Thursday, February 4, 2010

Randall Wong, MD: Online ads, part 1

Google is an advertising agency. Its main advertising strategy is based upon those three lined ads that pop up on the right side of a results page, sometimes on top of your e-mail and randomly placed within a Web site. There are two arms of Google's advertising program: AdSense and Adwords.

The text-based Google ads are the core of Google's main source of revenue (there are other types of ads, but the text ads are the most ubiquitous). The ads are there because they are relevant to something you are reading, in your search results, in your e-mail or on the Web site you are visiting. Google is about targeted advertising.
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In the case of AdSense, if you own a Web page, you may place Google ads on your page for free. When visitors come to your page and click on one of these ads, you get paid. The more clicks you generate, the more you get paid. It's a risk free way to monetize your site to generate income.

Based on the content of your page/e-mail, Google places only ads that are relevant. Google has a ranking system that places only the more competitive ads for viewing. Don't worry, all you have to do is paste some code within your Web page, and Google does the rest. It automatically generates and changes the ads for you. That's it. Easy.

The amount of revenue you generate from AdSense is based upon the value of the ad (how much the advertiser is paying Google), the competition for the product (and keywords used), and your Web site traffic. The more people click, the more you generate.

As an AdSense user, you may filter the types of ads that appear. You may also block specific Web sites (say your competitor's Web site) from appearing on your page.

What Does This Mean? Truthfully, there is really little direct benefit for a medical practice or physician to use AdSense on a Web site promoting your own practice in terms of using it to monetize your site.

I use AdSense on both my Web pages. Some specialized equipment is needed for post-op recovery from retinal surgery. Several companies that rent this equipment advertise via AdWords/AdSense, and their ads to show up on my surgical pages. I probably make enough money to cover the costs of hosting the site, etc.

There are high volume sites that attract 10,000 or more visitors a month. At these numbers, AdSense revenue can be meaningful.

I have different expectations for my blog. The purpose of my blog, if you don't remember, is to promote the use of the Web as a credible source of health information. I work hard on the content of my blog. I am proud of the information and the manner in which I am publishing my articles.

AdSense places ads from “competing” sites. Most of these sites aren't worth a darn as most are really peddling a product with phony content. The value? AdSense brings these competitors to my readers' attention, only for my readers to realize the value of my site.

Enough for this week. Next week, Part 2: AdWords. This will be a more obvious tool for you!

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