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AdSense is Google's contextual advertising program, and allows web publishers to show relevant advertisements to their website visitors. . The website publisher is paid whenever an interested visitor clicks on an ad. An advertiser can select a particular website for displaying expanded text or image advertisements and these site targetted ads, the website publisher is paid per impression. These ads can be displayed in various sizes, the most popular are the leader board (728 x 90), standard banner (468 x 60), skyscraper (120 x 600) and inline triangle (300 x 250). Through the publishers adsense account, the colors of the text, link and border of the ad box can be customized to blend or contrast with the website design.
Most other advertising networks like ValueClick display banner advertisements, pop-ups and pop-unders, which audiences often ignore since they are intrusive and may not relevant to the website. Using proprietary technology, Google Adsense is able to scan the content of each page of a website, and accordingly display relevant advertisements on a web page. For example, on a page which has a review of a Dell notebook, advertisements of other laptops will be shown. A visitor who is finalizing the purchase of a laptop, will check out the relevant ads, to compare prices and features of different brands. These contextual advertisements are especially useful to manufacturers of industrial products wanting to source raw material. Many small companies have websites, which are not listed in search engines and by using contextual advertising, they can reach new markets
Web publishers benefit from AdSense, since Google has hundreds of thousands of advertisers and is able to show relevant advertisements for a wide variety of subjects. Payment from the advertisers is handled by Google and website publishers are send a check every month when the balance in their account exceeds US$100. The amount can also be directly transferred to the publisher account through Electronic Fund Transfer.
The amount earned by a website publisher depends on a number of factors, the most important are the subject of the website and the traffic to the website. Most entertainment related websites on movies, celebrities have reported low income per thousand impressions (eCPM). Websites on financial products like insurance, stock trading, credit repair have a high eCPM. Ads for hi-tech products have a high Earning per Click (EPC), but tech savvy users are less likely to click on ads. High traffic travel websites earn well, since there are a large number of advertisers. Google discounts the cost per click using a mechanism known as "smart pricing", so that advertising on non-Google websites is lucrative to advertisers
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