Wow, this is a strong title, isn’t it? And I’m pretty sure Google will find a way to avoid this, as it is one of it’s best source of revenue.
But stay with me while I share my point of view …
More and more people are starting to ignore everything that looks like ads. When Google was placing advertising on the right of a search result, it was proven that people started to completely remove it from their vision, simply ignoring it. It’s called banner blindness!
Now that ads are placed on a top of a search result, there is two behaviour occurring. Click on it, to make the company pay for nothing, or avoid clicking on it because having ads leaves an oddly feeling of being duped.
Moreover, Ad-blockers are on the rise and many users are installing them every day … to the point that even browser makers, including Google, are thinking of implementing them directly within their browser.
Many website owners that make money via banner advertising are seeing big drops every few months. And in order to counter this, one of the main example I can think of is used by the news website: They desperately try to force you to disable your ad-blocker — This is not sustainable.
But don’t get me wrong, the end of AdSense doesn’t mean the end of ads, absolutely not. Marketers will find an alternative way to send you their products, and one of the most efficient ways is, for me, the integrated ads.
Many startups and a few big companies are starting to integrate into their design, ads that don’t appear like this at first sight. I think this way is better, mainly because it doesn’t disturb the initial reading of the page (quick overview) and once you reach the advertising, you identify it and skip it. That’s it! It doesn’t clutter your design, design requires much overhead for your visitors, and can be simply ignored when reached.
Some of the websites that do it well include IndieHackers and Sidebar.
Moreover, this kind of integration provides another great source of revenue. Instead of working with an advertising company like AdSense that will provide you with a small CTR/CPM while charging too much for the buyer, you can directly negotiate with someone that wants to appear on your website, and quickly make a few hundred. Everyone is happy!… well, except AdSense, which adds more argument to my post 😉
I do think that we will tend more and more toward this model of revenue, at least until someone finds a better way to provide us with advertising that doesn’t annoy users while still providing revenues to the host.
We will see what the future holds.
Until then …