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.
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.
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).
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.
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 EPautos.com. 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