Making “sense” of AdSense means understanding that it is really an offshoot of the older Google model, AdWords. But they are not the same thing.
If you have ever searched on Google, you have seen AdWords.
Google AdWords are the small text ads that are displayed on the side of the search results in Google. These ads are contextual of course – in this case the context is the search terms you entered. The ads will be served based on what you’re looking for. So, if you do a search on “printing services” you will get ads for printing services along with your search results!
How does this generate money for Google and the advertisers?
Google AdWords works on a model known as pay-per-click. When someone clicks on an AdWords ad, the advertiser of that ad has to pay Google a certain amount. It’s easy to track and fully automated.
We say “certain amount” because that amount is different all the time and is subject to market forces – in this case, bidding. Something has to determine the placement of those ads, and what determines it is how much the advertiser offers to pay per click. When you submit this kind of ad to Google, you submit it with a bid – which is compared to other bids for similar keywords. It’s an auction style process.
The position of the AdWords ads is based on the bidding amount of keywords of an ad. Obviously, the higher the bid, the higher the position the bid buys you. For instance, if the highest bid for the keywords “Internet marketing” is 80 cents per click, you can get top position by bidding 90 cents. Then every time someone clicks on your ad, Google would charge you 90 cents, and you would retain the top position until someone else bids more for the same search word placement.
Google AdSense, as stated earlier, is an extension of Google AdWords. It takes the AdWords concept and moves it off of Google’s search page and onto thousands of other web pages. The ads that are displayed on the websites are Google AdWords ads.
It’s good for the advertiser, who gets more and broader displays, for Google, who charge more for this program, for you, who will make money from the clickthroughs on your pages, and also for the consumer, who will see cool ads for stuff they are probably interested in!
So how exactly are you making money from all this? You earn a share of the pay-per-click amount, every time a visitor clicks on the ad. So you just need to get ads on your site…
How the Ads Get On Your Site
Once you join the AdSense program – and Google approves your site or sites, which we’ll cover in detail shortly – the actual process of displaying ads on your website is extremely simple. You are provided with a small HTML script, which you can paste anywhere on your webpage. You may paste this code any number of times and on multiple pages, and watch the ads get served! Google automatically places AdWords ads that are most relevant, from its extensive advertiser base. Google employs various sophisticated algorithms to determine the relevancy of the ads to your content.
Before we get into how Google assesses sites, and whether a few or many placements of that magic script will deliver optimum results, let’s review the advantages of AdSense.
Advantages of the Google AdSense system
Google AdSense is simple to use and manage. Once approved, displaying ads on your webpage does not take time and requires minimal technical knowledge.
Google AdSense is very smart about ad selection. The ads that are displayed are only those that are relevant to your content, and Google has strict quality control on the general quality of the ads.
Google AdSense uses text-only ads. Far from being low-tech, text ads are more effective than flashy ads. The clickthrough rate of text ads is proven to be higher than that of animated ads! More clicks equals more money, and text ads equals more clicks. Also…text ads are very “low weight” and very fast loading. The AdSense program will not slow your website, or your visitors, down. You can also use graphic ads.