Adsense a “bonanza”, but is it driving value creation?

After reading this article in USA Today, I began to get curious: USATODAY.com – Google’s AdSense a bonanza for some Web sites.

Yes, I know there are sites out there making a lot of money. There are also sites out there that are making little or no money, but are trying very hard to game their way in.

“Democracy” in action, but is it creating any value?

I have read from a lot of sites. News, technical forums, weblogs, aggregators, and static directories and pages all fit in to my daily information absorbtion routine. And I have found a lot of useful stuff out there.

Many sites, however, produce little or no good information. These are the pages that can’t hold their own, have nothing interesting to say, they are nothing. I suspect (highly suspect) that there is a direct relationship between useless content (whether poorly constructed or simply empty from a thought provocation perspective), and the level of cheating going on in the pay-per-click advertising realm.

What surprises me is the level and depth of the cheating; the sheer numbers engaged in it. It is all the talk nowadays, so it must be happening. There is a lot of money at stake – people are going to grab it any way they can. What they don’t realize is that in the long run (like a half-fast “consultant” selling their way into a quick gig) is that the cash flow stream will run out. Someone will patch the problem. What do they do next? Find new tricks.

Seems to me like they are spinning their wheels. Click fraud, comment spam, fake sites…it just doesn’t seem worth it. As fast as someone can cook up a scheme, there is someone smarter figuring out how to stop it. A few dollars in, a few dollar out…do the scammers ever give up?

I can think of a lot better ways to make a living (if I didn’t, I could spend any time typing these posts). I wish those hell bent on picking up two pieces of scratch would just give up, and leave the web to those who want to continually change it for the better.

But that is wishful thinking.

After reviewing this post, I realize I had gotten off track, and had already come to a conclusion. I am not sure the PPC ad market is creating value. I would like to see what the numbers look like after the dust settles. Meanwhile excuse the bias.

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