Click Economics: The Last Click

Sorta an old post that I forgot to publish until today! Having the site closed to new members has given me time to start working through a few of my almost done posts that were never published yet. It's hard to have time to do everything while growing a few businesses...and thus the blog needs a little TLC ;)

Media has traditionally been afforded a wall between editorial and advertising due to limited marketplace competition. But, as Jim Spanfeller stated, the perception of value in "last click marketing" where search gets most of the credit for the entire demand creation and fulfillment cycle, is killing the value of online content:

A publisher can and should price their inventory at levels that will meet the market expectations and drive their business model. What they should not do is allow some sort of invisible hand (or should I say hands) to price their inventory against a backdrop of objectives that can and often does change at a moment’s notice. This practice has fundamentally driven pricing down across the web and, perhaps more importantly, changed the success metrics from ones based on “demand creation” to ones driven by “demand fulfillment.”

Worse yet, the leading metrics most closely track how the poorest members of society interact with media, creating a media ecosystem designed to exploit the poor. The above linked article states "we now know that 16% of web users generate 80% of clicks and that this 16% represents the lower income and education segments of the total user base."

It may have cost Google 1 day of revenues to create the default analytics tool, which by default has a last click wins behavior that few people know how to edit. They can even add more features like tracking SEO rankings without risk because they know few people will use them.

Google's web domination is so impressive that experienced and well trained journalists writing for publications like Wired mistake Google's mission statement as the goal of the web. Literally...

The Internet’s great promise is to make the world’s information universally accessible and useful. So how come when you arrive at the most popular dating site in the US you find a stream of anonymous come-ons intermixed with insults, ads for prostitutes, naked pictures, and obvious scams?

Gary Wolf should know that was actually Google's mission statement, not the goal of the web. ;)

Sure data mining and sentiment analysis can be parts of the web, but the best bits are often scattered messes and weird stuff we accidentally bump into.

Published: October 10, 2009 by Aaron Wall in marketing


October 11, 2009 - 4:42am

lol@ Gary Wolf....Doesn't he have an SEO blog, too?;-))

October 11, 2009 - 8:27am

Gary Wolf and Gray Wolf are 2 different people :D

The prior is a Wired reporter who was duped by Google's mission statement. The latter is Michael Gray...a well known and knowledgeable SEO professional.

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