Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Monday, October 15, 2021

legal tender
Despite the dribs-and-drabs pace, I’m overall fairly satisfied with my Google AdSense revenue generation hereabouts.

But after seeing the ridiculous dollar amounts some law firms are paying for choice keyword bids, I’m thinking I ought to start up a “Legal” category on my blog.

“Christmas recipes,” for instance, was going for 54 cents per click the other day. “Britney Spears” cost 36 cents, and “Britney Spears nude” only 21 cents.

But “Oakland personal injury lawyer” cost $58.03. “Asbestos attorney” cost $51.68. And “mesothelioma attorney Texas” — mesothelioma is a kind of cancer caused by inhaling asbestos — cost $65.21.

I’ve come across comment-board rumors of folks lucking into such a mega-clickthru; I think the publisher nets something between $10-$20 from it. I wouldn’t mind experiencing that kind of single-click payout just once — or twice!

Is this really shyster territory? To the extent that these lawyers shoot for quantity over quality, yes:

Ted Frank, the director of the Legal Center for the Public Interest at the American Enterprise Institute, said the fact that some personal injury lawyers were willing to pay $60 a click was telling, particularly given that relatively few of those clicks would bring in actual business.

“These lawyers don’t really litigate cases — they settle cases,” Mr. Frank said. “And they need a big inventory of cases. The only job of the attorney is to come up with the clients.”

“There is nothing wrong with what Google is doing,” he added. “There is nothing wrong with advertising for clients. It’s just fascinating that clients are worth so much.”…

The market for Google search terms says something, then, about the market for plaintiffs’ lawyers. For reasons that baffle economists, personal injury lawyers all charge roughly the same amount for their services, typically a third to 40 percent of any recovery.

“What explains this puzzle?” asked Alex Tabarrok, who teaches economics at George Mason University. “No one knows.” It may be, he said, that offering to work for less might be thought to signal that you are a bad lawyer.

In any event, Mr. Frank said, the high prices on Google are a direct consequence of this economic anomaly.

“Instead of competing on price,” he said of plaintiffs’ lawyers, “they compete on Google.”

Like I said, too bad I’m not writing about legal matters, like How Appealing. Of course, I did just publish this very post, laden with legalese… So, let’s see some action!

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 10/15/2007 11:45:34 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Business, Internet
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So much for an orderly succession for NBC’s late-night talkshow hosts. The Los Angeles Times is reporting that Jay Leno is balking on his planned 2009 departure from “The Tonight Show”, perhaps leaving the network in a lurch with both Leno and Conan O’Brien.

It’s 1992 all over again,” said Warren Littlefield, a TV producer who was NBC’s entertainment president during the Leno-Letterman battle. “They are right back in the same situation, despite the fact that they wanted to avoid that. History may be repeating itself for NBC.”…

Some in Hollywood speculate that NBC might opt to keep Leno as the host of “The Tonight Show.” NBC would have to pay O’Brien a penalty of about $40 million to break its deal. That would be a high-profile about-face for the company’s recently installed boss, NBC Universal Chief Executive Jeff Zucker.

I’m sure there’s much chuckling going on at the Ed Sullivan Theater right about now…

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 10/15/2007 11:02:21 PM
Category: Celebrity, TV
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I’ve made note of the proliferation of bank branches in New York City, both in terms of breadth and by their uneven distribution between rich and poor neighborhoods.

The same mushrooming is taking place in other U.S. metros, and those two trends are reaching a breaking point in the nation’s capital. Metro Washington DC is mulling measures to restrict the opening of new branches across a commercial landscape that’s already perceived as saturated.

In [the Adams Morgan area], Wachovia is taking over space once occupied by shops that sold electronics and antiques. The neighborhood’s crossroads already offers five banks. “We’re becoming a neighborhood of bars and banks,” said Brian Weaver, an advisory neighborhood commissioner.

That’s better than the trifecta of Starbucks, Duane Reades and banks, as is the case in Manhattan…

It’s amusing to think of banks as retail-choking city scourge, as one Windy City politico does:

The rise in branches has prompted some cities to devise controls. A Chicago alderman became so alarmed by the proliferation that she drafted a law requiring that banks obtain permits to open within 600 feet of one another.

“We had them in every block,” said the alderman, Vi Daley. “They were destroying my streets.”

One would presume that if the banks couldn’t make money at their high-rent locales, they’d just close up shop. But maintaining their physical outlets is obviously paying off, if they’re so hell-bent on expanding.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 10/15/2007 10:40:06 PM
Category: Business, New Yorkin', Society
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