Today WordPress announced Wordads, because in their own words
You pour a lot of time and effort into your blog and you deserve better than AdSense
My initial reaction to this was great, I might finally get to control the ads which appear at the bottom of these posts. But my curious nature took hold and made me wonder if the few products Google rely on for most of their revenue are slowly becoming commoditised.
First we had the worlds biggest Social Network creating it’s own ad network. I know Facebook’s social ads revenue is still reasonably small, but the revenue from it appears to be doubling year on year. Considering the size of Facebook and the engaged temperament of its users, will it become an ever more attractive place to advertise online – especially with its ability to make those ads highly targeted to viewers?
Then the worlds most used smartphone platform introduced an intelligent personal assistant including voice search. Yes Siri still uses Google Search, but in many cases it does so only as a last resort or if you specifically ask for a web search.
It seems that many are translating a greater proportion of their web use to smartphones and the iPad. (And it wouldn’t be a wild assumption that Siri will appear on the next or even current iPads.) At what point of Siri’s maturity could it start make a serious dent into Google’s search dominance? And what then would be the roll on effect to Google’s advertising revenues from search?
And now we have the world’s biggest blogging platform – a social network in itself – introducing an advertising platform. Is it logical to assume it is going to start to eat into the 28% of revenue currently sourced by Google through Adsense?
While all of the above is personal speculation, I bet the real speculators are focusing on the 32% revenue growth Google delivered Quarter on Quarter this year. And will continue to reward the share price with their heads in the sand.
Perhaps they are right, it isn’t logical to assume that Google are sitting pretty on the past surely. And with the recent culling of superfluous projects there, it’s logical they are focusing their resources on improving their search and advertising functionality and especially as that search integrates with Android.
But can they innovate fast enough and will their next big thing be good enough to head off the Online Search and Advertising disruptors before they are eating more of their pie than the investor market would like?
Wordads is hitherto just an announcement from Automattic. But with almost 70 million blogs and 2.5 billion page views per month, even if only a small proportion use Wordads, it’s bound to be more than a tiny thorn in the established players behind.