AdSense was launched in March 2003.
Check out their Press
There's no simple answer (yet). Google
doesn't disclose what fraction of click thru revenues it
pays to AdSense participants and then there are all the
other factors: site traffic, keyword values, click thru
rates and so on. If you really want to know how to
improve have a look at Optimising
No. Google lays down some fairly specific policies
that must be adhered to before a site can be accepted on the
AdSense program and then there are other less clearly
defined criteria that must be satisfied. You also need
to generate a wonderfully under-whelming 2 clicks per month
from your site.
A lot and a little and the terminology takes
a bit of getting used to. (And what's the singular of
AdWords too for that matter?!). AdWords is Google's
proprietary advertising service that produces those prim
text-only ads on the right hand side of its search results
page. All revenues from AdWords ads that show on
Google go to Google.
AdSense is Google's syndication program for
its AdWords ads. Any AdWords ads that are syndicated
out to third party website do so via Google's AdSense
program. Ads seen via the AdSense program are AdWords
ads posted on third party sites.
So AdWords are the ads. AdSense is the
Any online syndicated ad service to a degree
is a competitor but the closest we know of in function are
Sprinks, a divison of PRIMEDIA and Content Match
(Overture). However, on 24th October 2003 Google
acquired Sprinks - they posted support
information for Sprinks users.
More details about Content
They won't say at the moment. People
monitoring their own AdWords and AdSense statistics are
trying to pin it down but it makes sense for Google to keep
it quite generous because the web rumour mill would quickly
start churning out bad karma if anyone seriously sensed the
payments were miserly.
Google has always wanted to make money - it
is a business after all largely owned by Venture
Capitalists. But Google's fundamental philosophy has
been about helping people find the information they want on
the web without cluttering up the process with a bazillion
ads that flashed and blinked everywhere. So they
started off developing AdWords on the basis that they were
discrete, text-only and RELEVANT to the searcher. You
rarely see AdWords ads that are of no relevance to you -
partly because any vaguely smart advertiser won't want to
waste time targeting unlikely customer bases, and more
significantly, because web users can effectively vote off
irrelevant ads: an AdWords ad that fails to get a decent
click thru rate (0.5%) gets shoved into hibernation by
AdWords thus enabled Google to make money
whilst remaining largely faithful to their philosophy - ads
were small and useful and relevant. So then they began
to think about expanding the program to third party sites,
sites that in many cases were already using Google as a
search tool. It made sense to do this because it
increased Google's revenues without detracting from the user
experience. Initially Google worked with major partner
sites and once this all worked fine, they broadened out the
program to AdSense - to exploit the commercial opportunities
created by their excellent search technology.
It's good and the reason is that it will
encourage many smaller information rich sites to grow and
provide even more valuable and interesting content for web
users. In the past many really interesting sites have
been posted by topic enthusiasts and the process has cost
them money, particularly in the early days when domain names
were expensive and so was hosting. Even now though, to
post and host a decent website takes cash and it certainly
takes time. So these enthusiasts were typing away with
no reward save for a growing guest book and increasing site
traffic (or not!). AdSense empowers many of these
sites to make a bit of money and recover their costs or even
make a profit. And there's a loose sort of equation
too - more interesting and valuable content = more AdSense
Therefore whether you like the idea of
making money from your site or of getting excellent
informational resources online, AdSense is good.
No. There are three hurdles that have
to be gotten over. First, the advertiser has to agree
to content targeted ads when he sets up his AdWords
campaign. Secondly, the Google editorial team must
find the ad acceptable for inclusion in AdSense.
Thirdly, the ad mustn't be from a site specifically
disallowed by the AdSense participant.
On this third point, AdSense participants
can prohibit ads from competitors whose website will almost
certainly be similar in content to their own.
The easiest way for AdWords advertisers is
to use their AdWords control panel to enter keywords into
the keyword selection tool with a trial price and see what
ad position Google reports back on the estimate page.
An alternative route is to enter the keyword (or phrase)
into Google and see how many AdWords ads show up. If
there are fewer than 8, the bottom one costs 5c although the
price paid for higher positions may be well in excess of
this. Google states that the highest price for a
keyword is set at $50!
You can find a relative value by
visiting FindWhat.com. This is a useful tool if you
want to plan which keywords to slant your site content
towards (although FindWhat doesn't have anything like the
market penetration of Google and so may not report useful
data on obscure keywords and its price won't be the same as
There are some rumours going around that
becoming an AdSense participant can help your site in the
ranking but nothing definite has been proved yet.
Absolutely. If you think of Google at
least partly as a philanthropic organisation, then AdSense
will help enthusiasts get some rewards for their
labours. All that high quality content you post could
help you get some money provided there is some commercial
relevance to your sites content - and there usually is.
Yes there is. You need to get at least
two clicks a month.
They don't tell you their techniques - but
you can be sure as hell that they are pretty clever about
this. Think about their position. AdWords /
AdSense is a major source of revenue for Google and growing
fast. They don't want to kill this income stream off
by turning advertisers off do they? No, so they will
be working very hard on this one. If you are an
AdSense participant, you'd be crazy to do it. Google
even goes so far as to state that you can't test an ad on
your site even once!
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Most people work backwards: they have a site
and then think about monetizing it with AdSense and this is
Google's preferred route.
However, a more rational approach would be
Find a series of related products or
services that a multitude of companies advertise using
AdWords and high value keywords.
Create a website that supplies a range of
information about subjects commercially related to those
products and services i.e. that people who buy these
products or services are likely to seek out on the
Submit the site to Google's AdSense
Promote the hell out of the site with
ezines, viral marketing techniques (especially ebooks),
AdWords, other pay per click systems, PR. In short,
you name, you do it.
Bank the checks.
This process works because your site will
then attract people who are likely to click on AdSense ads
on your site, and these ads are likely to be linked to high
value keywords and so your income per click will be highest.
See also Optimising