Is Google Reducing Their AdSense Payouts & Increasing Their Take?


Om Malik's "Why Google’s Partners Should Be Worried" is by far my most interesting read of the last few days specifically because it's a sentiment that I've heard quite a bit of recently... and, if true, it is very important news:

Google’s partners however, should gulp hard, for the Mountain View, Calif.-based search and online advertising company is keeping more and more of its online ad bounty for itself. You can see that from the three metrics: revenues from Google-owned sites, revenue generated by partner sites and the traffic acquisition costs. Google’s partners’ piece of the pie isn’t growing that much...

My view is that given that the partner share is essentially flat while Google’s share is up: that means Google is shifting more of its advertising inventory to its own pages where it doesn’t have to share the goodies with partners. its own pages have no content cost and hence are better in terms of making money.

I have talked to a few partners in the past and they are all saying that Google has been slowly squeezing their share. I shouldn’t expect anything else - Google has to keep up the revenue growth game or its whole game falls apart. it spends too much money and it needs to in order to stay ahead of microsoft. so in turn it needs to make a ton of money — whatever it takes.

I don't agree with the math Om used to justify his argument - but I too have heard what Om has: "Google has been slowly squeezing their share." I have also heard sentiments that it the "slow" squeeze sped up once the economy and stock price fell in recent weeks...

One thing is certain: when your partners don't have a clear understanding of your rev-share (99% of AdSense publishers don't know their take) - Google has the ability / flexibility to do this...