First off I don't want this discussion to be about SEO or how people shouldn't have relied on Google to make money from, or is Google trying to keep all their traffic, I would like to explore the future AdSense.
I don't think anyone will argue with me when I say that Google have over the last year or so made it extremely difficult to get free traffic from them. Even if you manage to be 1st independent cab off the rank you have all the google cabs infront of the queue.
Obviously Googles intention is to keep their traffic to themselves for as long as possible or to make money from them leaving their site. Googles revenue share has changed and they are becoming less reliant on other websites serving their adverts, from a high of 49% of their revenue in 2004 to 27% of their revenue last year and falling by the looks this year.
But I have to wonder has google shot themselves in the foot. First they made it easy to place their ads and earn money, a lot of people became reliant on that money. Now if you look on any webmaster forum (including this forum) now Google are keeping their traffic and advertising revenue to themselves large amounts of webmasters are A. Looking for new sources of traffic B. Looking at new sources of income
If webmasters are looking further afield for their traffic and revenue, more and more sites will start using other methods. Will this mean more advertisers will have to start using other forms of advertising.
What will be the future of Adsense? I am in no way saying Adsense is dead or even dying but I have to wonder will it be the powerhouse it once was? Is this an opportunity for another company to come to the fore and take on the might of Google? Am I counting the chickens before they hatch?
Is it one of those funny conundrums, where Google makes it harder to get free traffic, so webmasters have to start paying google for traffic whilst they start looking for other sources of free traffic. Google thinks excellent our revenues are up, lets make it even harder to get free traffic. Now more webmasters incomes are being lost so they have to now look for Free traffic as well as a new source of income, whilst still paying for traffic from google. Googles revenue increases again wooohoooo google thinks more free money so they make it harder again whilst they try and keep that traffic to themselves. Googles revenue increases because they are keeping all that free traffic as well as sending paid traffic. How long can that cycle continue?
Am I just in a drunken stupor, is anyone else seeing this cycle?