Friday, July 9, 2010

Getting Started with Google AdSense

How do I get started with AdSense?

AdSense has requirements that each individual publisher must follow in order to qualify for AdSense.

You must first have a website/blog. One that is already established, and has already started to draw traffic. You don't have to have traffic in the thousands to get started, but a site with zero traffic isn't ready for AdSense. Your website should also have a lot of good, originally produced content. AdSense isn't really looking for sites that are simply made in a hurry in order to make money. Some get accepted, but most are in error, and large numbers of these sites lose their accounts. Original content is "stuff" you produce yourself - whether it's stories, articles, tutorials, photos or other images, wallpapers, videos - original content has more value because it can't be found in other places.

If you have your website built, then you need to find out if your content would qualify.

Your website must also have content that follows the AdSense policies - no adult content, no content relating or linking to things like drugs (prescription or illegal), weapons, illegal software, music or video downloads, no content that is considered a copyright infringement, no sites that are nothing but big long lists of links, among many other things. All of the policy requirements can be found on the AdSense site, under the Help section in the AdSense Policies subsection. It's important that you make yourself aware of these, and it's also important that you read and understand the Terms of Service before you get involved in AdSense.

There are a lot of rules, and it's important that you do more than just read those rules, you also need to understand them. If you don't understand something, then don't be afraid to ask for help.

Once you have gone through the policies and you are sure your site is ready, then you fill out the AdSense application and provide them with the url of your website. Then you wait for them to review the site and application, and when they have, you'll receive an email from them. If you are accepted to the program, you are off and running - but attention should always be paid to the policies when adding things to your site.

My website/blog was approved. What’s next?
Once you're approved, it's time to log in and configure your new AdSense advertisement to include on your site!

When you first log in, you'll see the following navigational bar:

Click on "AdSense for Content" and you'll be ready to configure your ad. Now, don't worry: configuration is pretty easy and kinda fun too, you get to pick colors, sizes, and much more.
Once you've clicked on the "AdSense for Content" tab, your next step will be to decide what type of advertisements you want Google to serve up on your own pages:

I suggest you start out with a text "Ad unit", as shown here: the other type of content adverts are less generally useful, less flexible, and typically also have a much lower payout, according to the grapevine. When you are ready, note that you can learn more about the different formats by clicking on any of the last three lines in that view.

The next section of your task is to specify the format and layout of your AdSense ad, and there are a rather amazing number of different size and format options. Google has a helpful AdSense Ad Format Reference Page that's worth a quick peek.

Its better use a Leaderboard (728x90) on the top of the home page and a Large Rectangle (336x280) on this very page. Your layout will inevitably be different and you might choose a different layout entirely. Further, you are allowed to have up to three different ad units on a given page, so you can experiment with them one atop the other, adjacent to each other, or interspersed with your content. Just try to remember that if there's no content, there's no page. :-)

Now that you've picked an ad layout size (and yes, you can change it at any time too) it's time to have the most fun: changing the color scheme of the ad itself. My handy tip: use a border color that's the same as the background color of your page (as I do on this page) so that it's less overt that the ads are actually advertisements. It helps people not gloss over them and, hopefully, click on the ads a bit more frequently.

The built-in color schemes are nice too, of course, if you want to use them, but just as with the sizes, I strongly recommend that you experiment with different color schemes and see if you get a better percentage of clickthrus and greater revenue. Perhaps every Sunday night you can change to another color scheme and then track week-by-week what works best?

The next step is to specify an alternate Ad URL or color, and a specific channel for your ad:

The idea behind alternate ads is that sometimes no advertisers have bid on advertising for the keywords, leading Google to a pickle: what to display? By default, it instead displays public service ads (PSAs), but if you want to create an HTML snippet that produces the same size content, you can use that instead, or, you can simply have a solid box in the color of your choice that blends into the design of your site.

I am a much stronger supporter of channels, however. Channels let you organize your AdSense results by Web site (if you have more than one site) or by areas of your site. On this site, for example, I have a channel for "home page leaderboard" and another for "large rectangle" so I can compare how each format is doing, rather than just guessing in the aggregate. It's much easier to start correctly than to retrofit this sort of thing, so take the time and set up a basic channel or two to begin categorizing your results.

Finally, you've made all the settings you need and it's time to grab the HTML snippet that'll generate the ad block on your own site!

Your specifics will be a bit different from what you see in this screen shot, but the code will generally look identical. Just select all the text in the box, then use Edit --> Copy to get that code into your copy/paste buffer.

Now open up a page where you'd like to include the AdSense code, or a template if you're working with something like a weblog system, and paste in the new code by using Edit --> Paste.

Save your template and rebuild your site, or, if it's just a page, save the page back onto the server and bring it up in your web browser. That's it!

Important Warning: do not click on your ads!

I think one of the most common mistakes that new AdSense participants make is to click on an advert or three to "make a quick buck". Sounds good in theory, but you'll end up kicked out of the AdSense program if you click on ads shown on your own pages, which is not a good strategy for earning money!

Anyway, that's the basic set of steps. Don't delay and don't wait for tomorrow: pop back up to the beginning of this article to sign up for AdSense, then go through these steps and you can start turning your cost center of a Web site into a revenue generation system, modest or otherwise!

.. And who knows, maybe you'll see one of my own advertisements on your site!
Still want a video? You got it.......Enjoy!

One final tip: If you're serious about increasing your AdSense earnings, you might want to consider buying a copy of my friend David O Connell Adsense Expert. It's jam-packed with great advice and ideas about maximizing your click thru rate and traffic.


  1. Really a masterpiece!

    Great post. It will sure help lots of people.
    Thanks for sharing


  2. Well done!
    From where do you get so awesome ideas.
    Don't you ever run out of your contents?


  3. Hey!
    Great post. I have always been fighting with google ads. Hope this post will help me.

  4. Great post.

    Hope to hear more from you.

  5. Acha hai, bahut dimag chalta hai na, ee sab mein?

    Well, done

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  7. great post...very well done... keep it up.
    very nice and useful post. i like it.
    look forward to see more useful and informative posts.