Monday, April 25, 2005

Google shifts advertising strategy

So is Google selling out?
From today's New York Times article, it sounds like they're ready to trade contextual, sensible advertising for profits.

If you own Google stock, perhaps you don't mind.

For the rest of us, it signals some final death-knell of Google's claim to be different. Now they'll allow graphical ads (only on partner sites--not on "mamma" Google) and more shockingly, they'll allow advertisers to buy placement.

Before today, an advertiser had to be contextually related. Now if I'm a monster truck engine-maker, and I want to go after laptop purchasers, I can have my monster truck engine ad appear next to laptop search results--regardless of whether it "makes sense."

What happened to "don't be evil?"

3 comments:

George said...

Alice, as much as I hate to disagree with one of my fellow Blogeteers, I don't think there's anything inherently evil in advertising, even on Google. The service Google provides has value to me, and in return for that value, I'll put up (that is, ignore or use as appropriate) any ads on the site. No harm, no foul. I still subscribe to lots of print magazines for which I pay an annual fee that have a plethora of ads---some obnoxious, some funny, the vast majority making no impact on me at all. But I don't consider American Heritage or Newsweek or Smart Computing evil just because they have ads.

Alice said...

Absolutely! Advertising is my day job. I love doing it, consuming it, dreaming up new stories for it.

So "evil" is probably too strong a word. "Don't be evil" encapsulates for me the idea of "don't screw people," but I guess I had packed in the additional idea of "don't turn into big bad microsoft for the sake of money."

So I guess I should qualify my comment to be something along the lines of "I am disappointed that Google has tentatively gone the way of all other online advertisers--seemingly in the quest for continued revenue increases for their shareholders."

I love print and online advertising...Google adwords/adsense represented an advertising strategy that still put the user's needs above the advertiser's. Now they've flipped it.

Salif said...

I don't see anything wrong with this. As long as the ads don't contain malware, I'm okay with it. Google is providing people a service and they can either use it or not use it. If they don't like the ads, then they shouldn't complain; they should just refuse to use it.