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Friday, July 4, 2003

Google AdSense Reviewed

Google AdSense is an advertising program every webmaster, of small and big sites, can apply for. It’s pretty new, and it’s working well — if you own a website, it’s well-worth giving it a try. Here’s how:

  1. Go to Google AdSense, register, and apply for AdSense (note: the AdSense site is down sometimes).

  2. Wait for your confirmation email (this may take some days).*

  3. Log-in to your account, confirm the policies, and copy & paste the AdSense code into your website.

  4. Wait some more hours, or days, and see the ads become active on your site.

*Note that for my own site, I first got an email telling me I was rejected from the program. After some more days, I got an email telling me the rejection was sent out in error, and that I can now participate.

AdSense is similar to what appears on Google when you see a search result page. Each box contains a link to the site, and a small description, followed by the site’s URL. (To be shown as advertiser, you can use Google AdWords.)
You can choose between two basic ad-layouts: horizontal (three ads on top), or vertical (up to 4 ad boxes on the right side of your page).

The Google AdSense technology makes it unnecessary for you to find the correct ads matching your site’s content. After Google has indexed them, they can automatically fill your ads with relevant content. (And of course, relevant content is important when you want to have your visitors clicking on the ads.) Added to that, they can enhance your site’s content, and become a useful feature.

Making Money with Google

Now what happens if someone clicks on the ads? You will get paid for that click.* How much you get paid depends on certain AdSense details you cannot predict. Every visit (of JavaScript-enabled browsers) is counted, so a good visitor-to-clicks ratio should help.

*You get paid if it doesn’t happen to be a public ad (e.g. for a health organization), which just happens if Google cannot match ads to your content.

Content Matching Examples

Here are some examples of how AdSense tries to match your site’s content to the advertisement content:

Getting the Most out of AdSense

With Google AdSense, you are generally not allowed to show other advertisement on your page. (Amazon Affiliate links might be OK — just ask the AdSense support if in doubt.) But other ads might not be needed in the first place, because AdSense works quite well. To make best use of the program, have it featured on pages which:

The first rule of Google AdSense... is not to talk about Google AdSense (not when you’re participating in the program). Thanks to Google Inc. for allowing me to write this review, anyway.

Google Answers Pranks

Today, Google Answers mentions the best ways to play practical jokes on friends.

Google Proximity Searching

Microdoc News covers proximity searching. Google currently lacks the “near” keyword to find pages in which certain words appear together in close range (as opposed to being anywhere on the page, in any distance to each other). This can yield better results for certain queries, being a fuzzy mix between phrase search and normal OR keyword search.

As always, you can see the headlines of Microdoc News and other search engine blogs on my search engine news headlines page, which is automatically updated.

Google Can’t Find Weapons of Mass Destruction

The next Googlewash: Typing weapons of mass destruction in Google returns a page at top that looks strangely familiar; and yet, if you look closer...

[Weapons of Mass Destruction Cannot be Displayed]

“These Weapons of Mass Destruction cannot be found.”

The site is an anti-war protest by Dr. Anthony Cox, an “adverse drug reaction pharmacist and teaching fellow at Aston University in Birmingham” (Sky News, Google Can’t Find WMDS, July 4 2003).

Also interesting: The New York Times story cannot be displayed.


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