I'm trying to make sense of this, but I have serious reservations about these "Certified Ad Networks" which are presented to us.
It's really a blind crap shoot, IMO, because all we know is that these networks will show image ads and we don't know how much G is taking, nor do we know the content or our share of revenue.
Seems to me that Google is leveraging itself in a pretty aggressive manner. My screen shows: 92 Google certified ad networks always blocked. I intend to keep it that way until somebody can convince me that I'll make more money showing ads from third parties.
My tiny, pea-brain figures that if G is splitting revenue with these companies and us, somebody's going to get short shrift, which, from all indications of past performance, would be the publishers.
The world doesn't need to be any crazier than this. I recall that in my days as a newspaper publisher, I set the rates for advertising, not vice versa. Google, by dominating the space, has reversed the traditional arrangement. At some point, content providers (yes, us, the web publishers of the world) should gather up some gonads and demand better treatment, as in, more transparency, ability to block ads below a certain threshold, or, in a perfect world, to set our own rates.
I realize that I can depart from the Google world any time I like, but they still are the best-paying network available. However, as time goes on, Google's influence should diminish, not expand. Google still frowns on content providers who sell their own advertising, as if we should be happy - after allowing them to make billions indexing our sites and using them as search ad fodder - with whatever they allow us to earn.
Sadly, Google is tethered by the hip to Wall Street, which demands continual profit and revenue growth, whereas the normal functioning of a private business would be quite a bit more cyclical, more focused on client satisfaction, which would lead, naturally, to a stable revenue and profit stream.
Wall Street's distorted view of reality is that revenue and profit should always be increasing, which, in the majority of cases, is simply not possible. For them, there's no limit, there's never enough.
One point that's been constantly missing is the fact that without publishers (content providers), Google would have no purpose. Publishers, as the core of the internet, deserve to be treated with greater respect, not the "here's take this bone I throw" attitude which Google has consistently fostered.