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Is Contextual Advertising Viable on a Blog?

There has been an increasing amount of debate recently over both the ethics and viability of blogging commercially. The focus of this post is not to enter into the question of ‘should bloggers add income streams to their blogs’ – rather I want to examine whether it is a financially viable alternative.

I know of many bloggers who have added contextual ads to their blogs expecting to make a fortune only to discover that it can be a lot harder than it looks – on the other hand I suspect there are a lot of bloggers out there who could actually make some reasonable money from their blogging without too many modifications if they just tried. Let me show you how….
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Google Testing Animated Ads

Yesterday I missed another change to Adsense – it seems they will be testing animated image ads – here is what they say on their site:

‘We’ll be accepting animated GIFs from a small test group of advertisers, and you’ll be able to display these ads on your pages! The new ads will still adhere to the 50KB size limit…’

No more beer, drugs, tobacco or weaponry for you!

If you’re using Adsense to bring an income stream to your blog about alcohol, tobacco, weapons or prescription drugs then it might be time to find a new advertising method because in part of the latest update on Google they have moved to ban such topics.

They have also re emphasized that you must not give any incentives for your readers to click on your ads – in any way whether they be financial or point-based programs.

New URL Channel Feature on Adsense

Adsense forums are buzzing this morning over a new feature added to the Adsense program in the last few hours that allows publishers to track their statistics without adding code to pages. You simply add the URL of the site, directory, category and they will provide statistics for that part of your blog.

For instance if I want to track the earnings from the Adsense category of this blog I would simply set ‘http://www.livingroom.org.au/problogger/archives/adsense/’ as the category. Previously to track categories on blogs would mean a lot of tricky coding that I’m not sure I have the time, energy or skill for.

The only unfortunate part of the new features is that they have only made an extra 10 channels available to publishers which means the benefits will be limited. Still – its a useful tool.

JenSense – it’s all about the AdSense…

JenSense will be a blog to watch if you’re using Adsense as it is run by ‘Jenstar’ who is a legend in Adsense forums where she is a moderator and guru. I’m putting this on in my RSS tracker as we speak – sure to be some useful tidbits in this one for all of us using Adsense – whether old hands or newbies.

Clicklab Releases White Paper on Click Fraud

‘Clicklab, a leader in the emerging field of click fraud detection and prevention, announced the release and general availability of the white paper “How to Defend Your Website Against Click Fraud.”

http://www.clicklab.com/white-paper



The white paper is released shortly after Google has filed first-of-a-kind click fraud lawsuit against AdSense publisher. The lawsuit filed in a California Superior Court, alleges that a Texas-based website publisher generated fake clicks on its AdSense ads and paid a number of individuals to do the same.

Earlier this year, a California programmer was indicted for allegedly attempting to extort $100,000 from Google to prevent him from releasing Google Clique, the software he wrote to generate fake clicks on AdSense ads.’



Read more at Clicklab Releases White Paper on Click Fraud as Google Files First Click Fraud Lawsuit against AdSense Publisher

Google Vs. Adsense Fraudsters

Google is sending a message to its publishers about click fraud and is suing one of its clients this week in an effort to recoup loss incurred by false clicking – but is also no doubt hoping to send a warning to those cheating the system that they are serious about this issue.

‘Internet search giant Google Inc. filed a lawsuit against one of its AdSense Online clients this week, claiming the company defrauded the search company by clicking on its own ads multiple times.

The case, filed in Santa Clara County Court, also alleges that Houston, Texas-based Auctions Expert International were in breach of their contract with Google for intentionally manipulating the advertising program….

The AdSense agreements, though, expressly bar any company from clicking on its own sites in order to create ad revenue or to pay other people to click on the company’s sites.

“[Auctions Expert] flagrantly abused the AdSense Online service by artificially and/or fraudulently generating ad clicks,” the complaint stated. “These clicks were worthless to advertisers because they generated significant and unjust revenue for the defendants, who were paid by Google as if the clicks were legitimate.”’

Read more at Google Vs. Adsense Fraudsters – addict3d.org

Google Adsense to Provide Additional Payment Options?

I recently wrote an email to the kind people at Google Adsense Customer Service HQ suggesting that they work on an alternative payment system for plebs like me who live outside the USA. I recently wrote about the predicament I face – it takes 14 weeks from the time I earn money through Google to the time I see it hit my bank account. I decided to let Google know (after all I make them money – they should listen to me!) and sent them an email making a suggestion that they provide alternative methods of payment. This is part of the email I received in reply:

‘As you know, AdSense participants currently receive payments via check in US Dollars. Unfortunately at this time we do not offer alternative payment methods or currencies. However, we hope to add additional payment options in the coming months. Thank you for your patience as we expand our program.’

This will be an interesting develop for tens of thousands of Adsense users – bring it on!

New Google Adsense Features

Google’s Adsense has just added a newly designed FAQ/Support page to their site with more advice and tips for the program. They’ve also added a ‘invite a friend’ option to the program. Unfortunately there is no incentive to make such an invitation for publishers. Already forums dedicated to Adsense are full of comments about this feature – complaining about the lack of commission or reward for recruiting new Adsense users. Many other similar programs pay referrers either a one of payment or an ongoing percentage of earnings from those that they refer. I guess Google don’t need new publishers that much.