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Old 15th August 2006, 09:30 PM
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Post USA Today Article on Adsense

By Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Click. That's the sound of found money.

Another check is being electronically distributed by Google (GOOG) to a website owner or blogger, in return for hosting Google ads. The monthly stipends can range from hundreds of dollars to many thousands.

Folks who make their living from Internet search converged last week on Silicon Valley to attend the Search Engine Strategies conference and celebrate the rollicking "search economy" at a party at Google headquarters with massive food and karaoke contests.

The red-hot growth of online social networks such as MySpace and video clip sites — YouTube shows 100 million videos daily — is playing a major part in fueling the growth. Both sites run ads from Google.

The search-advertising market, with its little text ads published near search listings, is expected to grow to $26 billion in 2010 from $17.4 billion this year, says market tracker Forrester Research. Google accounts for the biggest chunk. The company reported $6.1 billion in revenue last year and nearly $5 billion in the first two quarters this year.

No wonder people are celebrating.

"I put up a website, add the Google ads and wait for the money to start flying in," says Marc Ostrofsky, president of, a major purchaser of website domains. The company owns 400,000 sites, including and Fueled by Google ads, the sites generate more than $10 million a year, he says.

Hitting the jackpot

Sponsors love search ads because they pay only if someone clicks on one. Folks like Ostrofsky who put the ads on their sites also get paid for the clicks. Google's AdSense network places ads all over the Web, targeting readers of a specific website or blog.

"The whole advent of blogging and social networks is that people can get their thoughts out there, and be paid for it," says Google Vice President Sheryl Sandberg. "We started off crawling the world's information for the Google index. Now, we fund the creation of that information."

David Miles Jr. has experienced lottery-style winnings by pairing his interest in MySpace with Google.

Miles, 20, and friend Kato Leonard, 21, created in 2005 to help MySpace members add graphic backgrounds to personal pages.

They added AdSense ads to the site to try to bring in a few bucks. From a first check of $60, Miles says, they now average $100,000 a month from Google. Just for offering graphics that he and Leonard make in Photoshop (ADBE).

"The more visitors we get, the more money Google sends us," says Miles. "And traffic is increasing all the time."

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