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Google Suggests Discussion of AdSense Revshare with Publishers

Announced at World Economic Forum in Davos

     
4:43 pm on Jan 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

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At the DLD conference in Munich Monday, Burda CEO Paul-Bernhard Kallen, on a panel with Drummond (Google's Chief Counsel), said publishers wanted transparency and their “fair share.” I asked him, a fair share of what — AdSense? Kallen said yes.

At today’s briefing (at the World Economic Forum in Davos), Arora (Google's President of Sales) said that the company was considering more transparency. I confirmed with Google’s people that this was new. I suspect that they’re not going to promise the possibility and not deliver something.

[businessinsider.com...]

8:35 pm on Jan 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Maybe I've glossed over the arguments for knowing the revenue splits, but I have no idea how this would benefit publishers.
9:52 pm on Jan 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I agree with Celgins. Knowing this percentage would have little effect on my business plan.
9:52 pm on Jan 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member farmboy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Burda CEO Paul-Bernhard Kallen...said publishers wanted transparency and their “fair share.”

I do?

I'm a publisher and I don't recall asking Kallen, or anyone else, to speak on my behalf.

And if I did ask anyone to speak on my behalf, it wouldn't any of this "fair share" silliness.

FarmBoy

[edited by: farmboy at 9:56 pm (utc) on Jan. 30, 2010]

9:55 pm on Jan 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member farmboy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Maybe I've glossed over the arguments for knowing the revenue splits, but I have no idea how this would benefit publishers.

I agree.

However, if there's someone here who would do something different if he/she learned the actual revenue split percentage, I'm curious what you would do differently and what percentage number would cause you to take that action?

FarmBoy

9:55 pm on Jan 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Maybe I've glossed over the arguments for knowing the revenue splits, but I have no idea how this would benefit publishers.

It would keep Google from making arbitrary changes to the split in secret.

9:59 pm on Jan 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

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It would keep Google from making arbitrary changes to the split in secret.

How?

If Google told us the split for publishers today is 75%, how would that keep them from changing it to 70% or 80% tomorrow, whether they told us about the change or not?

FarmBoy

10:00 pm on Jan 30, 2010 (gmt 0)



but I have no idea how this would benefit publishers

The biggest benefit is that publishers will start looking for alternatives when they finally find out the facts :

10:10 pm on Jan 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member farmboy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



The biggest benefit is that publishers will start looking for alternatives when they finally find out the facts :

I don't follow the logic.

If I'm making $X a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, while I sleep, and I'm happy making $X a day, why would I want to mess with that if I found out the revenue split for me is A%?

It seems like the ultimate "throw the baby out with the bath water" or "cut off your nose to spite your face" decision.

FarmBoy

10:15 pm on Jan 30, 2010 (gmt 0)



If you find out you make 50% (instead of what you hoped, for example 70-80%) then you'd get more motivated to seek more creative ways to sell your traffic for more money..

You are happy unless you realize you could be even happier for about the same amount of work.

10:23 pm on Jan 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator incredibill is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



I can tell you it's probably closer to the 50%-60% range.

I know a premium publisher that doesn't even make 70% but maybe they negotiated badly ;)

10:51 pm on Jan 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator buckworks is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



start looking for alternatives

You should already be keeping an eye out for alternatives, as a matter of normal business smarts.

If there's an alternative out there that you think would be more profitable on your site(s), you should be testing it now.

It would be mildly interesting to know what AdSense's payout split might be, but for me the question that really matters is what will give the best overall return for the available ad space ... and my time.

The answer might be different on different sites.

12:00 am on Jan 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

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From eeek:
It would keep Google from making arbitrary changes to the split in secret.

If publishers knew the split and Google decided to make a change--in secret, or in public--there still isn't anything the publisher can do about it.

from farmboy:

However, if there's someone here who would do something different if he/she learned the actual revenue split percentage, I'm curious what you would do differently and what percentage number would cause you to take that action?

I am also hoping someone will post a response detailing how they would take action, or what changes they would make once the revenue split is known. And (like farmboy mentioned) what is the threshold percentage (i.e. 60%, 65%, 70%) one would use to take action?

I guess I could understand the desire to know the revenue split if Google allowed publishers to negotiate, or haggle over it. But this isn't the case.

12:08 am on Jan 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ken_b is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



I've heard all kinds of BS promises from other networks bragging about what a great share they give publishers and how high their eCPM and/or CPMs are etc.

For the most part, if they paid 150% to publishers they wouldn't even come close to what my income from G is.

I don't care what the % is, I do care about the gross earnings.
.

12:11 am on Jan 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

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There are about 27 things I'd like from google in the adsense/adwords realm. Knowing what percentage I'm getting is somewhere very near the bottom of that list!
12:29 am on Jan 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

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What disclosing the revenue share will do is end the wild speculation which leads to a fear by some publishers that Google is not giving publishers a fair split.

If Google's split is more generous than other ad networks then those networks may be forced to give better splits to complete.

Granted the revenue split is only one factor a publisher must consider when choosing an ad network but in general more transparency is never a bad thing. Who knows it could end up helping publishers make sure they are getting the best deal.

1:42 am on Jan 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Only benefit is that if your earnings go up or down and it's due to a revenue share adjustment, you'll at least know why, whereas before all you could do is speculate.
2:05 am on Jan 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Eliminating speculation and conspiracy theories about revenue share is a pretty big benefit.
2:10 am on Jan 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

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AdSense pays more than anything else on my sites so I don't really care what the revenue split is. I just keep finding more ways to make money in addition to AdSense... so far so good ;-)

Google does need to work on "transparency" because they have little of it even if they think otherwise.

2:56 am on Jan 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Here is where I would care:
If I was getting a good enough revenue share, I would feel better about referring small guys (with small budgets) who want to advertise on my site to advertise on my site via AdWords.
5:00 am on Jan 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

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in my opinion this news is much more important for the industry than it is for individual publishers.

it might cause other industry players to increase their revshare percentages.

but, i think that the biggest benefit, is that it will make google less likely to decrease the payout in the future. it would be much more difficult to lower the revshare percentage when that information is public than it would if they just turn a dial on their black box (which is how it operates now).

the transparency also may serve to stave off regulators from stepping in which could slow down future innovation and/or create additional expenses which could be passed on to publishers in the form of lower revshare.

although an individual publisher might not directly benefit from such disclosures, i think we should promote and applaud these moves that google is making toward furthering their openness.

7:48 am on Jan 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

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"If I'm making $X a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, while I sleep...."

I wish my content development, SEO, Link development, PR, Customer service etc etc can also be done while I asleep.

9:53 am on Jan 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

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There's a difference between making X with 50% share and X with 65% share.

This additional information can help webmasters make a better estimate of a site's advertising potential.

10:44 am on Jan 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



even if knowing the split doesn't benefit us, it doesn't harm us either. so why not learn what it is? if google are happy to share it with us, then how is being kept in the dark preferrable to knowing?
1:29 pm on Jan 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member billys is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I really don't care about the split - it's meaningless to me. I have no idea how much it costs Goolge to maintain the integrity of the system.
1:29 pm on Jan 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

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If AdSense revealed the revenue splits, here's what I'd do:

The same things I'm already doing.

Unless the information was site-specific, or better yet, channel- or ad-specific, it would be pretty worthless. If it were at least site-specific, or even more granular, it would give me additional information in deciding whether a particular niche or topic is simply not going to be profitable, or whether there's earning potential that I'm not realizing. If I have a low-traffic site that gets a 70% share and a high-traffic site that gets a 40% share, that gives me actionable information. But if it's simply something like "50% for my entire AdSense account," it would tell me little or nothing of any value.

But, given that the competitive ad filter, ad review center, category filters, and other account shtuff is all account-wide and not site-specific, I'm not optimistic that G would reveal site-specific revenue splits anyway.

4:19 pm on Jan 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Agree with many comments. I chose Adsense because it allows me to create great content and let G do the ad sales and deal with all the hassles of payment, customer service, etc. Imagine having to hire folks for all these tasks? So after being with them for 6 years, it does not make sense to know the split because it wouldn't change anything.
7:04 pm on Jan 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

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All these people who are not interested in the proportion they are getting from Google?

Yeah right.

10:50 pm on Jan 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I think the revenue share amount could matter. All relationships, personnal and business should be open.

For example, if GG is keeping 90% of the monies I would likely focus more on capturing the advertising dollars directly.

12:21 am on Feb 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lame_wolf is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



All these people who are not interested in the proportion they are getting from Google?
Yeah right.

I am not interested in the proportion. I am happy with what I get at the end of each month. I've no idea if it is 1% or 99% proportion.

Sure I would like to earn more, but that's life. If I want more, i'll make more sites, or add more content etc.

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