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26 March 2008 @ 5pm


Google: US Paid Click Aren’t Going Anywhere

The Silicon Alley Insider reports that the growth “US paid clicks” on Google’s Adsense network has come to a screeching halt in January and February. Given that, in the same time-span, Google market share in search has gone up, these results look pretty bad:

Google had 515mm US paid clicks in February, which is up only 3% year over year. At first glance, this appears to be a slight–slight–improvement from the horrific January report, which was flat y/y at 532mm clicks. However, Comscore did not adjust for the Leap Year (29 days vs 28), so this likely accounted for the entire increase.*  Both months show a severe slowdown from Q4:

Oct: +37%
Nov: +27%
Dec: +12%
Jan: 0%
Feb: +3% [Does not adjust for Leap Year 29 days vs 28. Therefore pro forma 0%]

Is this really that much of a surprise to anybody? Over time, we learned to ignore all but the most intrusive of flash ads. Now, slowly we are also starting to ignore text ads (and I’m sure the AdBlockPlus’s of this world aren’t helping either).

There is also a real problem here for all those start-ups that are so focused on monetizing their sites through AdSense advertising. There is only a limited supply of people willing to click on ads – and the more Internet savvy your audience, the less likely they are to click.

If this trend continues, I would guess that more and more publishers are going to start looking at going away from the pay-per-click AdSense model towards pay-per-impression advertising schemes. But then, those aren’t exactly targeted at the users and might be even less effective.

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