Sunday, February 14, 2010

Making Sense of AdSense

Let's say that you put up a web page that, for example, talks about baseball and the latest hitting techniques. Then you place yourGoogle AdSense code on the page and when you refresh the page you get advertisements for Lebanese Nomads that collect baseballs? Ok, maybe your ads aren't that irrelevant, but you get the point.

If you run a blog or a website that does not necessarily concentrate on one particular topic but a multitude of topics then you have probably had some difficulty getting Google to display the proper ads for your page. Well, I have developed a little trick. I don't know if anyone else uses this trick, I haven't checked, but if you don't then you might benefit from it.

On a particular site of mine I was having this exact problem with one of my pages, so here is what I did. I opened Adobe Photoshop (or any image editing program) and I created an image that was 1 pixel high and 1 pixel wide. Then I filled the canvas with the exact same color as the background of the web page I was having difficulty with. I then saved that image as "spacer.gif", uploaded to my server and inserted it into my web page near the top but off to the side where no one would be clicking their mouse.

Then, and here comes the important part, I surfed around the internet for some text, any text that was keyword relevant rich of the topic that I wanted ads displayed for. I collected a good amount of text, maybe 500-600 words of it. I made sure that there was no site addresses, trademarks, or copyright information in the text so nobody would be able to tell where I got it from if they did happen to see it (which is VERY unlikely). I then copied the text to the clipboard and inserted an ALT tag into my image tag on the page in question. Inside the ALT tag I pasted the entire contents of the clipboard and then just closed the ALT attribute with an ending double-quote. Then I uploaded my new page to the web and waited about 20 minutes.

Bingo! Relevant ads, just like that. Now from what I can gather, this is not against the Terms of Service of Google's AdSense program AS LONG AS the ads that you are forcing are relevant to the main content of your site. There is nothing wrong to force auto -parts ads if you run a commercial auto-parts website. It is just better business that's all.

The good part is that the ALT tag will usually only display itself if the user rolls their mouse over the image and keeps it there, and being that the image is only 1 square pixel it makes it REALLY difficult to do that. This has worked for me about 80% of the time, so give it a try.

In the e-business world time is not the only thing worth money, space is as well. Good luck with your endeavors and be sure to check out my new blog where I will be posting more neat tricks to help expand your wallet =).

Jim Nesbitt CIW

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