The New York Times has an article today about the growth of Google’s AdSense program and how hundreds of thousands of individuals have gotten on to Google’s “shadow payroll?? by placing ads on their blogs, forums, or other sites. When users agree to display ads on their web pages they receive a cut of the revenues from Google.
Even though AdSense generates less revenue than Google’s search revenue now, analysts think that could change in the long run:
Millions of small sites have not yet signed up for Google’s AdSense program, which was introduced in 2002. AdSense quickly gained a following among bigger companies with an online presence, like the Weather Channel, as a way to supplement their advertising deals and populate more obscure pages with paid ads. But as more small sites use the Internet to post photos, journals and other material, the number of pages that can carry new Google ads is growing quickly. That’s what makes AdSense one of Google’s most compelling long-term bets, said Charlene Li, an online media analyst with Forrester Research. “I’ve called Google the one-trick pony for a long time, and for the most part they still are,” Ms. Li said. “But they really see AdSense as the next frontier.”
AdSense also gives online marketers a wider, more targeted audience to reach, and because it benefits both advertisers and users the program is indeed likely to grow.