My son just discovered the joy of AdSense. He’s been producing almost daily science hangouts in Google which then slide over to YouTube. I encouraged him to monetize, he did and he made his first 20 cents this week. He was sure it was a mistake. This is too easy. “You mean, people are clicking ads and I’m getting paid?”
I love seeing that light-bulb moment.
I don’t make a living off of AdSense but it pays for my fun sites and who doesn’t like making money from their efforts. I won’t collapse if it went away, but I’d be unhappy. So I got a little nervous when I read a post on ZDNet called “What’s the future for Google’s plunging $12.7bn AdSense business?”
I thought the author was being overly dramatic with his insinuation that AdSense could fold but then I saw the numbers and now I’m not so sure.
According to Google’s recently release Quarter 3 2013 Earnings Statement, AdSense revenue has been steadily declining since the beginning of the year. In contrast, AdWords grew 22% over last year.
As I understand it, the blue “Network” portion is AdSense. The green “Google.com” portion is AdWords. Clearly this isn’t spelled out on the chart, I’m going by what I’ve seen from a few other sources, so do correct me if I’m wrong.
Google.com stalled as we rounded from 2012 to 2013 but is back on track with continued growth. ZDNet and other sources say that even though AdWords was always a bigger moneymaker, AdSense used to mirror the growth. Not anymore and that’s worrisome.
Then there’s the added issue of split profits. AdSense revenue has to be split with the affiliates. AdWords is all Google.
If Google decided to make a radical change to AdSense, it would be like knocking over a row of dominoes. It’s not just the ads we all run on our blogs, it’s the ads on YouTube, the ads on Blogger, the co-writing sites they pay with shared AdSense dollars.
No man should live by AdSense alone, but I know there are quite a few sites that would be devastated if the program went away.
What do you think? Just a small bump in the road or are these numbers something to worry about?