How Goo-guhl Gelded The Internet

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A print newspaper/magazine lives – or dies – according to its circulation, which correlates with advertising revenue. That “rule” has been suspended – is inoperative – on the Net. You can have plenty of circulation (“traffic,” in the jargon of the Internet). It does not necessarily or even usually translate into advertising revenue – or any revenue at all.corporate ownership

Print advertisers do not pay on a “click” basis. They pay a set (daily/weekly/monthly/yearly, etc.) fee to have their ad placed in front of the eyeballs of “x” number of readers. This placement imprints a name or a product – or at least, tends to create recognition just by dint of its being “there.”

You do not have to actually buy a Coke to come to know the brand – as a result of constant “placement” of the Coke name/logo in front of your face. Which will incline you to buy Coke at some point. This is an established correlation well-known to advertisers. Which is why they pay large sums to place ads in newspapers and magazines, or on billboards by the side of the road. Or – in a more recent development – to have their car used in a chase scene on a TV show. Do you suppose it was a coincidence that, in Breaking Bad, Walter, his son and his brother-in-law all drove Chrysler products?

Online advertisers – which means Goo-guhl – use the “click” model.

It is a vicious model which defrauds the web publisher, because (just like print ads) the readers see the ads, which means the advertisers get their “name” (or “brand”) into circulation … imprinting it into people’s minds. But unless someone actually “clicks” on the ad, the advertiser pays nothing for the ad space. Which means he gets free advertising.

Not one out of 1,000 people who see the ad will click on the ad.

But – just like a print ad –  every single one of the 1,000 people reading the page will see the ad.

They will come to recognize the logo or the brand. Which inevitably makes them more likely to purchase the item, or at least consider it among their options. That’s how print ads work – that is, generate business for the advertisers.

And online ads work in just the same way.  goo-guhl 2

But there is no quid pro quo online. The web publisher (online) gets nada for this exposure.

It is exactly as if Chrysler got the producers of Breaking Bad to showcase Chrysler vehicles but only paid the show’s producers/owners if someone actually bought a 300 or Challenger – and more, explicitly told the dealer he bought the car because he saw it on Breaking Bad.

This isn’t the free market.

It is freeloading.

And even if people do “click,” the Goo-guhl model typically pays pennies (or nickels and dimes) per “click” based on their own internal calculations, which they do not “share” with their “partners” – that’s you, Mr. Publisher. You take whatever they feel like paying, subject to their whim. Goo-guhl can (and does) arbitrarily – also at their whim – “de-list” your page or (as happened to EPautos) simply pull the proverbial rug out from under by reverting your page rank from something to next to nothing. And there is nothing you, the publisher, can do about it.

You – as an online publisher – can have “traffic” (that is, eyes on the page) in the six figures – which for reference would be considered excellent circulation for a print newspaper or magazine – and not broach four figures in monthly revenue. This site, for example, averages around 100,000 “unique visitors” per month. We’ve gone as high as 130,000. Yet we struggle each month just to pay for our servers (a couple hundred bucks), let alone “make” any money (that is, a net profit).

This is how they – the big corps – are gelding the Internet.po' pic

Or are doing it, at any rate.

Financial necessity drives independent publishers out of business; gives (formerly) independent journalists the option of going broke – or selling out.

Huge aggregators such as The Huffington Post/Yahoo, et al end up dominating the online discourse because of the endlessly deep corporate pockets backing them and because of the incestuous “cross-promotion” they use to maintain their dominance. People may not watch The CBS Evening News on TeeVee much anymore – but the same interests that brought it and other MSM products to you also fund (and so, control) the Internet “players.”

Everyone else is shunted off into penury.

None of which needs to be nor should be happening.corp. 2

Any site that has even 50,000 people consistently visiting it each month has the readership to end-run Goo-guhl and its odious “company town” system.

If those readers would support the site directly.

A mere 10 percent of them would suffice.

If 10 percent of this site’s readers tossed in $1 a month, each month, we’d never have to sweat Goo-guhl again.

The trick is getting them to do it.

People – including ironically, Libertarians – seem to expect “free” things. That contrarian web sites and independent journalism just kind of happens; it’s “out there” – and so apparently free for the taking. That it doesn’t cost money to maintain servers, pay for tech support. That writers and editors don’t need to earn a living.

But “free” stuff  usually comes with a price tag nonetheless.

So: If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve found here – and would like to see it continue – please consider supporting We depend on you, the readers, to keep the wheels turning.

Our donate button is here.

If you prefer to avoid PayPal, snail mail is fine. The address is:

721 Hummingbird Lane SE
Copper Hill, VA 24079


  1. “Do you suppose it was a coincidence that, in Breaking Bad, Walter, his son and his brother-in-law all drove Chrysler products?”

    Didn’t Walt drive a Pontiac Aztek?

  2. Our site has been on line since 1996, until 2010 we had a monthly audience of 6-7 million and google adsense revenue of around 730,000 per month and then it all changed… Google needed revenue so…, wall street decided that if they invested hundreds of millions of dollars that they could make a market from the used car classifieds formerly advertising on the quickly disappearing newspapers along with our freedom of information.
    As I read the comments of the well intention-ed but know nothings remember this ,,,, unless you are selling something the cost per click model does not work for publishers…any publisher. At some point there will be no content to index, no websites that will just lay back and take up their asses…search engines including google and their scads of child labor and inexperienced editorial management will just disappear and brand names will hold their rightful place in commerce….if your site ain’t selling you are going to go broke.

    • Indeed, Bob –

      It’s why this site relies almost entirely on direct reader support. It’s not making me rich – but it does make me independent of these oligarchs!

  3. Perhaps try this, leave access open and free, but require a small fee from those of us leaving a comment. Rent for your soapbox so to speak. What is needed is a convenient secure way to pay. Perhaps bitcoin via Silentvault?
    Appreciate your site. Half a buck per comment could really add up. You could make bank off Clover’s smack talk. You should also consider other contributors like LRC does and cut in the contributors on any discussion revenue. Look at The Libertarian Enterprise for a model of a pay the author thing.
    Keep the faith. Ernie

    • Uh-oh! Fifty cents a comment…I’d go broke! 😉

      (Hey Eric, my soapbox fee is in the mail. I meant to at least include a note, but I forgotedid to bring paper!….)

  4. WoW! Speaking of Goo-goil, there’s a poster on a bicycle forum warning others of a scam Indonesian website which offers high-end name-brand bikes at ridiculously low prices (the poster got ripped off at the site- foolishly WIRING them money!).

    The Goo-goil bots must have seen the name of the site mentioned in the thread, and, as that site must be using Google for advertsing, ads for the scam site are now appearing on this bike forum, in the very thread warning of the obvious rip-off!!!

    Another reason to steer clear of anything to do with Google.

  5. If you have a smart phone/email etc. try … wait for it … Google Wallet – I know, right? I resisted but it works. For example I can receive/send $ to an email, my business acct., my personal acct. etc. No fees. People can send me $ just for being me. I haven’t tried CC to google wallet yet. Additionally, you get a debit-like card that works anywhere (I think).

    I could send you the $5 I have right now on my google wallet by simply typing in your email addr. if you were on google wallet. Haven’t used Paypal in ages – don’t want to.

    Even Captain Picard was a member of the Borg once.

  6. Hey Eric, long time reader of your blog, great job, congrats

    Yes, google sucks, like any other big greedy corporation. They managed to become a monopoly on the internet and now they do whatever they like.

    But, you can do something for your business instead of asking people to donate: make them register to read your website.

    For a puny tax of let’s say, 50cents / month, you get 30 days access. Payment via paypal and that’s about it.

    Everybody can afford 50 cents/month. Even I, living in Romania lol.

    • Black, NOTHING will kill a website (especially a libertarian website!) faster than requiring registration- even for free; much more if there is a charge. Even if it were a penny- it’s not the cost- it’s the privacy issues. Who wants to give their name and credit card/bank account/PayPal to every unknown site? Who wants there to be a record of what sites they belong to/read/comment on? Who wants to give out their email to everyone, as if we need more spam?!

      Countless times, I’ve gone to some site for the first time, and when I see “register to read more” or “register to comment”, I just navigate away.

      A site like this, sure, a few of us big fans/regular participants might well pay to play- but we’ll do so voluntarily, anyway- but the thing is, if it were required, most of us wouldn’t be here right now, because we wouldn’t have given the site a chance.

      I think the financial value of a site like this, is in using the advertising space to one’s personal advantage (And not the usual selling of T-shirts and coffee mugs…sigh)- but if Eric could advertise products or services (Not necessarily mainstream- but things that he is “in to”) whether it be writing, or automotive info; or some type of specialized automotive product or something to do with a hobby or interest of his, or something to do with libertarianism- or all of those things and more- it doesn’t just have to be one thing. Get rtid of Goofle and advertise 5 different services/products- even if they only appeal to a handful of people- the advertising is free, and one could get several streams of income going (Me, I’ve always concentrated on bigger-ticket items- So much easier and more profitable to sell 1 $500 item, than 100 $5 items… IMHO- and I’ve been a micro-businessman self-employed all my life- THAT is the crucial key to a decent micro business- so you don’t end up working for minimum wage and spending all youyr time doing it)

      If Eric is into anything like woodworking or art, remember, in this mass-produced made-in-China day, there is a dearth of unique/handmade/custom-made quality items. If I start a website, I will likely use it to sell high-quality hand-made rather expensive wooden games/toys/pieces of furniture. If you have to pay for advertising, it can be expensive to get such customers, as they will only be a small percentile of the 1000’s of hits you get- but if the advertising is free…thye numbers don’t matter so much.

      Or….find people who make such unique quality products/services, and charge them to advertise here- sites like this which attract non-mainstream people would be a better deal for someone looking to advertise non-mainstream products/services. I mean, if you’re selling $5 widgets, and working on sheer volume (pointless for a small businessman) then a mass website is fine…but if you’re selling $500 widgets that would appeal to people of quality, having your ad on some general news site or celebrity gossip site or FaceCrook to be perused by 13 year-olds, welfare queens and Walmart shoppers is going to be an expensive way of eeking out a few customers amongst all the millions…..

  7. Well E,

    I set up a 10 buck a month subscription right now that is about all I can handle. I’ll be 62 next month and looking to retire from the rat race. Afterwards, money will be tight but I figure I can afford a tenner.

    If i could donate a C note every month to get organized team spurts abolished I’d do it! Hell I’d even keep in the rat race until I died for that! In my opinion, team spurts have destroyed the rugged individualism that use to permeate this country and replaced it with “I can’t do it unless i have a team mate attitude”. Pansies everyone of them. F’em and the socialist mindset they rode in on.

    On another note…..So this is what it is like to be part of a mindless ant hill, eh?

    David Ward
    Memphis, Tennessee

    • Thank you, David!

      $10 a month is much appreciated – and there’ll be a “No Clovers!” sticker coming your way soon, too!

      • Nah, Don’t bother. I’m part Irish and I resist the term clover. I prefer the term g lover aka glover aka government lover. which is what that statist P.O.S. is. Sue me but I’m poor so don’t expect much. 🙂

        David Ward
        Memphis, Tennessee

        Now., if you had a Uncle Sam bumper sticker with an international NO symbol superimposed over it, I’d pay good money for that! 😀

        • David W, no shitsky, I’d pay for that in a heartbeat. I’ve been one of those who got rolled over starting in the 50’s just cause I wasn’t a “team” player. To be honest, I couldn’t stand the team. Got more ass-whuppins that you can imagine not because of the things I did but what I didn’t do. I blame Heinlein, and would like to think he’d take that as a compliment…..and that’s how I mean it. Go Team Go…..please…….go

    • Rollerball.
      Watch the old and the new one after the other. VERY different stories; yet, somehow, the original is closer to reality….
      The original was anti-individual….
      The new one worships the Induhvidual (tm Scott Adams) –>> AS PARTOF THE TEAM <<–.
      It's a corporate recruiting play written as an ode to the lone contributor – making the Star Player the only important part…

    • The goobermint schools are the conformity factories which destroy individuality; the sports are the war games for those whose individuality (and brains) have been thus irradicated.

      Seriously, how any conscious being could sit around for hours and watch some over-paid ‘boos bumping into each other, truly boggles my mind.

      [Collective voice of 98% of America: “Support the team, dude!”]

  8. Just throwing this out there Eric. Have you considered a dead tree version? Even a little bit? I know, its seems dumb now, but think about it a bit as the web changes, maybe print (or even ipad type printing??) would be possible again at some point. I know you have published a few books already. It could reach those not interested in computers, or those that have already given up on it.

    I used to be in the print media too, and I do know the economics have been thrown on its head in that world, even for the big players. So it would never be that way again.

    However, 50,000 “viewers” would have been an amazing number for those small and tiny speciality magazines back in the day (not calling your site a speciality thing! ha ha). You know the ones, that were self published on some limited subject or hobby etc, and may have had a circulation of maybe five thousand if you were mildly successful.

    Granted you wouldn’t turn 50,000 page view into 50,0000 print subscribers. But I wonder what the break even point would be for something like it.

    Or how about cheesy merchandise? Like Ericauto t-shirts and coffeecups etc. It used to be that you gave away stuff like that to get your name out, and it can still do that. Now people pay (sometimes big bucks) to buy your logo-ed gear. Don’t tie it to donations, just sell it outright.

    Unfortunately, its seems the only way to get more of the ad revenue with the current web system would be to have your own ad staff, which isn’t possible either, as it adds a huge overhead, as the good ones don’t work cheap.

    I know, its small cold comfort, but someday, Google will find itself being broken up for being a monopoly. Someday it will misstep and it will find itself on the outs with the ruling regime. The rules will change. As a student of history, I know statist states ALWAYS eat their own. Google has billions of dollars that will have to be picked, you know, instead of becoming wealth for someone. Or economic growth for some guy who would like to have a little bit of comfort in life.

    I for one should be a socialist. Unfortunately, I use my brain once in a while so I can’t be and I am a crummy liar.

  9. I’d like to remind everyone that if you have a PayPal account, you can set up an automatic recurring monthly payment to this website and not have to worry about it again. I don’t get the chance to post here as much as I’d like anymore, but Eric does indeed provide the invaluable service of educating many folks that are new to or undecided on libertarian / anarcho-capitalist concepts. That is important to me, so I support his effort financially every month. I doubt there are very many of us here that can’t come up with at least $5.00 a month to support the cause if we really try. That’s mighty cheap dues to hang out in one of the coolest virtual club-houses on the web.

    • I wish there was some sort of anonymous (as in untraceable) way to do so- ’cause ya know that everything is in plaqce these days for the Nazis to easily look and see who gives to what, if it’s going into any sort of account- probably without even so much as a warrant or criminal charge- just based on “suspicion”- or like the IRS does, targeting “conservatives”, etc.

      For now, I’ll be content to make occasional contributions via money-order- that way, only Eric will know my name….but it won’t be on the MO. (Kind of ironic- using a gov’t service to prevent gov’t spying! :D)

      But I wish there were a private and safe way to do the $x-per-month thing, as there are a few sites (including this one) that I’d be glad to support, and sure quite a few others would, as well.

      I don’t like the idea of being a freeloader! Wee should support the things we like and use- to not only keep them around, but to keep them free of things like Google.

      • “I wish there was some sort of anonymous (as in untraceable) way to do so..”

        I periodically mail out cash via U.S. mail, making the “From” address the same as the “To” address on the envelope, and mailing it from another town. (I’ve never had problems sending small amounts of cash, like a $10 or $20 bill, through the mail, just wrap it well.)

        That’s probably about as anonymous as you’re going to get in today’s environment.

        Unfortunately I can’t commit to a regular amount per month since my “income” is so sporadic (taking on the bastards head-on has its consequences), and my little bit of backing store has to be saved for when I’m unable to work. But I send donations as I can.

        • That’s a pretty good idea, Jason! Maybe send a few seperate envelopes, with $5 or $10 in each one…that way even if one gets pinched by a pilferer, the others’ll make it through, and the whole sum wouldn’t be lost.

          I think an MO will be O-K though…..don’t even have to put my name on it- and since Eric’s O-K with it…. (Nice thing is, too- you can cash ’em at your local PO- don’t even have to put ’em through a bank account or anything. Back in the “old days” when Ebay was still viable and allowed payments via check and MO’s, I used to encourage payment via MO….loved ’em!)

          • Send “Get Well” cards. Seriously, nobody at the PO thinks that money is being sent with good wishes. Been doing it for years. Hey old pal, get well since you and I don’t have long(seems like there’s a lot of those) and put cash inside. They’re so easy to spot from their size nobody even thinks about it. A friend and I used to send envelopes of pics, mainly fishing pics, invaluable to us but worthless to postal Nazi’s. That didn’t stop them from ripping them off or just “losing” them. We found the get well cards were better. Even Birthday cards that often have a check or something rarely get filched. I guess they’re the same size though. And Get Well has a nice ring to it eh?

  10. Unfortunately, we are seeing the same thing that happened with the radio airwaves. A little history lesson.

    About a hundred years ago now, radio was in its infancy, much like the “world web web” (when was the last time someone called it that?) is now (or was, as Eric is finding). Everyone jumps on the bandwagon. The little guy of course, were the innovator and the early adopter. Most big companies, of course being big companies, really didn’t know what to do with this new tech as it developed and were on the sidelines. Looking on with “concern” as most big businesses are when there is a new thing that could threaten their place in the world.

    Back then you didn’t need a license from the “government”, you just assembled the necessary equipment you needed and you were on the air as a radio station. Which is not that much, probably not a whole lot more then it costs to have a computer and website is today. So many individuals, churches, colleges, small businesses, organizations and whomever had the motivation to do it started broadcasting.

    Yup, it was a bit chaotic, disjointed, free spirited etc. It was probably exciting, local, innovative and a lot of fun to boot. Most stations didn’t broadcast 24/7 as they didn’t have the content or the people to run them “professionally”. Most probably never made dime one. Many probably never gave making money at it a second thought either. It was new and exciting.

    Of course stations would interfere with each other. There is only so much frequency to go around (like bandwidth is today). Most stations only broadcast a few miles, but some stations were so powerful they could be heard nearly nationwide (yes really!). So there were disputes over favored frequencies and interference.

    And that is what gave the federal government and its big business crony’s the excuse it needed to come in a regulate the little guy out of the radio business. Yes, at that point it had become a business. As you know, they were completely successful in pushing the little guy out, unless you consider citizen band radio, which doesn’t provide a single person a way to make a living.

    “We have to clear the airwaves of the chaos” they claimed! We have to stop the fights and disputes, and get these unprofessional people off “our” airwaves! Note, that they used the word “ours” to describe the airwaves. As in the public ownership of the “limited” airspace of course regulated and licensed by the,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,federal government. Surprise surprise………………

    Of course who were the only people who could “afford” the licenses?

    You know the answer to that question.

    Only a handful of those early stations exist today (mostly those small college radio stations, ever wonder why colleges have radio stations? That’s why). Most other stations were off the air by the 1930’s. One holdout fled to Mexico and broadcast a very strong signal over the border (which could be heard nearly nationwide), but that didn’t last long.

    On the subject of “limited” airspace. Yes, there is only so much frequency for radio. But its not THAT limited. NBC had so many radio stations in operation they couldn’t manage it, so (after they got everyone else thrown off) they had to split into two networks, known as “NBC Red” and “NBC Blue” (NBC Blue later became the ABC network).

    History, since no one really knows it well, repeats itself. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

    The same thing is now happening with the internet. Yes, there will someday be licensing for internet sites or something like it, and most of us will not be welcome in that world. The internet will become one sided like radio, TV and print media is today.

    They get away with it because they have managed to make the majority fear the free market.

    And us little guys will be looking for the next big thing……….

    • Great ANALogy there, RichB!

      I often think the same thing. When I got my first ‘puter in ’99, the web was great! Everybody and their brother had their own website, and whereas today, often just a few big webnsites dominate any given subject/area of interest- back then, you could find tons of small independent sites for everything! They may’ve been crude or redundent- but it was truly “freedom of the press” in that everyone now had a “press”, and there was tons of unique and independent content.

      I knew it wouldn’t last though (And with the crazy economic models that existed- with everything being “free”- which ultimately helped lead to the dot-com crash- it was no surprise that it didn’t last…it was just a way of getting people to flock to the new technology….

      But ya knew/know control is coming….what else would one expect from a technology that was invented and implemented by the US military; and which is doing more to thwart the mind-control of the media and gov’t and spread the truth and libertarian ideas than any other thing since the invention of the printing press? You know they aren’t gonna let THAT continue for long.

    • A big driver of regulation of the airwaves was the navy. The navy didn’t like that amateur operators were intercepting their messages. The Titanic disaster was propped up as a justification for wholesale confiscation of the airwaves. By the time someone figured out voice and broadcasting it was well established that regulation was necessary.

      Interesting side note: You’d think that shortwave signals, with their long haul nature, would be perfect for a large geographic area such as the CONUS. One transmitter, located in somewhere like Kansas, could easily cover the whole country. But the reason we don’t have short wave broadcasters (other than religious stations), is because NBC specifically got legislation put into the code forbidding US licensed short wave broadcasters to target US based audiences. Of course, this would make it much less expensive for these broadcasters to cover the US, compared to the entrenched (at the time) wire-based AM band national networks. It’s a real shame that this law is still on the books, now that digital broadcasting in the short wave bands could lead to a Sirius/XM like experience of listening to the same stations coast to coast for a fraction of the cost of putting satellites in orbit.

  11. I’m going to make out the envelope right now and put it in my truck…..just so’s I won’t forget come errand/shopping day!

  12. Thank YOU, Eric- for a great site; for spreading sanity; and because it’ll feel good being able to support something whole-heartedly! (I won’t be going to town till the middle of next week…so it’ll be a week or so before you get it…)

  13. I’ve been thinking of starting my own blog-type website, and likely will…but I don’t weant anything to do with Goofle[sic] or any of those other crooks/tyrants/NSA-enablers- I’ll merely use a little of the site’s space as advertising for my own products or services. I’ll get “free” advertising; My site and efforts to maintain it will contribute to it’s/my support; and I’ll avoid all the BS.

    The small, independent autonomous self-sufficient (excuse any redundencies…) business should be our goal- whether on the web or in the real world- but, like everything else, a lot of people want convenience and shortcuts; they want others to do the work; to get paid just for existing. They want SBA loans; gov’t stats; protectionist legislation; shortcuts; etc.

    I’ve come to expect all of that from the general pooblik, but we as libertarians should know from the git-go to avoid involvement with such things. We should realize that anytime we follow the established path or do what everyone else does/takes for granted; or seek convenience, that we are going to pay a high price for it- both financially; opportunity-wise; and in reduction of our liberties.

    By-the-way, Eric, would a poistal money-order be O-K for a donation? (I normally would only pay for something which provides an actual service, vs. just “someone’s opinion”….but you ARE providing a service- in educating the public with very practical examples of libertarian thought- AND by letting us post our comments here- which is both edumacational and fun! So I’d certainly like to throw a few bucks your way- there are very few things in this world that I feel good about supporting…but your site is sure a refreshing contrast to that!)


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