Does Google really not get it?
Even from comments here it's obvious I am far from being the only one who simply ignores adverts. I don't mean "Take a look, then ignore": I mean I barely even notice them. There are too many. They are too rubbish. They're cheap, shoddy, stupid. They are not relevant. Even when I do notice an ad, often as not it's something I already bought, or looked at and have already decided not to buy.
It's some kind of mindless stupidity that decides that if ads aren't working, you'll hurl more and more truly awful ones in front of people. Google and the imbeciles who pay it for ads are actively deterring and annoying the thing they dearly want: interested, engaged eyeballs. By this point many of us, forced to notice a particularly annoying advert, actually develop antipathy towards the seller, achieving precisely the opposite of what was intended.
It's wise for Google to be diversifying away from advertising, because even its most gullible customers must be figuring out that they are on a loser: if internet advertising is less and less effective every single day—why is anyone seriously paying money for it? Do they actually trust Google's and the agencies' repeatedly-debunked lies about clicks, visits, sales and the rest? With the entire ecosystem infested by robots, and businesses specifically devoted to ripping people off?
It's a grossly overused quote, I'm afraid, but perhaps it's used a lot because people are, in fact, so bloody greedy and stupid: "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." (—sometimes attributed to Einstein)