Why Google Image Ads Suck — VC Fred Wilson Publishes His Adsense Click Through Data

A VC: Why Google Image Ads Suck VC Fred Wilson is out with a post detailing his click through rates for his Google Adsense account and concludes that Google Image ads suck.

Although I know that Google had loosened up a bit on allowing people to talk about Adsense, for some reason I thought that sharing click through info was still against the rules. If it is against the TOS I think that it’s great that Fred is sharing his click through data. Google should be pushed to provide greater transparency into this program.

You might remember Fred as the guy who pushed the envelope and previously published his actual money made with Google Adsense in violation of Google’s TOS at the time. John Battelle picked up on the story and shortly thereafter Google changed their policy and decided that it was in fact ok to disclose money made through Adsense — a good move on their part. I’m not sure if Fred’s post or Battelle’s amplification were a catalyst for this or not but it was good to see.


Fred Wilson shares his Google Adsense click through rates in what appears to be a violation of Google’s Adsense TOS. Thanks for trying to bring more transparency to the Adsense program Fred!

I still think more transparency is necessary for Adsense though and I’d really love to know what the revenue split looks like between Google and their blogger partners. Hopefully it’s not an “evil” number. Bloggers indeed need to figure out ways to make a living through their blogs and Google’s Adsense program seems like one of the least obtrusive avenues. The question is though, is their program fair? Don’t get me wrong, I think that they deserve a huge chunk of the money raised. They were the innovators who came up with Adsense and deserve to be paid. But I’m not sure why it’s so important to them to keep the split so confidential.

Fred takes all the money that he raises from his Google Adsense account by the way and donates it to charity.

Update: Upon further research it does in fact appear that Fred may be violating Google’s TOS once again. See this post for Google’s previous change in policy. You will notice that they still explicitly forbid sharing your click through rates. Unless I’m missing something new from Google. Good work Fred!

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  1. Anonymous says:

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