Since its introduction in 2003, the Google Adsense program has greatly help bloggers defray hosting charges and other costs related to running blogs. Blogging can be very expensive especially when you have high levels of traffic and numerous pages. Many are turning to Google Adsense to generate some revenue from their blogs and what’s more, earn some extra on the side.
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What Google Adsense Is
Adsense is an advertising program run by Internet giant Google. Google Adsense allows you (blog owner) to sell advertising space on your blog. The program enables you to display relevant text and banner ads on your blog’s content pages. Banner ads are the most common form of online advertising displayed at the top of many blog pages. Google pays you a fee when the visitor clicks on the ad.
When you join the Adsense program, you get access to Adsense for content which places ads on your content pages. Because the ads are targeted to what visitors are looking for on your blog or they match the interests of the visitors your content attracts, you earn and at the same time enhance your content pages. Google uses its vast search technology resources to serve ads based on blog content. In this regard, Adsense has become a popular choice for placing advertisements on a blog because the content of the ads is relevant to the blog. For example, ads for kitchen utensils will appear on a blog post about healthy cooking. Google has an extensive inventory of ads for all categories, business, practically for all kinds of content. If Google is unable to display targeted ads on your blog page, you can display a default ad of your choice.
A companion to the Adsense for content is the Adsense for search. It allows you to add a Google search box on your pages. This keeps the visitors on your blog longer since they can search from right on your blog. When a visitor searches the web using the search box, Google shares any ad revenue it makes from those searches with you and you shell nothing to participate.
Another recent addition is the Adsense for feeds. This runs on RSS and Atom feeds. RSS and Atom feeds are standards for publishing regular updates to blog-based content. Ads are displayed in the most suitable feed articles. You are paid for your blog’s original content; visitors see appropriate advertising and more relevant feeds to choose from.
How to Join
There is no rigid criteria to conform to for acceptance into the Google Adsense program, unlike other online ad networks that place minimum traffic requirement to be accepted. The only real criterion is acceptable content. Of course, any ad program wants to attract quality content blogs only. Assuming you already have a blog on which you can include Adsense links, you first need to be accepted into the program. The first step is to go to http://www.google.com/adsense to sign up. Google will review your blog to find out if you have the necessary traffic and the content that would bring in sufficient clicks to make your taking part in the program beneficial to Google and to you.
How It Works
There are two sides to Google advertising – one for advertisers selling a product or service called Adwords and Adsense for blog publishers. Advertisers pay Google to have their ads designed using Adwords appear next to the search page results in Google and a list of significant keywords for their offerings. Google will display an ad only if the provided keywords conform to a visitor search. An advertiser pays Google on a cost per click (CPC) basis. This means an advertiser pays only for that ad if the visitor clicks on the ad and visits the advertiser’s site. Advertisers compete with one another to buy search keywords usually from five cents and above. Nevertheless, Google also takes into consideration the search engine ranking of the advertiser blog, so no one site can just buy keywords. For example, a purchase of the keywords “digital camera” produces ads next to Google search result in its home page. Said purchase also shows Adsense ads for digital cameras on other blogs where digital cameras are mentioned.
For their part, blog publishers using Adsense create relevant pages. Google sends out Mediabots (digital robots) which use special algorithms to crawl the host blog page and evaluate the content to determine what keywords are relevant and report the result to Google’s ad server which then serves the appropriate ads. Blog publishers get paid a percentage of the fee that Google receives from the advertiser. This is done through a combination of a pay per click (PPC) and pay per impression basis. Impression is the number of times a specific ad has been displayed. A blog publisher is reimbursed at a fixed rate per thousand impressions. If a page isn’t significant enough, a blog publisher doesn’t get paid as much. There is no charge for the blog publisher to join Adsense. All costs are covered by the advertiser who participates in Adwords.
How Much Money It Makes
The amount of money you (blog publisher) can expect from Google Adsense depends upon several factors. If your blog draws tons of traffic and you focus on a particular niche, Google will serve ads that appeal to visitors of your site. For instance, if you maintain a popular blog devoted to portable media player, you can make a windfall because of the high level of competition for related keywords. Rates for competitive keywords can exceed $1 which impacts your blog’s earning potential. Conversely, if you are in a less competitive niche, you get occasional traffic only, thus less visitors click on your ads which equates to less money earned.
How much each advertisement pays per generated click is also another important factor. Each Adsense ad is not worth the same. An ad may give you ten cents while another may give you $1 per click. It depends on the demand for that kind of ad. If a number of advertisers are bidding for the same advertising space, the advertiser offering the most per click will get their ad displayed first.
Ad formats and placements influence revenue. Placing ads on the right part of the blog page is significant so that visitors looking at your page will see the ad, at the same time it will be not be overly intrusive to put visitors off.
Fundamentally though, it is all about content. To make money from Adsense, you have to know what your visitors are looking for. It may be information on a topic, a product they want to buy or a service they want to avail of and entertainment. Offering visitors good content will generate highly relevant ads which in turn will draw more clicks on the ads displayed. To optimize content, the same basic rules for search engine optimization apply.
Google doesn’t publish the percentage it takes as a commission and only displays what the blog owner receives in member reports. However, you can make a rough estimate. The average click through rate (CTR) for online advertising is generally around 0.5 to 1%. CTR is the rate at which visitors click an advertisement usually calculated as a percentage of ad impressions (number of times a specific ad has been displayed). What each click pays is dependent on the content and keywords that are generating the ads being served.
Although Google doesn’t release the amount it pays for keywords, you can sign up as an advertiser on top of being a participant in the Adsense program for $5 and see for yourself how much advertisers are paying Google for various click through. For example, a thousand page views with Google ads on them per day, at 1% click through rate and 25 cents per click will yield $2.50 per day. Not a lot but it can cover hosting fees or service fees.
Google Adsense is not a get rich quick program. But there are documented cases of bloggers earning as much as $5,000 a month and more. In fact, Jason Calacanis sold his blog network, Weblogs Inc. for a whopping $25 - $40 million on Google Adsense revenues of $1 million yearly. There isn’t any sense why a blogger can’t earn much from Google Adsense program. Definitely, there are thousands of dollars worth of reasons to make money from Google Adsense.
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