Google's AdSense program actually consists of (so far) three separate advertising programs. The first article in this series focused on the main program, AdSense for content. In this installment, we look at the second program, AdSense for search, a great way for site owners to make money from search.
Google's Free Search Programs
Long before AdSense for search came along, Google offered three free search services for third-party websites. Known collectively as Google Free, these services still exist today:
- Google Free web search for searching the Web using Google's standard search algorithms
- Google Free SafeSearch for searching the Web using an index that excludes adult and other "unsafe" sites
- Google Free web search with site search for searching either the Web or only the site's own pages
All three programs are accessed from the main Google Free page on the Google website. In fact, all three programs are almost identical in nature. You start by including the Google-supplied HTML code on one of our web pages. When the page is displayed, a simple search form is displayed. When the user submits the form, Google displays the search results. Very simple to implement.
For many sites, the site search program is a quick and easy way to provide site-specific search capabilities without installing any indexing software on the server. Of course, Google Free only searches pages found in the Google index, so if your sites' pages aren't indexed, the site-specific doesn't do you much good.
Note that to better integrate with your site, the colors of the Google Free results page can be chosen to match your site's color scheme.
AdSense for search
AdSense for search can be considered an extension of the Google Free web search with site search program. Unlike the regular program, however, AdSense for search is only open to AdSense publishers. Its features are similar to those of the Google Free program, but with these differences:
- Searching of the Web or up to three publisher-owned websites
- Customizable colors for the results page
- A site-specific logo displayed on the results page
The most important difference, however, is that the AdSense for search results page is a revenue-generating page for the publisher, not just Google. As expected, the results page displays advertisements related to the search terms, just like on the normal Google results page. If the searcher clicks one of those ads, however, the publisher shares in the ad revenue, just as in the AdSense for content program.
Restrictions and Limitations
Like AdSense for content, a publisher wanting to use AdSense for search (you can apply for either or both programs) must conform to the AdSense program policies. This means that sites displaying adult- or gambling-oriented content or encouraging illegal acts, among other things, cannot use AdSense for search.
A publisher cannot prepopulate the search box with suggested search terms: All input to the box must originate with the searcher.
Note that unlike AdSense for content, Google reserves the right to claw back some of a publisher's earnings from AdSense for search if Google's share of the ad revenue from those searches isn't enough to cover the cost of providing those searches. Google claims that fewer than one percent of publishers are affected by this clawback.
AdSense for search is not suitable for password-protected or very dynamic sites because only pages in Google's index are searchable. New pages won't be searchable until they are indexed, which may take a few days to occur.
In general, publishers who implement AdSense for search on their sites earn much less from it than AdSense for content. If you think about it, this makes perfect sense: Visitors are more likely to use a page's search box for site-specific searching, not for general Web searching, and to click on ads on the content pages they find because of the search, not on the ads on the results pages. For publishers with no current search capabilities, however, adding AdSense for search is a simple way to provide a useful service and perhaps even make a bit of money from it.
In the next article in this series we'll return to AdSense for content and discuss keyword optimization techniques for targeting ads and getting higher search engine rankings.
Article Source: http://peachpit.com