When it comes to online advertising, often times you are the product. Free online services generally revolve around their clients as their main product. Google and other online giants sell each user in an interesting manner. Looking a little more closely you can see exactly how this works.
Google AdWords provide a link between you, the consumer, and the products. There are a number of cost per clicks for AdWords that top the list. “Insurance” tops out at 24 percent and $54.91, “loans” at 12.8 percent and $44.28, “mortgages” at nine percent and $47.12, “attorneys” at six percent and $47.07, “credit” at 3.2 percent at $36.06, and “transfers” at 0.6 percent at $29.86.
The user is worth a lot to Google. Overall, 96 percent of Google’s revenue comes from ads on the Internet. This totals to an incredible $38.6 billion, which is worth more than Panama’s GDP and the 31 countries in the world combined that are considered to be the poorest.
Social media website Twitter also sells you. Twitter has $316.9 million in revenue, with 85 percent of it coming from ads. Twitter earns 63 cents per user when they use entertainment. There is also $3.16 earned per user each time someone searches for discounts and deals. In addition, the average Twitter user follows five or more brands and those who use it on their mobile device are likely to follow at least 11 brands, occasionally more. Surprisingly, China’s ads are leading the path when it comes to Twitter earning money as people generally serving as the product. Hashtags are where the money is when it comes to Twitter as well.
Facebook sells you as well. It contains the largest database of personal information at more than one billion users. In fact, if Facebook were a country, it would have the third largest population in the world after China and India. A whopping 88 percent of its revenue is earned from online ads. In 2012, it earned some of it as a result of users paying for virtual goods, such as game boosts. However, Facebook’s revenue is dropping as it decreased by 20 percent in 2013.
There is a line that certainly rings true when it comes to revenue in the digital world. Viviane Redding, the Justice Commissioner of the EU said, “Personal data is the currency of the digital economy.”