From what I gather, the whole Google / Text-Link-Ads thing is just a big mess. What are the investors thinking about this whole ordeal. Why is Google attacking text-link-ads? The real concern here is the business model of text-link-ads and the long term validity of that business model. Sure the business model sounds like a great idea, you sell text links on tons of different web pages and take a percentage of the profits. What’s wrong with that? Nothing, until Google steps in and tells you you’re doing it all wrong.
Google wants to make their search engine great, and the only way they can do this is by scouring the web and checking links to other web sites. For Example, if Wikipedia linked to this business blog from it’s main page, in Google’s eyes this blog can do no wrong. Site ranking has been passed on to other sites for quite a while under the trust factor. Google relies on you to link to relevant content from your blog and until now, Google has relied on you not trying to game the system by using text link advertising. The problem with this is that there are so many players out there trying to game the system, tons with non-relevant sites that feed nothing but ads. Google has no where else to turn but to slap around those that can’t abide by their rules, so they have commenced the slapping. The unfortunate problem for text-link-ads is that they didn’t plan for this fallout to even begin.
Text-link-ads, with it’s current business model, doesn’t do anything to stop sites from gaming the system. My advice to text-link-ads, you need to limit advertisers to a predetermined category or categories. For instance if I wanted to advertise this blog in a text-link-ads campaign I would only be allowed to advertise on sites that are aimed at blogging, business and the internet. This will enable text-link-ads and their advertisers to keep their websites relevant and on topic, thus eliminating a majority of the play for page rank.
Maybe Google is hoping that text-link-ads will just give up. Maybe they think their investors will bail and then they could come in for a sweep, buying out text-link-ads for pennies on the dollar. Maybe text-link-ads will take my advice, maybe not.