Web Business Opportunity: AdSense Referrals

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Why is it that when people ask about web business opportunities, I immediately talk about AdSense, but hardly ever mention AdSense Referrals?

The AdSense for Content scheme dominates my thoughts, perhaps because, for many sites, it is the main earner. But AdSense Referrals can also bring significant income, and the product list has grown tremendously from the original Google product line.

Not that there is anything wrong with the Google products. Firefox, and most of the applications in the Google Pack have been my firm favorites since the day they were launched.

There used to be an issue with WordPress, adding line breaks in the AdSense Referral code, which made it unusable, without a plug-in (Script Enabler). The latest WordPress version certainly has no problem now. I have tested this with 2.2.3, though slightly earlier versions will probably work.

AdSense Referral can be used on pages with AdSense for Content and AdSense Search boxes, though you need to be careful of overloading the page and making it look spammy. However you monetize your site, if you put revenue before value for your visitors, then they, quite rightly, will look elsewhere in future.

Google includes limits for the number advertising units you may place. You should not see these as goals. One well placed unit is usually better than slapping in the maximum allowed. By there nature, Google for Content adverts rotate depending on how many advertisers are bidding for the type of content you provide.

Blog platforms like WordPress can occasionally present a problem here, because several pages are often presented together on the blog page, category, author, tag and search results pages. Though you have written individual articles, when several are presented as a list, they are regarded as a single page for advertising purposes.

There are several ways round this, and none is better than another. Your visitor profile is unique, and the way they respond to adverts depends not only on their demographic, but your content and design. You should try different options, and monitor your results to see what options and combinations work best for you.

Your options include:

  • Use a “legal” number of adverts in fixed positions by amending the header, footer, sidebar or page layout templates in your theme.
  • Use a “legal” number of adverts in fixed positions by adding text widgets in your theme configuration.
  • Use an add-on, such as Adsense-Deluxe, to control the number of adverts as the page is rendered
  • Only include adverts in the body of posts below the <!--more--> command.

A recent addition to AdSense Referrals, means you can now set up a basket of keywords to select from the ever-expanding range of products. Google will automatically rotate the adverts for your chosen keywords or categories, and will even serve the best performing ones if you ask it.

If you want to know more about a particular web business opportunity – AdSense Referrals, AdSense for Content, or any other form of monetization in the context of your website or business plan, I am happy to give you advice. Just ask in Shrewdies Interactive Webmasters Forum.