South African news agency GroundUp will be dropping Google Ads, saying that the main reason for this is because Google's advertising model is broken.
"The problem is that nearly all the power in the online advertising relationship lies with Google. Not only do we compete for adverts with other media in the same market; we compete with all the shady advert-laden web pages in the world, irrespective of whether they contain fake news, porn, or other attention-grabbers." explained GroundUp's Nathan Geffen in a blog post.
Geffen further said that October 2016 was one of their best months for site traffic as they received over 320,000 site visits from nearly 240,000 users but this, according to Geffen, resulted in a "paltry R2,754 (less than $200) from Google AdSense (329,000 impressions for AdSense funds)", a low figure that does not even cover the cost of one feature article on GroundUp.
Despite the small returns, GroundUp continued using Google Ads. Not for long though, "The final straw came when a few days ago we received a warning notice from Google that we’d violated its policies because we run adverts in our new photo gallery" said Geffen.
Google holds a significant position in the publisher/advertiser relationship, which leaves small publishers like GroundUp with limited options outside of Google Ads.
"Perhaps at some point, online publishers in South Africa or internationally will come together, agree to chuck out Google Ads, and find a new way to solicit advertising from reputable companies that pay properly", Geffen said in conclusion. "Obviously, the behemoth in Mountain View won’t miss GroundUp, but we take some pride in saying the feeling’s mutual."