Ad Blindness Is Nothing New … and it’s No Surprise Google Is Seeing It!

Google Ad Click Rates Are Going Down and YouTube Isn't Helping

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Google’s stock is down because its rate of growth is down according to Google’s latest quarterly financial report. Google still had a 30 percent increase in payments from clicking ads, but that was substantially down from the 45 percent increase they had a year earlier.

Google is blaming this slowdown in growth on difficulties it is having monetizing its social media properties. Boiling this down Google can’t get the YouTube kids to click ads! By all accounts Google is also experiencing a lower click rate on ads on its own search results and especially their Adsense partner sites.

This was entirely predictable and is likely to continue to go lower. Every ad type from banner ads to ads in emails received a high click-through rate when first introduced on the Internet and then progressively lowered to a norm of about .25 percent.

Google is battling this by dramatically increasing the number of ad impressions it serves via partnering with more content sites, acquiring sites like YouTube, increasing the number of ads per page and blending the ads in content more effectively so that people don’t think they are clicking ads.

The problem for Google is that there are really no more tricks possible that will significantly combat ad fatigue. I also sense another under the radar battle the Google folks are fighting and that is complaints of lower conversion on content partner sites and extremely lower conversion for advertisers on social media sites.

This is caused by a simple fact… everybody isn’t surfing the web to buy products, and especially the kids on YouTube.

Google has a great business with search precisely because there are a large number of people searching for product information. A much higher percentage of people who click an ad from a search result have a purchase intent. This is just not true when reading a news site or looking for that funny video.


Ad Blindness Is Nothing New … and it’s No Surprise Google Is Seeing It!
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  • http://www.somelifeblog.com Ken Hanscom

    Great article breaking down the difficulties that Google is under.  While Google has a great ad business and are tinkering in other areas — they have yet to hit another home run.  If they do not add additional (read: non search) revenues to their mix — it will only get tougher.

  • http://www.ronnielife.com john

    and so Bill Gates was and again right … Bill down played the treat from Google .

    People’s behavior on internet

    People search at first 2 – 4 months ..
    People click for a mistake for 3 months ..
    People learned then
    People understand that top site is an advertisement
    People then found a great site with content
    People then stay on that site
    People then type it on the address bar or search the name of the site

    People as adsense clickers to adsense publishers

    People click on adsense
    Publisher’s talk to much about adsense
    The people who used to click on adsense now apply for adsense
    Kids dont click text but play games and repeat People’s behavior on internet
    People once the market for click are the seller and hoping for clicks
    People get free blog software + free hosting + free video watching + free photo hosting
    People visits those free sites and repeat People’s behavior on internet

    who do you hope to click then ? Bill Gates ?

  • http://www.computer-it-recycling.org Richard Johnson

    As far as I’m concerned, the biggest problem with Adsense at the moment is that there’s been too much hype over it’s use and the revenue potential for webmasters and affiliates. Don’t get me wrong. Adsense is a great way to top up revenue and make sure a website pays for itself, but all this hype about gnerating $10k pcm simply drove a lot of above average website designers into producing what’s basically spam, designed to reach a target audience and then drive them though a click on an adsense ad.

    Article websites are pretty much that, but because they’re not specific enough in their target audience (ie not specific to one topic or set of keywords) they soon started to see a drop in visitors. A year or two ago, they were at the top of many searches, but with revisions to Google, MSN and Yahoo relating to inbound links, content and the likes of the Google Bomb, this has all but disappeared.

    On top of all that, the most heavily targeted keyword search terms (and highest paying) such as lawyer, legal, baby, car, auto etc etc have been so badly spammed by designers and SEO’ers looking to cash in on Adsense, that they’ve all but killed the market. Price comparison websites, acting like self contained portals are now driving traffic to their own websites through premium advertising via television/ cable and this in itself is reducing specific terms like insurance and loan (both seen as high paying Adsense terms). In effect, siphoning off traditional shoppers looking for deals online. Why search Google, when you can now go direct to a price comparison wbsite?

    Finally, there’s the fact that big adsense payers, buying ads online are leaving simply because their budget won’t stretch to covering Google and th pric comparison sites- hence a douuble edged sword, hitting revenue and reducing click through rates whilst at the same time reducing cpc.

    In effect, with revisions to search engine algorithms, coupled with a drifting marketplace, you are simply not going to see returns through ppc advertising on blog sites or any other generic high traffic sites. They’re designed to target users with information and as stated in the main article, who’s going to click on a link to buy a product if they’re looking for information on it.

    The high volume clicks are now the preserve of topic specific sites, designed to provide users with information about a product as well as draw in those looking to purchase them.

    • http://www.myfreepr.com T Mosley

      I totally agree. There are so many spam sites out their stateing. "I make over 10k perday" yada, yada, yada. A decent designer and SEO pro will stay away from creating these types of site. Also it doesn’t help to have book out there like "The Adsense Code" telling people how to recycle content for the purpose of creating sites made for Adsense. The book even goes into buying software to spider the web looking for content to recycle. This is bad. Adsense has created a monster unto itself.

  • Sean Foster

    yep. pulling most adsense ads from my sites and looking for other ways to monetize. Not really because they weren’t performing great, although they haven’t on an icreasing scale, but because Google’s constant gyrations in this space without decent communication to their partners(us) has me spending an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out "what google is doing". I am tired of it. There has to be another model. Taking my focus off of google allows me to find it.   

  • http://www.flysofee.com Mike

    Please, Google is internet advertising. MSN AdCenter is so bad, it is not even funny. If you run ads, you know that google is it. They will be aquiring double click, which will give them a whole new revenue stream. I agree they should have come up with something even remotely exciting by now, and the youtube thing was a bad idea from the beginning. But they are hardly falling apart. MSN wants to buy Yahoo out of desperation to catch up with G.

    I would argue that people are more apt to click on ads then they used to be. More times than not, you will find what you are looking for in the ads. If someone payed to be in that spot, they should have something good to show you. Go ahead and pull your adsense code and try something else. You will be in for a big surprise. Other advertisers don’t have the inventory of ads to match your content, and the $ per click is a joke.

    And if Advertisers are complaining about low conversions, then they need to create a better pitch/landing page or don’t run the ads. Google’s job is to get visitors to your site for a price. It is the advertisers job to make the sale. If you advertise, you can block your ads from running on any site or url.


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