Posted March 29, 2008 7:51 pm by with 8 comments

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If I were to only use one word to describe Google’s decisions, it would have to be “controversial”. As the industry’s biggest player, it simply comes with the territory and results will, in the end, speak for themselves.

Unfortunately for Google, comScore’s numbers don’t exactly paint an all that optimistic picture this week, with their February click growth being down 3% compared to January and up (only) 3% compared to February 2007. We have to admit this much: webmasters complain about Google all of the time, but having numbers reflect that as well is not exactly something you see every day.

Sure, that doesn’t mean that we should start reading more into these numbers as necessary but, on the other hand, they do make us think: will Google reap rewards or face consequences as a result of the controversial decisions I’ve previously mentioned?

With decisions such as reducing the clickable area of their ads, it’s really hard to say. Of course, we could see this decision as something which works in the favor of advertisers but is that really the case? If we look beneath the surface, it’s easy to understand why things may not necessarily stand that way.

The following question arises: can advertisers be happy when publishers aren’t? And the fact that they have seen a significant decrease as far as earnings are concerned should make it clear that, at this point, publishers are anything but happy.

Naturally, publishers may just be more tempted than ever to explore other possibilities and under such circumstances it’s only a matter of time until advertisers will be affected as well. There is a fine line between a decision which can, as planned, have positive long-term results and one which can have devastating ones.

How will things stand with Google? Time will tell but, like that was even necessary, numbers make it clear that not even the biggest player can be perfect. At this point, given the fact that, unfortunately for the industry, competitors are not exactly doing a great job of making Google fight for its market share (which, by the way, has increased in February compared to the previous month), collapsing under its own weight currently represents the most important threat.

That being stated, these numbers, while not necessarily alarming, should at least be seen as a reality check which should make the folks over at Google think about the way things currently stand. Depending on their attitude, they can either reap rewards or face consequences but again: for any company, living in denial is simply not an option and Google is most definitely not an exception.

Best wishes,

Alan Johnson

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  • as the saying goes, empires are not destroyed by outside forces but by weaknesses from within. decisions like these are turning points for them. what ever the future holds, they will look back to these decisions.

  • Pos

    Sure reducing the size of adds may benefit the Advertisers, but its becoming increasingly difficult to make a decent revenue from adsence from the web community, and it may only be a matter of time before a company with a better module oust google adsence strategy, sure at the moment this sounds impossible, but with so many top google managers and executives having left over the last year, its only a matter of time.

  • PS3

    You may well be right about Google Pos but where is the genuine contender coming from, who else is in a position to mount an effective challenge.

    I don’t agree with everything Google has done but personally like the video ads that have started appearing on searches. Brightens the place up a bit.

  • There is a sea of change effecting pay-per-click – and it’s not helping Google or any other similar site.

    Simply – business people are tired of paying into a system with diminishing results. Forget fraud clicks for now.

    Sure you get more clicks with AdSense, but the truth of the matter is – you want customers and clients who see value in your offerings, buy, and come back or stay for more.

    Social Networking, a term I use to describe the relationship aspect of doing business on the Web, doing business anywhere around the world, be in in a building, in the air, or walking the streets.

    Social, as in ralating, social, as in trust, trust as in sincerity, competence, and performance excellence. For you image, identity, brand to survive, in the near future, you must address these trust issues first, that is before you make your presentation of any products and or services.

    Having your URL at numero uno on page one of a search is more like a cold call, I a surely mean cold.

    The only reason you’re there is the buckaroos, not trust, not image within the marketplace, and certainly not your expertise. Now, all may be present but your getting to the head of the like isn’t going to do the trick for long.

    Here’s the point, we relate in all that we do, especially when we buy anything. That element is missing within the Google formula to make their money model, on its own, worth banking on any longer – like in buying their stock.

    This phenomenon, is in my view, at the source of profitability and stock price decline.

    John McLaughlin, Day Traders – Consultant / Coach

  • I think we need to give a little more time to see how things shake out. Google is making changes to the way things work and the economy is clearly down. Both could be what’s causing the lack of growth in clicks the last few months.

    The signs aren’t looking all that good at the moment, but another couple of months should clear some things up.

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