Quote: "Google arms third-party publishers with industry-leading monetization tools, but for those publishers, it's strictly BYOE -- bring your own eyeballs.... Answers.com has been sprinkling its reference pages with Google ads since 2005... Again, the Answers.com slump isn't a reflection on the quality of Google as a monetizing genius. The company conceded at the time that its site traffic was off by 28%, due mostly to a change in Google's search-engine algorithms... "
So the message is, if you get your traffic from Google, don't try to monetize there .. If you become too successful, Google's algorithmic search side will scrub your pages from their index.. Then they'll rotate other relevant publishers into your position... all in the name of keeping Google's front-door search users happy.
Quote: "So we shouldn't assume that weakness at Google's partners spells weakness at Big G itself."
.. As a publisher, I've always viewed Google as a bit of a predator in this context.. taking publishers in, convincing them to serve Google ads, and then allowing those publishers to toil for Google, working sites into their algo to serve the beast, all for increasing revenues, finally to have Google's algorithm scrub you from the index if you become too successful at punching ad converting pages to the top.. Good publishers take on the role of sacrificial lamb to show the algo guys where the holes are and they get to ride the express elevator to the street as a reward.
As Aristotle points out.. The publishers who do best at Google are those with high quality content and no ads at all (Wikipedia) or those who deliver quality non-Google originating traffic to Google's ad marketplace (domain names). If Google could find a way to chew and spit those parties in the name of a better Google, it would.