Last week, I received my first Google AdSense payment. The electronic statement reads:
10/29/07 REVENUE SHGOOGLE ADSENSE 1454684 $105.81
For those of you not familiar with how having ads on your web site makes money, here's the scoop: Google mines the text of my blog and picks out ads that it thinks might interest you, the reader; then, anytime you click on an ad, the site owner earns 10 to 50 cents. Sometimes the surfer has to sign up for something or buys a product for the blogger/webmaster to get the payment- those ads usually bring in more money. For example, if you do not have the awesome Firefox browser, you can sign up for it on this site through the ad a couple of frames down at the bottom of the light blue banner to the right. If after clicking on the ad, you install the software (with Google toolbar), I get a fat $1.00.
But I don't see the cash right away. Anyone who has AdSense ads embedded into his or her blog or website knows that the paycheck is not cut until the website's total revenue exceeds $100. For me, that took about seven months. I get about 1500 readers on my blog a month, most of whom find me by Google searches. I would bet that about half of my revenue comes from those folks, and half comes from people that are more regular readers. Many of my ads (if your browser does not block them entirely) are intriguing; they hawk stem cell banks, evangelical sites, abortion (pro- and anti-) related organizations, and lately, medical equipment companies. I invite you to click on them if they look interesting to you. Is inviting you to click on my ads working the system? All of this information can be found in the AdSense informational pages. Furthermore, Google has built-in algorithms to determine whether I click on my own ads. Though Google prohibits this activity, sometimes I am just too curious about these offshore stem cell companies to resist the lure. Because of Google's anti-fraud software, those clicks never have counted toward my revenue; I tend to post from the same 3 or 4 ISP addresses. When it comes down to it, most people (>99%) just overlook my content-driven ads. It's just as well.
In the end, $100 once or twice a year for only a little time up front seems like an okay thing to me It almost covers the cost of the ComCash cable internet I am using right now. Is this selling out? I think not - first and last write to better myself and society. (I can really only measure the former.) Those three or four ads in the sidebar: do they scare you away? I hope not. Let me know if they do. I value readers and comments more than candy money. Anyway, if you want to try your hand at AdSense, click on the sign-up button at the very bottom of my blog.
(If it's after November 2007, chances are good you found this through a Google search, anyway, and want information about signing up for AdSense!)