Flutterby™! : Search crash?

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Search crash?

2006-03-09 18:34:47.205741+00 by Dan Lyke 4 comments

Scott Karp thinks he sees The Coming Search Engine Crash:

This is media economics 101. Ad dollars follow audience. If search only represents 5% of online media time, it shouldn’t have 40% of the dollars, no matter how measurable search advertising is.

How much of a magazine's monthly take do the writers end up with? For that matter, how much of the price of a product does the retailer end up with? Like it or not, producers are largely commodities, delivering the product to the consumer is where the competition can differentiate itself.

There may be better ways to be the gatekeeper to the content than being a search engine, but don't think that just because there's a huge economic disparity floating around that that's automatically a bubble. No matter how much we'd like that to be the case.

[ related topics: Writing Consumerism and advertising Economics ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2006-03-09 19:55:03.365186+00 by: aiworks

Where do people feel like the emerging avenue for ads is? For several things I've been working on, I keep trying to find an alternative to Google adwords (dizzyingly high rates now) and adsense (from what I've read it just doesn't seem to work).

I'm attracted to things like AdBrite (relatively cheap ads on targeted sites) but my simple tests show that they don't seem to work.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-03-09 20:53:12.524314+00 by: Dan Lyke [edit history]

I don't know. We had zero response when we advertised with Google adwords, maybe because of bad search word choices, but...

Two issues come immediately to mind:

  1. Many of the people who want to advertise on the web don't have a good way to target effectively. I don't know where you see your customers, but I can't think of a web publication where your potential customer base is more targeted than a few percent of overall readers. Therefore if you're paying magazine rates for cost per exposure, you lose.
  2. A lot of advertising is about marketing, not sales. The only sites I've clicked through in a long time have been on web comics, for other web comics or comics related stuff, but I'm sure that some of the names I've seen repeatedly have filtered up into my subconscious so that I've got an association now. But I've no way to measure that.

I do know that Verizon has sponsored the last two /. day passes I've clicked through, but since I've always popped that window up in the background and let the ad run there, I've no idea what they were selling. And I've no idea who the previous day pass sponsors that I've clicked through for are, either there or over on Salon.

The best responses of anything I've seen have been when I've bought ads for Flutterby because I wanted to support the site selling the ads. But that was ages ago.

And I guess I should break down and sign up with BlogAds to see how it feels to sell advertising rather than buy it.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-03-09 23:03:25.501619+00 by: ebradway

I think you miss the mark when you compare the web to print. People use the web in a mostly ad-hoc fashion - much like channel surfing. The "clicker" is Google (or whatever search engine).

#Comment Re: made: 2006-03-10 05:11:53.893647+00 by: spc476

Last year Google wrote saying they would like if I signed up for AdSense. Okay, doesn't hurt to give it a try. One year later, and I've made $3.03.

My guess—AdSense doesn't deal with blogs all that well due to the dynamic nature of the content. And even if you don't have dynamic content (several years ago I made some changes to my blogging engine to force the search engines to index individual entries) it doesn't seem to work well (at least, in my case). So much for machine targetted advertising (and there's no way to restrict which ads run on my site via AdSense except on a domain by domain basis).

So last month I decided to try something new—sending a random tag (all of my entries have tags) to Amazon. So I'm basically targetting the ads myself. It's hard to see if this is any better—I have made about $4.00 this quarter with Amazon, but I have another site using the same Amazon affiliate code and well … it does pretty good on its own.

I suspect advertisements only really work on sites with tons of traffic.