Excerpt from the new Amazon almost best-seller
Media Collusion: Journalism and Marketing Experts Share the Secrets of Sneaky Advertising, Targeted Persuasion, AI and Tracking, Political Deception and Coercion, and Dishonest News
Since we’re on the web ads topic, let’s ponder what’s breaking the web – namely, ad-blocker subversion. These things are annoying, and they prevent you from quickly accessing the articles, videos, audio and other content that you’d like to peruse. If you put on your advertiser/media lens, however, you can see what’s up. There’s a war afoot.
There’s a war going on in your computer, on your browser, and over the web. It’s a funny thing, because sometimes it’s a battle between one Google division and another. It’s about what you can and can’t see on the internet. Google AdWords and AdSense want businesses to purchase ads and people to consume ads that are placed within the Google search universe and embedded into web pages. They want consumers to see ads that are relevant to the searches they perform and the sites they visit. By the way, there are all kinds of other advertising platforms out there (DoubleClick, Adobe, Kenshoo, Marin, IgnitionOne, etc.), however, and they compete for eyeballs and clicks with Google. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and other social media platforms are also competing for the same eyeballs.
All these platforms integrate with media, news, entertainment, how-to, video, and other content sites. Every web publisher that’s interested in making a buck wants to monetize via these advertising platforms.
Interestingly, ad blocking software thwarts a lot of this advertising.
If you have an ad blocker installed in your browser (I have AdBlock installed on Google Chrome), you’ve probably noticed that news sites in particular want you to turn off that blocker on their sites so they can serve up ads freely. Lately, these sites are sampling your browser, noticing that you’re running something like AdBlock, and then requesting that you disable the ad blocker for their site. They want to be able to charge their advertisers for unfettered access to the people who traffic their articles, videos, audio and other content. It’s understandable. A site like Fortune or the New York Times can’t make money if they can’t sell advertising in the places where consumers are huddling up and reading/watching/listening.
So they want you to turn off ad blocking on their sites. Their IT people have figured out how to notice your ad blocker and interrupt your web surfing.
Google, on the other hand, wants its users to have a good experience with the Chrome browser while serving up its own competitive ads. They’re in a weird place. One division wants to make the browsing experience good, while the other is competing for advertising dollars. Google would love to block ads via Chrome (new ad blocking features have just been released, in fact – http://bit.ly/2r1dQ8K).
This approach could allow them to eliminate the competition they choose.
The problem is that a lot of those same advertisers are buying on other platforms plus Google AdWords. Google doesn’t want to alienate them. But at the same time, they don’t want to cripple the browsing experience for Chrome users.
It’s pretty crazy stuff. In the end, however, web/browser/app users suffer because ad-blocking disable scripts are downright annoying. They’re breaking the web!
Here’s the glaring issue. Web publications, web content producers and media developers that need to distribute content via the web cannot make money with the current state of things! There’s just too much good content out there, and audiences are so fragmented that they’re finding their own “long tail” fun in the most unpredictable of places. There is no longer a network triumvirate – ABC, CBS and NBC. There are no monopolies on the channels. It’s open season, and the only people winning are the social media platforms and the ad buyers/ad platforms. Advertisers are subject to click-bots and all kinds of other shenanigans that we’ll get into later. They have no clear idea about which ads are working and on which platforms. It’s a crazy game, and the cost of entry is really cheap. Of course, you can Tweet and gain attention for $0 if you have a decent following.
This from Sharyl Attkisson’s The Smear:
The past two decades have served as an ideal incubator for an industry of smears and fake news. The tools and tactics have evolved from old-school to high-tech. Incredible amounts of money change hands, yet some of the most damaging smears can be accomplished with little more than an idea and an Internet connection. By 2016, a Pew Research Center report found more than 44 percent of the American adult population got its news on Facebook, which had 1.09 billion active daily users. Some of that news is true. Some of it’s not. Today, an entire movement can be started with a few bogus Twitter accounts and 140 characters or less. “You don’t have to spend millions on political ad buys anymore,” observes one operative in the business. “You can spark wildfires with just a tiny little stick now, which is a new thing.”
Long Tail: (in retail and marketing) used to refer to the large number of products that sell in small quantities, as contrasted with the small number of best-selling products.