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The sense in online advertising

'Our goal is to help websites make as much or more than with other advertising networks.'

Shailesh Rao | Print Edition: May 31, 2007

As follow up to last issue's cover story, "Making Money Online", we asked Google India head to explain the nitty-gritties of the popular AdSense program, which offers website owners and bloggers a free shot at raking in advertising revenues. Excerpts from the response:

Signing up for AdSense Google's AdSense program helps websites attract more users and generate more revenue. We make our search service and our network of advertisers available through Google AdSense. There are two AdSense offerings, AdSense for Search and AdSense for Content.

AdSense for Search allows a website to put Google search on the site so users can search and it displays ads alongside the search results. AdSense for Content enables a site to show Google ads alongside their content.

If you are interested, log on to http://www.google.co.in/ads/ and follow the links to sign up online. Once the application is reviewed, a follow-up e-mail is sent in two or three days. AdSense users can log in to their new account and cutpaste the supplied HTML code into their web pages.

AdSense dynamics Search marketing allows advertisers to target consumers not only by keywords, but also by geography and language. For instance, a company can target consumers in Maharashtra with ads for a different promotion compared to consumers in Kerala.

Once the website places the AdSense HTML code, Google starts delivering relevant ads. Our technology determines the primary language. If the content is in a language supported by us, AdSense will target ads in that language. Ads are also geographically targeted.

Contextual advertising connects advertiser to consumer exactly as the consumer is searching for a related product or service. For example, as a consumer reads about a new car, contextual targeting offers an ad of a Indian sedan.

The keywords created for an ad campaign target ads to potential customers. For instance, if the website deals in flower delivery, it uses "flower delivery" as a keyword. This way the advertiser shows ads to users searching about "flower delivery"-when it's highly relevant and useful.

Revenue model AdSense combines pay-per-click and pay-perimpression. Website publishers get paid for clicks on displayed ads or search results pages as well as for impressions on content pages. The revenue model of AdSense for content is either costper-click (CPC) or cost-per-1000-impressions (CPM) ads. AdSense for search is exclusively CPC. Advertisers pay either when surfers click on ads, or when the advertisement is shown on a site. The website receives a share of this payment. Google does not disclose the exact revenue share but our goal is to help websites make as much or more, than with other advertising networks.

Search boxes advantage Adding a Google search box to a site allows users access to information. Combining search with AdSense puts Google's advertisers to work. On every search, Google delivers targeted text-based ads to search result pages. When people click on these ads, Google pays the site publisher.

Filtering and customising ads AdSense users can preview advertisements and make educated decisions regarding AdSense. The AdSense preview can be reached by a right-click in the Internet Explorer browser. Users can choose the format that best fits. For example, the banner ad layout will display two advertisements horizontally and the skyscraper will display four advertisements vertically. All formats can be viewed on our Ad Formats page. To create and manage a filter list of ads, users can log in to their account at https://www.google.com/adsense and click the Competitive Ad Filter link. They can create separate filter lists. Advertisements for websites added to the competitive ad filter list will not run.

Payments and tax implications We make payments by local currency cheques in India. More details on what forms are required can be found on the "Google AdSense: Tax Information" page https://www.google.com/adsense/tax_info.

Until your AdSense earnings reach $100, they'll carry over to the next month and add up. Once your balance reaches $100, we will send a payment by the end of the following month. You can check the status by logging in and clicking on "Payment History", under "My Account". Also read the "Payment Guide" at https://www.google.com/adsense/payments or view the demo video at the website www.google.com/adsensedemo4.

The Indian scenario We see a huge opportunity for targeted, contextual marketing in India. India is one of the fastest growing Internet economies. Indians are spending more time online and Google makes it easy to search. Consumers connect with other online users, access information, and conduct e-commerce and advertisers are increasingly turning to the Web. This makes contextual advertising the best way to target consumers.

We are very pleased with the tremendous take up of AdSense by Indian websites. We have a wide range of AdSense partners including institutions, individuals, website owners and bloggers. We are also excited that Indians use a wide variety of other Google services ranging from search to community applications such as Orkut.

Mobile Net Mobile phones will soon be a one-stop shop for consumer information needs. More people will use mobiles to search for information, making them the next best communication medium to reach a targeted audience. Google's approach to mobile search begins with the philosophy that it is about seeking, not browsing.

Two innovations follow from this. One is Google's mobile transcoder, which translates web pages into a format that can be easily read and interacted with on a mobile device. Another is mobile search filters, which help refine mobile search to produce relevant results (a query for "movies", for instance, produces links to showtimes and reviews, rather than links to pages on cinema history). Google, in partnership with Airtel, is intending to incorporate Mobile Ads, which are text ads based on search terms displayed alongside search results on the Airtel Live mobile portal. This will enable advertisers to reach targeted mobile users with products and services on CPC basis.

(By Shailesh Rao, Managing Director, Sales & Operations, Google India)

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