If you have a website or blog and want to earn some money online, then Google Adsense is probably one of your best options to get started. The system is easy to implement, offers a fairly good return and contains diverse advertisers for a wide range of industries. It may not make you an online millionaire but if you have a website or blog with decent traffic you could easily pay the costs of running a digital property and then some more.
But as we always advise, do not quit your day job to start a website or blog in the hope of earning a living through Google Adsense. It takes years to develop a website with consistent traffic in the volumes required to make a decent living. Often publishers do not rely on a single website but several medium-sized websites to reach a decent income.
How does it work?
Google Adsense is the publisher platform of the entire Google advertising service. Advertisers, both big and small, buy ad space through the Google Adwords system. This means that Google will publish their ads on its search engine (usually at the top and to the right of search engine results), on Google applications like GMail and on independent website or blogs run by publishers who are part of the Adsense program.
If you have a website or blog and qualify for the Adsense program, then you can join the millions of publishers around the world who earn an income from Google’s vast database of advertisers. Google will bill the advertisers, serve the ads on your website and pay you your portion of the ad income every month, provided that you earned more then R1,000. Earnings mainly depends on the number of times your website/blog visitors click on an ad.
What ads are displayed?
Google controls what ads are displayed on your website although publishers have some degree of control. Firstly a publisher can decide whether the ads that are served by the Adsense system is either on a contextual basis or personalised basis.
Contextual ads are those ads which are relevant to the content on your website or blog. For example, if you have a blog about dogs then the contextual ads should be related to dogs, dog products or pets in general.
Personalised ads are determined by the user’s online behaviour and location. For example, if you blog visitor has been searching for cars recently then he/she may see car ads on your blog about dogs.
In addition, publishers who have gone the route of contextual ads can also help select appropriate industry ads by publishing content relevant to the industry. Write an article about car insurance and you should see mainly car insurance ads on that page provided that you selected contextual advertising. However, Google still retains the right to display other ads if it so wishes.
Lastly, publishers can choose to block the ads from certain industries or individual websites. Google takes a number of different factors into consideration when deciding upon which ad to serve at any point in time. In fact two people in the same city viewing the same page on a website may see entirely different Google ads.
There are many online scams offering quick returns through Google Adsense and even six figure dollar incomes but most are aimed at fleecing the unsuspecting ontrepreneur of money. For more detailed information from a reputable source, you may want to read the iLead blog post on Does Google Adsense Work?