Google improves AdSense with Ad Links

Google has improved its AdSense advertising program with a new feature called Ad Links that increases the volume of contextual ads in a Web page.

Google has introduced a feature into its AdSense advertising program that increases the number of text ads tied to a Web page. The feature, called Ad Links, also improves the relevance between the ads and the Web page's content.

In the AdSense program, Web site publishers insert Google code into their Web pages, which generates text ads that are relevant to each page's content. The ads are sold by Google to advertisers and are distributed to publishers who participate in AdSense. When a visitor clicks on an ad, Google pays the publisher.

Google believes Ad Links will benefit Web site visitors, advertisers and publishers, said Shuman Ghosemajumder, Ad Links product manager. "It helps users by giving them a greater choice of ads they can select from. Meanwhile, advertisers benefit from additional distribution they're gaining. And for publishers there's a higher likelihood visitors will click on ads," he said.

Ad Links has been designed as a complement to the contextual ads served through AdSense. Publishers who sign up for Ad Links will still receive the AdSense ads. But with Ad Links, publishers will also get a list of topics that are contextually related to the content of their page. When a visitor clicks on an item on that topic list, he is taken to another Web page with related text ads.

For example, a page about vacationing in Hawaii will feature AdSense text ads about that content. But it's possible that not all visitors who land on that page are looking specifically for information about vacationing in Hawaii. They may be looking for other type of information about Hawaii or about vacationing in general, he said.

In that case, the visitor is unlikely to click on the AdSense ads. However, with Ad Links, the page could feature a list of topics related to Hawaii and vacationing, which, when clicked upon, would serve up corresponding ads, broadening both the scope and quantity of the ads available to the visitor.

The Ad Links topic list has been designed to be unobtrusive and not clutter the space devoted to ads on a page, Ghosemajumder said. "It integrates very well with the navigation structure of sites," he said. The Ad Links feature is ready now and is already being implemented by Web site publishers, he said. It is available in the 22 languages AdSense supports.

Another enhancement Mountain View, California-based Google is readying is the ability for publishers to have AdSense payments deposited directly into their bank accounts via Electronic Funds Transfer technology, he said. This feature is currently being tested.

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