Long time Cloudflare user and contributor here.
I just had the craziest idea, but I think it could be a great opportunity for Cloudflare and publishers to collaborate on a whole new level.
I think Cloudflare should start its own Ad Network to compete with Google AdSense.
Google pretty much has a monopoly when it comes to online advertising. With Google Ads and AdSense, they are controlling both ends of the spectrum and raking in unlimited profits. Unfortunately, this is only good for Google and its shareholders. Publishers and Advertisers are suffering from this, since Google gets a huge commission from both parties. For publishers, Google takes 32% of revenue, leaving 68% to the publisher. For advertisers, I’m not sure how much Google gets, but it’s probably excessive as well. When you think about it, 32% is A LOT. For a publisher, this means if they generate $1000 in revenue in one month, Google takes $320 and leaves only $680 to the publisher.
Another issue that is becoming more and more problematic with AdSense is policy violations and the way they’re being managed by AI. For the past year or so, Google has been implementing and enforcing more and more policies. For me, this means articles about cute puppies and funny family pictures have constantly been getting wrongly flagged for sexual / shocking content. It also means that for the past month or so, my revenue has dropped by around 95% because of a possible bug in their invalid traffic / invalid clicks detection system. This is something that is currently impacting thousands of publishers around the world, yet they aren’t doing anything about it. Everything at Google seems to be managed by AI now, and it clearly shows how their AI implementation is incredibly bad at managing complex issues.
So as you can see, AdSense quickly went from a good Ad Network to something a lot of publishers secretly despise. So I believe it is time for player 2 to enter the game. But player 2 needs to be a great player with great skills if he wants to be able to compete with Google. I believe Cloudflare is the perfect player 2.
I think this would not only add tremendous value to Cloudflare’s already booming business, but it would most certainly also please publishers, advertisers and shareholders. I believe Google has now completely abandoned publishers, and Cloudflare has a great opportunity to save the day.