Chris Anderson, who wrote “The Long Tail” looks at the question concerning most of the small longtail bloggers: Can you make money in the Long Tail? This post is interesting in itself, as it looks at the different participants of the long tail: producers, aggregators and consumers – and how each one might benefit from the long tail.

But: He also quotes a Valleywag blogpost in which a website owner is cited to complain about Google:

I’m beginning to have my doubts about Chris Anderson’s long tail, the proposition that cultural boutiques can make a living on the Internet. One disgruntled publisher complains she’s owed less than the minimum Google can be bothered to pay her. And, as fast as she makes money, Google lifts the threshold. [She writes:] “When I started with Adsense in late 2004/ early 2005 the minimum was $25. Just when was about to hit the $25 minimum, they raised it to $50. Now that I have $45 in my account, the minimum is $100. Granted, I have a site with very low traffic, but how many website owners are getting screwed by Google? If the long-tail theory holds out, there could be millions of dollars of unpaid Google ads.”

I can see where this website owner is coming from. I wonder, how much money Google earns with the money they centrally collect from advertisers (I assume, there is no threshold) and invest at, well, 5%-10% on any capital market. It will only be a few dollars each, but the sum of all the blogs probably results in big money.

I guess we have no way of imagining the amount of money one can make by deploying the long tail market. But someone at Google knew and implemented the threshold of payments. Very clever.