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Big Bubble? Maybe. Big Trouble? Definitely.

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A colleague posted me an article about the online marketing economy.

Big Bubble? Maybe. Big Trouble? Definitely.

There’s nothing like a bit of Google-bashing, huh? Bill Gates must love it! It certainly takes some of the usual negative attention away from Microsoft.

If Google is squeezing the AdSense partners, and I don’t especially advertise on the content network so I wouldn’t know or be too bothered, there are competitors in the marketplace like Yahoo and Microsoft that will happily take their advertising real-estate. If sites have any decent level of traffic, they’ll actually be able to sell ad space on their sites through an agency anyway, or at least those smart enough will enter in to affiliate programs to monetize their sites.

Pay per click is the same as any sales and marketing tool – if the ROI doesn’t stack up, dump it. This is true of telemarketing, direct mail, billboard, TV or radio advertising or even your humble sales guy or gal.

There’s also some confusion of the facts here – AdSense isn’t search, it’s the practice of Google displaying ‘relevant’ ads on a site based on a page’s content. Most visitors to these sites aren’t actually searching for a solution to their problem. This is incidental advertising, not the ‘qualified customers’ that this article mentions and Google search produces.

With AdSense (the content network), ads are displayed to a viewer that might be interested in what you’re selling, but far more often than not isn’t: just because the term ‘cat food’ is mentioned on a page a viewer happens to be reading, doesn’t necessarily mean that the viewer even has a damned cat, let alone looking for some food for one!

Is the economy a bubble about to burst? Well, perhaps and perhaps not – but advertisers will keep using a medium that generates a good return on investment, and dump it when it doesn’t. And if web publishers are getting a raw deal, the smart ones will always go elsewhere for a better deal too.

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