The web has evolved into a complex “organism” which, to some, appears to have a life of its own. As the Internet has evolved, so too have online marketers and publishers. The dot-com balloon is said to have burst but savvy publishers have grabbed the coat tails of the Google search monster and employ Google AdSense on content-rich websites. Google AdSense, a pioneer for providing content-sensitive advertisements, has been a boon to webmasters looking for alternatives to amortize their web trafffic.
How Does Google AdSense Work?
The concept is simple: The publisher or webmaster inserts a java script into a website. Each time the page is accessed, the java script pulls advertisements from Google’s AdSense program. The ads are targeted and related to the content contained on the web page serving the ad. If a web surfer clicks on an advertisement served from Google, the webmaster serving the ad earns a portion of the money that the advertiser is paying Google for the click.
Google handles all the tracking and payments, ultimately providing an easy way for webmasters to display content-sensitive, targeted ads, without the headache of having to solicit advertisers, collect funds, monitor clicks or track statistics, any of which could easily become a full-time job.
While Google AdSense, like many pay-per-click programs, is plagued by claims of click-fraud, it is clearly an effective revenue source for many reputable web businesses. There seems to be no shortage of advertisers in the AdWords program from which Google pulls the AdSense ads. Webmasters seem less concerned by the lack of information provided by Google and more interested in cashing their monthly checks from Google.
The Evolution of AdSense
While Google’s initial system was fairly rudimentary, only providing publishers the option of displaying a handful of advertising formats, the technology behind even the first ads was anything but simplistic. The technology used to employ Google AdSense goes far beyond simple keyword or category matching. A complex algorithm is used to determine the content contained on the web page serving the ad. Once the content is assessed, and appropriate ads that contain related content are served.
Early on, Google implemented a system that allows publishers to filter advertisements from competitors or sites which they deemed inappropriate. Google also allows vendors to specify an alternative advertisement, in the unlikely event that Google is unable to provide related content ads.