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Making Sense of AdSense

Have you thought of bringing in extra cash by placing Google ads onto your website? Here is summary of what it is all about, how it works and some of the things to watch out for. The information from this article is basically taken off of Google's pages.

Google AdSense is a fast and easy way for website owners to display relevant Google ads on their website's content pages and earn money. Because the ads are related to what your visitors are looking for on your site — or matched to the characteristics and interests of the visitors your content attracts — you'll finally have a way to both monetize and enhance your content pages.


  • Keep your users coming back with contextually targeted ads - google delivers text and image ads that are precisely targeted to your site and your site content—ads so well-matched, in fact, that your readers will actually find them useful.
  • Virtually no maintenance
  • Adsense will automatically display the text or image ad(s) that will generate the maximum revenue for a page
  • When your content changes, so do your ads
  • ads are also targeted by country, global businesses can display local advertising
  • Choose your own default ads – if Google is unable to serve targeted ads on your page, we offer you the option of displaying a default ad of your choice. This ensures that your advertising space is always being used as effectively as possible.
  • Customize ads to complement your site - choose from over 200 colors and 24 pre-set color palettes
  • Track your earnings with online reports - monitor your ad performance with customizable online reports that offer details like the number of page impressions, clicks and click-through rate. You can track the performance of specific ad formats, colors and pages, and spot trends quickly and easily
  • Google AdSense for search - when you join the AdSense program, you get access to Google AdSense for search; adding a Google search box to your site means monetizing more web pages while offering your users an even better site experience. Visitors hang around longer, since they can search from right on your site. And since AdSense serves targeted ads on search results pages, you can make more money from your Google search box as well.


The Google ads you are able to display on your content pages can be either cost-per-click (CPC) or cost-per-1000-impressions (CPM) ads, while AdSense for search results pages show exclusively CPC ads. This means that advertisers pay either when users click on ads, or when the advertiser's ad is shown on your site. You'll receive a portion of the amount paid for either activity on your website. Although Google doesn't disclose the exact revenue share, their goal is to enable publishers to make as much or more than they could with other advertising networks.

Payments Guide

You must complete all the steps below to get your account set for your first AdSense payment. Keep in mind that your earnings will need to reach the appropriate thresholds before you can provide your tax details, select a payment method, and enter your PIN or phone verification number.

1. Check your address

Since payments and Personal Identification Numbers, which we'll describe below, are sent to the mailing address in your account, it's important to confirm the accuracy of your payment address and payee name. Keep in mind, especially, that checks and Western Union payments are made out to the payee name exactly as entered in your account.

2. Provide your tax information

Depending on your location, Google may be required to collect tax-related information from you.

3. Select your payment method

Depending on your payment address, there may be a number of payment options available to you, including checks, Electronic Funds Transfer, and Western Union Quick Cash.

4. Enter your PIN and phone verification number

When your earnings reach the verification threshold, Google will mail a Personal Identification Number to the payment address in your account. You'll need to enter this PIN into your account before they can send any payments to you. Your PIN will be sent by standard post and will take 2-3 weeks to arrive. Depending on your location, you may also be asked to verify your phone number. As part of this process, their system will call you at a pre-arranged time, and you'll be required to dial in a verification number that appears in your AdSense account.

5. Reach the payment threshold in earnings

When your total unpaid earnings reach the payment threshold, Google will send you a payment at the end of the next month. This threshold varies depending on the reporting currency in your account. Let's say, for example, that the payment threshold for your account is US$100. In this case, if your total unpaid earnings reached $100 during January and you completed the 4 steps above, Google would send you a payment at the end of February. If your total unpaid earnings haven't yet reached the payment threshold, they'll roll over to the next month and accrue until they meet the threshold.

Tracking Earnings

You can track your AdSense performance and earnings from the Reports tab of your account.
On the last day of each month, Google's system identifies all accounts that have reached the payment threshold. All the accounts that have reached the threshold are then sent for approval. Within the first few days of the month, a link with specific earnings details will be posted to your Payment History page within the first few days of the month.

Within the next few weeks, a Payment issued line will be posted to your Payment History page, indicating your payment has been calculated. At this time, Google will have your payment processed and sent to you.

Payment arrives:
The time it takes for your payment to arrive depends on form of payment you have selected. Standard delivery checks: outside of the U.S. typically arrive in 2-3 weeks.

Holding Payments

If you'd prefer not to receive payments for a while, Google will hold payments for you. Just set up a payment self-hold in your account.

What are the thresholds that affect my payments?

There are several earnings thresholds that impact whether you're eligible to be paid for your AdSense earnings. These thresholds vary depending on the reporting currency in your account.


Tax Information Submission    


Payment Method Selection    



U.S. Dollars (USD)    












Tax Information Submission Threshold
Depending on your location, you may be required to provide certain information for tax purposes. If you are required to submit tax information, Google will enable you to enter your tax information when you reach this threshold.

Verification Threshold
To verify the accuracy of your account information, Google will mail you a Personal Identification Number (PIN) when your earnings reach the verification threshold. You'll then be required to enter this PIN in your account. Depending on your location, you may also be asked to verify your phone number. As part of this process, their system will call you and provide you with a number that you'll have to enter in your AdSense account.

Payment Method Selection Threshold
According to Google's Terms and Conditions, active accounts need to reach the payment threshold in order to qualify for a payment. Cancelled accounts, however, can be paid out if their unpaid earnings are greater than the cancellation threshold. Since Google doesn't ever issue payments for less than this threshold, they don't allow publishers to select a form of payment until their earnings have reached this amount.

Payment Threshold
You will be paid out when your unpaid earnings reach the payments threshold and when all holds have been removed from your account. Payment thresholds are based on the reporting currency that your AdSense reports are displayed in.

Cancellation Threshold
If you decide to cancel you account, you'll receive your final payment within approximately 90 days of the end of the month, provided that your account balance is greater than the cancellation threshold.



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