Google AdSense is an advertising program launched by Google in 2003 that allows website publishers to display targeted text, video, or image advertisements on website pages. The ads are administered, sorted, and maintained by Google, but are created and paid for by advertisers looking to promote their products. Revenue is generated on either a per-click or per-impression basis, and the amount the site owner makes varies depending on what the advertiser paid for the ad to be placed. Signing up for AdSense is free and provides opportunities for site owners to generate revenue from website traffic.

Site owners can use AdSense by placing code into their webpages to make ad space available. They can choose which types of ads run and where on the page they will appear. From there, advertisers bid to show ads in those spaces. The highest-paying ads will appear, and the site owner gets 68 percent of the click amount.

Site owners use AdSense because of the security between advertiser and publisher, the variety of ad formats and types, ease of payment (Google pays monthly by direct deposit if the amount is over $100), and the ability to run ads on mobile devices and RSS feeds. While there are a lot of benefits to using AdSense, there are also drawbacks. Google can terminate an account at any moment, and it’s not very forgiving if rules are broken. In addition, site owners need substantial traffic in order to make money, and once an ad is clicked on, the visitor is redirected and leaves the publisher’s page.

Types of Google AdSense ads

Google currently offers a number of different AdSense types, including:

  • Text: An ad that uses words and comes in a variety of sizes. The color of the box, text, and link is customizable.
  • Image: Graphic ads that also come in a variety of sizes. Publishers can choose an ad feed option to mix both text and image ads.
  • Rich Media: Interactive ad that includes HTML, video, and flash.
  • Video: Video formats include linear video ads, overlay ads that display AdSense text, and display ads over the video content.
  • AdSense for Search: Allows site owners to have a Google search box on their website. When a user enters a term, a search result page displays AdSense ads. Site owners can customize the scheme of the page to correlate with website branding.

Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal is a freelance business and technology writer covering Internet technologies and online business since the late '90s.

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