Archive forMay, 2006

Google Announces AdSense API

Google has announced an AdSense API for signing up and managing accounts. This API allows sites to have users sign up with AdSense, and then collect a revenue share, in addition to the regular $100 referral bonus when the user reaches $100 with 180 days.

This API will be very useful to anyone who has a revenue sharing program, making it easier for users to sign up and use AdSense.

The API is currently in beta and to sign up you need more than 100,000 daily pageviews. More details can be found at the AdSense API Home.

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Google to Launch Video Blogs

On the Inside AdSense blog, Google has announced that they will be launching click-to-pay video ads in the coming days.

This means that advertisers can place these video ads using site or keyword targeting and choose either CPM or CPC payment options. At first only advertisers in USA, Canada and Japan will be able to place these ads, although they will be able to geo-target the ads internationally.

The good part about these ads is that they won’t start automatically playing. An image will be displayed, and the user needs to click on the ad to start it, and then can pause it, advance it, adjust the volume, or click through to the advertisers site.

Google has not yet mentioned an option for publishers to opt-out of these ads, although I assume if you don’t have image ads selected, you won’t get the video ads. It would be nice to see individual opt-out options for image ads, flash ads and the new video ads. Publishers like to have control over what appears on their sites.

Update: Some interesting commentary on the new video ads: Greg Sterling sees this as a move for Google towards TV, Michael Arrington at TechCrunch is not optimistic about the new format.

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New Open Source Ad Tracker

There is a new open source ad tracking package available. It seems like a really nice, fully featured tool. In addition to standard ad tracking, it also features some click fraud prevention tools. You can set it up to automatically disable ads if it detects too many click from a single IP.

I will be installing this on some of my websites shortly. I will post about this again once I’ve had a chance to see it in action.

There is some discussion about it at Digital Point.

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YPN Adds Direct Deposit

Good news for YPN Publisher, they have just added direct deposit. I found this in my email this morning:

We’ve just made receiving your Yahoo! Publisher Network earnings quicker and easier than ever, with the introduction of a Direct Deposit option for all publisher accounts.

As with our pay-by-check option, you’ll still need to accrue at least $100 in earnings before payment is made. However, if you’re signed up for direct deposit, we will credit your bank account on the 26th of each month, rather than by the 10th of the following month, meaning that you’ll receive your earnings approximately 15 days sooner!

Getting paid on the 26th of the month is great.

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Jennifer Slegg’s New Radio Show – Click This!

Jennifer Slegg (a.k.a Jenstar) just finished the premiere episode of her new radio program on Webmaster Radio, called Click This!. The show focuses on contextual advertising and related topics.

Her guest was Kim Malone, Director of Online Sales & Operations for Google AdSense. It is always interesting to hear from people on the AdSense team. Here are a few highlights:

  • Kim hinted that there were changes coming soon to the Reporting UI, Site Targeting, and New Referral Programs.
  • To avoid getting kicked out of AdSense make sure to avoid “scumware”, Pay-to-surf programs, and any source of traffic that uses pop-ups. Also avoid clicking on your own ads.
  • Like usual for Google, Kim avoided saying anything very specific about smartpricing, but suggested to avoid poor quality traffic
  • Some interesting notes about premium publishers – in order to get the benefits of being a premium publisher they are required to have commitments for ad placements and pageviews.

The archive of the show will be available at

Congratulations on a successful show, Jennifer. Can’t wait for the next one.

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Yahoo’s Ad Placement Tips

Yahoo has posted a blog entry about positioning ads for the best click-through rates. It is interesting to compare this with Google’s Heat Map.

Both agree that the best positioning is just above the main content on the page. After that though, the opinions differ a little. Google’s heat map suggests four places as the secondary positions: 1) On the left hand side below the top level navigation , 2) In the center below the top level navigation, 3) On the left side of the content, and 4) Below the primary content. Yahoo’s advice is: “In general, Margaret has a found that the second most active placement in terms of click-through tends to be the right-hand rail or margin.”

I think this is a useful reminder that what works on one site, may not work on another. The key is to experiment on your own site and see which works best yourself.

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New Referral Buttons

Ever since AdSense first introduced referral people have been complaining about the quality of the images of the buttons. Google has finally listened and has new Firefox, AdSense and AdWords buttons available. From their blog:

With the sleeker design comes a more web-friendly GIF image and several additional colors to choose from — all to help the button feel more at home on your site.

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Picassa and Google Pack Referrals Now Available

Google has announced that publishers can now earn money for referring users to Picassa and Google Pack. Google Pack download will earn up to $2.00 USD and Picassa sign ups will earn up to $1.00 USD.

Google now has 5 referral opportunities – Firefox, AdWords, AdSense, Picassa and Google Pack. They also state on the Referrals Setup page of the AdSense Control Panel that you are allowed “to place one referral per product, for a total of up to four referrals, on any page”. The program policies page does not appear to reflect this new change yet.

These new referral programs could be good for certain types of sites.

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Microsoft AdCenter Announcements

Microsoft has announced several things with regards to the adCenter.

First thing is a name change from MSN adCenter to Microsoft adCenter. Know one is quite sure why they made the name change.

Next is the fact that the adCenter in the US is now open to anyone. Previous it was invite only, and they had a few open days when anyone could register. They also announced that a UK version of adCenter is coming soon.

The most interesting announcements for publisher is that they will start ContentAds, their contextual advertising, this summer. For now it looks like the contextual ads will only appear on Microsoft’s own web sites. There doesn’t appear to be any word yet on when publishers will be able to sign up to get ads on their own sites. Microsoft seems to be taking its time launching something that will compete with YPN and AdSense for a slice of the publisher market.

More analysis is available at at Search Engine Watch.

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