Adsense, as we know it, is ending.
But a title at Copyblogger that reads, "It’s the End of AdSense as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)", does make it sound that way. The post itself is referring to this li'l report here; a study finding that advertisers wasted about $800 million on bogus clicks in 2005. It found that 15% of clicks are dirty.
That's not just Adsense click fraud; they're talking about Yahoo and all the rest as well. Are we surprised? Nah'.
Most Adwords advertisers are already well aware that conversion rates on ads that run on independent websites (as opposed to search results) are For Sucks, in general. However, depending on the kind of ads you're running and the ratio of slimy-suck-punk ass websites to good websites they show up on, it can be worth it.
Personally, the ads I run show up on Google searches only. For instance, I'm fond of selling Rhapsody (aff) subscriptions, but running those ads on independent websites isn't going to happen.
Rhapsody comes with a free trial. Which, technically, means free music. Keywords associated with "free music" are sources of huge, non-buying traffic on the internet. Websites capitalizing on those kinds of keywords tend to be slimy. And suck. And punk ass. Not what we want.
Getting back to Copyblogger, the post in question isn't really claiming that Adsense is going anywhere; it's really just saying that - maybe due to click fraud, in part - affiliate marketing is coming back into vogue. And then it gives us an affiliate link to a service that offers coaching in affiliate marketing.
Call me cynical (please), but I'm thinking that's what the title was all about. Feeling a little manipulative, Brian?
I did check out the affiliate link anyway, and, uh, it's time for a Little Numbered Mini Rant.
LNMR: "Affiliate Classroom"
Little. Numbered. Different.
2. Those little junk-mail looking sites with the tacky graphics, red letters and promises of arcane money-making "secrets", are not sexy. Not sexy at all.
But I digress. Click fraud sucks. Fraud, in general, sucks; but fraud goes hand-in-hand with anything having to do with money. Occupational hazard. Business reality. Hence, it's doubtful Adsense will be doing anthing resembling "ending" (as we know it or otherwise) before there's a real, viable, alternative.