Google has a new program called AdSense. Here’s how it works:
- You create an account with Google.
- Google gives you a dab of HTML to put on your web pages.
- When someone visits your site, Google’s dab of HTML has their browser ask Google for some ads.
- Google analyzes the content of your pages and searches for relevant ads and returns them.
- Everytime someone clicks on an ad, Google pays you 50 cents (although this amount appears to be decreasing).
The social ramifications are sort of interesting. If you maintain a free site about $OBSCURETOPIC, you don’t have time to woo advertisers, take their money, run an advertising system, give them statistics and reports, etc. But you do have time to add a dab of HTML to the page and wait for Google to mail you a check.
The hope is that this will make it easier, and maybe even slightly profitable, to run these labor-of-love sites that add so much to the web. The hope is that even a small site could use the money they make to pay most of their bandwidth bills and maybe even have a little pocket change at the end.
Yesterday morning on my Google Weblog, I introduced a thing which shows you what ads Google thinks are relevant to your page.
In one day, from that one thing, I’ve made $100. That’s pretty crazy! I’m tempted to run some Google ads in the sidebar here, but they only allow once style and it’s awfully tacky looking.
I really hope Google allows style customization. People get paid per click, so they have no reason to do something that will make people less likely to click on their ads, and they can always yell at folks who find someway to abuse it.