What is Adsense?


Adsense provides web masters big or small a chance to earn extra income by displaying ads from Googles advertising network (Adwords). Adsense is extremely simple to use and web masters can earn money each time an ad is clicked on their web site. The name of this type of advertising is called 'pay-per-click' and its the most common form of advertising, mainly because its well balanced for both publishers and advertisers alike.

How do you display ads?

The process of displaying ads is very simpe. After logging into your Adsense account you create new ads, customize colours, formats and channels, and then copy the JavaScript code directly into your web page. The ads will start to appear once the algorithms (complex mathematical formulas) have decided which ads will be most profitable for the given page. For beginners the process of pasting the ads anywhere on the web page is usually enough but advanced web masters almost always paste the code into highly active or content rich areas where they feel a high number of users will look and essentially click. A little bit of extra effort can make the difference between a lilttle money and alot!

What type of ads are available?

There a several types of ads you can choose to display on your site.

  • Adsense for Content (Image, text or both)
  • Referrals (Firefox, Adsense, AdWords)
  • Adsense for Search (Google search box)

    Lets take a look at each one in detail:

    Adsense for Content

    Adsense for content display ads that are targeted to your site's unique content (keywords). They are also subdivided into two groups:

    Ad Unit

These display actual ads from the Adwords network (the advertisers). These come in various shapes and sizes and you can also choose to display text ads, image ads or both. Ad units are by far the most common and most profitable.

Link Unit

Each link unit displays a list of topics that are relevant to your page. When users click a topic, they are brought to a page of related ads. Using link units pays only a fraction of the amount that an Ad Unit pays but provides users with more general keywords which are more likely to be clicked.


Referrals advertise certain products by Google (and others). Typically, Adsense and Adwords are the two most commonly used. Using referrals is a slow process and works best if your site is targeted towards encouraging people to use the products and into signing up. Unlike Adsense for Content, you are not paid per click, but instead are paid per signup. This brings about a couple of issues - do people really follow through with the entire signup when they click a referral, or do they come back later? This is a similar problem experienced by Amazon and their online store. Unless the user who clicked the referral follows through with the entire signup process without closing the browser window you will not be credited. However, the major plus side is that for each successful sign up you will receive a nice bonus a few months down the line.

Adsense for search

Last but not least is Adsense for Search. This mechanism allows you to introduce the Google search box onto your web page. Each time a user performs a search you get paid (a small value). Using Adsense for Search effectively can be a real winner.

Earnings per click

Now, onto the real reason we are here. How much are you paid per click? This is one of the most common questions and it really does vary depending on several factors. Factors include - the content of the page (keywords), keyword popularity, the number of advertisers who have ads relating to these keywords and also the click through rate on your page (CTR). In general you can expect a click rate of between $0.03 and $50.00, but don't expect to see too many anywhere near $50.00.

Getting paid

Getting paid with Adsense is a pretty straight forward process. You can choose to be paid either by cheque or by EFT (electronic funds transfer). The second option is by far the best choice so long as you have a bank account set up. Cheques seem to take a while to get shipped out. There are rules as to when you get paid. The general rule is you will be paid the month after your account balance exceeds $100. So if you earn $120 in Feb you will receive your money in early April. There is a month or so of checking which makes sure that you haven't participated in any click fraud or banned activity. You can also expect to be closely checked if its your first payment.

How much money can you make?

Once again there is no hard and fast rule, and indeed people are prohibited from releasing any kind of Adsense figures. This said, we have heard people talking about 6 figure sums from their Adsense which means anywhere between $100,000 and $999,999. These people usually occupy a top position on the search engine, have been established many years or more commonly have an in demand blog with unique content.