they made a new one because the old one was sooooo good… not because it was a failure… failure doesn’t exist inside bureaucracies you know…
It seems Google’s poorly thought out Google Contributor program, which was supposed to help consumers support the websites that they like while reducing the ads they see, is going to get a makeover in the new year….
Google Contributor, a program which turned a website’s visitors into its advertisers, is no longer open to new participants.
The program’s status changed with little fanfare yesterday, and the site was updated with a notice which conveyed the news but little else.
When reached for comment, a Google spokesperson told me that the program had not been shut down, and that “We will have a new version early next year and have stopped sign ups for the old one in the interim.”
Google has not said how the program will change, but hopefully the new program will live up to its initial promises.
So I suppose that’s good news and bad news…
The good news for content creators is that the opportunities afforded by a new, differently formatted, Google program could be marvelous. The bad news is that’s the way they said Google Contributor could work out for sites and that didn’t pan out did it…
Story Time… (Why Google Contributor Sucked)
In fact when Google Contributor first came out I got quite excited… from the marketing email that was sent to me by Google (maybe a year and a half ago?) I got the impression that I might actually be able to have a way to support Pink Ink and not offend users with a million and one annoying ads.
After learning more about the program, I discovered it was nothing like how it had been phrased in the email.
It did not actually dynamically remove ads for people who wanted to support my site, it did not promise more revenue, it’d didn’t promise any kind of engagement with my users.
All Google’s program did was basically have users purchase the advertisements displayed on a page… any page… that they visited. It became quite clear to me that even if I had been actually invited to participate in the program it wouldn’t help in any way.
That was my personal cost-benefit analysis when Google Contributor first came out… all cost, no benefit!
How Google Could Move the Needle
To actually change the cost benefit analysis for content creators Google would have to offer some new things in its program…
- Google supported subscription systems for specific sites… meaning google does the software, dynamically removes ads for subscribers, but allows the subscribing to happen on content creators sites.
- Direct donation system. Users can tip creators through a Google adsense button. That’d be kind of fun.
- Engagement with creators. Google will need to pass patrons info onto creators in one form or another to keep everybody engaged in the program.