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a) The visitor of your web site (the end consumer)?
b) The advertiser who places ads through Google on your site?
c) Google who pay you for ad space you provide to Google?
For me, I would tend to (a) - if I disappoint my visitors, the whole enterprise is doomed.
How about you?
Both are absolutely 100% important!
Well, yeah, kinda.
But the difference is, if you neglect your customer (Mr. A.D. Sense), in favour of improving your product you can always sell your product to another customer on a different day.
But if you neglect your product, in favour of winning more custom from your customer you haven't got anything to sell. To anyone.
In terms of AdSense/AdWords/etc, who are G's "customers" (actually, what are G's observed priorities) :
A) Advertisers (AdWords paying customers)
B) Search users and site visitors(people who might see interesting and useful AdSense ads, and click to generate vast sums of money for G)
C) AdSense Publishers
If G's main customer/priority is not the publisher, is that wrong? Is it wrong for a publisher to put some or greater priority on the paying advertiser than the site visitor?
With respect to a commercial/for-profit site, the site visitor has to be one factor among many, and one cannot sacrifice the quality of the content or site in order to pander to the paying advertisers or Google - one has to strike a balance - if you totally favor the visitor, you may just end up donating your time, resources, bandwidth, etc. to the visitor.
A customer is some one who purchases your product.
A visitor is just that, some one who "visits"
They might be a potential customer but till they
step over that line and purchase something they
remain a visitor, not a customer.
( yes I know I am splitting hairs, but all the good comments
have already been posted)
"A customer is some one who purchases your product."
While this is true, I say you need to define purchase also. To purchase does not necessarily mean through financial means. Using the term "buy" instead of purchase the same applies:
"acquire by trade or sacrifice or exchange"
Our visitors are our customers. There is an exchange! Visitors can read and "make use of" our content in turn they give us their presence in front of the ads we display.
The same goes for television, radio, free magazines, free newspapers, etc.
Now there is exchange between Google and us so they are also considered a customer. This exchange is the use of our space that produces impressions and/or click in turn for financial gain.
There is an exchange between advertiser and us which is similar to the exchange between us and Google. That exchange is potential customers for financial gain which is routed through Google.
So in my opinion each is a customer and each has it's own place in the scheme of things so each is equally important.
The MOST important focus for any business is to create a product or service that is of VALUE, or to increase the value of an existing product or service, so that an exchange can be made. The greater the value the potential for greater return. Those publishers who are able to position themselves with a product or service that satisfies the value needs of each customer (visitor, advertiser, broker) tend to be the most successful in the business long term.
Here it is again:
Farmer ------------- Publisher
Sheep ------------- Traffic
Green Pastures ----- Content
Big bad wolf -------- MFA
End Consumer ------ Advertiser
Farmer's market ---- Google
Customer is the advertiser
Here's another one:
You are a Fisherman:
Bait = Content
Fish = Visitors
Shop = Google
Consumer = Advertiser
[edited by: Hobbs at 10:14 pm (utc) on April 11, 2007]
a. The chicken = the visitor.
B. The pig = the customer.
"When you have bacon and eggs for breakfast,
The chicken is involved but the pig is committed"
( When the postings start getting this bad,
Its time to end the thread!)
I'm operating as a salesman (salesperson?) on commission.
No customers, no sales.
No vendors, nothing to sell.
I have to keep both happy.
To be technical, Google is in the same position as me, just slightly further back in the chain. Adsense fronts the advertisers to me, I front the customers to Adsense.
Just like a profit and loss sheet, everything balances :) (On a good day)
in the beginning: low visitor count, maybe google adsense with its advertisers, acquisition of other advertisers not possible
after a few years: decent visitor count, google adsense, other options of generating earnings
long-established site: respectable visitor count, google adsense, true diversification of income streams
of course, this is just an example (ymmv). but what can we conclude?
- as a newbie, there is no real customer. you do it more or less for yourself (hobby?) and a probable future success - meanwhile working on your serp rankings. but you have to absolutely focus on the visitor, because no visitors -> only adsense advertisers -> but no earnings
- after a certain time, other options of income creation are possible. these sources you have to serve - meanwhile keeping the visitor happy. so it's not only the visitor, but also and more and more the people who hand out the real money - google and others. there are different approaches to optimize this..
- ok, which one you name your customer is pretty individual but imho not irrelevant at the different stages
- adsense is your steady companion - it acquires advertisers for you no matter your ability to perform (cool, isn't it?)
- depending on the weakest element of your strategy, you may put your priorities
My advertisers (in which I include the Google Adsense program) are my suppliers; my visitors are my customers.
So your visitors pay to access your site and then you pay Google to place adverts on your site? >;->
You don't think you are supplying traffic to Google which then pays you for the traffic you supply?
With my editorial hat on: My product is information, my site visitors are the consumers of my product.
And with my publisher's hat: I have a client relationship with Google, no direct relationship with Google's advertisers.
As long as I keep the focus on my customers I'll continue to be successful.