Online publishers depend on ad revenue to continue to function. If Google’s ad business keeps blowing it, they’re going to put some publishers out of business.
President Barack Obama sits with Google Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Eric Schmidt in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2009, during a meeting with business leaders to discuss the economy. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
Targeted advertising is Google’s core business. They find out information about you, then use that information to sell ads at higher and higher rates. This is why they’ve been at war with ad blockers for years, going as far as to pay off ad blocker developers to let some Google-driven ads through.
But ad blockers are getting more popular as time goes on. Once the domain of a few highly technically inclined cranks, now millions of people use them. One big reason people (reasonably) want to use ad blockers, all moral arguments against them aside, is that ad blockers stop trojans and viruses. And Google just blew that point in a big way: Google allowed criminals to run Bitcoin scripts on your computer if you were viewing ads on YouTube.
Google claims the ads were “blocked in less than two hours”, but that’s probably “less than two hours after they caught the ads,” because the ads weren’t caught until it was too late. Imagine if the ads did something even worse? The only people protected were the ones running ad blockers.
Google needs to get better about this or the whole industry will suffer more and more ad blocking.