When AdSense Acts Like Gator

Panasonic battery.jpg
Dunno who called and woke me up this morning, because the phone battery died the minute I picked up the handset.

That meant it was time to go online and shop for Panasonic cordless phone batteries. The first result I click (a paid search advertiser), had obviously drunk the Google Kool-Aid, given AdSense ads occupied the bulk of his site’s real estate. And what are those ads touting? Why, batteries, of course — the only product this particular merchant sells.

Lots has been written about contextual ad bloopers, but considerably less about merchants who should perhaps think twice (or three times) about filtering the ads they allow on their sites. AdSense was, after all, created for publishers. You merchants already have ways to monetize your site.

This calls to mind those endless lawsuits against Gator (the ones that forced the copany to change its business model and become Claria). Only in this case, the poor schmuck whose prospective clients are being cordially invited to shop elsewhere are being invited to so so by the merchant himself, not by a scummy adware product.

Or could it be that it’s more lucrative to be paid for clicks to batteries than for the batteries themselves?

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