What Is Google Adsense?

Google Adsense, what is it, and how do you use it in the most effective way possible. In this article we’ll be answering these questions, and a few questions you might have about the service.

So hopefully you understand exactly what Google Adsense is, and how you can use it to your advantage. Without any further delay, let’s get started. 

What Is Google Adsense

What is Google Adsense?

Google AdSense is an advertising platform you can use to generate revenue by allowing Google to place advertisements on your website.

When you sign up for AdSense for free, Google will give you a variety of options on how you want to display ads, along with a line of code. You can copy this code and paste it into your site’s backend in order to get your service started.

Google does the rest of the work and you get paid for impressions and clicks. It’s quick, easy to do, and is a constant source of easy revenue that you can produce from your website.

How Adsense works?

The first thing to understand is that AdSense is different from Adwords.

The latter allows you to place your website as a top search result in a Google search engine results page (SERP), while the former leverages your site as an advertising platform for sites that advertise through Google. Adwords labels your search result as an ad, and its intent is to help you capture traffic for your keywords.

AdSense populates your site with ads from other sites — therefore it does affect the user experience on your site. 

AdSense gives you a piece of Google’s advertising pie. When brands buy Google ads, they pay for clicks. If someone clicks a Google ad, the advertiser pays Google. 

If a user clicks on an ad running on your site, you earn a percentage of the money the advertiser pays for that click. AdSense also monetizes impressions. This means you won’t earn AdSense money unless your site has traffic.

Once you’ve earned $100 from impressions and clicks, Google makes an automatic deposit to your bank account or sends you a check, depending on your preference.

You won’t see any money until that $100 mark, but your earnings roll over month-to-month.

If you earn $50 the first month and $51 the next, you’ll get a check for $101, so you’re never losing out on any of the money that you generate when using Google Adsense.

Here’s a quick list detailing some of the good things about AdSense:

  • You don’t have to pay anything!
  • You can display ads on mobile sites
  • You can display ads on multiple sites with a single AdSense account
  • You can start monetizing a brand new site
  • You can earn additional revenue from a pre-existing site
  • You can display ads that might actually be useful to your audience;
  • You can use it on YouTube as well;

If you’re not against earning a little extra money and displaying ads, AdSense makes a great partner for generating revenue from your website.

Types of AdSense Ads you can Expect to See

There’s a few different types of AdSense ads you can allow to be seen on your site, let’s take a look at some of your options:

  • Text: Also called “sponsored links,” text ads appear as a link to a site, one or two lines of text, and a site address in green, you can click on this to take you to a different site.
  • Image: Also called “display ads,” these include banners, buttons, skyscrapers, leaderboards, and billboards.
  • Rich media: Interactive ads including HTML, Flash, and video.
  • Flash: Interactive banners made with Adobe Flash.
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Dynamic animated image 
  • Link units: Displays a list of different topics, and when users click on one, it takes them to a page with adverts.
  • Search: Displays a Google search box, and when users make a query, it takes them to a SERP with ads.

You can place up to three ads per page, so choose the type of advertisement that suits your site best, there’s lots of different options to consider!

AdSense Rules

As you’d imagine, there’s plenty of rules you’ll have to follow in order to continue using Google AdSense too. If you end up disobeying any of these rules, you’ll immediately be banned from using the service, and won’t be able to use it again.

So be sure to follow these rules precisely if you want to keep using Google AdSense. 

  • You can’t click on the ads you publish on your site;
  • You can’t encourage people to click on ads;
  • You shouldn’t place ads manipulatively in places where users might accidentally click, such as in-game interfaces or near interactive elements;
  • You can’t display AdSense ads on a site with more than three pop-ups;

As well as all these, your site also needs to be exactly that, a website!

So users need to be able to easily navigate through the website, without advertisements becoming the main focus of the website instead of whatever other content you have on your site. 

How to Start using Google AdSense

So you’ve read all of the rules and benefits of using Google’s AdSense, and you’ve decided you want to start using it? Great. Let’s go over how you can start using AdSense to generate revenue immediately.

What Is Google Adsense

The very first step is going to be creating an AdSense account, you can do this by following these easy steps:

  1. Visit https://www.google.co.uk/adsense/start.
  2. Click Get started.
  3. Sign in to your Google Account.
  4. Enter the URL of the site that you want to enable adverts on, if you don’t currently have a site you can simply select the option that states ‘i don’t have one yet’ and come back to this step later.
  5. Select your payment country or territory.
    Note: Make sure that you select the country/territory where you currently live and where you can receive a Personal Identification Number (PIN) by mail. This will help you get paid in the future. You won’t be able to change your country/territory later in AdSense, so getting this right is key to getting paid!
  6. Review and accept the AdSense Terms and Conditions.
  7. Click Start using AdSense.

You’re now signed in to your new AdSense account!

It’s important to note that you won’t immediately be able to start using adverts on your websites until you complete all of the key information required from Google, so be sure to have everything on hand. 

Entering a URL

One of the most important tasks you’ll have to complete before you start generating revenue from your adverts is associating your AdSense account with your URL in order to link the two sites effectively.

There’s a few prerequisites that you need to follow in order to monetize your URL properly though, these are: 

  • must be a site that you own
  • must not have a path or subdomain 
  • must not contain any parameters 

If you’re a blogger or a youtuber, then these both require slightly more setup, so by pasting in the URL of your youtube account or blogging website, you’ll be directed to continuing the process on your account of the determined website afterwards. Using Google’s Blogger is going to be the easiest way to advertise on your blog though. 

Sharing a Google AdSense account

As of writing this article, Google does not allow multiple payee names on an individual AdSense account, this means that the payee name of the AdSense account must either be an individual or a larger company name, and all of the earnings of the account will be paid to that name.

Whilst accounts are allowed multiple different sites on their account, different individuals are not currently prohibited.

Publishers are allowed to place ad code from more than one AdSense account on a page that complies with the programme policies laid out above. Alternatively, publishers may choose to rotate ad codes from more than one publisher across a website

Disadvantages of Google AdSense

Whilst AdSense can be a fantastic way of generating steady revenue on your website, there’s also some ways which it can be damaging to your online presence, let’s take a look at some of these disadvantages:

It is possible for AdSense to display competitor ads on your site, since Google customizes the ads it shows.

The ads on your site are intended to be at least minimally relevant to your niche, which is why a competitor’s ad could land on your site, and direct traffic away from your own website.

Whilst someone clicking on a competitor’s advert will actually make you money, the amount you earn is lackluster compared to making an actual sale from your website, or just getting a reader to stick around.

Your competitors can win from you signing up and using Google AdSense!

To prevent this from happening, Google allows you to block ads on the “Blocking controls” page of your account.

You can block specific URLs such as those owned by your main competitors as well as entire categories and ad networks, so with some extra effort and research, you can stop this from happening. 

Google classifies certain categories like Religion, Politics, and References to Sex and Sexuality  as sensitive, therefore you’ll have to opt in to display ads from these categories.

Besides sensitive categories, there are over 470 general categories you can block based on where your competitors land. You can also block or allow categories based on their irrelevance or relevance to your site’s content. 

Besides the potential competitor adverts showing up, here are some of the bad things about AdSense:

  • It can compromise user experience; ads running on every page of your site could distract users from your content. Nobody likes going to a page that’s absolutely cluttered with flashy adverts.
  • It can direct users away from your site; no doubt you’re trying to convert visitors, which is hard to do if they’re clicking ads, and have their attention focused away from your own content.

Some people also argue AdSense isn’t great because you need traffic to make any money, starting a website off from scratch and filling it with adverts isn’t going to be doing you any favors for people clicking on your website.

Final Thoughts on Google AdSense

Whilst AdSense can be a fantastic way for people to generate fairly lackluster, but consistent money, it can be as damaging as it is effective.

In saying that though, if your website is receiving a large amount of traffic, signing up for Google AdSense can really be an effective way to keep your website profitable.

Just make sure that you don’t make the adverts too flashy or distracting, that way you’ll shift the focus of the website from whatever it is currently, to the adverts.

Justin Shaw
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