This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration

The confusing world of Google Adsense

I've had Google Adsense on my blogs for many years now, and every once in a while I try to figure it out, and it makes absolutely no sense to me. I'm sure that there are big-brained people out there who can understand, but it ain't me.

So at the beginning of this year I stopped allowing Adsense. Then I put it back just a few days ago. And I still don't understand it. If you do, please don't try to explain it to me, it gives me a headache. What it comes down to is that it makes Google a huge amount of money, and gives creators, like me, pennies.

So I will be looking at Adsense as just another thing that I enjoy experimenting with. If you got into it, thinking that it would make you rich, well, I doubt it. Maybe many years ago, before all of it was refined, creators could make good money on Adsense, but not now. So you may be wondering "why bother?"

Well, it's really no bother. Nowadays on this blog all I have to do is to click "allow ads", and the rest is done by Google. In the old days you had to select the ad size, select the placement, select the type (never did figure out what a "dynamic" ad is, and I don't really care). So it's pretty easy. I don't have to do anything at all. I can, if I want to, check my earnings (Adsense creators call it "watching the pennies drop"), but it's not absolutely necessary.

The flip side of all of this is Google AdWords. That's the side that advertisers pay for, and although I'm curious about it, I'm not ready to spend real money to find out. It's done with Cost-Per-Click, divided by the number per 1,000 of, uh, I have no idea. But it's wildly complex. Advertisers are using it, I know, because they know that they have to get their message in front of what people are looking at, and nowadays it's the web, not newspapers.

I've been on Adsense for many years, but I'm still too late for the "glory days" when creators could make some serious bucks doing it. But I enjoy learning about it, and am fascinated with the process.

Understanding AdSense

AdSense is the program that Google uses that allows creators on the web to have ads appear, for example, on your blog. It's the compliment to AdWords, which is Google's program that allows advertisers to place ads on, for example, your blog. Since I have a blog on the web, and I allow ads on it, I'll explain AdSense. I don't advertise, nor do I know anyone who does, so I won't talk about AdWords, because I know nothing about that side of it.

Up until the time that the web became popular with advertisers, they would pay for space in newspapers, magazines, etc. And they still do, but nowadays more and more advertisers are looking to get their message out in front of the right people, which is increasingly on the web, not in print.

In print media, such as newspapers or magazines, advertisers would contact the publication directly, get a price for a certain amount of space, provide the artwork, and the ad would run. The bigger advertisers would do all of that through an advertising agency, but it's the same process: paying a publication for a certain amount of space in their newspaper or magazine.

Publishing on the web is different. I'm not a newspaper, or a magazine, but I publish every day. I write about Graphic Design, and I also write blogs on gardening, fitness, that sort of stuff. My readership is measured in thousands, not millions, so I'm typical of what has become something of a "cottage industry". All I need is my computer, and a few minutes of free time (which I have between assignments, or waiting for OKs from customers). So I write about things that interest me, and I throw them out there on the web for anyone to see for free. I'm flattered that people like what I have to say.

I allow AdSense on this blog, on my gardening blog, and on my fitness blog. I don't allow ads on my history blog, as that's supported by Patreon (which is a whole 'nother thing). I understand that advertising is what supports free things like this platform, which is Blogger. I don't do many videos, but I gotta tell ya, my opinion is different there - and I just hate the ads that you have skip over, so I don't allow ads on my videos. But on my blogs I find that most people really don't mind, and every once in a while there's something that might interest someone.

There's a ton of money in advertising. But the percentage that goes to people like me is tiny. But I really don't mind. I'm not writing this blog as a way to create content for advertising, I'm writing this because I like to share stuff that interests me.

I majored in Graphic Design and minored in Advertising, so it's always interested me. I've been watching internet advertising for many years now, and last year I was figuring that it just wasn't going to work. But things are changing for the better. The ads that I see now are more visually pleasing than they were just a couple of years ago. Look at the ads on this blog (no, I don't control them) and you'll see a whole lot less of the type of obnoxious ads that the internet was famous for.

I like Graphic Design, and I like advertising. When it's done correctly, it's an art form.