Very salient points and experiences. It's great to hear other perspectives.
Part of what I'm asking is whether you truly believe that Adsense has peaked and is in decline or if it's stable and it's snafu. It's a serious thought because if there were better monitization options we would be using them. Sure there is other ppc or advertising but if those were good options we would be using those.
Look at M$. They are adding ads into Skype. Guess what they haven't done? There is no publishing program. I'm asking why because frankly I believed that it was in the works, but now I believe it won't be coming. I personally think the concept of a Google type company paying the middle man for space on their sites is becoming a tired and old and outdated system. Average users ability to block ads will increase and not decrease. That alone would send flags to my business if I was doing an Adwords/Adsense program.
This is really the crux to me. Is it worth investing another second of time building content and stories on a website that will most likely lose it's ability to earn solid revenue. You have to believe that the options for making money today are going to be there is a year or two or three down the road. I personally don't see that happening unless there is a shift from what a search engine is or if there is more than one giant at the top. Sure you could rely on affiliate links but what about security now and people deleting cookies? How about that constant concern about affiliate links costing your rankings in Google?
I guess to me the future in the Adsense model is less and not more. If anyone can indicate stories or trends that support Adsense becoming stronger and that Google won't be utilizing their own platforms to embed ads, please discuss.
I think also, and I dont' want to get political, but can we not get some insight into the future of Adsense on the next financial report? As in, when the ad revenue brought in is growing much greater than the ad revenue paid out, what do you have? I would say that means more ad money is coming from their own search page that your website or mine. The greater the discrepancy between what they bring in vs what they bring out surely has to be the clearest signal. Isn't that the bulging of the twine or the cheese on the pizza? If the competition can get ad revenue and not include publishers, they make more on having less advertisers. Getting more from less is the nirvana isn't it?
Please don't misunderstand my perspective. I'm not attacking Adsense. It's been the best part and the most rewarding program for me. It made my time and writing worthwhile and it has proven an amazing secondary income source. I pray every night that it continues and that the system itself doesn't get dated to the point that I have to give up on websites that I'm passionate about or simply kill off a website that has true value.