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Google AdWords Is Not Google AdSense

May 17th 2012 at 12:34 AM

It is interesting to note just how common and daily vocabulary has changed with the times. Five years ago, if you asked someone to google up something, he might not understand what you mean even if he was familiar with the search engine of that name.

Today, however, everyone knows what you mean. That can only point to Google’s popularity and how it has come to be identified with looking up information on the Web. One can only imagine what new words Google, and companies like it, will introduce to the vocabulary five years from now and what they could possibly mean.

Even now, there are new terms that are making the rounds in everyday conversation – words that Google has invented. If you’re at all familiar with advertising on Google, then you’ve probably heard the terms AdWords and AdSense.

Perhaps, though like most people, while you may be familiar with terms you may not know what they are actually referring to. One mistake that’s commonly being made nowadays is to interchange AdWords and AdSense, thinking that these two mean the same thing.

Fundamentally, interchanging them is a mistake because the two words are referring to two different things albeit they are very closely related to each other. This article will help you understand the differences between them, how they work together – and perhaps more importantly, how it can help you earn a little more money on the side.

AdWords and AdSense are part of Google’s advertising arm that is part of the company’s growing range of services. If you’ve used Google to look up information, then you’ve encountered AdWords. They are the text ads that appear on the results page of your search.

AdWords works by matching a Google user with Google’s paying advertisers. But instead of just showing random ads that the user you may not be interested in (or worse, be irritated at) Google will present ads that have something to do with what the user is currently looking up.

Take Sam, for example, who is looking up information on rock climbing. Sam types in the words “rock climbing sport” and hits the search button. Google will then present Sam with a list of webpages that contain information about that topic. Along with this listing, there appear text ads from companies offering products and services regarding rock climbing as a sport.

One of these companies is owned by Jim, who runs a rock climbing facility in the town Sam lives in. Jim is able to advertise on Google by signing up his company’s website with AdWords. He tells Google that he’d like his text ads to appear on result pages for the keywords “sport rock climbing” which is what Sam used to look up information. This is how Sam is able to see Jim’s ad on Google.

However, Jim doesn’t pay Google for just showing his ad. He doesn’t pay anything until someone like Sam clicks on the ad to visit Jim’s website. This is the pay-per-click (PPC) system, which is fundamentally how AdWords works.

Part of this setup is the ability of Google advertisers, like Jim, to set the price of how much the cost per click (CPC) will be on the ads posted on Google results pages. Popular keywords like “sport rock climbing” may command a higher CPC compared to other less popular keywords, but may be just as effective when it comes to advertising on Google.

AdSense works along side AdWords. While AdWords are text advertisements that appear inside Google’s results pages. AdSense are AdWords that appear outside Google’s website and onto other people’s websites.

Take Jen, for example, who maintains a website for the local rock climbing enthusiasts group. As part of their fundraising program, she enrolled the website on Google AdSense. By signing up for AdSense, Jen’s website will display AdWord advertisements that are related to the content on Jen’s website – in this case, about rock climbing.

Now, take Sam (still remember him?) who is still looking for information on rock climbing. Jen’s website is part of the listing that appears on Sam’s search inquiry on Google. Sam clicks on the link that leads to Jen’s website.

Sam browses through the website and reads up on climbing trips Jen’s group have organized. Along with that article, an AdWords advertisement is posted. It just so happens, that the ad is for Jim’s climbing facility. Sam, who is now more interested in taking up the sport, decides right then and there to visit Jim’s website.

By clicking on the ad, Sam has caused two things: 1. He caused Jim to pay Google the agreed CPC for placing his ad and 2. Jen’s website earns a part of that CPC by allowing Google to show Jim’s ad via AdSense.

This setup has made it possible for users like Sam to find information efficiently and be presented with AdWords from companies that are relevant to his search. Businesses like Jim’s can advertise effectively without needing to spend so much with AdWords, while website publishers like Jen can earn money by signing up with AdSense.

With AdWords and AdSense, Google has managed to give people the information they need while connecting them to others of similar needs and interests. The fact that it can make fair money out of it can only add to how cool it already is.

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