Marco Arment writes about the future of MetaFilter.

A depressing look at the ad-funded web today, and what it’s like to depend completely on Google for your business. Google owns the ad-driven web: their search brings all of your pageviews, and their ads bring all of your income. You’re just along for the ride, hoping to stay in Google’s good graces — an arbitrary, unreliable, undocumented metric that changes constantly. (Google’s only “open” with the trivial, unprofitable parts of their business. Search and ads are closed, proprietary, and opaque in every possible way.)

Just ask web publishers whose pageranks have been murdered each time Google changes its search algorithm. They are under the mercy of Google.

My websites are all ad-free. I learnt long ago not to rely on Google for monetization.