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Since 2003, Google AdSense has been helping website creators make money from their content without having to deal directly with advertisers. No matter what niche you’re in, almost anyone can become part of the AdSense network and start earning money immediately.
Making money with a website can be particularly difficult, especially when you’re not selling anything. But if you’re looking to make money with your website or blog without selling a product or service, then there’s a way, and it’s called Google AdSense.
If you’ve just created a new blog or already have an existing website that you want to monetize, Google AdSense could be the answer. With millions of advertisers looking to advertise their products and services, there’s a good chance that someone will want to place ads on your site, and more importantly, pay you money for it!!!
To get you up to speed on what Google AdSense is and how it all works, we first have to explore its inner workings and how it came to be what it is today.
So, for all you beginners wondering what Google AdSense is, here’s what you need to know.
What is Google AdSense
As I briefly mentioned earlier, AdSense is Google’s creation that helps advertisers find the right publishers and website owners for their ads. That said, AdSense is very similar to AdWords, as they both work together to match advertisers with publishers.
If you’ve ever run an Google Ads campaign, you’ll notice that you have the option of using the search or display partner network. When Google Ads first appeared, advertisers could only target keywords on Google’s Website, limiting them to the number of people they could reach.
However, 3 years after launching Google Ads, Google came up with an ingenious idea: let webmasters display ads on their sites and split the ad revenue. And that’s precisely what they did!
Today, almost any website can apply to Google to become an AdSense partner. If the website meets specific criteria, then they will be accepted into the network, and will be allowed to display ads on Google’s behalf.
Each time a user clicks on one of these ads, the website owner will receive 68% of the ad revenue for that click.
If the average bid for a keyword is €1, then that’s 68 cents for the webmaster, not bad for doing nothing!
How to use Google AdSense to make money
As you may have already noticed, AdSense can help webmasters make a lot of money from their visitors if used correctly. The important question is…
How can you use AdSense to make money on your own site
Well, the first thing you need to do is apply to become an AdSense partner here. Once you’ve submitted the application, it will take a few days to be reviewed. As you can imagine, Google receives thousands of requests a day. If your website meets certain guidelines, traffic and quality metrics, then the account will be approved.
Once approved, you will be able to start displaying ads on your website. To install the ads, simply copy the code from the AdSense control panel to a specific page.
Ideally you should aim for about two ads per page, as less than two won’t be effective and the others will seem too spam. The last thing you want is to scare off all your users with pages full of ads.
Google AdSense earnings
Now that you have your AdSense account setup and your ads installed, how much can you expect to earn with Google AdSense?Well, the bad news is that it’s hard to calculate.
This is mainly because there are many different factors that contribute to your monthly earnings that vary drastically from website to website. However, this won’t stop us (and probably you) from trying to make an estimate either way.
The first and most important factor is what industry your website is targeting.
Thanks to Google’s algorithm, your website will only show ads related to your website. So, if your site is a health and fitness blog, then it is likely that the ads will be related to health keywords.
Which keywords and ads are displayed will depend on how Google views your website, so it’s not an exact science.
Once you know what industry and what type of ads will be shown on your site, you can start calculating how much an average click will cost.
To do this, you can use UberSuggest to get a rough idea of the cost per click for a specific keyword. However, it is important to note that on Google’s display network advertisers typically pay much less per click compared to the search network.
This means that a search keyword with an average cost per click of $30 could cost only $3 or less per click on the display network.
Another way to check the estimated cost per click of your site’s ads is to create a fake ad campaign yourself. Of course, you don’t have to spend money on this campaign, but you will have access to Google’s estimated cost-per-click figures, which can be very useful.
To get these estimates, go to AdWords or Google Ads and create a new view-only campaign.
Type in your website URL and Google will generate a list of keywords that it thinks are appropriate for your website.
Once you add the keywords to the campaign, you will notice that the estimated average cost per click on the right-hand side will update.
This data should give you a very good indication of how much people are paying per click to place ads on your site.
You now have a very rough idea of the average cost per click of the ads that will be displayed on your site; you can calculate your share by figuring 68%. As we saw earlier, this is the standard commission for AdSense clicks.
The only thing left to calculate now is how many visitors your website will receive and how many clicks your ads will receive. These factors are based on two main points: how good your SEO is and where you place your ads.
Unless your website relies 100% on social traffic, then you will probably receive most of your visitors from search engines such as Google or others. Knowing how many visitors you receive will significantly help estimate your monthly AdSense earnings.
The more visitors you get, the more likely people are to click on your ads, which will earn you more money.
The last piece of the puzzle is to calculate your average click-through rate, and then you’ll have all the numbers you need to figure out how much you could earn. As a baseline, most websites receive a 0.05% – 5% click-through, with the average being 0.1%.
Using these metrics, we can calculate a rough estimate of how much a webmaster could earn using AdSense.
For our example let’s assume that:
- Targeting the PPC niche
- The average cost per click for a PPC keyword on Google display is €0.24 – €0.56
- Your website receives 30,000 visitors per month
- You have an average click-through rate of 1%…
Now we have all the information; it’s time to calculate each step to get an estimated monthly profit.
- Calculate how much you get for each click: ((0.24 + 0.56) / 2) * 0.68 = 0.27 €
- Calculate how many of your visitors click on their ads: 30,000 * 0.01 = 300
- Calculate your estimated total monthly earnings: 300 * 0.27 = 81 €
This may not seem like a lot for 30,000 visitors, but I’ve opted for a conservative click-through rate. With multiple ads and proper positioning, a good webmaster could easily increase their CTR to 3% or more, which would result in much higher monthly earnings.
How does AdSense pay publishers
Once you’ve earned your first euro from Google AdSense, you’re probably wondering how you get the money so you can spend it.
Does Google send you the money in an envelope, or do they send you a voucher instead?
Well, there’s good news and bad news.
The good news is that they don’t send either. Instead, Google offers some payment methods to publishers to make sure they get their well-earned money in a timely fashion.
The first and by far the most popular payment method is the ability to receive your earnings via check. This payment method is free of charge and is available for almost all international countries.
Another popular way to receive AdSense payments is through your bank account. With the rates so high, it’s clear why most AdSense users opt for the check.
The bad news, however, is that Google requires a minimum threshold of $75 before it will send you money. For smaller blogs and websites, this may mean waiting several months before accumulating enough money to get paid.
The dark side of Google AdSense
For many website owners, AdSense can be an excellent source of revenue for your website. So much so that many webmasters rely on AdSense to pay their bills.
And, with clicks generating anywhere from 10 cents to 1 euro per click, it’s not uncommon for webmasters to use dirty tricks to increase their revenue.
These tricks are usually always against Google’s terms and conditions, but with so much money to be made with AdSense, many webmasters will take a chance.
A common tactic that many webmasters employ is to purposely click on their own ads. Known as click fraud, this type of fraud costs advertisers billions of dollars a year in lost ad spend.
The webmaster who clicks on his own ads obviously has no intention of buying or purchasing that product. Instead, he just wants to make more money.
This is a small-scale example of click fraud, but as you can imagine, many organized fraud groups have scaled their fraudulent activities to generate millions a year. From companies like Hyphbot and Methbot to click farms, there are a lot of people taking advantage of display network ads.
If you want to make money with Google AdSense, then the best way is to do it legitimately. Clicking on your own ads or paying other people to do so may seem like a good idea, but it can often end up in your account being blocked.
Not only will you lose all of your money, but you could also face legal action from Google and other advertisers.
My advice is: don’t try to cheat the system. Many people have tried (and failed) in the past. If you really want to make money from running a website, then AdSense is a great way to do it.
Now that you understand what AdSense is, check out the differences between Google Ads and AdSense.