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July 19, 2007


Randy Rasa

Gee, that sounds familiar. How does this differ from the classic (but demonized) adware systems from companies such as Aureate and Conducent? Does the fact that it's Google doing it suddenly make adware legitimate again?

Michael McCulloch

I can't see how Google's in-game system should be any worse than it is now via website ads. As long as Google doesn't force distribution of spyware-type code with their in-game ad system, then I am optimistic it *might* revitalize the adware market.

The problem with the current affiliate models is that they are commission-on-sales based, and for whatever reason the conversion rates are 1 in 1000 clicks or less. That is basically free advertising in my opinion and I've lost interest in pursuing that model. At least Google's model is pay-per-click and shouldn't rely on cookie tracking to get paid. Cookie tracking doesn't work -- at least not for me. I've sent some vendors 10,000 customers without one penny of compensation.

Thomas Warfield

Yes, in fact I think it does legitimize adware. Google has a working, trusted system with credible advertisers. Applying it to software you get a huge number of advertisers on a system they are already using, and the developer gets pay-per-click revenue in a trusted way backed by Google. It would work from the developer, advertiser, and even user standpoint (since users would trust that there isn't spyware in the ads anymore than there are in the current AdSense ads). Really, in the current marketplace only Google could pull it off.

Michael McCulloch

I still have many unanswered questions about this though, including exactly how the ads would be selected by Google. For example, in current AdSense pages the page content determines the ad content. I don't see how that works in a game unless the developer is allowed some mechanism for specifying preferred ad content (keyword list?). In a perfect world, the developer would be able to filter/select ad content to maximize revenue.

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