Your Quick Yet Essential Introduction to Google Adsense

[This is part of the Blogger’s Guide to Earning More with Google Adsense.]

To get one of the checks above you have to have more than just a blog and a few pageviews every so often – you have to optimize your blog and execute against a strategy so that it pays off, not only for your own bottom line but also for your users.

But before we go there we should start with the very basics because I can’t assume that everyone knows about Google Adsense and what it can do for you and your blog (as well as your pocket).

There’s a lot to learn and you can spend hours on just covering every single facet of the Google Adsense program before you even put an advertisement on your blog but that’s a waste of time (in my opinion) – I’m going to try to get you started as quickly as possible.

With that said here’s your absolutely essential (and quickest-without-compromising-meaty-information) introduction to Google Adsense.

Shall we? Let’s go!

What is Google Adsense?

Google Adsense is an advertising program that has allows online publishers and website owners to monetize (make money) from their websites and blogs.

It does this by letting the publisher or website owner use Google’s software to generate contextual advertisements that can be used in a variety of different places on websites and applications.

What Google means by “contextual” is that they use proprietary software to analyze not only the content of the page where the actual advertisement is being served by also the language of the user, the geographic location, as well as a host of other “signals” such as previous usage, cookies (that store user information that can help target ads), and more.

The result (or hoped for result) is more strategic and focused advertisements for your users which can result in higher click-through rates (potential and actual number of clicks on a particular advertisement) so that the advertiser can increase their sales and for you, the publisher, to make more money.

You can display advertisements in the following locations:

  • Content – Display targeted advertisements on your website or blog
  • Search – Allows your users to use Google’s search software on your site and you earn money on the resulting advertisements on the results page. I show how to set one up for your blog easily here.
  • Mobile Content – Display advertisements on mobile platforms and mobile technology.
  • Feeds – You can display advertisements on RSS Feeds as well, such as Feedburner.
  • Domains – You can display ads on unused domains that you may own.
  • Affiliates – You can sign up with the Google Affiliate Network to connect with other advertisers.
  • Custom Search Ads – Different than Search above you can monetize your search results pages like how Google does it.
  • TV – You can monetize your TV inventory, if you’ve got some.
  • Video – Monetize your videos if the have a high view count.
  • Games – Selling games? Make money via Adsense there as well.

Those are the major locations that a publisher can put Adsense units.

How to Sign Up and Get Accepted:

To be honest not everyone who signs up ultimately gets accepted into the program. Most bloggers should easily pass through and get an account quickly but some of you may find it more of a challenge than one would initially think.

Sign up here to get started.

The process is free and the turn-around time is typically pretty quick with most bloggers getting in by the end of a week’s time. Some have to wait a bit longer, up to a month in some circumstances.

Can you increase the possibility of getting accepted the first time through? The answer to that question is a definitive “Yes!” – all you have to do is make sure that your blog and site isn’t too “low quality” and that you have some decent content and traffic to your property. The ones that get rejected the most are sites that look (and feel) spammy or are too new.

A good design, a logo perhaps, a history of content, and few comments, and a general appearance of being managed and kept up are general guidelines to follow.

What’s nice is that once you’re approved you can use those ad units and your account for any website – so it’s best to apply with your “best foot forward,” so to speak.

Google Adsense Units:

The Google Adsense system is handled by pasting a Javascript code that is provided by Google on your website. It typically looks something like this:

Nothing too special.

Google provides all this code for you after you determine the size and specifications of the advertisement.

The current formats offered are as follows:

Recommended:

  • 300 x 250 – Medium Rectangle
  • 336 x 280 – Large Rectangle
  • 728 x 90 – Leaderboard
  • 160 x 600 Wide Skyscraper

Horizontal:

  • 468 x 60 – Banner
  • 234 x 60 Half Banner

Vertical:

  • 120 x 600 – Skyscraper
  • 120 x 240 Vertical Banner

Square:

  • 250 x 250 – Square
  • 200 x 200 – Small Square
  • 180 x 150 – Small Rectangle
  • 125 x 125 – Button

Link Units:

  • 728 x 15
  • 468 x 15
  • 200 x 90
  • 180 x 90
  • 160 x 90
  • 120 x 90

Typically Adsense units display text links with a description and/or with an image or other rich media. You can decide which media you’d like specifically as well as your ability to customize the look and the feel (style):

More than a few options.

You’ll want to make sure that you create the most effective experience possible with not only your choice of advertising units but also the style and look to match your blog.

Choose which works best.

We’ll talk a bit more about how to choose the right ones but just know that you have some flexibility when it comes to displaying them.

How Do You Get Paid?

Great question! Web publishers and Adsense users get paid on a Cost Per Click (CPC) or a Cost Per Mille (CPM) basis where the latter being 1,000 impressions (Mille).

This will depend, though, on how the advertiser has chosen to pay for their advertisement to be available to publishers. It is good to know that these ads are served from the Google Adwords network which is the program offered to advertisers to sell stock and ads on Adsense-powered sites.

The more traffic your blog has the more potential clicks (CPC) you may have to increase your earnings and/or the more money you’ll make through direct impressions via traffic (CPM).

Finally, you can choose between getting a check in the mail or a direct deposit if you’d like:

Time to get paid!

I typically like getting checks in the mail because I like the physical feeling of getting them – no other reason honestly and sure it’s more work but I don’t mind!

But of course this is up to you – doesn’t matter to me!

And that’s all you’ll need to know at this point to move forward with Google Adsense – in other words the quickest primer you could ever have about Google Adsense!

Let me know if you have any other questions!

[This is part of the Blogger’s Guide to Earning More with Google Adsense.]