Google Contributor: The Future of the Web?
Google Contributor is a subscription-based service that allows site visitors to see fewer ads as they browse in Google’s network. Subscribers can spend $2, $5 or $10 per month in order to decrease the number of ads they see on sites that are Contributor compatible. Note that users will still see some ads using this service.
Essentially what these Contributor subscribers are doing is buying an ad slot rather than a traditional advertiser; this monthly contribution is used to bid in the ad auction. If the user wins the auction, the Contributor image goes in the ad space, and the user’s monthly contribution pays for the cost of an ad. If the user doesn’t bid high enough, the ad is displayed as normal, and the user doesn’t pay anything.
Contributor uses these subscription fees to help fund the writers, designers and others who are behind the different sites users visit. Thus, users see fewer ads but sites still get paid.
If a business runs Google ads on its site, there’s a good chance the site is already compatible with Contributor. There’s a badge sites can use to let visitors know they can help fund the content in ways that aren’t ads.
Contributor is still in beta and most likely will be until Google decides if this is a profitable move that is liked by users. Although this might help the user experience by decreasing the number of ads a visitor sees, the big winner is still Google; Contributor could potentially drive up the cost for advertisers.
At the end of the day, it’s a better deal for Google and advertisers than adblockers.