A Consuming Experience

Thoughts on my experiences as a consumer of products, services, people (well maybe not that last one...), from reviews to raves, rants and random thoughts - concentrating on technology, gadgets, software, product usability, consumer issues, customer service. Including some introductory guides and tips on various subjects (like blogging!) which stumped me until I figured them out. And the occasional ever so slightly naughty observation.

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Make money via Google Adsense referrals?

Saturday, May 06, 2006
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As Google have recently beefed up and improved their Adsense referral options, I thought I'd try adding them to my blog template. I signed up for Adsense a few months back and haven't yet made a penny from it - I suspect it's to do with what I write about, as people just don't seem to click on ads about blogging... not that making money's my main motive for writing this blog, but hey as I've now got an Adsense account I may as well try including the referral options too and see if that profits me any!

So you'll see in my sidebar some shiny new buttons for Firefox with Google Toolbar, plus Picasa, AdWords and AdSense. What do these referral buttons do? Well if someone clicks on one of those buttons and downloads the software I get a small credit to my account, or if they sign up for AdWords and spend $100 or earn $100 I'd again get credit from Google. So should you want to support this blog by all means click and download the stuff if you haven't already got it, sign up to Adsense via this blog, or indeed click on the ads generally!

I've followed what's meant to be received wisdom for ads - it seems that if the colour scheme blends in better with your blog colour scheme, people are more likely to click on an ad, hence the grey/white/blue theme I picked. If you want to add referral buttons too, you could try doing the same thing, getting the buttons to blend in with your own blog's design.

How to add Adsense referral buttons or text to your blog

You must already have an Adsense account, of course. Google explain what referrals are and how to add the buttons or text to your blog (Setup tab, Referrals page). You just pick the design you want and copy and paste the Javascript code given for the button or text into your blog template or webpage, in whichever location you want the buttons to be, usually your blog sidebar. Higher up the page is generally better as many people won't scroll down much.

A tip: at the moment, if in the "Show referrals in" dropdown of the Adsense Referrals page you pick English (US), you get a far greater choice of buttons and text to use than if you pick English (UK) or any other language. They're slowly rolling out the extra options for other languages too, but as the choice is still limited and my blog is in English I've gone for US.

If you're wondering why there is no Google Pack option, it seems to limited to Picasa at present for everyone who lives outside the US - but if you're in the US you should get a Google Pack option.

You'll see I've picked a fairly small size of button (best for a sidebar I think; some of the options are ginormous!), and I've chosen the same design for them all so that they are consistent, which I think looks more professional. Interestingly this must all still be a work in progress as there are some options (white text on blue background for instance) which aren't available for all the different products, only one or two of them.

Drawing attention to the referral buttons

You may have noticed that, inveterate tweaker that I am, my referral buttons aren't exactly as per the Adsense options. Just in front of each button, I've added the Google icon for the product in question. I think that pics always help to draw people's attention to stuff (speak a thousand words and all that), much more than just buttons with only text on them, and it looks nicer too (I'm kinda surprised Google didn't provide buttons with the Picasa etc icon on them). As it's to help promote Google I'm sure they won't mind the hotlinking...

They are just image links to the pics on Google's servers. I simply pasted in the appropriate HTML code for each pic just before the Google Javascript code in my template - you can get it just by rightclicking the pics (I got the links from the Adsense site) but for convenience, here's the code:

Firefox icon

<img src="https://www.google.com/adsense/images/ref-firefox.png" />

Picasa icon

<img src="https://www.google.com/adsense/images/ref-picasa.gif" />

AdWords icon

<img src="https://www.google.com/adsense/images/ref-adwords.png" />

AdSense icon

<img src="https://www.google.com/adsense/images/ref-adsense.png" />

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10 Comment(s):


I've adopted the new logos (mixed feelings, but the look and feel eludes to Apple Computer - that's a plus in my book). If you could find time to take a look and impart your thoughts, I'd be most appreciative. Thanks.


(By John, at Sunday, May 07, 2006 4:39:00 PM)  Edit Comment

Hi there John, I'm not sure what you mean, what did you want me to take a look at please? I can see you've got the new logos on your blog now, but is there anything particular about them you wanted to check?

(By Improbulus, at Sunday, May 07, 2006 11:13:00 PM)  Edit Comment


Apologies for the lack of clarity - busy w/e. Do you think that they're too subtle or about right?

I agree with your sentiments regarding the lack of Picasa et al icon creative on smaller badges! A bizarre omission for a global brand.

Thanks :-)

(By John, at Monday, May 08, 2006 10:37:00 AM)  Edit Comment

Hi John, no probs - I think the original logos that Google provided are too subtle or the ones that aren't too subtle are just too big, especially for blog sidebars. That's why I added the icons. :) Maybe in time Google will improve the range available - but for catching the eye I always think an image helps.

(By Improbulus, at Thursday, May 11, 2006 9:07:00 AM)  Edit Comment

for some reason i can't click the icons. The little text things to the right come up and disappear, and the images are unclickable in Firefox.

(By Erik, at Saturday, May 20, 2006 4:17:00 PM)  Edit Comment

Thanks Erik. It could be that Javascript is turned off in your browser? The way that Google do these referrals, it has to be by Javascript only - they don't provide a simple link for that, which is why I couldn't attach any link to the images.

But I'm going to try a workaround by using one of the links I get from clicking on their images, and see if that works. If it does I'm including those instead. Give me a couple of days to try it...

(By Improbulus, at Monday, May 29, 2006 9:07:00 PM)  Edit Comment

Really cool images for next to the referral buttons! I bet they really make a huge increase in clicks.

(By DiscussItOnline, at Friday, August 25, 2006 9:12:00 PM)  Edit Comment

Thanks DiscussItOnline. Well I thought they wouldn't hurt! Images always draw more attention, in my view.

(By Improbulus, at Saturday, August 26, 2006 10:36:00 PM)  Edit Comment

you have good content than mine

(By earn,make money without investment, at Sunday, December 17, 2006 12:08:00 PM)  Edit Comment

Well thank you!

(By Improbulus, at Wednesday, December 20, 2006 9:34:00 PM)  Edit Comment

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