Google Just Sent Me Five Invites for Contributor by Google – Want one?

google contributorGoogle's experiment in replacing advertising with reader sponsorship is still in an invite-only beta but the number of test subjects is about grow.

I just got an email from Google with an offer of free invites for the program.  I have the option of letting up to five people skip the waiting list so they can have the immediate option of paying a monthly fee to get out of seeing some Google ads.

I myself have decided against staying in the program (I prefer the more complete solution: an ad blocker) but if you still still experience ads then you might be interested.

Contributor by Google lets you pay between $2 and $10 a month to reduce the number of Adsense-supplied adverts by anywhere from 5% and 15% (at the $2 tier) to 25% to 50% (if you pay $10 a month). Rather than an advert, a Contributor sees a white space with a thank you note.

A Contributor's monthly fee is divided among the participating websites they visit so that the most trafficked sites gain the most revenues. It does not, however, go to any sites not in the program (this blog is still waiting to be let in).

If you look at it in terms of Google ads, it's potentially a great idea (or at least it could be once it is more widely supported). It gives everyone something that they want; Google and the web publishers get money, and the user sees fewer ads.

That sounds great, but I'm still not going for it. I have realized that the ad market is fragmented enough that ultimately this program will have little impact on my browsing experience.

It does not have any effect on the adverts from other ad networks. For example, the splash video advert that recently attacked me on a major gadget blog was not supplied by Adsense and thus it would not be blocked by this program.

I need an ad blocker to protect myself from that ad as well as the malware, annoying tracking scripts, and the dozen other problems endemic to the ad market today. I think you too should be using an ad blocker as well as a basic level of web browsing prophylaxis, but that's just me.

If you want an invite to Google Contributor, just let me know in the comments.

About Nate Hoffelder (11467 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

13 Comments on Google Just Sent Me Five Invites for Contributor by Google – Want one?

  1. Okay, this is odd. My husband and I were talking about this very thing last weekend. I didn’t know Google was coming out with it.

  2. This might tempt me except that I do my browsing at home and at the rec center of the retirement home I live in. So I’d have to pay twice, once for me and once for them. I can’t use my own account there.


  3. There’s a legal term for this… what is it…. oh, yeah… it’s a protection racket …

  4. Hi, if you have an invite for the Google Contributor program, that would be great. Thanks, Marc

  5. If you still have any invites left, I’d like to give it a shot.

  6. I wrote about Google Contributor ( – and would welcome a chance to give it a test run if you have any invites left.



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