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Google Adsense Publishers Received $5.2 billion in 2009

Neal Mohan, Google’s VP of Product Management just published a blog post where he highlighted Google’s continuous effort in helping publishers to make money online via advertising.

He than briefly ran through Google’s three primary ad products:

Google Adsense: Adsense has definitely helped a lot of small-large publishers to monetize their traffic and earn advertising revenue against the content that they produce. In 2009, Google’s AdSense partners, comprising over a million large and small publishers, earned over $5.2 billion through AdSense. Everytime a adsense publisher’s page loads, Google automatically maximizes the revenue in real time by showing the most relevant ad from massive pool of advertisers.

Self Ad Serving System: For big publishers, Google also has systems in place where publishers can self serve the most valuable ad to the advertisers directory in order to maximize the revenue (e.g. Google Ad Manager, Doubleclick DFP)

DoubleClick Ad Exchange – a real-time auction marketplace for display ad space that includes ad networks on one side, and major online publishers on the other. Publishers get to choose which network they want to bid and what ads can appear on their sites and which ad space they make available etc. Google uses

The Ad Exchange puts a large number of ad networks (over 65 at last count, including more than half of the largest 20 networks in the US) into price competition with each other in a real-time auction, instead of using pricing assumptions based on historical data, or trying to negotiate prices upfront (usually at a discount). It chooses the highest value ad from these competing networks at each moment, impression by impression.

Google has also published a PDF file that sort of gives an overview of how it maximizes revenue for its publishers. Do read it if you feel like learning more about how each of the products operate. (But I got to tell you, it doesn’t really contain anything new).

My Two Cents

I really like it when a Googler comes out in the official google blog and tells the world how wonderful everything is. Well I think anybody can say with certainty that Google does everything in their power to maximize the advertising revenue (Duh!). That is exactly what their whole business is built upon. Did they find any other good source of revenue for the shareholders yet? (Nada!)

But I’m curious to know how much of that ‘maximized revenue‘ is actually going to the publisher’s pocket? Didn’t I hear somebody say that Google is going to publish the percentage cut for adsense? Well I certainly don’t see that figure in the blog post of Neal wrote. If a company is truly open (like Google), I think it should give some indication on how much out of the total they are paying their publishers. Don’t you think that the publisher has the right to know that they are getting X%? And they can get X + 2% if they reach a certain level of performance? I believe releasing that information will actually motivate the publishers to work harder and make google more money in the process.

But anyway if you are keen to find out how much that $5.2 billion is out of Google’s total ad revenue, you can just refer to Google’s quarterly reports – Q1 2009, Q2 2009, Q3 2009 & Q4 2009. Just make sure you have your calculator around ;).

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So, what do you think ?