Have A Google AdSense Account? Do Not Have Family & Friends Click On The Ads!

One of the ways that bloggers can generate revenue on their Web site is to set up a Google AdSense account. The process is fairly simple and the folks at Google are more than willing to place their advertisements on your site. On most Web sites, you, the owner, can also select where the ads appear and in some cases can even specify what type of ads should appear on your site.

I am not an expert on the way Google operates its AdSense program nor do I have a clue on how the company decides what ads will appear on any given Web site. But I do know one thing. If Google selects your site in the AdSense program, do not contact your family or friends and have them click on the ads to help you generate income.

Here’s why.

Google keeps track of the number of visitors to your site as well as the number of advertisements that are clicked upon. Though the exact formula that Google uses to determine abusive behavior is a guarded secret, common sense would dictate that if you have 100 visitors a day, with 25 ad clicks, something is definitely wrong.

So what is an average visitor to click ratio?

I can only speak for myself. I checked from July 1, 2007 to July, 2010, and the average percentage was 2.10; this translates into every 100 visitors averaging about two ad clicks.  Your mileage may vary.

A word of caution. If you have your family and friends click on the ads hosted on your site by Google, your account WILL be suspended or terminated.

Comments welcome.

Walmart TV Movies – Are They Meant To Advertise ‘Great Value’ Products?

Back in April, Walmart premiered a movie called ‘Secrets Of The Mountain’ which one could say was a family friendly movie. There was no swearing or sexual explicit content, but their was plenty of advertising for Walmart’s brand of products called Great Value. In one scene which took place in the kitchen, it was very noticeable that this family were Walmart people. Pictured was a box of Great Value cereal and also a 1/2 gallon of milk which were plainly in view, also with the Great Value logo.

So this evening we are going to have the privilege to watch another Walmart production called The Jensen Project which will air on NBC at 8:00pm eastern time. I am going to be interested in how many Great Value products pop up this time on our screen during the airing of the movie. Out middle daughter calls Great Value products Great Crap. LOL

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

PS Get the Great Value popcorn ready for tonight’s movie!

Google’s New Video Ad Format

There should be an image here!Google has for sometime now, remained the kings of the ad jungle when it comes to online advertising. Well now it looks like they are working to expand on this a bit with what could be the next big thing.

Considering Google successes against any perceived failures the company has had, I think that it’s safe to say that Google’s advertising moving into the video realm is likely to be very successful.

Taking things into the next level, Google is apparently working on a new video ad format that is not only more dynamic, but also interactive. I see this as adding more interest for those struggling to get their exist adwords efforts to meet with their expectations.

Netzero DSL Broadband Service For $9.95 A Month, But It Is Not Available Everywhere

This a.m. I viewed a commercial on the tube from Netzero, it which they are advertising a new DSL broadband service for only $9.95 a month. So I decided to do some investigation to see what this offer included, and also what limitations were in play.

The first stumbling block was that a landline must be installed at the residence where you want service. This is required to determine availability to sign up online. I don’t have a landline so I called Netzero customer service in which I encountered an automated system that again wanted a landline number to proceed. FWIW, you can get AT&T DSL service without having to have a landline service, of course you won’t see it being offered for $9.95 a month.

But is Netzero really offering DSL service for only $9.95 a month? Yes, but the offer is only for 6 months, after which it reverts to $22.95 a month. In the tiny print at the bottom of the Netzero web site is this:

* Introductory offers not available in all areas. Additional fees may apply including a network management surcharge of up to $2.95. Plans may require a commitment period; commitment periods may vary depending on service location. Discounted plans will revert to the then current rate after the discount period has ended. All plans require a one-time processing & handling fee of $29.95. Cancellation prior to the end of the commitment period may incur an early termination fee.

** Limited guarantee, applies only to first month of service. Refund limited to first month’s subscription fee and $29.95 processing & handling fee, must cancel within first 30 days of service to receive refund. Does not apply to registrations with free introductory periods. Guarantee available for limited time only.

I checked different landline numbers from family, associates and friends from around the country and found a wide variety of different options and that the introductory offer of $9.95 was not available everywhere. Also I did make contact with Netzero customer service and confirmed that you do need an existing landline to get Netzero DSL service.

Netzero also offers faster speeds of  3.0Mbps for $27.95 and also 6.0Mbps for $33.95.

Comments welcome

Source – Netzero

Microsoft Dumps ‘Bing Cashback’ – You Will Have 1 Year To Use Your Bing Bucks

Microsoft tried an experiment that seems not to have lived up to expectations. Called ‘Bing Cashback’ the program involved thousands of advertisers trying to reach you the Internet shopper with what was claimed were deals. Microsoft claims that by eliminating the cashback program they will be able to introduce a better experience both for advertisers and for the shoppers who use Bing. The only problem is that Microsoft doesn’t say what the fabulous experience is going to be.

On their blog site they stated that:

Why are we doing this? When we originally began to offer the cashback feature, it was designed to help advertisers reach you with compelling offers, and to provide a new type of shopping experience that would change user behavior and attract a bunch of new users to Bing.

In lots of ways, this was a great feature – we had over a thousand merchant partners delivering great offers to customers and seeing great ROI on their campaigns, and we were taking some of the advertising revenue and giving it back to customers. But after a couple of years of trying, we did not see the broad adoption that we had hoped for.

So we are taking all the learning from the effort and putting it into some new programs for you and our advertisers designed to provide amazing shopping experiences for consumers and great opportunities for advertisers.

I personally still do not believe that Microsoft understands search as well as Google does. It would be like me going down and buying a Ferrari. Just because I own a fast car it does not make me a race car driver. Microsoft is going to struggle with search for a long time. By giving up the cashback offer, they seem to understand that no matter what they do, even buying Yahoo, is not going to help.

Just my two cents.

Comments welcome.

Source – Bing blog

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Google AdSense – A Look Inside

Google has decided to open its doors and let us look inside its AdSense program. On its blog site it states it is doing this in the name of transparency and to make public how the program works. On its blog, Google shows how revenues are generated and how the wealth is spread between itself and the sites that host AdSense advertisements. Since 2003, Google has protected this information and we in the AdSense world were left on our own to try and figure out how the program functioned behind the scenes. On its blog site, Google states:

As you may already know, AdSense is comprised of several products. The most popular are AdSense for content, which allows publishers to generate revenue from ads placed alongside web content, and AdSense for search, which allows publishers to place a custom Google search engine on their site and generate revenue from ads shown next to search results. Since AdSense for content and AdSense for search offer publishers different services, the revenue shared with publishers differs for each of these products.

AdSense for content publishers, who make up the vast majority of our AdSense publishers, earn a 68% revenue share worldwide. This means we pay 68% of the revenue that we collect from advertisers for AdSense for content ads that appear on your sites. The remaining portion that we keep reflects Google’s costs for our continued investment in AdSense — including the development of new technologies, products and features that help maximize the earnings you generate from these ads. It also reflects the costs we incur in building products and features that enable our AdWords advertisers to serve ads on our AdSense partner sites. Since launching AdSense for content in 2003, this revenue share has never changed.

We pay our AdSense for search partners a 51% revenue share, worldwide, for the search ads that appear through their implementations. As with AdSense for content, the proportion of revenue that we keep reflects our costs, including the significant expense, research and development involved in building and enhancing our core search and AdWords technologies. The AdSense for search revenue share has remained the same since 2005, when we increased it.

There is more information on the Google blog site which further explains the in and outs and how in the future, the revenue formula could be changed.  I would just like to know how Google determines which ads are placed on a site? I know on my site revenue is like a roller coast, with lows and highs, which I personally have never been able to figure out.

Do you have a clue on how Google decides which ads go where and why a particular ads generates a higher revenue return than others? Signed, curious. LOL

Comments welcome.

Source – Google blog

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New York Times Wants To Be Your Blogger Friendly Paywall

We have been bullied, threatened, and generally intimated by newspapers such as the New York Times with their new business model known as a paywall. The paywall is the newspaper industry response to its inability to generate sources of revenue on the Internet through Google ads or other tried and true methods. Newspapers have not only lost advertising revenue, but also readership as well with their printed editions. The papers tried the Internet but failed to grasp the nature of the Internet and are now scrabbling to justify why we consumers need to now pay for something that once was free.

But the New York Times does not wish to alienate the blogging community who enjoys linking to the news items. The Times will continue to offer free news items, but will be limited to a certain number. Here is what the Times says:

So if the Times puts up a wall, it could see its links dwindle, because bloggers don’t want to point to paid sites.


Probably not. Because that theory requires the Times management to work hard to scare away bloggers and other linkers (from Twitter, Facebook, etc). But the Times says it’s going to make the common sense move of encouraging links to the site.

Remember that the Times is building a “metered model” where visitors to the site can read a certain number of articles per month for free. That’s designed to keep attracting the casual, drive-by readers that make a up a large chunk of most sites’ traffic. Even better:  Bloggy links to the site won’t count against readers’ limits.

This paywall experiment will be interesting to follow. I personally believe that the newspaper industry is not going to survive since I am sure someone, somewhere is going to offer all the news we can absorb for free.

Comments welcome.


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Google CEO – TV Ads Will Be A Cash Cow

Google wants to do to TV advertising what that have successfully done to the Internet, and if every thing falls into place this would be another cash cow for the company. In an interview CEO Schmidt stated that he believes that Google’s target ads would be more beneficial for advertisers since the ads would be specific to specific viewers. The Google CEO was not sure who would be impacted by these changes but would could guess that it would be Madison Avenue.

The article also states that:

Schmidt also said that TV “has not been reinvented in any significant way since color television was brought in in the mid-1960s,” but that now thanks to the power of the processors inside modern television sets, they can run a full web browser and “you click a button and boom, there you are with the Internet.”

Good point. TV and newspapers have been basically do the same thing for years and need to reinvent themselves in order to survive. Which makes one wonder. How far will the Feds allow Google to go before hitting the company with the monopoly card?

Comments welcome.

Source- Gigaom

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Facebook – I Told You It Was Up To No Good!

The Wall Street Journal has reported that Facebook and other social networking sites are sending personal information of their members to advertisers. This was something that all of the social networks promised would not happen. So who is getting this data? Can you spell Google and Yahoo?

It gets better, boys and girls. These companies stated that they were unaware that this information was being sent to them. Even if they did, they would not use such information to increase their profits, because they love us all.

The article also states that:

Across the Web, it’s common for advertisers to receive the address of the page from which a user clicked on an ad. Usually, they receive nothing more about the user than an unintelligible string of letters and numbers that can’t be traced back to an individual. With social networking sites, however, those addresses typically include user names that could direct advertisers back to a profile page full of personal information. In some cases, user names are people’s real names.

Most social networks haven’t bothered to obscure user names or ID numbers from their Web addresses, said Craig Wills, a professor of computer science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, who has studied the issue.

The sites may have been breaching their own privacy policies as well as industry standards, which say sites shouldn’t share and advertisers shouldn’t collect personally identifiable information without users’ permission. Those policies have been put forward by advertising and Internet companies in arguments against the need for government regulation.

I think that Congress needs to set up a committee to investigate this immediately. After all, our elected officials have nothing better to do than to protect us from ourselves! LOL

Comments welcome.

Source – WJS

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Google Has A Secret Plan To Save The Newspapers

According to the chief economist at Google, a newspaper’s strength is in how many subscriptions the newspaper has. Google also wants to counter the thinking that it is Google that has destroyed the newspaper industry. Instead, Google states that since 1947, subscriptions have declined dramatically at all major newspaper publications and cites these figures to support its claim that it is not at fault.

In 1947, each 100 U.S. households bought an average of about 140 newspapers daily. Now they buy fewer than 50, and the number has fallen nonstop through those years. If Google had never been invented, changes in commuting patterns, the coming of 24-hour TV news and online information sites that make a newspaper’s information stale before it appears, the general busyness of life, and many other factors would have created major problems for newspapers.

I have to agree. The day of the printed newspaper is ending because, by the time the print paper hits the news stand, the news is stale. In addition, all of the major retailers have their sale notifications online and are more than happy to send email alerts when items go on sale. The major advertising I see in our local newspapers are auto dealerships, who also are slow to grasp the power of the Internet.

In addition, companies such as eBay and Craigslist have also drained off substantial amounts of advertising dollars that the newspapers once relied on. Why would I want to spend $50 or more to try to sell my car with a newspaper ad when I can use Craigslist for free?

With this in mind, Google has what appears to be a secret plan to save the newspapers. Secret, because Google has not gone public with its proposals and, instead, has sat back and let people like Rupert Murdoch rant and rave, spit venom, and basically act like a cry baby. So what is Google’s plan?

That goal is a reinvented business model to sustain professional news-gathering. This is essential if the “crowd sourcing” and citizen journalism that have already transformed news coverage—for instance, the videos from inside the Iranian protests last summer—are not to be the world’s only source of information. Accounts like those are certainly valuable, but they will be all the more significant if they are buttressed by reports from people who are paid to keep track of government agencies, go into danger zones, investigate and analyze public and private abuse, and generally serve as systematic rather than ad hoc observers. (I am talking about what journalism should do, not what it often does.)

Google’s likely route toward this destination, however, differs in crucial and sometimes uncomfortable ways from the one the existing news business would probably choose on its own. The differences are natural, given the cultural chasm that separates a wildly successful, collectively cocky, engineer-dominated, very internationally staffed West Coast tech start-up from a national news establishment that is its opposite in all ways: East Coast–centric, liberal arts–heavy, less international in staff and leadership (more Brits and Australians than in the tech industry, fewer Indians, Chinese, and Russians), dominated by organizations founded in the distant past, and at the moment strikingly downcast and even panicked.

I must admit Google is pushing back at the newspapers and is calling it like it is. Different coasts with different cultures. So now it is time to put these differences aside and get back to business. Hopefully most of the major newspapers will jump on the Google bandwagon before it is too late for them to bail themselves out.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.


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How Does Craigslist Make A Lot Of Money? Selling Sex Ads

Craigslist is one of the most successful companies on the Internet, but the way it makes some of its money is coming under scrutiny. It is estimated that almost a third of the income that the company takes in is coming from sex ads, and that this type of advertising is increasing. You may recall that Craigslist came under criticism for violence associated with some of the ads that were posted, and it appeared that the company had changed. But it appears that ads for prostitution are still appearing.

A recent news article also states:

The ads, many of which blatantly advertise prostitution, are expected to bring $36 million this year, according to a new projection of Craigslist’s income. That is three times the revenue in last year’s projection.

Law-enforcement officials have been fighting a mostly losing battle to get Craigslist to rein in the sex ads. At the same time, officials of organizations that oppose human trafficking say the site remains the biggest online hub for selling women against their will.

Last week, in the latest example, the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested 14 members of the Gambino crime family on charges of, among other things, selling the sexual services of girls ages 15 to 19 on Craigslist.

I don’t think any of us would support the exploitation of young girls publicly being advertised by any method. Hopefully the people at Craigslist will once again be asked nicely to monitor the ads placed on the site. If Craigslist chooses to not play well with others, it may be time for legal action to be taken the company.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Source – NY Times

Source – Business Insider

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The Apple iPhone Prototype – Lost, Found, Returned, The End

I am sure that by now you have heard the story of the Apple guy who left the prototype of a new Apple iPhone 4G behind in a bar. It seems that the phone may have slipped from his trousers onto a bar stool, found by a patron, sold to Gizmodo, examined, photographed, wrote about and finally was returned to Apple.

During the period the phone was away from the hands of Apple, almost every news agency carried the story. But there was common theme that the news agencies had and that was the leaked phone was a plant, providing free advertising for the folks at Apple. Let’s face it. Free advertising is hard to come by these days with every one charging something for even free news. So one could rationally conclude that the Apple employee may of left the phone behind on purpose. This drinking establishment is a frequent hot spot for Silicon Valley types to rub elbows and converse about technological stuff over a mug full of suds. What better place to leave the new phone?

Of course if the phone was left by accident, one could ask why the employee even had the phone away from the Apple campus? Apple is noted for their high security measures to protect their new products from prying eyes. It is also conceivable that since the phone looked like its older sibling, that Apple thought the disguise would work.

So what do you think? Was the phone accidentally lost or lost on purpose?

Comments welcome.


Does Using Adblocking Hurt Those Sites You Like To Visit?

This past weekend I read an article from ARS Technica by Ken Fisher, in which he describes why adblocking hurts the web sites that you love to visit. He first explained that many of the people who surf the Internet and visit sites they enjoy, did not know that using adblocking hurt the web site itself. He explained that there is a misconception that if people visit a site and do not click on ads, that using an adblocker should have no monetary affect  on the site. But the authors stated this:

Most sites, at least sites the size of ours, are paid on a per view basis. If you have an ad blocker running, and you load 10 pages on the site, you consume resources from us (bandwidth being only one of them), but provide us with no revenue. Because we are a technology site, we have a very large base of ad blockers. Imagine running a restaurant where 40% of the people who came and ate didn’t pay. In a way, that’s what ad blocking is doing to us. Just like a restaurant, we have to pay to staff, we have to pay for resources, and we have to pay when people consume those resources. The difference, of course, is that our visitors don’t pay us directly but indirectly by viewing advertising.

He also stated this:

My argument is simple: blocking ads can be devastating to the sites you love. I am not making an argument that blocking ads is a form of stealing, or is immoral, or unethical, or makes someone the son of the devil. It can result in people losing their jobs, it can result in less content on any given site, and it definitely can affect the quality of content. It can also put sites into a real advertising death spin. As ad revenues go down, many sites are lured into running advertising of a truly questionable nature.

The bottom line is that adblocking does have an affect on web sites, especially the web sites you enjoy visiting. But what was also presented was an experiment that ARS Technica tried, in which the company blocked out the entire content of their site for those who used adblockers. The experiment worked very well, but the results were mixed. The assumption was that people who used adblockers were doing so to stop a web site from making money. But that was not the case, since many people were not aware that this was the result of blocking ads on their favorite sites.

But for those of you who use the popular adblocking program called Adblock Plus which is a Firefox add-on, you can help your favorite site by a simple mouse clock. In the program drop down menu, and when you are on your favorite site, just click to disable adblocking on that site, or any sites you enjoy visiting.

Comments welcome.


Google Updates Their Patents, Behavioral Advertising, Video Promotions and more

Google is updating their patents in what is being described as the company’s ability to deliver targeted ads, new video content and additional advertising for their mapping services. The new patents that have been updated further suggest that Google is going to use more behavioral advertising to target their audience. The updating of their patent’s is sure to draw criticism by Google’s opponents who may suggest that what Google is doing could infringe on users rights to privacy.

In a recent article it states the changes that Google is going to make to their current patents, which include the following:

The patents range from a method to deliver, target and measure advertising over networks to an overlay for advertisements in video content. For a company that attempts to stay away from the word “targeting” comes an update on a patent originally filed on July 24, 2009. The filing, updated on Jan. 28, 2010, provides a method to deliver ad targeting and measuring tools over networks.

Aside from behavioral targeting and auctions, another patent updated in January describes a video ad overlay. The process appears to be similar to the lower-third ads created in YouTube. Updated on Jan. 14, but filed on June 9, 2009, the patent describes a method for creating ad overlays for use in digital videos. Attributes of a video overlay advertisement are entered through a browser-based interface that functions on a client device and communicates to a server. The server receives the signal, and in response, provides the client device with a video overlay advertisement with the desired attributes.

Google also updated a patent filing on video promotions in a video-sharing site. The patent abstract describes a method of promoting video content on a video hosting Web site. The technology helps to select the video and match it with an ad. The promoter selects associated keywords and indicates financial terms for the promotion, for example, by agreeing to a predetermined cost-per-click or cost-per-impression payment with the video hosting site.

The patent filing to generate and serve tiles in a digital mapping system describes techniques that enable online serving of aesthetically pleasing maps. An image tile-based digital mapping system is configured for generating map tiles during an offline session, and serving selected sets of those tiles to a client when requested. It also describes a method for handling map labels and other such features in a tile-based mapping system, such as when a map label crosses map tile boundaries. These are served up through servers or computing devices.

The folks at Google are also going to introduce more panoramic and 3-D imaging to their mapping services. Google will also add additional advertising to their mapping services. Google also plans to collect additional data in order to further enhance their mapping services.

It would appear that Google is attempting to stay one step ahead of their rivals at Microsoft and Yahoo. By offering advertisers additional ways to monetize their advertising dollars, Google could lead the way in which future advertising is conducted on the Internet.

Google continues to be a rolling stone that collects no moss. LOL

Comments welcome.


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Google Working To Increase Ad Spending

There should be an image here!Clearly it’s that magical time of year when everything smells of money and opportunity. Seems that Google is working in some of the methods to gain higher CTR that worked for publishers, in line for themselves. This time however, they are not banning the methods used so long as it is Google using them.

This means lining up pictures too closely with ads is still bad for publishers, but totally okay for Google to do themselves. Clearly, looking out for the ad buyer here. Not. I think this is wrong on all fronts myself.

As the above linked piece points out, it’s a great idea for Google to fine tune their ad placement as the holidays come marching in. But can we possibly not do it in such a way as to make Google out to be doing something they specifically told publishers themselves not to do. And considering the fact it is the holidays, it seems all the more reasonable taking such an action to increase CTR in this way needs to be avoided.