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Updated May 06, 2024

How to Grow an AdSense Empire

Expand online earnings with Google AdSense, a straightforward program for monetizing your website through user-clicked ads.

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Sean Peek, Senior Analyst & Expert on Business Ownership
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In today’s digital world, it’s common for entrepreneurs and small business owners to explore various revenue streams as a part of their online marketing plans. One of the most well-known options is Google’s AdSense program. 

Google AdSense offers a straightforward and free way for businesses to monetize their online presence. By integrating AdSense, businesses can display ads and earn revenue every time a user clicks on one. Here’s everything you need to know to get started building your own AdSense empire.

What is Google AdSense?

Google’s AdSense program allows people and businesses to display Google advertisements on their web pages. Website owners earn money when visitors click on those ads. Businesses of all sizes across the globe use the Google Ads platform. With the AdSense program, Google places targeted Google Ads on participants’ platforms. 

Website owners can also place Google search boxes on their web pages. When visitors use the search box, Google places ads accurately based on visitor search terms.

Google’s proprietary algorithm interprets site content so irrelevant ads aren’t used. Only the ads most likely to generate revenue are placed on a given website. For example, if you run a travel-based site, the Google Ads on your site will likely promote travel-related products. 

Before posting an ad on a third-party site, Google’s professionals review the site with language filters to prevent placing inappropriate ad content accidentally. The company’s personnel ensure ads conform to professional, editorial and ethical guidelines.

What is the difference between Google AdSense and Google Ads?

Google AdSense and Google Ads serve different purposes in online advertising. Google AdSense is designed for website publishers who want to monetize their online content and increase profits. It allows website owners to display targeted ads on their pages and earn revenue based on clicks or impressions.

Google Ads (previously known as Google AdWords) is for advertisers who want to create and manage ads that appear on Google’s search engine results pages as well as on other Google properties and other websites. You can use Google Ads to generate leads, set budgets, choose keywords and target specific audiences to maximize your ad reach.

How does Google AdSense work?

After signing up for AdSense with Google, here are the three primary steps:

  1. Make ad space available: You can make ad space available by pasting an ad code where you’d like Google to place ads on your website.
  2. Set a bidding time: Advertisers will begin bidding for ad space on your site through a real-time auction. The highest-bidding ads will appear on your website.
  3. Receive checks: Google handles all the billing and ensures you get paid by advertisers. 

AdSense offers these customization options to your advertisers:

  • Where to display the ads
  • How to organize ads on the page
  • What types of ads to include
  • Size and format of the ads
  • Specific categories of ads to display or not display 

Along with customization tools, AdSense offers support services, personalized ad-performance reports and integration with Google Ad Manager ― a centralized ad-management platform ― and Google Analytics, which helps measure ad performance on your site. 

Did You Know?Did you know
Google Ads and Facebook Ads are both effective ad platforms. Google Ads perform better for immediate sales while Facebook Ads work well for generating sales leads.

How do you make money from Google AdSense?

The more people who visit your site, the more likely users will click on Google Ads and generate AdSense income. 

A few website owners achieve quick and impressive traffic levels and “go viral.” However, most people don’t achieve huge traffic levels overnight, so they use a different AdSense strategy: investing in their website and even creating additional niche websites. 

“It was slow going our first month … we spent around $2,000 in December 2010 and made a grand total of $32.89 … ouch!” said Justin Cooke, co-founder and chief marketing officer of Empire Flippers and co-founder of WebStreet. “A few months later and we realized we were onto something that would be a profitable project for us. We started to sell off some of our niche sites to fund increased growth and, in 2012, we [grew] the revenue to just over $20,000 per month on average.”

Best practices for making money with Google AdSense

To maximize profits with Google AdSense, there are several key items to remember:

  • The exact amount that can be earned is based on various factors such as website traffic, consumer location and your niche. To calculate a possible number, you can utilize AdSense’s revenue calculator. In real-time, these earnings are determined through either a pay-per-click or pay-per-impression model. 
  • The best way to reach your audience and drive organic traffic to your web page is through search engine-optimized (SEO) content. Without website traffic, your ads will not reach an audience. Utilizing an SEO tool can help determine which keywords will garner the most traffic.
  • Ad placement also plays an important role in the success of your campaign. Focus on placing the ad where it does not obstruct the consumer’s view of other content.

By focusing on these aspects, you can attract more users to your site and boost your AdSense earnings.

How do you create an AdSense empire?

If your website has a good amount of traffic, you may be content to sit back and earn passive income from the Google AdSense program. However, website owners who want to build an AdSense empire are much more proactive. Here’s what empire owners do:

  1. Buy domain names: Consider purchasing several domain names and using the best web hosting services to generate traffic. 
  2. Create additional websites: Next, successful users build various websites and place AdSense ads on all their sites. 
  3. Reinvest AdSense earnings: The next step is reinvesting part of the AdSense earnings into buying more domain names, which helps users earn more money.

Cooke advises paying close attention to the type of websites you create to fuel your AdSense empire. “Create niche sites or blogs that are built specifically with AdSense in mind and targeted around profitable AdSense keywords. You’ll find a much higher cost per click with this microtargeting.”

No matter your strategy, website owners usually have to wait two months before seeing any AdSense money ― one month earning AdSense revenue and then another month waiting for a check, as Google pays out one month later. 

FYIDid you know
While your domain name choices matter for SEO, it’s far more important to use SEO tools that look at keyword ranking and audience demographics to improve your website’s position.

What are the pros and cons of Google AdSense?

Google AdSense can help entrepreneurs increase revenue but there are also some downsides to consider when pursuing this opportunity.

Pros

  • Targeted content: AdSense targets various ads that fit the context of your website. It allows you to incorporate marketing that will draw readers in and engage them, without omitting content space.
  • Design integration: Ads easily integrate into your site’s organized space by adding colors, borders and shapes. Instead of taking away from your website design, AdSense works to complement it.
  • Reporting options: Advertisers pay for ad space in different amounts but, on average, AdSense pays about $18 per 1,000 views on an ad. You can keep track of the number of clicks and revenue generated through AdSense’s secure portal. 

Cons

  • Limited languages: AdSense only supports 50 languages, thus limiting those who can use the system.
  • Account verification: Once your account reaches a certain level, Google requires verification for payment. This can create obstacles for those who travel frequently or don’t have a permanent address.
  • Slower load: Because Google uses JavaScript to load ads, your site’s page load speed and operating speed may be impacted. 
  • Banning potential: Google will ban publishers if it detects invalid clicks. However, bots can potentially affect your ad clicks or people could be clicking multiple times without you knowing. 

Despite these cons, business owners can still enjoy an excellent return on investment by utilizing AdSense and sticking to their strategy. With a little patience and a lot of determination, you can reap these benefits in no time.

“It’s important to know that you’re not going to be able to get started without some risk,” Cooke said. “You’re going to have to invest some time and some money to test things out, get your process worked out, etc.”

Source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.

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Sean Peek, Senior Analyst & Expert on Business Ownership
Sean Peek co-founded and self-funded a small business that's grown to include more than a dozen dedicated team members. Over the years, he's become adept at navigating the intricacies of bootstrapping a new business, overseeing day-to-day operations, utilizing process automation to increase efficiencies and cut costs, and leading a small workforce. This journey has afforded him a profound understanding of the B2B landscape and the critical challenges business owners face as they start and grow their enterprises today. In addition to running his own business, Peek shares his firsthand experiences and vast knowledge to support fellow entrepreneurs, offering guidance on everything from business software to marketing strategies to HR management. In fact, his expertise has been featured in Entrepreneur, Inc. and Forbes and with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
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