Google Review: Ad Sense

Disclosure: I may someday receive money from Ad Sense. So far, I am corrupted by the promise of $2 in my account.

Types. Ad Sense is Google ads on your site, you get paid for clicks. You can also get paid for encouraging people to search the web with Google (see the search box for my web site) and for recommending people to use Google services. This blog entry is exactly an example of the latter.

Pros: Most of the people who come to my site are misdirects from Google. Not that google sent them to the wrong place, but that the searchers weren’t very skillful and ended up at my site. Some of them will get distracted and read a bit of my blog, and that is good, I like readers even if they are here by accident. It makes sense that I should help these people out by putting some Google ads on the site to help send them on the way to where they may have wanted to go in the first place.

Ad Sense can act as a supplemental customer tracking method in addition to sifting through referral logs and using Google analytics.

Cons: The generated code is somewhat opaque (generated javascript), sometimes not XHTML and sometimes doesn’t use CSS.

It’s a darn hard way to earn money.

Mixed: Are the ads really targeted? The ads seem to do some learning, starting with guessing strictly from your URL, then moving on to making guesses based on the text in your ad. Using words in your blog entry essentially as search terms sort of works.

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