Facebook has long been the favorite social media platform for sharing content, but if a report from the New York Times is any indication content creators may soon be looking for a new platform to share their content while still attracting users to their own websites.

According to the report, Facebook may be considering hosting linked content directly on its own site, and serving ads on that content, rather than linking directly to content creators’ sites. Not only does this mean a drop in traffic from Facebook users, the change could outright cause the site owners to lose revenue from declining traffic and ads on their own site.

The change is supposedly going to be limited to mobile devices, but it has already stirred up quite a controversy with content creators and marketers.

Facebook seems to believe the change could be more convenient to users, but those who create content see it more closely in line with content syndication or even content theft. No matter the convenience to users, many content creators depend on revenue from page views and ads which would be significantly impacted if Facebook does end up hosting content.

In the wake of the controversy, Facebook has even opened a discussion on the possibility of sharing revenue to websites that own the content being hosted. In the New York Times article, Facebook explained its profit sharing proposal:

Facebook hopes it has a fix for all that. The company has been on something of a listening tour with publishers, discussing better ways to collaborate. The social network has been eager to help publishers do a better job of servicing readers in the News Feed, including improving their approach to mobile in a variety of ways. One possibility it mentioned was for publishers to simply send pages to Facebook that would live inside the social network’s mobile app and be hosted by its servers; that way, they would load quickly with ads that Facebook sells. The revenue would be shared.

That kind of wholesale transfer of content sends a cold, dark chill down the collective spine of publishers, both traditional and digital insurgents alike. If Facebook’s mobile app hosted publishers’ pages, the relationship with customers, most of the data about what they did and the reading experience would all belong to the platform. Media companies would essentially be serfs in a kingdom that Facebook owns.

The real question appears to be if there will be an opt-out option available. There has been no mention of an opt-out or the potential for the hosting of content to be optional. Even if it is up to the publisher, the change could still negatively impact content creators who choose to host their own content on their page, as content which is hosted on the social platform is likely to look more attractive and convenient.

Meet Paul Downes. He owns his own woodworking shop, which specialized in cabinets and conference tables. He contributes regularly to the New York Times small business blog and recently shared a crisis that surely will or has affected many small business owners.

Paul added a low-cost alternative to his line of conference tables after receiving a number of inquiries from school’s and non-profits. He then added ads in AdWords to get the word out about his new product and started selling quite a few of them.

However, he eventually saw an overall drop in his monthly sales even with this increase in new product sales. The problem was not with a failing economy, as he initially told himself.

Instead, Paul put some thought into his problem. He discovered that the calls for these low-cost, new tables mostly came early in the business day. Calls from big corporations, who are responsible for purchasing the higher-priced models that garner Paul bigger profits, usually came later in the day.

After poking around on AdWords, Paul found that his campaign wasn’t showing his ads for the higher priced tables to the audience that would buy them. Instead, AdWords was optimizing for conversions and the low-cost option was getting good conversions.

Paul made the simple fix of splitting the two products into their own campaign so he could get the most out of his budget. This is a real life example of the importance of paying close attention to your AdWords campaigns. Paul has since seen his sales steadily rise back to normal, but he will be playing catch-up for the rest of the year. Thankfully, he had the metrics available to fix a problem that was crippling his company.

The cost of doing business with pay-per-click advertising has risen sharply over the past decade. So much so, many small business owners are wondering if the price they’re paying to get their message out is worth the return on their investment.

As Darren Dahl reports for the New York Times, larger companies joining the PPC craze has caused rates to skyrocket and nearly priced out smaller competitors.

AdGooroo, a research firm specializing in the PPC market, reports that more than nine out of ten companies spend less than $10-thousand a month on PPC advertising. At the other end of that spectrum, however, are giants like Amazon and University of Phoenix, who spent $54-million and $37.9-million respectively in the first half of 2012 alone.

The advice many experts offer is to scale back PPC ads and make keywords as specific as possible to your business. General keywords like ‘life insurance’ or ‘car sales’ put you in direct competition with a number of companies, many of whom have much deeper pockets.

PPC also shouldn’t be your only advertising platform. Branching out into social media and search is crucial to drive as much traffic to your site as possible.

It’s worth looking into SEO services to improve your organic search rankings. There’s even services online that pledge to manage your social media marketing accounts, as well. When you own a small business, time and money come at a premium and online advertising is becoming costly for both.