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The failure of Google advertising


OK, it's time to admit it, Google advertising has failed. I know that there was a lot of excitement out there, and a lot of people participated in the hype, but sorry, it didn't work.

The idea, in case you weren't paying attention over the past year or so, was to do "information mining" so that ads could be so precisely targeted that people would become absolutely helpless, and would start clicking links and spending money like crazy. It was to be the most perfect "narrow-casting" advertising ever. By the way, broadcasting just means the kind of ads we've all been ignoring all of our lives, like the commercials on the radio, or TV.

As someone who has an Adsense account, I didn't participate in the hype, as I just felt that it would be unethical. But a lot of people did participate, and I'm sure that a lot of people thought that it would be successful. But somehow just knowing that a consumer, for example, owns a wiener dog, and likes to vacation in San Diego in the summer really wasn't enough to perform what would have had to have been a miracle, and make them unable to resist clicking ads. People went ahead and resisted clicking ads, just as they've ignored ads going back to their grandpappy's days.

As you can see on this blog, I still am an Adsense advertiser. As a consultant, I need to know what's going on so I can advise my clients. I have several blogs, and thousands of visitors, but the amount of advertising revenue is not exactly going to make me rich. People like me call it "counting the pennies". And since I'm a Marketing person, it's the right thing for me to do. I need to keep an eye on things.

It did seem unrealistically optimistic. The internet can collect the favorite colors of everyone, and what type of dogs they like, and their favorite ice cream, that's been true for many years. But turning it into a response rate to click ads didn't happen. But Google is optimistic - they try something, and if it doesn't work, they try something else. And that's actually the best thing that they do, and it's what I advise for you.