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Friday, December 24, 2010

Google and "Advertising Arbitrage"

Everything You Didn't Want to Know About Blog "Plumbing"


Want to know why -- amongst other reasons -- Google is a $200 billion behemoth?

Because it collects big bucks from advertisers to place their ads on millions of big and tiny Web sites, blogs, etc. (mine is decidedly in the latter camp).

Meanwhile, Google essentially auctions off the English language, one word at a time, to the highest bidder via a phenomenon called "sponsored search."

Tom Sawyer, who got paid both by the homeowner to paint their fence, and also by neighborhood kids for the privilege of actually painting it, would have been impressed.

Want to know who paid Google the most for "car?"

Type in "car" on a Google search, and you'll find out.

Raw Deal, or, "AdNonsense"

On the back end, Google promises to share some of its advertising revenue with content providers like this blog.

Through a program called "AdSense," Google software scours your online content, and "serves" ads that appear to be related.

Hence, current ads on the City Lakes Real Estate blog touting "Premium Deicing Road Salt" and "Roof Ice Melt Solution" -- thanks to my recent posts on ice dams (not to mention regularly serving ads from competing local Realtors -- something that I find especially annoying).

Call it "advertising arbitrage": charging a pretty penny for the phrase, "premium deicing road salt," while paying content providers practically nothing.

"Advertising Arbitrage"

How little?

After three years of blogging and almost 70,000 page hits, my cumulative Google ad revenue will barely buy . . . a steak dinner.

For one.

Meanwhile, the one time I signed up to buy ad words -- terms like "Twin Cities real estate blog," "Minneapolis real estate blog," etc. -- I literally had to scramble to unsubscribe after my bill tripped $100.

In less than 72 hours.

Nice business . . . for Google.

So, thanks, but no thanks.

Early in 2011 -- that would be about a week -- you'll see a brand, new-and-improved City Lakes Blog, no longer tied to Google, and with much more functionality and a slicker design, to boot.

P.S.: Kudoes to the superb Tim Elliott, Web developer par excellence, for his help with the transition ("emancipation?").

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