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You’ve probably heard a lot about Google AdSense (which is actually more accurately known as Google AdSense V1), but you may not know just what it is. Well, for one thing, it’s a one of the hottest new ways to make money online without having to do a whole lot. If you’ve read Robert Kiyosaki’s book, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad,” you know that passive income is the best kind of income to have.
Passive income is income that you get without having to work for it. I know this may sound like some kind of “pie in the sky” get-rich-quick scheme, but passive income is for real. In fact, every single billionaire on earth uses the power of passive income to keep money coming in while he or she jets off to parties and resorts and such.
The best example of passive income in the physical world is real estate. When you own an apartment building and hire a property manager and a maintenance crew to take care of it for you and collect the rents, all you have to do is cash the checks that roll in.
Of course, passive income doesn’t just happen overnight, or everyone would be getting it. In the case of the apartment building owner, it took money, time, and knowledge to set up an S corporation, find a building to buy, put up the cash to buy it with and get a loan for the rest, renovate it, then screen and hire the property manager and maintenance crew. But once that was all done, checks began rolling in with little or no effort.
Well, Google Adsense is the online equivalent of that. You’ll have to invest just a little bit of time in learning about it, but once you get it set up you can look forward to seeing those nice checks roll in. Or, if you’re totally online, seeing money flow into your PayPal account.
1.1 So Just What is Google Adsense?
Google AdSense is a fast and absolutely ridiculously easy way for people with websites of all types and sizes to put up and display relevant Google ads on the content pages of their site and earn money.
Because the Google AdSense ads relate to what your visitors came to your site to read about, or because the ads match up to the interests and characteristics of the kind of people your content attracts, you now have a way to improve your content pages AND make some serious bucks off of them.
Google AdSense is also a way for site owners to provide Google search capability to visitors and to earn even more money by putting Google ads on the search results pages. Google AdSense gives you the ability to earn advertising revenue from every single page on your website—with a minimal investment of your time
So what kind of ads do you have to put up? That’s the good part—you don’t have to decide. Google does it for you. AdSense always delivers relevant ads that are precisely targeted—on a page-by-page basis—to the content that people find on your site. For example, if you have a page that tells the story of your pet fish, Google will send you ads for that site that are for pet stores, fish food, fish bowls, aquariums…you get the picture.
If you decide you want to add a Google search box to your site, then AdSense will deliver relevant ads targeted to the Google search results pages that your visitors’ search request generated.
If you’re into upgrades, Google is now offering “AdSense Premium”, which is CPC based and, for the time being, offers less flexibility in terms of ad sizes -- only banners and skyscrapers are currently available. You can apply using existing AdWords accounts, or you can request a new account. Applicants are usually notified within a day as to whether they’ve been accepted for the program.
Here’s the thing you need to know: Google has no strict criteria for acceptance into the AdSense program, and Ad Sense doesn’t hit you with a minimum traffic requirement. The only criteria they’re really sticky about is the standard “acceptable content” requirements, and that’s pretty standard almost anywhere.
Google AdSense says they’re serious about attracting quality content sites, and because of that they only allow AdSense members to serve one ad per page. This means you can’t use AdSense for both banners and skyscrapers.(Note: banners are those horizontal ads that run up top and down bottom. Skyscrapers are the tall ads that run vertically, on the left and right of your page text.)
Once you’ve been accepted into Google AdSense, you’ll be able to get the AdSense advertisements on any site you own using the same ad code, provided you obey the Google guidelines. (And that’s very, very important—more on that later.)
Your reporting doesn’t occur in real time, but is updated regularly throughout the day. Right now, you can’t view reports based on a domain or site basis if you run the AdSense on more than one site.
Before you sign up, you really ought to read the lengthy and detailed FAQ on the AdSense site.
1.2 What Can it do for Me?
In three words, earn you money. More relevant ads on your pages translates into more clicks—and more money that you receive. Because when users click on an ad, Google will pay you. If you’ve set up your own sales team, you’ll get an additional benefit: AdSense complements their efforts. It doesn’t compete with them. With AdSense, you get a reporting page that gives you a breakdown on how your ads are doing and what they’re bringing in.
Google has a huge advertiser base, so they have ads for all kinds of businesses and for just about every type of content no matter how broad or specialized it is. And since Google provides the ads, you don’t have to spend time talking to your advertisers.
AdSense represents advertisers that span the spectrum. These advertisers range from large global brands to small and local companies. And ads are targeted by geography so global businesses can display local advertising easily. One more thing: you can use AdSense in many languages.
So how does AdSense figure out how to do all this targeted advertising? Well, AdSense has the ability to deliver relevant ads because the gurus at Google understand how web pages really work and they’re continually refining their technology to make it smarter all the time.
For example, some words can have several different meanings depending on context. You’ve seen th is happen with “two” and “too” and “to.” Google technology is smart enough to understand these distinctions from the context that the word appears in, so you get more targeted ads.
When you put a Google search box on your site you start making money off of web searches that people do on your site. This ability to search off of your page keeps them on your site longer—since they can search from right there where they are—and it will only take you a few minutes to get AdSense up and running. The best part, of course, is that AdSense is free for you to use.
1.3 What Kinds of Ads Will I Get on My Site?
Obviously, there are some kinds of ads you wouldn’t want to have on your site, such as pornographic ones or ads for sleazy multi-level marketing schemes that scream “Make $30,000 a month just for watching TV!” in big red letters.
Well, you can put your mind at ease. Google has an ad review process that checks the ads they send to your site. This process ensures that the ads that you serve up are family-friendly and that they comply with Google’s strict editorial guidelines.
Google’s ad-screening team combines sensitive language filters, input from site owners like you, and a team of linguists with good old common sense to filter out ads that could be inappropriate for your content. And if that’s not enough, you have to capability to block competitive ads and choose your own default ads. That’s another nice feature: Google kind of lets you run your own show.
Now, another thing you might be concerned about is whether the ads will clash with the look, feel, and colors scheme you’ve got going with your site. Don’t worry. You can customize the appearance of ads and choose from a wide range of colors and templates. Same thing goes for your search results page. And reports are customizable, too. Google provides flexible reporting tools that allow you to group your pages any which way you want.
That means you can view your results by URL, domain, ad type, category and more so that you can figure out where your earnings are coming from.
1.4 How do I Get Started?
It’s easy to get started with AdSense and it only takes a few minutes. You fill out one single online application and that’s it. Once you're approved, it takes only minutes to set up AdSense; all you have to do is copy and paste a designated block of HTML into the source code for your site. Once you do that, targeted ads will start showing up on your website.
1.5 What are Users Saying about AdSense?
It’s one thing to hear about all the great advantages Google AdSense offers, including how it can make money for you in your sleep. But it’s another thing to hear comments from real, live people. Here are a few of my favorites.
• “We’re seeing this impressive new revenue stream without incurring any cost. We’re maximizing our previously unsold inventory, and our revenue per page figure continues to grow.”
- Scott Zucker, Executive VP and COO, Intelligent Content Corp, PetPlace.com
• “It took no time at all to copy and post the code on individual pages, and it fits well with our content management system and with the look and feel of all our pages.”
- Steve Larson, Founder, Our-Hometown.com
• “Instead of spending money to hire an additional sales rep to sell ad banners, Google ads have become a virtual sales tool for us. Now we’re able to reap thousands of dollars in additional advertising revenue each month that we would very likely have missed without Google AdSense.”
- Robert Hoskins, Editor and Group Publisher, Broadband Wireless Exchange
• “Google shows targeted ads reflecting the sorts of information and services SeatGuru visitors want. For a small business like mine, this is the best approach to advertising. You set it up easily, it automatically serves relevant ads, and it takes very little of my time.”
- Matt Daimler, Founder, SeatGuru.com
• “At the beginning I was very concerned that I might lose traffic to competitors. I only used AdSense on a limited number of the site’s pages, and I watched the stats very carefully. If the traffic, pages per visitor, or conversion rates dropped I knew I could easily pull the ads...Since implementing AdSense, our ad revenue has increased more than tenfold, and 100 percent of my available inventory is now sold through AdSense.”
- Vik Kachoria, Entrepreneur, Real Adventure.
1.6 Am I Going to Make a Lot of Money Off of This?
While we can’t guarantee results, of course, since a lot of your success lies in your own hands, we wouldn’t have written this book if we didn’t believe in the power of Google AdSense. A lot of webmasters are making a lot of money off of AdSense, and there’s no reason you shouldn’t be one of them.
The amount of money you can make with Google AdSense mainly depends on what user needs your Website fills. For instance, a site about women’s issues can make some serious bucks on AdSense because of the high level of competition for related keywords.
The CPC (cost per click) is the amount you get paid every time a user clicks on one of those ad banners. CPC rates for competitive keywords can be more than $1, which translates directly to your site’s earning potential within the program.
However, if you’re in a less competitive market, you’ll make less money—that’s just a fact of life. Still, it’s unusual to see anyone using Google AdSense report earnings of less than an effective $1 CPM (cost per 1000 impressions), and the average runs in the range of $4-$5 CPM. Some people are making an effective CPM of $15 or more with AdSense. Oh, and best yet, this is all after Google takes its commission.
About that commission…commission is definitely one thing is that’s a little bit ambiguous with AdSense. Google doesn’t publicize it’s “cut”, and only displays the publisher’s cut in proprietary member reports, so getting good, accurate information on this has been difficult.
To date, comparisons of AdWords rates with AdSense earnings add up to commissions of between 40% and 60%. People speculate all the time on user boards as to why Google refuses to publish its commission rates, but no one has the answer. It might have something to do with legal reasons or it could just be that Google wants to retain the ability to change rates without having to send out an announcement about it each time, which costs money.
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