free html hit counter Linden on MSFT and Killing Google | John Battelle's Search Blog

Linden on MSFT and Killing Google

By - April 15, 2006

He makes the point, made before but which bears repeating, that MSFT can do the most harm by really going after AdSense. Which it has clearly not yet done. In fact, it doesn’t even seem on the horizon (AdCenter is, but that’s only for MSN…)


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13 thoughts on “Linden on MSFT and Killing Google

  1. What difference does that make? MSN is just a brand and they seem to be marginalizing as they emphasize Windows Live anyway. In two years there won’t even be an MSN, it’ll all be Windows Live.

  2. More than ever, Microsoft has to be very careful of their competative strategies, in a quest to be #1 at Everything!

    How far is too far…how far will again result in massive class action lawsuits?

    How far will accelerate the “anti-Microsoft” mood that seems to be growing among some vocal elements of society,… to the point of No-return?

    READ THE FOLLOWING COMMENT:

    ////Microsoft should use its market power to be the exclusive ad provider for large sites like major newspapers, big online magazines, and traffic giants like AOL or MySpace.

    Microsoft should use its cash reserves to make being an advertising provider unprofitable for others, lowering ad broker revenue share to near 0%.

    Extreme Personalization may be helpful in getting anticipated results, but it will only take one very high profile error or exploited vuneralbility to instill fear in the users for a long time.

  3. JG says:

    Look, I’m no MS fan, but I like Linden’s idea of them “ending the game” rather than changing it. He writes: “There should be no business in AdSense-like products for anyone.” Otherwise, if Google keeps pushing advertising into every possible internet business, from maps to chat to finance to calendars, pretty soon my entire internet experience is going to be intermediated by marketing.

    Combine all the tied information Google collects, with a personalized Google that knows you, and (tinfoil hat warning) we just might end up with something like this ACLU pizza ordering scenario.

    That scenerio is the ultimate in “relevant” advertising and pricing, is it not? It is a marketer’s (i.e. Google’s) dream, no?

  4. buygoogle says:

    Killing AdSense wouldn’t hurt Google as much as you might think.

    Greg says AdSense is half of Google’s revenue, but he makes the mistake of looking at gross revenue. The important revenue number is *net* revenue, or the amount after deducting traffic acquisition cost. On a net revenue basis, AdSense is only 15% of Google’s business.

    Even if Microsoft could bury AdSense by using its “market power” to lock Google out of important accounts, by giving away ads for free, or by somehow magically surpassing Google’s technology lead, at 15% of Google’s business it would be far from “strangling Google’s air supply” as Greg suggests.

    Google is just a market maker for AdSense ads, and Google passes 80 cents of every dollar of AdSense revenue through to the content publisher. So counting gross revenues for AdSense is like counting total merchandise value for eBay — in both cases we should be looking at the net.

  5. Hashim says:

    Adsene makes money because Google search works well.

    It’s like McDonalds…sure they make all their money selling soda, but it’s their salty fires that make us thirsty. You can’t beat McDonalds by making a better soda shop with crummy fries.

  6. John K says:

    The comments above pointing out that AdSense is not as important as Greg thinks are right. Both because margin is a lot lower on AdSense than AdWords, and because AdSense is highly dependent on the AdWords keyword market.

    Besides, some people may not realize that AdSense for Search (i.e. Google’s search service on other sites) is the dominant portion of AdSense traffic and revenue. AdSense for Content is much less than 50% of all AdSense revenue, and is just not that important to Google overall. AdSense for Search is really just Google selling AdWords thru other sites. In other words, the biggest function of AdSense is just a source of more inventory for AdWords.

    So the truth is that AdWords is the crown jewel. AdWords is defended by it’s HUGE inventory advantage, it’s relevancy/quality score model, and the traffic that Google.com generates.

  7. Anil says:

    Looks like my comment on Linden’s site led him to write the Kill Google Part 3 post. I have postedwhy I think killing AdSense is not the correct strategy instead Microsoft needs to go after the bread and butter of Google and that is of course Search.

  8. I don’t understand why Microsoft needs to kill Google or destory AdSense.

  9. gregbo says:

    I don’t understand why MS needs to kill Google either. Why does MS need to be in the search business? Why can’t it focus its energies on things that it does well?

  10. Todd says:

    I’m personally hoping that some more serious AdSense competition coming from Yahoo, MSN, Quigo, and others will cause publishers to see a larger % of the $.

  11. jme giffo says:

    Can’t Microsoft just add an ad blocker to IE?

    The facility of Search is the primary/killer app on the web, who ever owns it will own more than search

  12. Tom Foremski says:

    To go after AdSense MSFT would need to win over some of GOOG’s largest partners by giving/promising 100 percent plus revenues. A MSFT v GOOG AdSense battle could be v. good for the content owners/creators…

  13. dan says:

    This comment that Google passes along 80% of revenue is just not true. If it were said they pass along 20% now that would be more accurate. When you look at an adword buy of 5.00PC and the actual payout is .30-.50 it doesn’t take much to figure..

    >Google passes 80 cents of every dollar of AdSense revenue through to the content publisher.