With a staggering 3.5 billion (and still counting) searches being launched every day world wide by nearly 200 million users, Google is indeed the ultimate information power-house.
Its reach has spread far and wide, circling the globe in a variety of languages and formats like Google + etc. Most of its revenues come from giving permission to other websites to advertise on Google search result pages. This feature is known as Google AdSense.
Harnessing the might of this ever-expanding market is a great way to monetize your time, talent and effort.
Let’s get some of the Terminology
Google AdSense: This Google-run program allows users in the Google Network to receive automatic, targeted advertisements in text, image, video or interactive media form. Revenues are calculated on the basis of clicks or page impressions. It’s a simple concept. People can display ads on the Google suite of networks and get paid when people click and view these ads.
Page Impression: This is created whenever a viewer sees your ad. Regular checking of page impressions gives you an idea of the ad’s performance. A page CTR (click-through-ratio) should be calculated to determine the percentage of impressions that lead to a click. This allows you to tweak the ad if required.
CPM: is the cost per thousand impressions. Advertisers pay this cost once every 1000 times their ads are viewed and an impression is created. An eCPM or effective CPM shows how the ad is faring.
Ad Units: The blocks of space where ads are displayed. Advertisers can also set up channels to track how these units are doing.
Leveraging the Power of Google Adsense.
With some of the jargon explained, it’s time to figure out how to make Google AdSense work for you. A recent study reveals that Google earns upwards of $13 billion annually through AdSense. As a modern marketing tool, it gives advertisers access to an enormous pool of advertisers without the hassles of cultivating, maintaining and servicing individual relationships.
It also allows more precise targeting because the content of your site is linked to the interests of users. This makes your ads relevant, competitive and comprehensive. Since there’s a robust review process before ads are featured, the quality of advertising remains consistently good on Google. Ad owners can also customize, monitor and control how their ads appear, track their performance,
How it works
The concept is simple and effective. Google’s revenues are mainly earned from advertising and renting out its search page space to other website owners to promote their products and services. This program is called AdWords. The next time you perform a Google search, look out for the ads on the right side of the page. These are the “sponsored results” which are featured here because their advertisers have paid different amounts per click to have them positioned here, based on an auction system. Obviously, the highest bidder and the best quality get the top spot.
If you have a website/blog and wish to monetize it, you can feature these ads on your site and when a visitor clicks on it, you get about 68% of what the advertiser has committed to pay Google, while Google gets the balance 32%.
Hence, all you need to do is to feature the ads and wait for people to view, click or sometimes both and wait for your commission. Simple, isn’t it? This is the logic behind Google AdSense.
In technical terms, Google inserts an AdSense code into your webpage. Whenever your page has a visitor, an object notation code fetches content from Google servers. When context-based ads are required, a cache of the page can enable the program to determine the key-word penetration. The CPM is based on whether the advertiser pays per view or on which pages the ads are featured. The AdSense code protects unauthorized users from taking advantage of the facilities.
Fake websites, blogs, pages with little or no content, search engine spamming etc are some of the ways in which unscrupulous elements can use AdSense, but Google can disable such accounts whenever they are identified.
Revenue Earning with Google AdSense
Now that you have understood the model, the next step is to figure out how it can work for you. A simple search will yield thousands of results on how to make big bucks with AdSense. Many of these tips are genuine, but there are an equal number of pages that make tall claims about the kind of money you can earn.
Google AdSense is a free to use, revenue sharing program. Before you plunge in, it’s good to keep things in perspective. There are some basics that you need to get in place first.
• Read the Google AdSense terms and conditions thoroughly and understand them before you sign up.
• Approval is granted in about 24-48 hours.
• Your website should be high quality and rich in content.
• Use only English.
• Never use copyrighted material.
• Provide easy navigation and user-friendly features.
• The traffic should be dense and correctly targeted.
• You must feature the right kind of keywords.
• SEO optimization should be natural and not contrived.
• Connect with Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools.
• You must understand and comply fully with AdSense policies.
• Never create a purpose-built for AdSense website. It should be genuine.
A great idea would be to use an already well-established blog or a website with a reputation for quality to piggy-back on. If you have a site or blog that is being used to sell your own goods and services, AdSense can help you supplement your income by featuring related ads. However, it’s been found that poor quality websites and blogs created for the sole purpose of featuring AdSense ads are usually a big flop.
A Step-by-Step Primer
• Create a Google AdSense account. On the AdSense page, click on the My Ads button and create a new unit.
• Give your account a suitable name. Select the ad size that you prefer.
• Select the required ad type – e.g. you may want only text, or only image-rich media, or a combination of both.
• Customize your channel for tracking.
• Select your ad style. Most people prefer the ads to be in harmony with their website/blog.
• Request for the AdSense code.
Google AdSense has the discretion to withhold or give approval for any account. Often approval is withheld if the content is not sufficient – for instance, if it’s less than 20 pages. Content should also be centered on one or two topics. In other words, keep it niche and not rambling on about a million things. Long, content-rich, high-quality articles and good images must be the hallmark of your site/blog. Use good English which is grammatical and error-free, and keep the information free from abuse.
Get it Working.
Now you have your AdSense account created, you need to get your ads working for you. This requires some planning and strategy. It’s very similar to designing a normal ad campaign.
• Identify your target audience.
• Analyze your content and gauge the kind of traffic that frequents your site.
• Select relevant ads and set up the proper layout and channels.
• Initially you can use different options (color, style, category and page) on different pages and track the traffic, do a comparison study and pick the best performers.
• Position your ads correctly for grabbing eyeballs instantly.
These tips will certainly help you get started. However, there are some issues to be kept in mind too. AdSense is ultimately a program and it needs to be used intelligently to be most effective. There could be a flip side to the use of such programs as well.
It’s impossible to accurately predict your earnings down to the last dollar. Your commission depends on what the advertiser is paying Google and how much is the average amount per click. All ads are priced differently and this information may not be available to you. There are certain keywords which always generate higher interest and traffic and niche ads with such keywords will always perform better as they are highly competitive. For instance finance is a highly competitive keyword as compared to something regarding entertainment.
You may be able to estimate your earnings based on daily/weekly/monthly/annual statistics, but again, these are only guesstimates.
Your earnings depend on the traffic and its quality.
If your website itself generates excitement and interest, has a reputation for reliability and provides useful information, your Google AdSense program will be a great complement to it. Sites with dense, high-quality traffic may see clicks of upwards of a million hits daily while a boring blog could plod along with less than a hundred.
You must set realistic expectations. Don’t expect instant and unrealistic returns based on some wildly successful example you’ve read or heard of.
Ultimately, people are smart enough to figure out whether your website/blog is a genuine, functional and useful one or it’s a mere billboard for ads. Google itself reveals that it’s not the meta tags but the text-content of your page that matters.
Never click on your own ads! Google can catch you out easily and fast and could suspend your account. Google keeps a very close watch on all accounts, especially new ones. They may detect potential frauds or fraudulent accounts very quickly and act fast to protect their users and their own reputation.
Promote your blog/website on social media for better visibility. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc are some great places to divert traffic your way.
Avoid the websites that offer free hosting. You need to make some investment for your Google AdSense program to work. Free hosted sites generally have poor quality and reputation. Buy your own domain and host your own blog/site. Free hosts may also remove your ads at will.
Earning $100 a day and upwards from Google AdSense can certainly be a reality – provided you work to a plan and plan it right!