You’ve probably seen them appearing on websites all over – Ads by Google. It’s very clever, unobtrusive, and something I wanted to try on the website. This is not because I’m looking to turn geofffox.com into a financial powerhouse (insert laughter here) but because I like seeing how things work.
Google’s Adsense works well. So far, with hardly any effor on my part, I have made 93¢! Woohoo.
First, the concept. Google’s computer spiders crawl the Internet, reading all the pages – that’s how listings get into Google in the first place. Then, using some sort of high level machine intelligence, they figure what each individual page is about. When I insert the computer code that makes the ads come up, Google already knows what’s on the page and inserts appropriate ads.
Well, they do for my archived pages. For my ‘front page’, which is constantly changing, they are probably using stale data or being fooled by all the weather related content on the right side.
You can see the ads in the column on the right. I have tried my best to make them blend in with the pre-existing pages on this site so they don’t detract from the content.
Whenever someone clicks on an ad, Google records it, charges the advertiser and gives me a cut of the action. Clicks can vary in their value. One day I got four clicks and received nothing. another time a single click was worth 4¢. Today, a single click was worth 37¢.
Google won’t tell me exactly how they come up with these numbers, so it’s all an act of faith. But, it really doesn’t matter. I just wanted to see how it works.
I will keep the ads on for a little while and evaluate whether they detract from, or add to the site. I believe advertising can be good for my readers – especially this contextual advertising. If someone’s going to a page about poker strategy, ads for poker strategy books, or websites, might not be a bad thing. I know from personal experience that I’ve clicked on ads that related to subjects I was already exploring.
If you think this is a bad idea, I’d like to hear from you. I’m glad to have people read this blog and that’s a lot more important than my 93¢.
Saturday, May 22, 2004 97 4 4.1% $0.00
Sunday, May 23, 2004 290 1 0.3% $0.05
Monday, May 24, 2004 273 1 0.4% $0.22
Tuesday, May 25, 2004 413 2 0.5% $0.26
Wednesday, May 26, 2004 330 1 0.3% $0.03
Thursday, May 27, 2004 157 1 0.6% $0.37
Totals 1,560 10 0.6% $0.93
Averages 260 1 $0.16
Blogger’s note: I just decided to check the numbers. Google only updates the count a few times a day. Somehow I got 12 more clicks and an additional $2.14. I’m rich!