Absolutely, beyond doubt. I can't imagine anyone savvy in 2009 who would disagree.
I suspect this was what Sergi and his mate had originally envisioned. How else would you justify the HUGE investment of resources [Borrowed - Venture, read Vulture Capital]?
Can any naysayer answer that one? What would you have done? A brilliant algorithm or whatever the secret is. Borrow a $100 million and offer it to the world for FREE?
Oh! They already do that. You simply have to cope with the Ads.
Your preferred alternative could be Ad Free? And I can hardly wait. Please share your model with me.
Actually you're talking to the wrong person.
Before AdSense, I simply ran a few affiliate programmes for no other reason than to try and recoup ever an increasing and debilitating bandwidth cost. TRUE it was beginning to cost me big money in 1998 with Yahoo, Alta Vista traffic. Money I could ill afford on a pension. The invention of a Google SE in 2000 blew me out of the water.
Fast forward to Google AdSense. Actually I was around seven days late getting on board because I thought it was a flash in the pan. The very first year equated to eighty-five years of the aggregate of all other affiliate income for me.
Imagine that! I took my wife out to dinner for the first time in five years.
Made Mr. Amazon's $635 quarterly cheque pale into insignificance after, literally, the first four days.
Well over that period of time I can look at an Utopian seven figures in aggregate income. Up's and downs? For sure!
The last time I wrote ANY original content on any site [updates - corrections excepted]? Literally before AdSense was even invented! Again TRUE. No I have not added any real new content since 2002. OK I'm a Grand-Father in more ways than one.
And I DO NOT subscribe to the theory more pages = more income.
I recognise quite a number of AdSense contributors here. Maybe we are their [Google's] only defence. Are we talking through our "pockets".
Mate, no risk, I'm a devoted Google fan for 1,001 reasons. I despise Murdoch for 1,001 more social justice reasons.
In the "public interest" it's no contest to me. I'm beginning to seriously wonder how many contributors here monetise their sites, if at all.?
I didn't start out this way, it simply fell into my lap.
I like to think I had real good 12+ year old searchable content around my genre. Do others here? I have no fear of Google. I fear Murdoch and his "greasy mates" who would love to mould the world to their distorted way of thought.
To be replaced with what model?
[OFF GOOGLE BASHING AND ON TOPIC}
Mr. Murdoch is upset because he's in a world he can no longer control [very operative]. It is alien territory for him.
His and other print publications are becoming Dinosaurs. The "golden Fleece" of classified advertising is being dealt a death blow by a myriad of other forces.
IMHO the affect by Google News even isn't measurable. Makes a good talking point though.
Irrespective of what any of us here agree or disagree Murdoch and others are terminally doomed as was once the Hansom Cab.
I personally can't see him or others adapting.
The usual FWIW, YMMV.