Google Archives

August 7, 2005

Google AdSense not for bloggers

Tim's experience on dwindling payout from Google AdSense ads seems to be matching mine -- the monthly reported income from this blog has gone down from around $20-$25 to $3-$5 in last one year.

I attributed this to general inactivity in my part -- I had less than 10 entries in the first half of the year. But looks like there is something else, more profound, happening. And it makes sense. Given the narrow focus of my weblog and the kind of readership it has, it is unlikely that the clicks would sustain over a period of time.

In any case, much like Tim's, my purpose in maintaining this blog was never to generate income. I signed up for AdSense primarily to understand and participate in the new ecosystem of online publishers being created by Google. Can't say that the experience has been worthless!

August 17, 2005

Google knows more about me (than I do)

A case in point: In response to a query on my recent articles on Web Services, I did a Google Search for "Pankaj Kumar We Services" and was let to this interview.

Now, I remember answering these questions as a response to an e-mail, but wasn't aware that it was actually published. And it is not that I get interviewed every day or even every month! So, publication of the interview was an important thing for me. And Google knew about it, at least in some way.

September 19, 2005

Truth in Search Results

Every once in while I have an expereince which is compelling enough to write about. Just a moment ago I had one such expereince -- I was experimenting with with search of "link:url" with both Google and MSN Search and came across this weird observation: The first results page at MSN Search indicated more than 4000 backlinks for, but on actaully following the Next button, could show only 129 entries. Google promised only 593 results and displayed 442 entries with a clarifying note that

In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the 442 already displayed.

November 18, 2005

Can you spot the usability bug in this google screen?

Didn't expect this from Google!


August 17, 2006

Foreign language ads. through Google Adsense

Spotted this ad. on Groovy home page:


Not sure whether showing foreign language ads is part of a new strategy or an error in part of the advertiser or just a fluke.

September 11, 2006

Advise on "Loan Consolidation" on the Web and Make Money

No, I am not turning into a pseudo financial advisor, either on loan consolidation or on making money on the Web, though it appears that either would help tremendously the meagre adwords revenue generated by this blog (which, btw, doesn't even cover the shared hosting cost).

So, what is the point of this post? Well, just wanted to report that atleast some people have found the perfect way of mkaing money with adwords -- create a list of expensive adwords and publish the list on the web. But before you rush to create your own list, I should warn that the process to create such lists relies on arcane methods and some inside information, the method may not be easily replicable.

These lists make interesting read, and hence are good candidates for getting dugg, stored in other popular social bookmarking systems, or plain being linked by other pages, thus improving the Google PageRank of the page. A higher page rank would mean more "search traffic". (Note: traffic generated by being dugg itself may not be as beneficial to the page creator, for these users usually do not click on ads)

The page with the list contains all the right terms, so it would trigger the "right ads" on the page and hopefully will result in atleast some people clicking those expensive ads, making the publisher rich.

One such list appeared today at (I will not link to the page as that would help the scheme) with such adwords as school loan consolidation, college loan consolidation, car insurance quotes, student loan consolidation rates etc, each priced for more than $60.0. I am sure that the guy would end up making thousands on just this post, unless Google and its advertisers found out and did something about it.

The question is: what can Google and advertisers do about it? In my opinion, not a lot. They may be able to identify clicks that were genrated by 'friends and family' (of the page ccreator) or random clickers by analysing the search history and not pay for them, but not the clicks from clickers who actually came to the page in search of similar services and actually clicked on the ads because the ads were more relevant to them than the content.

December 19, 2006

The real lesson from Google's SOAP Search API saga

By now everyone has read about Google deprecating the SOAP Search API in favor of its AJAX Search API. As has been pointed out, this is not about the technology war, ie; SOAP vs. REST and REST winning the day, but about a business decision by a vendor on eliminating multiple ways of doing the same thing from its product/service portfolio (I read this as a quote from Google co-founder Sergey Brin but can't find the reference on the web right now).

Some people, including me, don't think that SOAP Search API and AJAX Search API are two different ways of doing the same thing. In fact, I am little miffed, for I used the SOAP Search API as an example in one of the very early Web Services presentations which, though obsoleted by newer technologies and toolkits, still enjoys good readership. I am sure that there are many more authors and presenters like me who used this API to showcase the technology and are currently feeling being betrayed by Google. Thankfully, these examples won't stop working. It is just that they can't be used as starting point for adding more search features.

From a business perspective, it certainly makes sense for Google to back AJAX Search API that promotes Google brand to many more eyeballs than the SOAP Search API that relegates it to the backyard of few third party applications. Essentially, the AJAX API has better business value to Google than the SOAP API and they are using this to drive a business decision.

And this is the real lesson for me. At the end of the day, it is the economic viability that guarantees continued existence of any service or product and not the do-good feel-good factor. In fact, I won't be surprised if Yahoo and Microsoft also follow suit and deprecate their SOAP/REST APIs. And that may not be a bad thing. Perhaps absence of these free APIs would make Alexa's paid service more viable and lasting.

About Google

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Pankaj Kumar's Weblog in the Google category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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