I’ve recently gotten a few questions about how/whether to include Adsense ads on a blog or website and how the whole process works. This was my response:
Every time a website visitor views your page, Google scans the text looking for keywords. It then looks for advertisers bidding on those keywords and places one or more relevant ads into the ad space you created. If a visitors clicks on an ad, Google will share the revenue payed by the advertiser with you the site owner.
There are a lot of nuances to how all this works and which ad formats and placements work best, but those are the basics. Look around and click on a few articles to see how I chose to integrate the ads on this site.
The best resource for understanding the nuances of Adsense that I have found is a book by Joel Comm called “The Adsense Code.” I have a copy on my bookshelf. I don’t expend quite as much energy on my Adsense income as the book recommends, but have used much of the advice about ad placement and formatting to arrive at the implementation that I currently use.
One of the most important factors in determining your success with Adsense is writing content on subjects that advertisers are willing to pay big money for. If people are only willing to pay $.05/click to advertise on your content pages, it will take a long time to make any money.
If you already have a website, use this free Google tool to see how much people would be willing to pay for ads on your site:
Click on the ‘The Site-Related Keywords’ tab and enter the domain name for your website in the URL box. Check the box labeled ‘Include other pages on my site linked from this URL’. In the drop-down box labeled ‘Choose data to display’ select ‘Cost and Ad Position Estimates.’ This will give you one more option to select the currency and maximum cost per click (CPC). Enter 100 in the CPC box.
When you have done all that, click the ‘Get Keywords’ button. Google will search through your site and identify the keywords that advertisers are paying for and then estimate the value of each click. If your site doesn’t generate at least a few keyword phrases worth $2-$3 or more, you won’t make much money from ads.
You can also use this tool to do research on other topics. If you find a web page on a subject you would be interested in writing about, run it through the tool and see how valuable the topic is to advertisers.
For most casual web publishers, Adsense is not going to make you much money. But, there is potential to earn respectable income if your site is on a high value topic. You can also create sites and content specifically focussed on high value keywords, but be warned, there is a lot of competition out there and you will have to work to get traffic to your sites.
Adsense isn’t likely to make you rich overnight. But, as my experience demonstrates, it can add a respectable amount of income to your overall business plan.
The Go-To Guy!