AdSense

Infobox Software
name = AdSense



caption =
developer = Google
latest_release_version =
latest_release_date =
latest_preview_version =
latest_preview_date =
operating_system = Cross-platform (web-based application)
genre = Online advertising
license =
website = http://www.google.com/adsense

AdSense is an advertisement serving program run by Google. Website owners can enroll in this program to enable text, image, and more recently, video advertisements on their websites. These advertisements are administered by Google and generate revenue on either a per-click or per-impression basis. Google is also currently beta-testing a cost-per-action based service.

Overview

Google uses its Internet search technology to serve advertisements based on website content, the user's geographical location, and other factors. Those wanting to advertise with Google's targeted advertisement system may enroll through AdWords. AdSense has become a popular method of placing advertising on a website because the advertisements are less intrusive than most banners, and the content of the advertisements is often relevant to the website.

Currently, AdSense uses JavaScript code to incorporate the advertisements into a participating website. If the advertisements are included on a website that has not yet been crawled by the Mediabot, AdSense will temporarily display advertisements for charitable causes, also known as public service announcements (PSAs). (The Mediabot is different from the Googlebot, which maintains Google's search index.)

Many websites use AdSense to monetize their content. AdSense has been particularly important for delivering advertising revenue to small websites that do not have the resources for developing advertising sales programs and salespeople. To fill a website with advertisements that are relevant to the topics discussed, webmasters implement a brief script on the websites' pages. Websites that are content-rich have been very successful with this advertising program, as noted in a number of publisher case studies on the AdSense website.

Some webmasters invest significant effort into maximizing their own AdSense income. They do this in three ways:Fact|date=June 2008
# They use a wide range of traffic-generating techniques, including but not limited to online advertising.
# They build valuable content on their websites that attracts AdSense advertisements, which pay out the most when they are clicked.
# They use copy on their websites that encourages visitors to click on advertisements. Note that Google prohibits webmasters from using phrases like "Click on my AdSense ads" to increase click rates. The phrases accepted are "Sponsored Links" and "Advertisements".Fact|date=June 2008

The source of all AdSense income is the AdWords program, which in turn has a complex pricing model based on a Vickrey second price auction. AdSense commands an advertiser to submit a sealed bid (i.e., a bid not observable by competitors). Additionally, for any given click received, advertisers only pay one bid increment above the second-highest bid.

History

The underlying technology behind AdSense was derived originally from WordNet, Simpli (a company started by the founder of Wordnet, George A. Miller), and a number of professors and graduate students from Brown University, including James A. Anderson, Jeff Stibel, and Steve Reiss. [cite news|url=http://www.forbes.com/1999/10/04/feat.html|title=How Google is that?|publisher=Forbes|author=Om Malik|date=1999-04-10] A variation of this technology utilizing WordNet was developed by Oingo, a small search engine company based in Santa Monica founded in 1998 by Gilad Elbaz and Adam Weissman. [cite news|url=http://www.infotoday.com/newsbreaks/nb1220-2.htm|title=Beyond Keyword Searching|publisher=Info Today|author=Paula J. Hane|date=1999-12-20] [cite news|url=http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0HDN/is_2000_May_25/ai_62332783|title=NetZero Acquires Simpli.com's Marketing Technology|publisher=Newsbytes PM|author=Sherman Fridman|date=2000-05-25] Oingo changed its name to Applied Semantics in 2001, [cite news|url=http://searchenginewatch.com/showPage.html?page=2196001|title=Google Buys Applied Semantics|publisher=Incisive Interactive Marketing LLC|date=2003-04-24] which was later acquired by Google in April 2003 for US$102 million. [cite news|url=http://www.google.com/press/pressrel/applied.html|title=Google Acquires Applied Semantics|publisher=Press release|date=2003-04-23]

AdSense for Feeds

In May 2005, Google announced a limited-participation beta version of AdSense for Feeds, a version of AdSense that runs on RSS and Atom feeds that have more than 100 active subscribers. According to the Official Google Blog, "advertisers have their ads placed in the most appropriate feed articles; publishers are paid for their original content; readers see relevant advertising—and in the long run, more quality feeds to choose from."cite web | url=http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2005/05/feed-me.html | title=Official Google Blog: Feed me | author=Shuman Ghosemajumder | date=2005-05-17 | accessdate=2007-12-29]

AdSense for Feeds works by inserting images into a feed. When the image is displayed by a RSS reader or Web browser, Google writes the advertising content into the image that it returns. The advertisement content is chosen based on the content of the feed surrounding the image. When the user clicks the image, he or she is redirected to the advertiser's website in the same way as regular AdSense advertisements.

AdSense for Feeds has remained in its beta state until August 15, 2008, when it became available to all AdSense users.

AdSense for search

A companion to the regular AdSense program, AdSense for search, allows website owners to place Google search boxes on their websites. When a user searches the Internet or the website with the search box, Google shares any advertising revenue it makes from those searches with the website owner. However the publisher is paid only if the advertisements on the page are clicked: AdSense does not pay publishers for mere searches.

AdSense for mobile content

AdSense for mobile content allows publishers to generate earnings from their mobile websites using targeted Google advertisements. Just like AdSense for content, Google matches advertisements to the content of a website — in this case, a mobile website.

XHTML compatibility

As of September 2007, the HTML code for the AdSense search box does not validate as XHTML, and does not follow modern principles of website design because of its use of
* non-standard end tags, such as and ,
* the attribute checked rather than checked="checked",
* presentational attributes other than id, class, or style — for example, bgcolor and align,
* a table structure for purely presentational (i.e., non-tabular) purposes,1 and
* the font tag.2

1: using a table structure for unintended purposes is strongly recommended against by the W3CFact|date=August 2008, but nevertheless does not cause a document to fail validation—there is currently no algorithmic method of determining whether a table is "correctly" used.
2: the font tag is deprecated but does not fail validation in any XHTML standard.

Additionally, the AdSense advertisement units use the JavaScript method document.write(), which does not work correctly when rendered with the application/xhtml+xml MIME type. The units also use the iframe HTML tag, which is not validated correctly with the "XHTML 1.0 Strict" or "XHTML 1.0 Transitional" DOCTYPEs.

The terms of the AdSense program forbid its affiliates from modifying the code, thus preventing these participants from having valid XHTML websites.

However, a workaround has been found by creating a separate HTML webpage containing only the AdSense advertisement units, and then importing this page into an XHTML webpage with an object tag. [cite web|url=http://www.cssplay.co.uk/menu/adsense.html|title=Adding AdSense to application/xhtml+xml pages|author=Stu Nicholls|accessdate=2008-02-02] This workaround appears to be accepted by Google. [cite web|url=http://www.456bereastreet.com/archive/200409/content_negotiation_adsense_and_comments/ | title=Content negotiation, AdSense, and comments | author=Roger Johansson | date=2004-09-01| accessdate=2008-02-02]

How AdSense works

* The webmaster inserts the AdSense JavaScript code into a webpage.
* Each time this page is visited, the JavaScript code creates an IFrame with a src attribute set to the page's URL.
* For , Google's servers use a cache of the page to determine a set of high-value keywords. If keywords have been cached already, advertisements are served for those keywords based on the AdWords bidding system. (More details are described in the [http://appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PG01&s1=20040059708&OS=20040059708&RS=20040059708 AdSense patent] .)
* For site-targeted advertisements, the advertiser chooses the page(s) on which to display advertisements, and pays based on cost per mille (CPM), or the price advertisers choose to pay for every thousand advertisements displayed. [cite web
url=http://adwords.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=54411&topic=13175
title=Google AdSense Help Center: What are CPM ads?
date=2007-12-29
] [cite web
url=http://www.google.com/ads/sitetargeted.html
title=Google AdWords: All About Site-Targeted Ads
date=2007-12-29
]
* For referrals, Google adds money to the advertiser's account when visitors either download the referred software or subscribe to the referred service. [cite web
url=https://www.google.com/adsense/support/bin/answer.py?answer=25890&topic=11724
title=Google AdSense Help Center: What is the referrals feature?
date=2007-12-29
] The referral program will be retired in August 2008. [cite journal
title = Google yanks AdSense referral program, offers shoddy surrogate
journal = blog.anta.net
date = 2008-07-01
url = http://blog.anta.net/2008/07/01/google-yanks-adsense-referral-program-offers-shoddy-surrogate/
issn = 1797-1993
accessdate = 2008-07-01
]
* Search advertisements are added to the list of results after the visitor performs a search.
* Because the JavaScript is sent to the Web browser when the page is requested, it is possible for other website owners to copy the JavaScript code into their own webpages. To protect against this type of fraud, AdSense customers can specify the pages on which advertisements should be shown. AdSense then ignores clicks from pages other than those specified.

Abuse

Some webmasters create websites tailored to lure searchers from Google and other engines onto their AdSense website to make money from clicks. These "zombie" websites often contain nothing but a large amount of interconnected, automated content (e.g., a directory with content from the Open Directory Project, or scraper websites relying on RSS feeds for content). Possibly the most popular form of such "AdSense farms" are splogs (spam blogs), which are centered around known high-paying keywords. Many of these websites use content from other websites, such as Wikipedia, to attract visitors. These and related approaches are considered to be search engine spam and can be reported to Google.

A Made for AdSense (MFA) website or webpage has little or no content, but is filled with advertisements so that users have no choice but to click on advertisements. Such pages were tolerated in the past, but due to complaints, Google now disables such accounts.

There have also been reports of Trojan horses engineered to produce counterfeit Google advertisements that are formatted to look like legitimate ones. The Trojan downloads itself onto an unsuspecting computer through a webpage and then replaces the original advertisements with its own set of malicious advertisements. [cite news|url=http://www.techshout.com/internet/2005/27/a-trojan-horse-program-that-targets-google-ads-has-been-detected-by-an-indian-web-publisher/|title=Trojan Horse program that targets Google AdSense ads|publisher=TechShout|date=2005-12-27|author=Benaifer Jah]

Criticism

Due to concerns about click fraud, Google AdSense has been criticized by some search engine optimization firms as a large source of what Google calls "invalid clicks", in which one company clicks on a rival's search engine advertisements to drive up the other company's costs. [cite news
url=http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/14.01/fraud.html
title=How click fraud could swallow the internet|publisher=Wired
author=Charles C. Mann
date=January 2006
] Some publishers that have been blocked by Google complain that little justification or transparency was provided. Webmasters who publish AdSense can receive a life-long ban without justification.Fact|date=October 2007 Google claims they cannot "disclose any specific details" on fraudulent clicks since it may reveal the nature of their proprietary click-fraud monitoring system. [cite news
url=http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/markets/united_states/article703023.ece
title=The nonsense about AdSense
publisher=The Times
date=2006-07-04
author=Benjamin Cohen
]

To help prevent click fraud, AdSense publishers can choose from a number of click-tracking programsFact|date=October 2007. These programs display detailed information about the visitors who click on the AdSense advertisements. Publishers can use this to determine whether or not they have been a victim of click fraud. There are a number of commercial tracking scripts available for purchase.

The payment terms for webmasters have also been criticized. [cite news
url=http://lembingley.itweek.co.uk/2007/02/google_keeps_co.html
title=Google keeps on coining it in|publisher=IT Week
date=2007-02-01
author=Lem Bingley
] Google withholds payment until an account reaches US$100, [cite web
url=https://www.google.com/adsense/support/bin/answer.py?answer=9905
title=When do I get paid?
publisher=Google AdSense Help Center
] but many small content providers Fact|date=July 2008 require a long time—years in many cases—to build up this much AdSense revenue. These pending payments are recorded on Google's balance sheet as "accrued revenue share". [cite web
url=http://investor.google.com/releases/2006Q4.html
title=Google Announces Fourth Quarter And Fiscal Year 2006 Results
publisher=Google Investor Relations
date=2007-01-31
] At the close of its 2006 fiscal year, the sum of all these small debts amounted to a little over US$370 million, money that Google is able to invest but effectively belongs to webmasters. However, Google will pay all earned revenue greater than US$10 when an AdSense account is closed.

Google recently came under fire when the official Google AdSense Blog showcased the French video website Imineo.com. This website violated Google's AdSense Program Policies by displaying AdSense alongside sexually explicit material. [cite web
url=https://www.google.com/adsense/support/bin/answer.py?answer=48182&sourceid=aso&subid=ww-ww-et-asui&medium=link
title=Google AdSense Program Policies
date=2007-12-29
] Typically, websites displaying AdSense have been banned from showing such content.Fact|date=October 2007

ee also

* Google AdWords
* List of Google products
* Pay per play
* Scraper website
* Yahoo! Publisher Network, an equivalent Yahoo! service

References

External links

* [http://www.adsense.com/ Google AdSense]
* [http://appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PG01&s1=20040059708&OS=20040059708&RS=20040059708 Google AdSense patent application]
* [http://adsense.blogspot.com/ Inside AdSense] — Google's official weblog on AdSense
* [http://knol.google.com/k/ron-mertens/adsense/2vh42ff3ngpdh/3# AdSense knol] - Introduction to AdSense in google Knol


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