Ad Revenue

by john on July 31, 2003

I received an interesting email today asking me to quote how much I would charge to include an advertising link on my site. This was not a spam, it was a real attempt by a real person representing a real service that actually has some relation to topics I have covered before.  As I would not mind adding a secondary income stream this is an offer I have to look into as who doesn’t want to make a little more money?

The email reminded me again of Google’s AdSense program which allows web developers to easily integrate “unobtrusive” Google ads into their pages, reminiscent of the ads within Google’s own search result sets. You can see what the ads would look like by filling in any URL on this page on the Google Weblog by Aaron Swartz. I went back there because I wanted to see if AdSense agreed with the vendor who contacted me and in fact it did – a number of the ads that Google served up for my site were related to that company’s business.

While I was on the Google Weblog I noticed Aaron had posted about receiving his check for June from the AdSense program. $973.43! Not too bad. And unlike Amazon’s program which actually requires someone to buy something for you to get paid (I’ve made about $10 from this site, thanks to the handful of you) AdSense pays you just for clickthroughs. How late nineties!

I just signed up for AdSense for the heck of it, although I doubt I’ll get accepted. And if I did I doubt I’d post the ads, although the thought of even a tenth of what Aaron got intrigues me.

I find it interesting that in their list of restrictions on what sort of sites will not be admitted into the program they include sites which include “gambling or casino-related content” – particularly since that’s the vertical my unnamed vendor contacted me about, and as the Google Weblog shows, or at least does at this moment in time, Google itself is more than happy to surface gambling related ads via AdSense.

The best way to maximize your Adsense income is to use Adsense Channels to identify your top-paying articles.


Phil Wolff August 1, 2003 at 1:07 am

How would you feel about a service that appends ads to your RSS feeds? Same general model as Google’s but part of your RSS instead of part of your html.

john August 1, 2003 at 7:35 am

Interesting question Phil. I think that could work if you offered two feeds – one with ads and one without. You’ve got to give your readers the ability to “opt-out” (or opt-in depending on your preferences) if they don’t want ads. What I do like about the idea is that the ads served up could then be tailored specifically to that particular article whereas the AdSense program is for an entire page (maybe even site, I’m not sure how deep it spiders). Infoworld includes ads occasionally in their feeds and it doesn’t seem to be a big deal.

john August 2, 2003 at 8:26 am

How about that – I did get approved to AdSense. Now I have to figure out if I want to actually implement it.

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