If you write for InfoBarrel, or are planning to, then the main reason you probably decided to do so is because of the earnings you can potentially receive from Google AdSense. Since InfoBarrel is one of the few content sites out there that writers work directly through AdSense, many people are not very familiar with it. If you're confused about some of the aspects Google AdSense, then read on. In this article I will go over just about all there is that you need to know about it and hopefully answer all or most of your questions in the process.
IMPORTANT NOTE: I spent a lot of time and effort writing this article back in 2010, but after taking a long break from writing, nearly 2 years later I have realized that most of this information (though not ALL of it) is now useless because Google has changed their AdSense interface a couple times since I wrote this. I apologize for any confusion, and I will make sure that I re-write this in the near future to reflect all of the changes!
Using Google AdSense
Setting up AdSense on InfoBarrel
First thing's first, if you haven't already signed up for a Google AdSense account, you can do it right now for free and very easily by clicking here.
After signing up and logging in you will be taken to the main AdSense page. In the top right hand corner of the main page you will see your e-mail, as well as your Publisher ID (see pic below for reference).
You need to copy and paste your Publisher ID into your InfoBarrel account in order to get started. This can be done by visiting your My InfoBarrel tab, and then clicking on Manage My Account and locating the appropriate field to enter your Publisher ID. You will need to copy and paste the entire ID, including the "pub-" part in the beginning and all of the numbers that follow.
After doing these simple steps you will be ready to start receiving clicks and earning money directly from Google AdSense, using InfoBarrel as your platform.
1 - This is your Publisher ID. Copy and paste this into your InfoBarrel account to make sure you are getting credit for the ads displayed on your articles.
2 - Main Tabs
- 2a - Your main Reports tab. This is where you are going to be spending most of your time, and where you will see all your views, clicks, and earnings for each day.
- 2b - The AdSense Setup tab is mostly for webmasters who want to set up different kinds of ad units. The owners of InfoBarrel handle that aspect, however you will be using this tab to add channels so you can see which articles are getting clicks and which ones aren't, as well as doing some tinkering with your ads to make them more relevant (more on these later).
- 2c - Your My Account tab will take you to where you can edit your details like e-mail, mailing address, payment methods, and how your ads display.
- 2d - The Resources tab takes you to a page with a big list of very helpful links that will help you in several different aspects of using Google AdSense. I recommend taking a look at some of them if you have spare time. Some of them can be very beneficial.
3 - Sub-Tabs. A lot of people don't even notice these sub-tabs, for one reason or another. Perhaps they just don't stand out enough, but I feel it's important to point them out as they will be referenced later and they are commonly overlooked. Each main tab will have a set of its own sub-tabs.
4 - AdSense Alert Center. Whenever there is something going on with AdSense, whether it be a payment alert, or a warning of some work that will be done on the site, a pink box will show up in this area, and sometimes towards the bottom of the page as well. After you have made $10 through AdSense, you will get an alert box to remind you to enter in tax information and payment methods for when you reach the $100 payout.
5 - After you set up Google Analytics, you will be able to access it with ease through this convenient link.
6 - The Good Stuff
- 6a - Your page impressions are only page views from your article where your AdSense Publisher ID is embedded in.
- 6b - Your clicks column represents the number of advertisement clicks you received from any articles that your Publisher ID is embedded in.
- 6c - Your Page Click Through Rate, or CTR, is the percentage that reflects the ratio of clicks versus page views. If you get 5 page views with 1 click, your Page CTR will be 20%.
- 6d - The Page eCPM is a calculation of how much money you are estimated to earn for each 1000 views based on your current trends of page views, clicks, and CTR. This is just an estimation and will naturally change frequently as your trends do.
- 6e - Your estimated earnings are only estimated because Google will audit all of your clicks at the end of each payment cycle to make sure they are all valid and legitimate.
7 - Everything surrounded by box #7 is irrelevant. Many new members are confused about these sections because they're always blank. There's no need to worry, however, because you don't need to mess with any of those. They are for webmasters only.
Tracking Your Earnings
After you have finished setting up AdSense for your InfoBarrel articles and start publishing, you're probably going to be wanting to know how you can figure out which articles are earning you the most money. You will always be able to see your earnings as long as you have your Publisher ID entered into your InfoBarrel settings, but until you set up channels you won't know where your clicks and earnings are coming from.
Setting up a channel for your article is essentially like telling Google to track that particular article and give you views, clicks, and other information for just that article. So if you set up a channel for each article, you can track them all individually instead of just seeing big lump sum numbers and stats from all of your articles put together. This is especially nice so you can figure out which articles are getting clicks, and which ones are not.
Google allows you to set up a maximum of 200 channels, which means you can track up to 200 individual articles. Setting up channels is rather easy and quick, and something you should get in the habit of doing every time you publish an article. To set up a channel, follow these simple steps:
- Log in to your Google AdSense account
- Click the AdSense Setup tab
- Click on the Channels sub-tab
- Click the URL Channels tab in the middle of the page
- Click the +Add new URL channels button
- Copy and paste the URL of your published article in the box below
- Click the Add Channels button
After completing these steps, you will now be able to see when that particular article gets a click. Whenever you look on your main Reports page and see a click, you will see a link that produces a drop down page of your Top Channels, in other words the ones that are getting clicks for the selected time period. Additionally, you can track your channels by visiting the Advanced Reports sub-tab of the main Reports tab.
Getting Relevant Ads
There are many things that go into triggering the best ads possible for your article. The easiest way to do this is to make sure that you are using enough relevant keywords in your article. Make sure your title and content contain the keyword(s) you are shooting for and you should get relevant ads.
Sometimes it doesn't matter how many times you use your keyword, when some topics are heavily saturated or highly competitive in terms of advertisers, you may get some semi-relevant ads but not quite the ones you were hoping for.
For example, you could write an article about Toyota Trucks, and have a bunch of ads about Toyota cars, or even trucks from other companies like Chevy or Ford, simply because both "toyota" and "trucks" have very high advertiser competition. If you want to get only ads that have to do with Toyota trucks then you will need to learn to use the Competitive Ad Filter feature of AdSense.
The Competitive Ad Filter is a feature on AdSense that allows you to filter out certain websites from showing on your ad unit. All you have to do is type in the URL of whichever website you don't think has a good ad for your article and within a few hours it will be gone. To do this, follow these easy steps:
- Log in to your Google AdSense account
- Click the AdSense Setup tab
- Click the Competitive Ad Filter sub-tab
- Follow the directions and enter your desired URLs (or should I say undesired?)
- Click Save Changes
It's hard to tell whether or not you saved your changes because the screen doesn't really do much after you click the button, but as long as you know you clicked the button you will be ok. You can make sure they saved by clicking out of the tab and going back to it and you should see the URLs still entered in the box. This means it saved.
It's very important that you remember never to click your own ads to see what the URL is. One of the ad units always has the URLs listed underneath the ad description. Use this ad unit as a reference (see picture below). If you have to reload the page a couple of times to get all of the URLs you need, then do it. Never click on your own ads.
Another thing to remember is that any URL you submit into your Competitive Ad Filter will not show up on ANY of your articles, so be careful which ones you put in because it may take away valuable relevant ads from a different article that you have.
Do Your Own Adventuring
This is just about all you need to know to use AdSense for your articles here on InfoBarrel. Most of the features on AdSense will be handled by the webmasters of this site. There is a lot you can learn by exploring the AdSense website though, especially in the Resources section. I suggest whenever you get bored of writing, you should do some wandering through the helpful resources and using your Advanced Reports to track earnings in all sorts of ways.
If you have any other questions about Google AdSense or InfoBarrel, feel free to either leave a comment below or visit the forums and ask your questions there. Unlike many other sites, you will get a friendly and prompt response every time, no matter who answers you!