It is rumored that on January 12 there could be changes in the air for bloggers using Adsense. Actually the changes would start with Adwords (the other side of the Adsense coin). You see it seems that Advertisers using the program will be told tomorrow (or in the next few days) that there are changes coming into effect on the 12th. The big change is this:
No longer will Google allow more than one ad per page for the same affiliate program. Presently a number of the ads on any one given page could actually be sending clickers through to the one merchant program but this will all come to an end next week. The results of this change will definately impact publishers using Adsense to monetize their sites – however the debate is still out as to what impact it will have upon our bottom line.
Some theorize that this move will see a flood of affiliate advertisers leave the program in favor of other methods of earning a dollar. The result would be less ads in Google’s stock and less competition for keywords which would result in a drop off of click values.
However other are arguing that the impact will be quite the opposite. With less spots available a bidding war might open up between some affiliate advertisers seeing keyword prices increase.
Whilst I’d love to see the second of these options come to pass I wonder if it will. You see most affiliate advertisers have a finely tuned operation going. They take out ads on Adsense for affiliate programs that pay out more than it costs them to advertise. As a result of this there will be a limit as to how high they will be willing to bid on keywords. If the bidding goes too high they cut their margins and there is little point making the bids at all.
Jen over at JenSense.com has yet another theory: ‘However, if Adwords/AdSense get together on this and allow one advertiser per keyword per merchant on the search side, yet allow as many advertisers per keyword per merchant on the content side of things, this could actually result in more advertisers opting into content. If they cannot afford the bid price in search, advertisers would still have the chance of getting click throughs in content, where it could be more affordable if all the advertisers are not trying to outbid each other for a single spot in the serps.’
Whatever the case it will be an interesting change to watch and one which could make or break Google’s Adsense program for 2005 as it has the potential to alienate both publishers and advertisers.