A popular news topic these days with regard to tech companies is the potential switch to advertising for revenue. It’s an attractive proposition in the software world. If you can generate profits from advertising, the icky messy world of piracy goes away. Piracy only exists when someone copies and uses your software without paying for it. If people don’t have to pay, there is no piracy. This possibilty covers all types of software, including the world of games, a particularly attractive bunny for advertisers – the opportunity to feed ads into games that get played for hours on end…

But I digress, this topic has little to do with software. Google’s Adsense model tipped the advertising world on its head and, indeed, continues to do so. Advertisers come up with all sorts of new annoying ideas for inserting ads where you least want them, simultaneously maximising the use of visual interruptions just in case you weren’t annoyed enough already. The one thing you can bet an advertiser would never have come up with was the idea that text-only ads could become so effective on the Internet. Nope, took a geeky techie company to come up with such a plain unattractive design. But it seems to work.

An article in the Sunday Times last week talked about the rise in dedicated business-class air travel. One such company, Silverjet, launched in January this year and in June its flights were running 70% full. Finally getting to the point, the article included the following comment:

“We are spending £200 a week on Google and it’s bring us £60,000 in sales” – Lawrence Hunt, CEO Silverjet

Nice numbers.

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