No Ads, No Clicks, No Revenue? What Business Model?

Something Chris Tolles, CEO of said on a This Week In Startups episode got this started. He stated that Content was worth $.08 to every $1. of Search. Thanks to the magic of Twitter, a DomainNoob like myself, was able to follow-up with Chris directly for details. He pointed me to research (here and here) Mike Markson had conducted. Wow! You mean to say that for every $1 Google makes on Search, they (and we if we split it) make $.08 on (our) Content? Well sure, Mark’s figures could be off, and the articles were written in 2006, but even if they’re close… For me it begs the question, “Are we all just fodder for Google’s search engine?”

Then a post on Michael Berkens’ blog about Comcast stealing error traffic, ” Comcast Launches “Domain Helper”: I Call It “Cash For Typos” re-sensitized me to how much it pisses me off that Verizon steals my type-in errors (costing me time and frustration) and re-directs to their ‘Domain Helper’ page full of ads. (Not to mention how much it pisses me off that OpenDNS isn’t Open at all and has their own version of browser-bar-Hijack-to-ads).

Then a friend who’s deep inside the web marketing business Tweeted how invasive ads are getting to be on some pages.
That all lead to me try the Adblock Plus Addon for Firefox, which blocks ads. Check out this 1:30 YouTube video for an overview. it really couldn’t be simpler.

Here’s what ad-free browsing looks like. I picked Ron Jackson’s I have a lot of respect for Ron Jackson and I very much appreciate the information he provides, but I’ve always hated visiting his site because the ads are so obnoxious. (If you haven’t heard it already, check out’s interview with Ron).

Before AdBlock Plus (much of this is blinking)

After AdBlock Plus

After tweaking AdBlock Plus for Ron’s site. (Really easy to do)


I’ve been browsing ad-free for a few days now. I love it. I’m reminded how much I hate ads. I’m beginning to sense the psychic price (as Bill Hicks would have put it) we pay to see all these ads everywhere. I’m thinking about my own mini-site experiments whose whole purpose in life is to generate a few Adsense dollars. I’m thinking about all of us scampering around generating content for Google to monetize with ads.
And my point? I don’t know yet. But I don’t think I want to be in the ad business. And if it’s this easy to turn ads off, maybe it’s something we should all put a little thought into.


One thought on “No Ads, No Clicks, No Revenue? What Business Model?”

  1. It’s all a matter of perspective. I’d argue there’s no better example of an obnoxious pop-up ad than the 2 minute warning of an NFL game or or a TV timeout during NBA or NHL game.
    Some would consider the yellow phone book dropped on your doorstep just a huge ad spam.
    Cheers, bcarr
    Thanks for stopping by Brian! I heard an off-the-cuff remark in a recent podcast from Jason Calacanis (Mahalo, This Week In Startups) stating that about 2% of internet users filter ads. I must say that two weeks into my experiment, except to check out a few of my own mini-sites (some of whose pages completely disappear when the ad filter is on) I don’t miss them. But I completely agree about the ads on tv-probably why so many people moved into a DVR. And others opt out of watching altogether. And I wonder what percentage of phone books go directly into the recycle bin.
    Best, JohnH

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