Google’s Shadow Payroll

Interesting NYT snippet on Google AdSense…

The trickle-down effect from Google does not stop at fledgling entrepreneurs. A growing number of rank-and-file contributors to Web sites are also profiting.

Consider Digital Point Solutions, a software company in San Diego, which publishes an online forum ( frequented by about 15,000 users. Any one of them who starts a new forum discussion topic receives half of the advertising revenue paid to the site by Google for ads on the front page of that topic section. (The discussion’s creator then splits his share with others who post messages.)

Google does not actually advertise on the Digital Point site. Rather, through Google’s AdSense program, it places ads on the forum, similar to the ads that appear next to search results on Google scans the information on the forum’s pages, then posts related ads. If the discussion is about computer hardware, for instance, ads for DVD drives might appear.

Google pays Digital Point about $10,000 a month, depending on how many people view or click on those ads, said Shawn D. Hogan, the owner and chief technology officer of Digital Point.

Hmmm… My total income to date from AdSense is, let me see… (counts pennies), er, $15.06!