How create Google Adsense account

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Published Date:03-08-2017
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Working with AdSense Once you know how to work with AdSense, you can start making money from your websites by placing Google’s ad code in your web pages and displaying ads. This chap- ter explains the details of how to work with the Google AdSense program, from signup through obtaining your AdSense code and pasting it into your web pages. I’ll explain what the different options are and how you can tweak your AdSense settings to be most successful. From Google’s viewpoint, the AdSense program represents a way to extend the pages that host its ads from its own search results pages across the entire Web. The result of this extension has been the creation of an excellent mechanism for monetizing content and traffic. Google makes its living from advertising, and the Google AdSense program in particular earns its keep by placing ads in web content. It’s therefore not surprising to see AdSense promoting itself as the way to reap “the reward of great content.” However, reaping the reward requires not only content (as explained in Chapter 1) and traffic (as covered in Chapter 3) but also understanding how to adjust the “dials” on AdSense itself. The job of this chapter is to make sure you become an effective and efficient user of AdSense. It’s worth having a quick look at the web content scenarios that Google presents as AdSense successes for both new and current AdSense publishers. You can view these case studies at https://www.google.com/ adsense/success. Applying for an AdSense Account To apply for a Google AdSense account, visit the Google AdSense home page, shown in Figure 8-1. 199Figure 8-1. The Google AdSense home page is the starting placing for signing up for AdSense Next, click the “Sign up now” button. The form partially shown in Figure 8-2 will open. Figure 8-2. You apply to open an account with the Google AdSense program using this simple form 200 Chapter 8: Working with AdSenseThere are a few issues you’ll need to bear in mind as you complete this form: Website address You need to provide Google with the URL for your primary website (see the up- coming sidebar “Providing a Website Address”). Agreements You need to agree not to place AdSense ads on sites that incentivize visitors to click on the ads or that include pornographic content. Besides pornography, AdSense policies prohibit a fairly wide vari- ety of content including content that is drug- or violence-related, content that explains hacking, and gambling sites. You can see the full list of prohibitions on the AdSense Program Policies page. If the content on your site is prohibited, you should avoid AdSense and consider the alternative CPC programs described in Chapter 6. Account type You can have an individual or business account. For business accounts, you’ll need to have a checking account in the business name. Contact information You need to tell Google what name to put on the checks and where to mail those checks, and provide phone and email contact information. Policies You need to agree not to click on the ads you are hosting and certify that you have read the AdSense policies (also referred to as the Terms of Service, or TOS). You can open the AdSense Program Policies page using a link on the signup page or at https://www.google.com/adsense/policies. You also need to check a box stating that you don’t already have an AdSense account. Providing a Website Address Google will review the website address you provide for compliance with the content policies of the AdSense program. It is common for Google to reject websites for non- compliance with content provisions of the AdSense policies; as I’ve already noted, the prohibitions are fairly broad and exclude a variety of “sinful” content, ranging from excessive advertising content or adult content to content about hacking—and even prohibit content using excessive profanity. If you plan to host AdSense, your site had better not promote sin or even cuss words. It is permissible (and often makes sense logistically) to use one Google AdSense account across multiple web addresses. If you are maintaining half a dozen sites, it is easier to work with a single AdSense account than to keep up with statistics on multiple ac- counts. If you are using one AdSense account across multiple sites, you’ll probably want to take advantage of AdSense channels, explained later in this chapter. There’s Applying for an AdSense Account 201 also information in Chapter 9 about what you need to do to monitor your AdSense performance. If you are a devious thinker with some “sinful” content and other clean sites, you might consider the scenario of submitting one URL for acceptance into the program and eventually placing AdSense ads on noncompliant sites. You could probably get away with doing this for a while, but it is a bad idea. If you are caught, Google will most likely terminate your entire account. The best approach is to apply for a separate account for any website with questionable content. That way, you are aboveboard. If Google accepts the account application, it can have no beef with you because of the content. If Google rejects the application, you’ll need to work with one of the less squeamish vendors mentioned in Chapter 6. It’s pretty simple, really, to fill out the AdSense form; as these things go, it is not a lot of red tape. Once you’ve entered the information required to sign up with AdSense, you must associate it with a Google account. There are two ways to do this: • You can associate your AdSense application with an existing Google account, such as one you use with Gmail or AdWords. • You can create a new Google account, as shown in Figure 8-3, for use with the AdSense program. Figure 8-3. If you don’t already have a Google account, you’ll need to create one 202 Chapter 8: Working with AdSense The next step is to wait for Google to review your application, which usually takes one or two days. You’ll be notified of program acceptance in an email sent to the address you provided. Setting Account Options Once you’ve been accepted into the AdSense program, proceed to the Google AdSense home page shown earlier. Log in using your Google account information as shown in Figure 8-4. Figure 8-4. Use your Google account information to sign into AdSense Once you’ve logged in, your first step should be to verify your initial settings and enter some more information. Start by clicking the My Account tab. The My Account tab has four main pages: • Account Settings • Account Access • Payment History • Tax Information You’ll find that you can modify your initial account options using the Account Settings page, as well as set some significant options, namely your payment preferences (and what could be more important?) and your global ad display preferences. Payment Preferences To change your payment preferences, on the Account Settings page click the edit link that follows Payment Details, as shown in Figure 8-5. Setting Account Options 203Figure 8-5. Click the edit link in the Payment Details section to change how you are paid The Choose Form of Payment window, shown in Figure 8-6, will open. The choices are: • Electronic Funds Transfer to your bank account • Check by regular mail (free but it takes longer) • Express delivery of your check (there’s a 30.00 processing fee) Figure 8-6. You can choose to have your payments transferred electronically or sent by check Arranging to have your AdSense payments electronically transferred to your bank ac- count is an attractive option because there are no delays and there is less chance of a paper check getting misplaced in the mail. In order to have funds transferred by Google, you need a verified bank account. In the bank account verification process, first you enter your bank account number and bank routing number. Next, Google deposits small sums of money (less than a dollar) in your bank account. Once you see these deposits in your account, you must go online and enter the amounts. Once Google sees that you have access to your account records, your account is considered verified. Not all payment options are available in all countries; the options avail- able to you will depend upon the physical address associated with your account. 204 Chapter 8: Working with AdSense You can also elect to have your payments held (and accrued) indefinitely rather than paid monthly by clicking the edit link in the Payment Holding section on the Account Settings page, shown in Figure 8-7. Figure 8-7. You can choose to let your earnings accrue rather than have them paid monthly Ad Display Preference Ad Display Preference, on the Account Settings page, sounds like a big deal, but it’s really used to set the default for one thing. This preference is used to set global preferences for whether you want to display text ads only or both text and images. This Ad Type Preference option sets your global default; you can override your default global choice on a page-by-page basis when you specify options for a block of Google ad code that will be placed on a particular page. Text ads are the delivery format of most of Google’s contextual adver- tising. Some content owners may want to avoid image ads because they can clutter sites and may work to the detriment of content. Account Access The Account Access page shows you the email address of users with access to your AdSense account. Generally, this will be the email address associated with the Google account that you used to open your AdSense account. Multiple users can be associated with a single AdSense account if you use Google Ad Manager, explained later in this chapter, or Google An- alytics, covered in Chapter 13. In addition, you may need to set software access to your AdSense account on the Ac- count Access page. For example, Blogger, FeedBurner, and YouTube all need to be authorized for account access on this page so they can serve ads with your AdSense codes (assuming you are signed up with these other programs, and have integrated your content offerings on those sites with your AdSense account). Setting Account Options 205Reviewing Payment History The Payment History link on the Account Settings page opens a display of your earnings and payment history as shown in Figure 8-8. Using the Payment History window, you can determine the amount of recent payments and get a ballpark sense of when and how much your next payment is likely to be. Although it’s reasonable to want to know how much money one is owed, the infor- mation in this display is quite sketchy and not very useful for tracking your account activity. See Chapter 9 for information about better ways to monitor the activity in your AdSense account. Figure 8-8. You can view your earnings and payment information on a per-month basis or download the data so it can be opened in a spreadsheet Filing Tax Information Filing appropriate tax information forms with Google is really part of the account ap- plication process, and your account won’t be activated until you file these forms. If you are a United States resident, you will need to file an IRS form W-9 with Google; residents of other countries will need to comply with the legal requirements of the tax authority in their domicile. If you are operating under your name—or, to put this formally, as a sole proprietorship using your own Social Security number (SSN)—you will need to file an IRS form W-9 with Google that lists your SSN. Depending on your situation, the income that Google reports to the IRS for your SSN will likely be reported on a Schedule C with your next income tax filing. 206 Chapter 8: Working with AdSense For instructions and forms, with the Account Settings page open, click the Tax Infor- mation link. Most likely, you will be able to file the appropriate forms online. Once your form has been filed with Google, when you click the Tax Information link you’ll see a message stating, “Our records indicate that you have already submitted the appropriate information.” You can change your tax information as necessary—for example, be- cause you now have a business tax ID—using the Filing Tax Information link. AdSense Programs Google AdSense provides a number of different programs for monetizing content, each of which works in a somewhat different way, as I’ll discuss in detail later in this chapter. You can deploy each of these different programs by clicking the AdSense Setup tab, which opens the Get Ads page shown in Figure 8-9. The programs are: • AdSense for Content • AdSense for Search • AdSense for Feeds • AdSense for Domains • Video units • “AdSense for Mobile Content” on page 217 AdSense for Content is by far the most important program, with AdSense for Search a distant second. These two programs are similar in the sense that they are both utilized by website owners with content and traffic. In contrast, each of the other programs involves either specialized content (feeds, video, or mobile content) or a parked domain—so each of the other programs can be thought of as noncore, although they can present good opportunities for making money. AdSense Programs 207Figure 8-9. The Get Ads page is your gateway to deployment of the various AdSense programs While the AdSense for Content and AdSense for Search are generally aimed at the same kind of web content, there are differences in the way the programs work. AdSense for Content places ads on your web pages, similar to the ad unit shown in Figure 8-10, and you make money when a site visitor clicks on the ad. With AdSense for Search, you put a Google search box, like the one shown in Fig- ure 8-11, on your site. The AdSense search box displays Google search results when a user enters a query. These search results show relevant ads. You receive a portion of the revenue generated when a visitor uses your search box and then clicks on an ad from the search results page, such as that shown in Figure 8-12, returned by Google. 208 Chapter 8: Working with AdSense Figure 8-10. A typical AdSense for Content unit provides text ads with links; you get paid when someone clicks one of the links Adding to the power of the AdSense search program, you can use the SiteSearch option to search your site rather than the Web (see “AdSense for Search Settings” on page 230 for details). You can also configure the AdSense search results page (whether searching your site or the Web) to match the look of your website. AdSense Programs 209Figure 8-11. In the AdSense for Search program, a search box goes on your site Figure 8-12. When a site visitor clicks on one of the advertising links on a search page (at the top of the page shown), you earn revenue with AdSense for Search 210 Chapter 8: Working with AdSenseAdSense for Content or AdSense for Search? Is AdSense for Content or AdSense for Search right for your site? It’s hard to say, and of course you can have both on your site. From a general viewpoint, AdSense for Content works best on destination sites. If vis- itors to your site tend to linger a while and regard your site as conferring some authority on the ads you present, then AdSense for Content will probably work well. On the other hand, if your site is a way station leading toward further information (usually on other sites), then it is probable that visitors will frequently use AdSense for Search, if it is available on your site, and this program may make you quite a bit of money. AdSense for Content Ad Settings Once your AdSense account has been approved, you’ll likely want to get started by adding the code that will place Google’s ads on your site. To get started with AdSense for Content, log in to Google AdSense and click the Ad Settings tab. The AdSense for Content Wizard, shown in Figure 8-13, will open. Figure 8-13. The AdSense for Content Wizard walks you through the process of getting ad code AdSense for Content Ad Settings 211 You can choose to enter all your settings at once by selecting the single page option; it’s equivalent to the Wizard and may be quicker to use once you are familiar with AdSense. Ad Type Ads are supplied by Google in units. An ad unit contains from one to six ads. For example, an ad unit was shown earlier in Figure 8-10. A link unit, shown in Figure 8-14, contains four or five links to pages listing ads. Figure 8-14. A link unit displays links to Google pages that display ads Your first choice is to decide which kind of unit—ad or link—you want to display. Web pages can contain both kinds of AdSense ad units on the same page. According to the Google TOS, you can have up to three ad units on a single page, and you can mix and match ad and link units. If you select an ad unit, the drop-down list to the right of the ad unit radio button (shown earlier in Figure 8-13) is used to determine whether only text ads will be dis- played in the unit, only image ads will be displayed in the unit, or both. You can also just leave the text ad/image ad setting for the unit at the default you selected when you signed up for the AdSense program or that you chose in your account options. Ad units display ads directly on your pages, where they are probably more likely to be clicked than link units. Link units are, in some ways, one step removed; a link unit presents links to ads rather than the ads themselves. But the advantage of the link unit is that it takes up almost no space and the ad pages can contain many ads. This effective use of real estate makes sense if your site visitors are affirmatively looking for additional resources related to a topic rather than “impulse clicking.” Once again, experimentation and trial and error are the best ways to find what works on your site. 212 Chapter 8: Working with AdSenseAfter you’ve chosen the type of ad unit you are configuring, click Continue to open the Ad Format and Colors panel of the Wizard. Ad Format and Colors If you are configuring an ad unit (as opposed to a link unit), you will see a page like that shown in Figure 8-15. Figure 8-15. You can use the Ad Format and Colors panel of the Wizard to configure what your ad unit will look like If you are configuring a link unit, this panel will look slightly different, as you can see in Figure 8-16. AdSense for Content Ad Settings 213Figure 8-16. Link units differ from ad units in terms of formatting Format The Format section of the ad layout code page is used to specify a size for your ad or link unit. Table 8-1 shows the drop-down list of choices for ad units, which are also shown in Figure 8-17. Table 8-1. Ad unit names and sizes Unit name Size (in pixels; width first) Leaderboard 728 × 90 Banner 468 × 60 Large Rectangle 336 × 280 Medium Rectangle 300 × 250 Square 250 × 250 Half Banner 234 × 60 214 Chapter 8: Working with AdSenseFigure 8-17. You choose the size for your ad unit from a drop-down list Unit name Size (in pixels; width first) Small Rectangle 180 × 150 Wide Skyscraper 160 × 600 Button 125 × 125 Skyscraper 120 × 600 Vertical Banner 120 × 240 If you are specifying a link unit, you can choose to have four or five links in the unit. Your size choices for the link unit (in pixels, width first) are shown in Table 8-2. Table 8-2. Link sizes and number of links Size (in pixels; width first) Number of links 120 × 90 Up to five links 160 × 90 Up to five links 120 × 90_4 Up to four links 160 × 90_4 Up to four links 180 × 90 Up to five links 180 × 90_4 Up to four links 200 × 90 Up to five links 200 × 90_4 Up to four links 468 × 15 Up to five links 468 × 15_4 Up to four links 728 × 15 Up to five links 728 × 15_4 Up to four links AdSense for Content Ad Settings 215Colors The Colors section, shown in Figure 8-18, lets you choose the colors for text and other elements of your AdSense ad units so that your ad units work well with your site. Figure 8-18. You can choose colors for your AdSense ad units that work well with your site You can choose from a number of existing color schemes, called color palettes, for your ad unit, or design your own color scheme. It’s likely that you will want to pick your own colors, either to match your pages or to stand out from your pages. In that case, you should save your scheme as a custom palette by clicking the “Save as new palette” link shown in Figure 8-18. The best way to see which (if any) of the existing color palettes is right for a given web page or site, and to see the impact of your custom color choices, is to run through the list of possibilities in the Palettes drop-down list. When you select a color palette, an example showing the appearance of the ad elements using that scheme will display to the left under the word “Sample.” Which Color Choice Works Best? There’s a lot of discussion in webmaster circles about which AdSense colors work best. Ultimately, nobody really knows; it is different for different sites, and experimenting and watching the results make sense. It’s now even easier to do this if you link your Google AdSense account to your Google Analytics account. That said, there are two circulating theories that have strong advocates (but happen to be contradictory): • Use the color palette to match your site. If you do this, it is speculated, some users may click on the ads because they think they are part of your site, not ads. • Make a color choice that starkly contrasts with your site. By doing this, the ads are made more noticeable, and thus it is more likely that they may be clicked. 216 Chapter 8: Working with AdSense You can also get a sense of the visual impact of your color choices by clicking “Preview this AdSense unit.” More options If you are configuring an ad unit, you can choose a corner type for the unit. The choices are square corners, slightly rounded corners, or very rounded corners. If you don’t make a choice, you will get square corners. If Google doesn’t have an ad to display on your web page—because it hasn’t figured out what would be contextually relevant or because there’s nothing in the Google ad inventory that matches your content—Google will display a public service ad of its choice. There’s nothing wrong, in my opinion, with public service ads, and personally I always elect to display them. However, some webmasters do not like to give away their “real estate” without getting something in return. You can change the behavior of a Google ad unit when it doesn’t have an ad to serve by choosing either an alternate URL or a color code (Figure 8-19). The obvious use for an alternate URL is to use it to link to a standby ad of your own, so that the real estate occupied on your site by the Google ad unit can be productive even when Google doesn’t have any ads to serve. The color code box is used to enter a color specification in hexadecimal RGB notation. To get the hexadecimal for a color, you can click the “Choose a color” link. Select the color you’d like from a palette and Google will supply the hexadecimal code. This color will be displayed in the Google unit when there is no ad to serve. Figure 8-19. If you choose an alternate URL or a color code, Google will not display public service ads The best use for the color alternative is to specify the background color of your site. That way, if Google doesn’t have an ad to serve, the Google ad unit will not be visible—it will just look like part of your site background. AdSense for Mobile Content AdSense for Mobile Content works pretty much like a regular AdSense unit—except that you have to have a mobile website written using mobile markup tags. Mobile sites AdSense for Content Ad Settings 217 need to be constructed using server-side scripting languages. Google only supports ASP.NET, JSP, Perl, and PHP. Google won’t help you build this kind of site; as the supporting documentation notes, if you don’t know whether you have one, you probably don’t. A suggestion is to search the web for terms like “create mobile website” or “make mobile web page.” Actually, it is not difficult to convert many websites so that they are mobile (although some kinds of content, such as large graphic files, are inherently resistant to mobile display). To get started once you have a mobile website, from the AdSense Setup page, click AdSense for Mobile Content. Configuring a mobile content unit is essentially the same as configuring a normal ad unit except there is less real estate (so you can only display single or double ads), and you need to specify the mobile markup language used on your site. The choices are XHTML (WAP 2.0, the default), WML (WAP 1.x), and CHTML. In certain circumstances, mobile advertising is very effective and useful. For example, if I am looking for a Chinese restaurant in a specific area with my mobile device, then I’ll be glad to see relevant ads. However, when planning mobile advertising you should bear in mind the limited nature of display space, and try to ensure customer relevancy —there’s nothing more annoying than an irrelevant ad when you just need to use your phone. Ad Channels Channels are a mechanism for keeping track of which part of a site—or which site, if you are managing multiple sites in one AdSense account—is generating clicks. Custom channels are channels that you define in advance of ad deployment. A Google unit can be assigned to a custom channel you’ve created, as shown in Figure 8-20. In addition to custom channels, URL channels, which track ad unit clicks by URL, can help you keep track of how your Google ad and link units are doing. See “Using Chan- nels” on page 227 for more information about channels. Getting the Code With your Google unit selections made, it’s time to grab the code for your unit and place it in your web page. Ad unit example Suppose you decided to create a Skyscraper (120 × 600) ad unit using a custom color palette and very rounded corners (and otherwise accept the default options from Google). The next step is to give the ad unit a name, as shown in Figure 8-21. 218 Chapter 8: Working with AdSense