to advice advertisers how to target ads on plentyofish.com to improve the referral traffic. Those numbers (60 percent) are huge even for a site that gets 100 clicks a day, but to give you a better picture PlentyOfFish.com is a free dating website that brings a yearly income of 6-7 zeros and the only monetization method is being used is Google AdSense, so the lost in income is quiet huge.

When companies lose money they have to amortize their loss in one or another way, but before heading forward to amortizing a company needs to give a close-up look at what causes the loss and if it can recovered if the cause is something internal. When it can’t be recovered the next move is to fire 2000 employers just as Yahoo Inc is doing, or amortize the loss by dropping down the referral payouts just as Google AdSense is doing (rather than replacing the click zone to the old status). Of course this is a more deep issue than what I have described it here, I believe Google has great personal and has valuated most of the moves they can and cannot dare to do, but some times companies become so stubborn, their word is so strong, that even when they are wrong they tend not to admit that and find a different solution rather than going back to their steps.

The fact stands that something is going on, the market is having a weird bounce and the GOOG stocks are crawling and around at around $550 USD now, while just two weeks ago there were touching the $700 USD (a nice thread at DigitalPoint on GOOG stocks). And on this note I have to quote once again the evil mogul and his favorite make money online recommendation

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket

even if in question is a strong company like Google. Try to spread your online income streams on different sources (including, affiliates, PPC ads, private ad sales etc.).

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Disclaimer: Thoughts on this post are based on my personal opinion. Proves/reports and numbers are being taken from the linked posts

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5 Responses to “Google changes, it’s hard to accept mistakes”
  1. Very true, “don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”

  2. Ever since Google changed the clickable area they have been scrambling with new ad formats. I think that even within 1 day with teh figures involved at Google they would have realised what a mistake they have made, especially seeing as how their CPA adverts aren’t working.

  3. Good post. While Adsense is good for startup blogs, one should always diversify as the visitor count increases and have at least 3 sources of income generation so that your income doesn’t evaporate if something unexpected happens.

  4. DeeJay says:

    I have learned few useful things from the post.

  5. I wasn’t fussed when google notified me that they were dropping the referrals thing, cause I found the referral ads just did’nt perform. Got’some’ clicks but no sales whatsoever.