Yesterday I posited that an increase in blog readership might be indicative of increase consumer confidence and a sign that the long awaited economic recovery is underway. There are, of course, no hard facts behind that assertion. However, I have another parallel observation that is quantifiable.
Many of my websites, including this blog, include Goggle ads. Although I don’t make a lot of money from the Google ads, it is generally enough to cover the cost of the sites and to maintain them.
(The ads are from companies who agree to pay a certain fee each time someone clicks on their ad. The content of the ads are matched with the content of each page on my websites, with the highest paying ads automatically displayed. Some people think that I control which ads are displayed — that is not the case; Google controls the entire process, sending me a small check each month for my portion of the clicks.)
I was pleasantly surprised when I analyzed my report from Google for March. All other things being equal, here is what I found:
- The number of times the ads were viewed increased 7%, meaning that more people are visiting my sites.
- The number of times ads were clicked on, increased 16%, suggesting that people are now having a greater propensity to click on an ad; that is they are more willing to consider buying a product or a service.
- The amount of money I earned increased 30%, meaning that advertisers are willing to pay more for each click this month than in past months.
Since advertisers are willing to pay more when people respond to their ads, this suggests that these advertisers are now more optimistic about their future economic prospects.
Again, this is a microcosmic observation, producing somewhat empirical conclusions, but when you’re looking for signs of economic recovery, I’ll take good news wherever I can find it.