By S. Housley
The web has evolved into a complex
"organism" which, to some, appears to have a
life of its own. As the Internet has evolved,
so too have online marketers and publishers.
The dot-com balloon is said to have burst but
savvy publishers have grabbed the coat tails
of the Google search monster and employ Google
AdSense on content-rich websites. Google AdSense,
a pioneer for providing content-sensitive advertisements,
has been a boon to webmasters looking for alternatives
to amortize their web trafffic.
How Does Google AdSense Work?
The concept is simple: The publisher or webmaster
inserts a java script into a website. Each time
the page is accessed, the java script pulls
advertisements from Google's AdSense program.
The ads are targeted and related to the content
contained on the web page serving the ad. If
a web surfer clicks on an advertisement served
from Google, the webmaster serving the ad earns
a portion of the money that the advertiser is
paying Google for the click.
Google handles all the tracking
and payments, ultimately providing an easy way
for webmasters to display content-sensitive,
targeted ads, without the headache of having
to solicit advertisers, collect funds, monitor
clicks or track statistics, any of which could
easily become a full-time job.
While Google AdSense, like many
pay-per-click programs, is plagued by claims
of click-fraud, it is clearly an effective revenue
source for many reputable web businesses. There
seems to be no shortage of advertisers in the
AdWords program from which Google pulls the
AdSense ads. Webmasters seem less concerned
by the lack of information provided by Google
and more interested in cashing their monthly
checks from Google.
The Evolution of AdSense
While Google's initial system was fairly
rudimentary, only providing publishers the option
of displaying a handful of advertising formats,
the technology behind even the first ads was
anything but simplistic. The technology used
to employ Google AdSense goes far beyond simple
keyword or category matching. A complex algorithm
is used to determine the content contained on
the web page serving the ad. Once the content
is assessed, and appropriate ads that contain
related content are served.
Early on, Google implemented a
system that allows publishers to filter advertisements
from competitors or sites which they deemed
inappropriate. Google also allows vendors to
specify an alternative advertisement, in the
unlikely event that Google is unable to provide
related content ads.
The Progression of Google
Google has come a long way in understanding
the needs of publishers and webmasters. Google
now offers a system that allows full ad customization.
Webmasters can choose from twelve text ad formats
and can customize Google advertisements to complement
their website and fit into existing webpage
layout. The options provided allow webmasters
to select and create custom color palettes that
match an existing website's color scheme, making
the ads a much more natural fit.
Many sites have been able to integrate
ads into their site design using different ad
Sample sites with integrated ads:
Investing Partners - http://www.investing-partners.com
Podcasting Tools - http://www.podcasting-tools.com
RSS Network - http://www.rss-network.com
Google recently took a huge step forward, providing
publishers the ability to track their earnings
based on webmaster-defined channels. Recent
improvements to the Google AdSense reporting
have resulted in webmasters having the capability
to monitor an ad's performance with customizable
online reports that can detail page impressions,
clicks and click-through rates. Webmasters now
have the ability to track specific ad formats,
colors and pages within a website. Webmasters
can quickly spot and track trends. The new flexible
reporting tools allows webmasters to group web
pages by URL, domain, ad type or category, providing
webmasters insight into what pages, ads and
domains are performing the best.
Reporting is real-time, allowing
webmasters to quickly assess the effectiveness
of any changes. The new reporting makes it significantly
easier for webmasters to optimize and increase
click-through rates. Optional reporting allows
webmasters to monitor traffic, viewing both
ad impressions and page impressions.
Advertisers realize the benefits
associated with having their ads served on targeted
websites, increasing the likelihood that a prospective
web surfer will have an interest in their product
Truth Still Not Revealed
Google still does not reveal what percentage
of the advertising revenue earned is paid to
the webmaster serving the ads, but they have
made strides related to disclosure, recently
lifting the ban preventing webmasters from disclosing
the amount they earn through serving Google
About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll
software for creating, editing, publishing RSS
feeds and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages
marketing for NotePage http://www.notepage.net
a wireless text messaging software company.