If you’re not aware, most web sites make their money via advertising banners and commissions off of products sold through branded links. Having a million viewers a day doesn’t mean anything if there’s not some product being sold or pushed in your face.
Google thinks there’s got to be a better way and is doing something about it with Google Contributor.
It’s basically a micropayment scheme in which people who donate get to skip ads on the sites they’re supporting (those running Google Contributor) and probably earn the site slightly more income than the portions of a penny they get for an ad impressions.
Those of you with ad block software will probably be quick to point out you can already do this for free; however, this allows you to help out a website before you learn it’s struggling and failing.
Above: 400% more lens flare for no reason
You’ll notice websites notoriously don’t like to tell you they’re going under for a third time and you just start noticing that there’s been a huge change, the content shifts, there are a million scam ads on the site, and then the site announces it’s dead.
Unfortunately your Google Contributor funding probably doesn’t go directly into the pockets of the people who you really want it to, it goes to the people who you visit, and then some goes to Google’s coffers. So if you love Pocketables and hate Site X and we both had Google Contributor, if you visit Site X more, there’s where more of your contribution goes – to not seeing ads there.
Anyhow, the premise behind Google Contributor is you choose what you want to contribute monthly, and for that contribution you feel warm and fuzzy inside, the site can continue to fund itself, and maybe you get one less advertisement for a North Face jacket that you really don’t understand why you’re getting it on every web site in the first place.
You’re also probably going to find many website slapping this up in which none of the funding is going to the content producers, just the site owner, which is how the advertising works as it stands. This is just a new way to pay for ad blocking while still actively supporting the sites you love.
Contributor appears to only work with the Google Advertising ecosystem currently, so websites who use third party ads, which generally pay better, won’t be able to remove those ads most likely.
Each ad you get to skip puts a little money into the site owner’s pocket and reduces your balance slightly. If you have an unused balance at the end of the month it rolls over.