To Make AdSense Work, Share The Wealth

NYT: Feeling depressed because you missed out on Google’s stock bonanza? Not to worry. Just get on the company’s shadow payroll.
Hundreds of thousands of people have essentially done just that by starting blogs, forums or other informational sites and getting paid for posting ads on Google’s behalf. And while the money they earn might not be enough for them to buy, say, a share of Google’s stock, such revenues are growing.
The trickle-down effect from Google does not stop at fledgling entrepreneurs. A growing number of rank-and-file contributors to Web sites are also profiting. Consider Digital Point Solutions, a software company in San Diego, which publishes an online forum frequented by about 15,000 users. Any one of them who starts a new forum discussion topic receives half of the advertising revenue paid to the site by Google for ads on the front page of that topic section. (The discussion’s creator then splits his share with others who post messages.)
Google does not actually advertise on the Digital Point site. Rather, through Google’s AdSense program, it places ads on the forum, similar to the ads that appear next to search results on Google scans the information on the forum’s pages, then posts related ads. If the discussion is about computer hardware, for instance, ads for DVD drives might appear.
Google pays Digital Point about $10,000 a month, depending on how many people view or click on those ads, said Shawn D. Hogan, the owner and chief technology officer of Digital Point.
Mr. Hogan said he started the revenue-sharing approach in 2004 “as kind of a marketing gimmick.”
“But everyone seemed to think it was a cool idea,” he said. “I saw a lot of other sites doing the same thing maybe six months later.”

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am now head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.