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Google AdSense launched today
New content targed ad program for content providers

 8:39 am on Jun 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

It's way cool :)


Not sure if this should be in Google News or adwords. I guess this forum should really be the one for AdSense questions as it's about advertising.

Also, it seems that the site hangs in IE. Mozilla ( as usual ) works perfectly so use that.

Unlike the exising content targed ads you do not need 20 million visitors to put these ads on your site.



 4:46 pm on Jun 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

Given that I wonder what the attitude of other search engines will be to indexing pages that include an ad for Adwords, which basically the "Ads from Google" link is? There are a few search engines that would say that as direct competition, including ATW and AV (Overture properties) and some as less direct competition (MSN etc).

Well, those other search engines list pages from About.com, which owns Sprinks and displays Sprinks PPC listings on every page of its "guidesites."

If a search engine were to exclude pages that displayed ads served by competitors, the search engine wouldn't stay in business very long.


 4:57 pm on Jun 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

musicales, i do run googleads ad default with tribalfusion and fastclick and they appear to be targeted ok, could be better i think, but sertainly i do not see unrelated ads. so google does not allow us to run their code as default with other ad management software, service?

loanuniverse, i tried to have googel code directly into my site and it did not make the targeting any better. wheather run on tribalfusion/fastclick or dirctly form my site it shows the same ads.


 4:59 pm on Jun 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

Loanuniverse and GoogleGuy,

Those are pretty good news :)!
If AdSense can give semi targeted results even without the page beeing cached, the "battle" is half won.

So if I upload a new page (with AdSense code on it), and some visitors visit it, it will trigger the bot to come to that page and crawl it? Thatīs a lot better than waiting a month or two.
That would be wonderful news!

2 things for the price of 1 :)

The only thing better than this, would be if we could add a custom parameter to the adsense code, to help the bot in case it didnīt understand the theme/subject of the page. And if Google wanted, this parameter would only be read in this case, when the bot canīt find enough data.

Best Regards,



 5:01 pm on Jun 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

yep but there are some major differences.

1. Google is a search engine itself with major exposure, unlike dedicated adservers which are far more transparent. About is a content portal but I don't think Sprinks is much to worry about given its size.

2. There are really only 2 major players - Adwords and Overture as far as text PPC is concerned though there are many "second rungers"

I think it is unlikely for other engines to drop sites or pages, but there are many shades of grey when it comes to ranking "penalties".


 5:51 pm on Jun 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

Genius, pure genius, I say.

I see this AdSense as the greatest marketing and advertising program ever to come about. Especially at the time when others like Yahoo, Alltheweb, and MSN are trying to come into play and take the market from Google.

Now Google will have possibly millions of websites advertising and showing the relevance of the search they can provide. No matter what ISP or Search engine the user is currently used to, Google will be seen and probably clicked on. As popular as Google is there are millions of people who have MSN and other ISP's who would never be aware of other options available to them as far as search portals.

They will not be able to escape the name Google. It will be seen everywhere. As long as Google gives a fair share for site owners to promote them, they will remain on top. The greatest thing Google is doing is not paying a penny for all the advertisements. They have created a new market where they can bring in more revenue and share with others the money that would have never been generated otherwise. Therefore they have free advertisements and even get paid to advertise.


 6:27 pm on Jun 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

The "Ads by Google" link could give some kind of benefit, if a new member registered through it... this is so usual, so why not?
If itīs now competitor Overture does it, why not them?
Yes, Google doesnīt need that, but that would be a nice way of saying "Thanks!"

Just my humble opinion...


 6:30 pm on Jun 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

Given that I wonder what the attitude of other search engines will be to indexing pages that include an ad for Adwords, which basically the "Ads from Google" link is? There are a few search engines that would see that as direct competition, including ATW and AV (Overture properties) and some as less direct competition (MSN etc)
You know, this would have meant nothing to me a couple of months ago, but lately MSN is the source of 33% of the search engine traffic to my site, with probably an additional 10% coming from non-google related sources. It used to be that 85% of the search engine traffic was google related (google, yahoo, aol search).

I wonder if there would be some retaliation.......


 8:54 pm on Jun 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

enotalone -
so google does not allow us to run their code as default with other ad management software, service?

Hopefully GoogleGuy can answer that one. There was definitely a distinction between when I ran ads through Burst (only 2 ads in a skyscraper;only semi-relevant;the same 2 ads on two completely different content sites); and when I ran them direct from the site (very precisely targetted to each of the two sites)

As I said I couldn't see any TOS about this, but someone else mentioned reading this earlier, and the above experience seems to suggest that's what's happening.


 12:55 pm on Jun 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

One more thing: Non-English Ads on English Pages

I have started getting different language ads on my purely English language site. Is anyone else seeing this, and is there an option to get ads only for English language?

Internet Master


 1:21 pm on Jun 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

I ahve few questions for you.

1..I personally love Adsense program,I still couldn't figure out how exactly if Tax Id issues works for International clients ,I am from India hence as such wouldn't be having any tax Id of US.Is there any other thing I can supply of Indian Tax system for the same.?

2.How do you like to pay international audience,like if the check crosses 100$, the postage might cost more for international postage,do you plan to charge extra for this?If so can we wait till the pay check reaches 500$ and then get couriered of the same.

Looking forward to hear from you, I would also like to welcome other forum members to contribute if they have any idea of the above questions.
With Regards

[edited by: aravindgp at 3:47 pm (utc) on June 22, 2003]


 3:44 pm on Jun 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

I still think the best would be to charge a fixed cost for payouts (basically the cost for somebody to print and mail the check). Payments happen on request. Then each webmaster can decide on tehir own when it's worth to get payment, or to wait a but longer for "economies of scale". Small webmaster will soon realise when it's not worth waiting for the check, because of costs. Larger sites could decide to wait longer, to save on check fees. And google wouldn't have to worry about when to send the cehck because it'd be payed for.

So if the check, say, costs $5 then in theory somebody coul request a check every $5 of $0 (cos they $5 would go in send fees) Google wouldn't care as they wouldn't loose anything, since their work is payed.

On the other end, huge sites oculd settle for a large 6monthly payout fo many 1000s s othat the pqyment fees would be negligible.



 3:49 pm on Jun 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

Glad you like it, Candleman. :) aravindgp, as far as the issues that you raise, I'm not expert enough to know the answers yet. Regarding the suggestions from you, and bluelook and others--this is great stuff, and helps us know where to think about refinements. My hunch is that there will be a period of solidifying our process, policies, etc. to make sure that we're doing a great job on the basics of the program. Then we'll be looking for ways to improve the program, and we want feedback for that. I like a lot of the ideas here and will certainly suggest them as possible future features to investigate. Ultimately, we want a program that's great for users, advertisers, and publishers, and some of the suggestions here are good ways to improve. :)


 4:00 pm on Jun 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the response .Will wait for clarification.

I have one suggestion.

I would like you to judge a site before it can display adwords based on the traffic if it's a site in highly competitive commerical industry.

If a site is highly trafficed and it's in the competitive commerical industry then it's good to have adwords, it serves the advertisers , web publishers and google alike.

But if a site contains content of highly commericial industry and it's less trafficed, there's highly probability of fraud happening.
Not that I am under-estimating google's fraud control department, just that this could keep of advertisers worries at bay.

If this is already taken care of when approving a site ,then do over look this suggestion.

With Regards


 5:30 pm on Jun 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hi GG,

User interface suggestion - haven't seen this previously suggested. Add in cookie support to the adsense homepage so that you don't have to type in your e-mail address and password every time you login from your home PC.


 5:38 pm on Jun 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

My prime suggestion would be to introudce reporting by page, so we can see which pages are working the best. I can see this might be pretty processor-intensive though.


 6:28 pm on Jun 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

On another forum, I saw a number of posts by advertisers who weren't using Google "content site ads" (which I took to mean AdSense ads) because of the low conversion rates and ROI they'd encountered. I don't know how typical their experiences are, but I suspect that AdSense will work very well indeed in some categories.

Take a a cruise-planning site that has an article a Caviar Cruise Lines Mediterranean cruise aboard the M/V SEVRUGA. Logic would suggest that a person clicking through on a travel agent's "Caviar Cruise Bookings" AdWord from that article would be a highly desirable lead, since he or she would already know the basics about Caviar Cruises (including the fact that Caviar Cruises is a luxury line with per diems in the US $800 range). In other words, that reader might be a better prospect than the person who's clicked on the Caviar Cruise Bookings AdWord from a Google search on "Caviar Cruises."

Still, there may be other pages or sites where a Caviar Cruise Bookings ad would have low conversion ratios: e.g., a Sunday newspaper travel section that appeals largely to a middle-class demographic,, where readers may not have any inkling that a cruise aboard the SEVRUGA costs $800 a day, or where readers may be looking for a cruise in the Caribbean (where Caviar doesn't operate). To some extent, the AdWord can prequalify leads by using words like "luxury" or "Mediterranean," but the travel agent buying AdWords for Caviar Cruise bookings might prefer to select the content sites where the AdWords will run: e.g., sites for sophisticated cruisers or for travelers to the Mediterranean.

If AdSense advertisers could include or exclude individual content sites, AdSense might have a better change of winning over advertisers who are willing to experiment with content sites but want some control over where their AdWords appear.


 7:00 pm on Jun 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

interesting europe. that choice of sites to be displayed on and the ability for publishers to sell direct to be displayed on their own or others sites is something which at least one other (very small) text ad network has been doing for a while. I guess though with all these features, it all costs and we as publishers will get less per click.

We are one of those adwords advertisers (we have a commercial site as well as info sites) who has turned of "content" sites as they had a significantly higher cost per click with no discernable better ROI. However now having the boot on the other foot, we sure LOVE all those high CPC clicks. It will be interesting to see how it all pans out seeing we are now seeing it from both sides of the pitch!


 8:21 pm on Jun 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

Ad-NonSense I'd say.

Just looking at my Adwords statistics gives a good indication of the potential revenues you'll earn from Google. Off the top of my head, context sensitive ads for one of my keywords had 2000 impressions last month, and cost me 8 cents per click: Count that: 2 clicks = 16 cents.

EuropeforVisitors - you may be right. There are a few good informational sites out there like yours which are good platforms for selling ads, but not enough I fear. And in any case, you should be selling that cruise for 25% commission - not 25 cents a click!

I think if Adsense survives, it will be on the margin, just powered by Google's huge following. But it won't be the money spinner that Adwords is. If it weren't for Google's name this project would be dead on the starting block.


 10:02 pm on Jun 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

chiyo wrote:

We are one of those adwords advertisers (we have a commercial site as well as info sites) who has turned of "content" sites as they had a significantly higher cost per click with no discernable better ROI.

What were the content sites that AdWords ran on before AdSense came along? On another forum, the names that I saw mentioned were HowStuffWorks, Knight Ridder Digital, BURST! Media, Weather Underground, and Google Groups. It's pretty easy to understand why those sites might not generate good ROI:

- A person looking at a page on digital-camera technology at HowStuffWorks isn't likely to be as good a sales prospect as a person who's reading a review of the Canon PowerShot S50 at Steve's Digicams or DPReview.

- A person checking a forecast at Weather Underground isn't likely to be in the market for anything, unless he's trying to decide when to buy an umbrella or a snowblower.

- Forums (of which Google Groups would be an example) have never been known for being high-quality ad media. Even when big-name Web sites were charging high CPMs for editorial or search pages, forum and chat views were going for a relative pittance.

IMHO, those early Google "content site" partners weren't the best venues for highly targeted ads like AdWords, and that's why they performed poorly. With AdSense, "content site" AdWords should be on much more targeted pages and sites than they were in the pre-AdSense days. To use a hypothetical example, an AdWord for "20% Off Tumi Luggage" in a travel site's article on "packing for your honeymoon" could be very effective. It certainly should have a higher ROI than the same AdWord on a HowStuffWorks page about airline luggage-handling systems. :-)


 3:57 am on Jun 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

I agree - a way for AdWords advertisers to include only specific AdSense sites would be good.

Actually, it would be nice to be able to make 1-to-1 arrangements, where an advertiser and a content site decide they're a good match, but are happy to pay a trusted third-party (ie Google) to take care of tracking, fraud detection, payments, etc. That might be a relatively minor enhancement to AdWords/AdSense, that would open up a whole new range of options.


 4:20 am on Jun 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

suropeforvisitors wrote >>It's pretty easy to understand why those sites might not generate good ROI: <<

very good point europe. We will turn them on again in a few weeks to see if things have changed.

Weve been cautiously optimisitic on a revival for online advertising for niche content/info sites like ours for several months.

Google may well have given this a massive push.

Why? Because like adwords, they give smaller players an "in". Because traditional online ad networks still use "old advertising models" of volume (e.g. high minimum impression cut offs, sliding scales to give higher volume publishers more return per impression or click), they caused many irrelevant ads to appear in major sites, and people just stopped clicking during the dot com bust.

Now what Google has done with Adsense could well be a move as significant as when they first introduced fast, simple-interface, uncluttered and non-commercially influenced SERPS several years ago and wiped the opposition. Basically they are exploiting the nature of the web - (a vehicle for niching content) and letting small specialist web publishers/sites get in on the action, similar to the opportunity OV and Adwords gave to smaller advertisers to advertise even with very small advertising budgets.

I guess that only google though, with their massive reach of advertisers and publishers could do this, along with their continuing strategy to work with small publishers rther than build the massive exclusive monopolies and oligarchies that their competitors copied from the "old media" before online published started transforming the industry (Harry Potter excepted!)

The signs are there, albeit at an early stage, that Google may do to the on-line advertising industry what they did to the search industry - offer a killer "obvious" solution which changed the way other companies started using search.

Its also great to see all the content/info guys on WebmasterWorld posting away again, and that a lot of our work may start paying off.


 5:30 am on Jun 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

I couldn't agree more with Chiyo. Until this came along, I'd pretty much given up on making any kind of income from my web sites. But if my results from the last few days continue, I'll at least be able to recover my hosting costs from AdSense.


 7:05 am on Jun 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

And in any case, you should be selling that cruise for 25% commission - not 25 cents a click!

Look up the equivalent per click earnings you get from affiliate programs. Then compare that to how much the same merchant is prepared to pay per click at Google or Overture.

It is not uncommon to find merchants paying $1 a click at PPCSEs, yet affiliates find it hard to get more than a few cents per click from that merchant's affiliate program.

In such cases, AdSense makes more sense.

And it's one of the reasons why AdSense may spell bad news for all the ripoff aff progs out there.


 7:29 am on Jun 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

I definitely have to chime in on this one!

I have a long history with affiliate programs. During the crazy dotcom boom, I was making as much as $11,000 each month in revenue from affiliate programs, largely by -- yes, I'm evil -- buying up terms on Overture. Back then, it was easy to buy popular terms for 1-10 cents, and quickly get 12-50 cents per click on average from affiliate programs.

The trick (formerly and currently)? Pick "rich" genres (dating, credit card, and -- though I didn't venture into this area -- porn, for instance). Measure ROI carefully and frequently. And create landing pages that offer impatient surfers a quick gateway to the 'real' programs BUT also more curious/skeptical surfers some actual content (e.g., reviews, tips) so that your page ends up providing some value.

Nowadays, of course, it's all different. Gone are the days of being able to buy most terms for popular programs at anything remotely near succesful 3rd party affiliate ROIs. And while I understandably miss the goofy fun income I enjoyed previously, I must say that I do think the change -- brought about by market forces, really -- is for the better.

Despite my joking about being "evil" earlier in this note, though, I don't think I was really a bad guy. I bought up terms like, 'apply for credit card' and actually created a landing page comparing various cards, their benefits, their terms, and so on... enabling people to make some informed choices that they couldn't get just by jumping straight to a single credit card company's site.

But anyway, while things HAVE settled down now, there are still many instances in which "honest" affiliate programs (and their affiliates) still make sense. I plan on creating a content-rich section of detailed online music service reviews. In that case, I'm probably going to make more from pressplay / rhapsody affiliate income than I would from AdWords while still providing an honest service to my visitors.

The dating pages on my site also still continue to bring in more click-thrus and per-click profits than AdWords for me.

But, boy, I can tell you... I'm this close to dumping Amazon.com. My income from that company has consistently been under 5 cents per click. I'd probably get more money by replacing all those links and banners with "Please donate $1 to my site". Or if I could just put AdWords on both the left AND right panels of my pages... :D

So, in a (long) nutshell:

some affiliate programs < AdSense < other affiliate programs

One of the coolest aspects of AdSense, though? I agree with Max^3: this is really going to put some pressure on less-reputable affiliate programs :)


 12:31 pm on Jun 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

i don't quite get the business case of adsense, from the perspective of a website owner:


  • average CPC: estimated 0.1 $ (high estimation, isn't it?)
  • average click rate: 1% (taking an extremly high estimation as google says adwords perform better than banners due to their contextual relevance)
  • revenue share: 50% (high estimation again, strangly enough they don't disclose the percentage)


  • 0.05 cents per page view, = CPM of 0.5$
  • you need 200,000 page views to get your minimum payout
  • to make $1000 a month you'll need to serve 2M pages a month. given that you put 4 adwords on one page (e.g. skyscaper size) you're serving 8 million ad impressions to google now..

    for me this doesn't look like an attractive business case.
    do the calculation with lower assumptions and it looks even worse.

    ps. in case this was said before - sorry! didn't read through all pages, could'nt find anything through site search though.

  • vitaplease

     12:50 pm on Jun 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

    I agree Muesli,

    for the moment its probably mostly meant for covering hosting costs - unless you deal with some niche areas.

    You can argue your numbers - for example Overture numbers in this thread:
    are $0.35 to $0.36, yet Google may still be lagging behind on average.

    but even then its no home-run.

    (long time no hear by the way ;))


     1:01 pm on Jun 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

    muesli. Adsense prohibits us from quoting such things. All i can say after a few days is that your assumptions

    >>average CPC: estimated 0.1 $ (high estimation, isn't it?)<<

    >>average click rate: 1% (taking an extremly high estimation as google says adwords perform better than banners due to their contextual relevance)<<

    are not applying in our case. Lets just say they are under-estimations.

    I DO think that Google has a quite high minimum cut-off for CPC for ads to appear on Adsense content sites.

    [edited by: chiyo at 1:03 pm (utc) on June 23, 2003]


     1:02 pm on Jun 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

    # average CPC: estimated 0.1 $ (high estimation, isn't it?)
    # average click rate: 1% (taking an extremly high estimation as google says adwords perform better than banners due to their contextual relevance)
    # revenue share: 50% (high estimation again, strangly enough they don't disclose the percentage)

    Reality so far (as reported by others in this thread and observed by myself) appears to be less pessimistic than you are:

    * An average CPC of 0.1$ is a low estimation.
    * A click rate of 1% is a low estimation.
    * A revenue share of 50% may be a realistic or again a low estimation.

    I have very little data as of yet, but I'm guessing that I may get to the payout limit with 100'000 page views or less.


     1:36 pm on Jun 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

    of course the context of your website makes a big difference. i can imagine that websites on high-value topics such as car-purchasing, jewelery, tourism have far higher CPCs and sites with a certain search-purpose have higher click rates.

    @ chiyo & bird:
    do your examples fall into the above category?

    but what about an average mom&pop website? eg. a website or discussion board not focused on anything commercial, a site commercially unspecific? any reports?


     1:51 pm on Jun 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

    meusli, i agree the context of the site is crucial. The pages we are using it on at the moment are content pages relating to business travel (not commercial at all - its really just reviews and surveys). I think in this area CPC's are high.

    I see the design and philosophy of Adwords being highly targeted to niche sites and pages with plenty of static content and/or authority. I cant really see it working as well with say "commercial" sites (too many competitive issues) or for sites which attract lower income groups.

    I dont think i would bother having Adsense on very broadly focused pages, on pages with lots of links, or pages that don't attract people with a good disposable income or are not thinking about buying anything at all (like some discussion boards or blogs or maybe news pages)

    Choosing the pages on which to display Adsense i think Makessense.


     2:05 pm on Jun 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

    for me this doesn't look like an attractive business case

    I'm not running a business, though - mine is just a hobby site. And as someone else suggested, AdSense is largely a way of covering my hosting costs, which I'd never found a way of doing before.

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