The fading Google Adsense


For those who maybe don’t know, benevolent data lord, Google makes nearly all of its money via advertising. The same goes for Facebook as well so despite anyone touting how these are the torchbearers of a new economy and the way forward, they do pretty much the same thing that we’ve been doing for the last century or more in that people buy ads, they run them, people click, those who bought the space get charged, and the CEO’s are rewarded with more planes.

This method of making money is however fading. Naturally there are many who have been decrying the death of internet advertising since it basically started. The difference is that with the close of 2014, I reviewed the past five years with using the Google ad network, AdSense and am seeing that it appears to be starting a downward trend.

My first year was 2009 and I only used it for half the year so I have to extrapolate what I made then which wasn’t much but was only with the website for Belden Place. It paid for hosting and a couple of meals in the strip of restaurants, but little more.

The following year in 2010, I had more than a 200% jump in ad revenues. Still not enough to pay more than a month’s rent in San Francisco at the time, but I wasn’t complaining as it was money that I didn’t have to do much for. 2011 was similar with slightly less than a 200% jump and this was all with only having one website serving up the ads for ad lord, Google.

In 2012 things tapered off a great deal with the increase down to a mere 110%. Again, no complaints from my side as this, minus a couple of hundred dollars for hosting and domain name registration was clear money. And 2013 saw more of an increase, climbing 125%. This was again great news although at no point was I ever interested in counting on this as this jump was augmented by adding in Maiden Lane as well as The Tender and Mercat del Born so all things told, in the end it was pretty much a flat year and I feel that 2013 really marked the peak of this form of advertising as many starting turning to Facebook (whose finite adjustments to campaigns are just creepy) or also more heavily to mobile ads.

But what really showed how it tapered off was in 2014 when I added Wine on VI as well as ads on this site to the mix but the end result was that I saw a 14% decline in revenues. If I had been continuing along like previous years with the same websites it would seem to be just a blip that things might recover from but the fact that I keep continuing to add in more web space to Google and that I keep allowing them to show whatever new ad format they claim will “bring more revenue” this drop off is quite severe.

Naturally I’ll be keeping a close eye on 2015 as to date it also looks to be lower overall and if that’s the case I’ll probably yank the advertising I have in place in lieu of links to friends’ websites I want to promote or my own endeavors because there will reach a point at which this ceases to be profitable and I’ll shut down older sites that aren’t doing much. While it’s still a few years from being over, it seems like the good run might coming to an end. It’s not surprising as it seems that people are regaining interest in paying for quality content and there might be some road to the future here which doesn’t involve handing over space to Google to display AirBnB ads.