Google withstood a lot of criticism in 2007, including the mixed bag that is its pending deal with DoubleClick. And last week, as the year closed, it took one last jab, as personal finance blog The Simple Dollar dumped Google's AdSense service, despite it being the site 's primary source of revenue. TSD author Trent Hamm cited an increasing frustration with AdSense content as the reason for the change:
this automated bidding system allows anyone to bid, and I don’t have much control over who does the bidding. The end result was that the site would have ads from payday loan places, credit card brokerages, shady subprime lenders, and such...Hamm should be applauded for making what had to be a difficult decision. ("It was like quitting a high paying job because of ethics and taking a much, much lower paying job," he says.) As the Google/DoubleClick merger moves closer to reality, both advertisers and bloggers like Hamm should keep a close eye on Google to see if it can stand by its "don't be evil" mantra. That's an easy claim to make when you're two guys in a garage. It's much harder to pull off when you're approaching monopoly status.
This morning, the straw that broke the camel’s back appeared: an ad featuring a scantily clad woman advocating a payday loan site showed up. The ad bothered me a lot - it is literally the opposite of the message that I’m trying to talk about on this site.
10-gallon Hat Tip: Rachel Blakeman of BPOTS