Advertising as a revenue source dried up for small web publishers. But
thanks to a new program from Google called AdSense, online advertising for
the small publishers is alive and well again. |
(article continued below ...)
Google AdSense is reinvigorating the online advertising landscape. After
a few years of drought, people can earn money from advertising again this
time, real money and not just pittance barely enough to cover hosting fees.
The dot-com crash brought along with it the fall of online advertising,
particularly for small publishers. Rates plummeted to all-time lows. Whereas
small publishers could earn as much as $50-100/cost per thousand (CPM) in the mid-to-late 1990s,
ad earnings precipitously dropped to $0.20-0.60 cents per thousand
impressions in 2002. Site owners had to scramble to find other means to earn
a living from their Web sites!
What is AdSense?
AdSense is a text-based ad delivered by Google, today’s leading search
engine. The ads come usually in the form of the leaderboard (728 x 90), standard banner (468 x 60), skyscraper (120 x
600) and inline triangle (300 x 250). The colors of the ad box and fonts can
be customized to fit or contrast with the site's color scheme, whichever the
What sets this program apart from other text-based ads is that it
delivers ads that are contextually relevant to your audience. It uses an
advanced and proprietary technology that determines the content of each of
your site’s web pages, and then delivers the ad based on that content.
Just as readers of special interest magazines welcome ads on topics of
interests to them, the visitors of special-interest web sites are happy to
see ads relevant to their craft, business, hobby or interests. A Web page on
home business would likely receive targeted ads on “starting a business,”
while a music site may receive targeted ads on music CDs. The ads
automatically adjust for each page’s content.
The underlying thinking is an ad targeted to the audience of a Web page
will generate higher response. Ads placed in context ultimately become a
content point, seemingly blending with the content of the page that the user
is visiting. This in turn increases the ad’s relevancy. The more relevant
an ad is to the page, the higher its effectiveness and click-through rate,
and the greater the income potential. That means more click-throughs for the
advertisers, and more dollars for the publisher!
How will you
benefit from AdSense?
One Internet guru described AdSense as a “money machine where you
simply sit back and watch the money roll in.” And for the right Web site, AdSense
is proving to be a most welcome cash generator.
Free and easy to join and implement, AdSense offers Web site owners a
source of ongoing advertisers that will never run dry (well, at least for
now). You now have access to a new set of advertising spenders and marketing
companies who have advertising budgets to work with.
Instead of spending your time hunting down your own advertisers, you can
focus more in creating solid content for your site. You can work the content
of your sites without worrying very much about the costs of self-publishing
information on the Web.
The reduced workload and potentially good income are enough incentives
for small publishers to apply in droves to the program.
Are you right
Alas, AdSense is not for everybody. Just as the initial euphoria has
leveled off, complaints of AdSense’s inability to serve them the right ads
or any ads at all can be heard on various discussion boards and
forums. Some sites complain of not getting any relevant ads. Worse, some are
getting ads from charity organizations, which are non-paying ads.
Who is Google AdSense especially suited for? It's EXCELLENT for those who
already have, or for those who want to start, high quality, theme-based
content sites, with excellent keyword-focused content pages. Better yet,
your site must have keywords where advertisers pay a premium to reach. That
can range from a wonderful little hobby or passion site to a full-blown
information site by a major company.
Your income will also be commensurate to the level of traffic that your
site generates: the more traffic you have, the greater the potential income.
A site that attracts 1 million impressions has the potential to earn more
(even at a 2.5% clickthrough rate) compared to a site that attracts 1,000
impressions per month unless the smaller site has higher paying keywords
and better clickthrough rates. Higher clickthrough rates, however, are
subject to tighter scrutiny by Google. A site suspected of fraudulent clicks
can be kicked out from the program.
How long will AdSense
Lessons from other forms of advertising (banners, interstitials, popups
and popunders) show that users have learned to ignore advertising on the
However, text ads like AdSense are benefiting from a novelty effect. It
is still so new that users haven’t yet learned to ignore them. According
to Jakob Nielsen, users in the long-term can “develop box blindness,
ignoring little text boxes just as they've long ignored banner-shaped areas
of the screen.”
Nonetheless, Google AdSense has brought back to small publishers the
opportunity to leverage their content through advertising. It is bringing an
excellent earning stream to some Web owners, with monthly revenues reaching
the thousands, even more. Not since dot-com "boom" times had the
Internet world seen CPM and click through rates this high.
Are you riding the Google AdSense wagon?
-- Nach M Maravilla is the
publisher of Power Homebiz Guides.
Updated October 17, 2003