For anyone that isn’t aware, Google recently launched a program dubbed “Google Contributor.” I added my email to the invite list and was blessed with an early invite this morning. Curious, I singed up right away.
Initially I thought it was some sort of blogging platform but it isn’t. Google Contributor is “a new way to fund the web”
The basics: instead of seeing ads on websites (display network, not search network) they will be removed or sometimes replaced with a ‘thank you’ which I am yet to see.
I signed up for the program (I paid $5) just to test it out. Ads really don’t bother me, and I do online advertising for a living so I really actually like to view most ads.
I was browsing the web all day waiting to see a “thank you” but could not find anything. So I went to a website that I know has an ad to check it out. Low and behold: no ads.
Cool, I guess.
This also lead me to discover that you need to be signed in to your Google account in order to take advantage of this program.
I dug a little deeper into the website and stripped the “/welcome” off the permalink and found a nifty little dashboard that gave me some adorable stats. If you are a Google Contributor subscriber, you can check out the dashboard here:
The first statistic is lists is how much you pay. I chose the middle option (2,5 or 10) and paid via Google wallet around 10am this morning.
Correction: you can actually pay anywhere between $1 and $15. You can modify this once you become a member.
The interesting part is it actually lists how many ads were “removed” and which sites that you’ve contributed to.
Worth noting: all 4 of those websites I had to seek out “websites with AdSense running.” Throughout the entire day I did not organically and honestly encounter 1 website that was running AdSense, and I browse the web pretty hardcore.
There are also some advanced settings that were hidden away from the main menu.
What is cool about this is that if there is one website (like a news site) that has a lot of ads, you can list them specifically. Or if you want to support your dear old grandson’s website you can add that in.
You can also customize the “thank you.”
Google Contributor does not remove ads from the search results. I felt that was worth noting, since that is what I thought was going to happen, or at least limit the amount of ads seen within the SERPs.
I really do not see this service sweeping the nation. If this service removed ads from the search results, I think it would be a completely different story. I think we would be seeing a lot more sign ups and a lot more hype about this.
I do see this as an awesome test by Google. I think they are going to learn a lot about people and about their own advertising model.
I will not be continuing my subscription to Google Contributor. Like I said, if it really made my life easier by even the smallest degree I’d consider it but the fact that I was barely able to find an example of it in motion is enough reason for me to cancel.
Questions? Comments? Hit me up below!
Update: 1 week later
Well its been about a week now. I haven’t canceled simply because I haven’t remembered to do so. Today I noticed an ad “removal” today whilst browsing some news on mobile:
Still “meh.” Checked my stats for the first time since writing this post just now. 55 ads blocked but I can really only remember seeing 1 blocked.
Maybe that is a good thing?
Wish I could say that, but I’ve been getting nailed with popups all week long.
Update 2-3 months later
To be honest, I haven’t even noticed that this has been running. It says it has blocked 243 ads but I really can’t even remember the last time I saw the “thank you for being a Google Contributor” message.
I don’t really have an opinion on this for now, I think we can consider this matter closed.