Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 3.209.80.87

Forum Moderators: martinibuster

Message Too Old, No Replies

Contributor by Google -- alternative to adsense funding

     
1:06 pm on Nov 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

5+ Year Member

joined:May 2, 2011
posts: 66
votes: 1


Google has come out with a pilot program called Contributor (http://www.google.com/contributor/welcome)as an alternative to funding adsense support for publishers.

I think this is how it works. Subscribers pay between $1-3 per month in return for not seeing adsense ads. Participating publishers (and Google) get some revenue when subscribers vist.

[edited by: martinibuster at 2:38 pm (utc) on Nov 21, 2014]
[edit reason] Made URL clickable. [/edit]

1:46 pm on Nov 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Jan 18, 2008
posts:848
votes: 54


I read about this - should be interesting. My initial thought is that it would potentially reduce cpc for the publishers NOT in the program which would not be good. I think this would be great if it works, but this will likely wind up in the Google fail column.
2:35 pm on Nov 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

Moderator This Forum from US 

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

joined:Apr 13, 2002
posts:14935
votes: 494


PRO
1. This may not eat into ad clicks because these are people who may not click on ads.

2. This is a win for publishers because site visitors predisposed to hate ads will have a better experience on your site.

3. This is a win for publishers because this will monetize regular visitors who won't otherwise be monetized.

4. The advertising model for funding the Internet is broken. It's long past time to experiment alternative ways to fund free information that we publishers know is not free.

CON
1. This is an Internet-Wide solution. That means money received is shared with other sites participating in the program that share visitors with yours.

2. Publishers earn less money than if they solicit subscribers directly for an ad-less experience.

3. An unknown percentage of subscribers may be ad-clickers. But the ad auction is so collapsed right now, will it make a difference?

Question?
A question this raises though is, should you enable this via AdSense or simply collect the subscription (and more money) directly with a subscription program via PayPal?
3:34 pm on Nov 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from FR 

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

joined:Feb 15, 2004
posts:7139
votes: 412


This sounds a lot like the first moves towards G shutting down adsense*, partially or completely, maybe not the same way in all countries..

*I have said for many years that I thought that when they no longer needed adsense publishers ( lot of hassle for G to run adsense, for diminishing returns as a percentage of their revenue from ad serving compared to adwords ) that they would begin to close it..the end of the "adsense" ride may be coming..
4:06 pm on Nov 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

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

joined:Mar 30, 2005
posts:13012
votes: 222


Me, I'd do the subscription myself, but lots of folks wouldn't want to mess with that. I'm all for alternative ways to monetize, and you never know what's going to work until you try it.
4:28 pm on Nov 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

5+ Year Member

joined:Sept 16, 2011
posts:495
votes: 18


This sounds a lot like the first moves towards G shutting down adsense*


If they shut down AdSense there would be no incentive for someone to pay a monthly fee to remove AdSense ads because they wouldn't be there to begin with...because they shut it down.

The Contributor website says this

A pixel pattern appears where you would normally see an ad.

If they collapsed the ad space entirely I think it would be more beneficial experience for both viewers and publishers.
4:44 pm on Nov 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

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

joined:Dec 30, 2006
posts:3311
votes: 17


Mod error corrected: [google.com...]
7:39 pm on Nov 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:May 24, 2012
posts:648
votes: 2


I don't see anything that confirms or denies if this actually stops the tracking / cookie setting.

If not, it's a program where you pay Google to track your browsing habits (and therefore charge advertisers more for the ads you view on non-participating sites) which is just...funny.
11:38 pm on Nov 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

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

joined:June 28, 2013
posts:3476
votes: 780


I can see this program being tempting to owners of information sites whose readers are lousy ad prospects. I'm skeptical about the revenue that it will generate for participating site owners, but if Google wants to run a public beta and site owners want to see how it performs, more power to them.
12:50 am on Nov 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 26, 2005
posts:2302
votes: 625


Visitors are used to everything on the web being free. I doubt that this will work.
2:25 am on Nov 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

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

joined:Mar 30, 2005
posts:13012
votes: 222


I dunno. I have a friend who draws web comics, and he's got quite a few people sending in monthly donations just to keep him pushing out strips (kind of a crowd funding thing). Just quit his day job to draw full time.
3:09 am on Nov 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 26, 2005
posts:2302
votes: 625


Let's say that people would be willing to pay their $1-$3. I could see many of them then expecting never to see another ad again. They of course would see many more ads because how many sites would actually participate in the program? People would want to know why they're paying money and still seeing ads. They'd stop paying their money, I'd think.
3:52 am on Nov 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Feb 25, 2004
posts:1003
votes: 47


I'm not sure why I would pay not to see ads, when I really don't see them anyway.

Plus, Google (Adsense) ads aren't really a problem for me. They load asynchronously, so they don't really hang me up in seeing what I want to view immediately.

The ads I find most troublesome are the ones that pop up and you have to click them shut or click "skip."

But I don't think those are Google ads, so paying wouldn't really help with that.
4:05 am on Nov 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Feb 25, 2004
posts:1003
votes: 47


I see a couple of problems for publishers.

1) If as a publisher you belong to this no-show network, doesn't that pretty much limit you to just participating in the Google network?

Otherwise you would still be showing some ads. Also, the Adsense TOS limits you to just 3 ad blocks. This might be a problem for some publishers.

2) Would there be some type of ad-free network indication in the SERP's, or the way the SERP's are displayed (say if you belong to the network, will they push the ad-free sites to the top of the SERP's you see)?

That might have quite a bit of influence on SERP's traffic patterns.
4:16 am on Nov 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Feb 25, 2004
posts:1003
votes: 47


As far as Adsense going by the wayside, I get that this program must be a headache for Google (MFA sites, click fraud, etc...) when compared to their SERP's ad listings.

But the publisher's network represents an awfully big chunk of web real estate. Somebody, somehow, is always going to monetize that.

As long as the Google algorithm is even remotely unprejudiced and unbiased in the way it selects results for the SERP's, it creates access to a very large portion of the web that can only be capitalized on by the big players through a program like Adsense.
4:55 am on Nov 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 26, 2005
posts:2302
votes: 625


It won't end Adsense because Adsense is the only way to make the program work. If there weren't ads, most of which are Adsense, all over the web in the first place, there'd be no reason to pay to stop seeing ads since there wouldn't be any ads. Stop serving Adsense all together, and then no one has a reason to pay their $1-$3.

This is giving me a headache.
12:51 pm on Nov 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

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

joined:Mar 30, 2005
posts:13012
votes: 222


I don't see AdSense going away soon. But I wouldn't be surprised if it performed better some places than others, so maybe that's why they're looking for other ideas.

I pay $50 or so a year to Slate, and I see fewer ads but I get other perks (long articles not broken up into multiple pages, premium content, etc) I didn't *just* sign up for those perks, I also enjoy the site and would like to see it keep going. I am apparently not the only one. My friend the web comic has crazy traffic paying him just to keep going (his web comic is of a Christian theme and I guess it resonates well with his audience) I've had people try to send me donations for some of my sites. I also pay for premium access to certain forums (including this one) and have been considering setting one up myself.

I think people *will* pay for content they value. It's just a question of whether you can create content good enough and often enough to get enough people to pay enough to keep you going. This is a good experiment for that. Since it's beta and a test, it'll probably go through several versions before they decide to launch it wide or scrap it.
1:19 pm on Nov 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from GB 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Mar 9, 2003
posts:2099
votes: 10


Visitors are used to everything on the web being free. I doubt that this will work.


Wind back to 2008 and I wholeheartedly agree with you, ember.

But we're at the dawn of frictionless, micro-payments on mobile devices.

Console: Would you rather see this site without ads?

Tap.

Console: It's going to be $3 for an entire 30 days of freedom from ads and commercial messages - is that alright?

Tap.

That's it.

Did you see / feel the $3 disappear?
2:47 pm on Nov 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

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

joined:Oct 5, 2001
posts:5893
votes: 120


It's going to be $3 for an entire 30 days

I dunno, $3.00 a month seems high to me, if that would be for a single site, for the whole program, probably not bad.

I subscribe to 20+ print magazines. I pay less than a dollar a month for most of those. A couple of the very highest quality content cost up to $4.50 a month, but those are exceptionally (in my opinion). I know of a couple other print magazines in the same niche that run in the $10.00+ per month, but frankly the difference between them and the others is the lack of ads. Would I pay an additional 5 - 6 dollars a month to avoid the ads, no.

And on the net, running an ad blocker or turning off javascript will get rid of most of them everywhere.

I'm thinking this could affect traffic for some sites, especially if Google labels the participating sites in the serps like "Ad Free".

But those people probably aren't going to click and ad on my site anyhow, so is that loss of traffic a real loss?

Now if the give thos participating sites a boost in the rankings, that could make a difference.

"Ad Free"
Add in "Mobile Friendly" and it could add up. "Ad Free + Mobile Friendly"

Me, I like related ads on sites I visit and on my site, so no, I'm not signing up for this.
2:55 pm on Nov 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

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

joined:June 28, 2013
posts:3476
votes: 780


Wind back to 2008 and I wholeheartedly agree with you, ember.

But we're at the dawn of frictionless, micro-payments on mobile devices.


I was involved in the birth of MSN (Microsoft's proprietary online service) in 1995, and micropayments were part of the plan. They didn't take hold then, and I question whether they'll succeed now--on mobile devices or anything else.

The strength of the Contributor concept is that users aren't required to make micropayments or donate to an individual site's "tip jar" on a pay-as-you-go basis. They can just commit $1-3 a month and let a middleman (in this case, Google) spread the money around. It's a bit like the difference between having a United Way donation deducted from your paycheck instead of writing checks to a bunch of smaller charities.

Will it work? I'm skeptical, but the concept is interesting, and it's worth a try.

Also, I don't think ad blocking is the main attraction of Contributor from a user's point of view. I see the program as being similar to public radio or public television in the U.S., which attract voluntary donations from people who want to support quality programming. (The ad blocking is just icing on the cake.)
4:29 pm on Nov 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

5+ Year Member

joined:July 6, 2011
posts:144
votes: 8


I think it all depends on how easy it is for users to do this.

If Google requires them to use Google Wallet, which could involve going to a form, signing up, entering a credit card, having it all verified, yada yada yada, I can see a lot of drop-offs happening in the signup process and people deciding it's too much trouble.

My only concern is that it devalues the ads on our sites. On my site, sure a lot of ads are for things I wouldn't necessarily be interested in. But a number of them are for products/services/events that I would actually find really helpful, and many of my users do too. So I disagree with the idea that ads = bad.

If the only thing you're offering of value is just subtracting ads from the user experience -- if there's nothing else users get by paying you $1 to $3 per month -- I'm not sure if the user is really going to find that a compelling proposition.

However, it's certainly worth trying out and testing. I could be totally wrong.
5:09 pm on Nov 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

Full Member

5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Feb 22, 2013
posts:265
votes: 0


I would imagine that the people who would pay to not see ads would be people who probably wouldn't click on them anyway. Sooooo, it's a way for Google to double dip (so to speak). They get revenue from people who DO click on ads and now get revenue from people who don't click on ads.

As somebody else has said, it wouldn't stop ads displaying anyway, it would just stop Google ads.

I don't know why people would pay anyway when there's add ons such as AdBlock which is free.

ETA: How would this affect Google searches? Would they be ad free too?
5:11 pm on Nov 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member

joined:May 3, 2003
posts:278
votes: 22


This is definitely an interesting move - and something well worth testing.

As publishers we should be hoping this succeeds - as we could all do with an alternative revenue source. (I wish it hadn't been Google doing it - but perhaps they have the best chance of making it work).

I set up my site before there was any way to monetise it (yes, a LONG time ago). I expected micro-payments to be the way it would make money - but it turned out to be advertising and affiliate programs.

So I'd love to see this succeed.

I do agree that the value proposition would be better if they could collapse the ads rather than pixelate them - but perhaps that will come later.