Funny thing about our deal with Google

First of all we’re not violating any antitrust laws because we were super clever and made sure our deal is non-excusive, and the people in Washington who are raising this stink about antitrust problems are about to get a big chunk of money — I mean, education — from Google.

But one thing that struck me is that I just found out today that the way AdSense works is we don’t actually know how much of a cut we’re getting. We just take their ads and run them on our site and they send us a check at the end of the month, and we trust them to give us a fair amount of whatever they were paid, though there’s no actual way to determine what a fair amount might be. I asked Eric Schmidt about it and he was like, Well, it’s kind of complicated and there are all sorts of variables in the algorithm that determine what a particular ad might be worth at any particular instant in time and it can depend on the search itself and then other variables like the context of the ad and the region where the ad was shown and how far along we are in that fiscal quarter and how close we are to making our numbers.

I was like, That can’t really be the way you do it. You mean you just pay whatever you want to pay, and we’re supposed to just accept that? Eric says, Hey, that’s how it works with everyone else. I started to ask a few more questions about how the algorithm works but Sergey jumped up and said look, it’s just really complicated and even if we explain it to you it’s going to take half a day and there’s no point anyway because the algorithm is constantly being tuned and adjusted so whatever we show you will be totally obsolete by the time we finish explaining it to you. Oh, and besides that, you’re the one who call up and begged us to save you. Remember that, bitch?

I am starting to think that we might have made a mistake. In case that might be so, I’ve asked Sue Decker to organize an internal committee to go back over our decision and review the terms of our partnership with Google and determine if there might perhaps be ways in which we could have optimized our business more effectively to take advantage of new opportunities in the highly dynamic online advertising market.