Tuesday, May 29, 2007

IndiaStudyChannel.com - My next AdSense revenue sharing web site

I am glad to announce that Google has approved my next site as one of the Google AdSense revenue sharing websites. It has been couple of weeks after Google approved my first AdSense revenue sharing website http://www.dotnetspider.com.

IndiaStudyChannel.com is an educational portal, offering 90% of the AdSense revenue share to the members who contribute content to the site. The AdSense API implementation and AdSense integration look pretty much same as in dotnetspider.com. Since I was pretty much familiar with the AdSense API integration through dotnetspider, it took only few days for me to complete this integration. However, Google took more than 2 weesk to review and approve the AdSense API integration in the site.

If anyone like to participate in the revenue sharing program and make some money, you get try IndiaStudyChannel.com. Find our AdSense API integration & revenue sharing implementation here.

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Friday, April 20, 2007

My experience with Google AdSense API Integration

The first time I heard about the public release of AdSense APIs was from the AdSense Blog during 1st week of April, 2007. This was something I have been waiting for several months and decided to give it a try.

I knew hundreds of other webmasters like me were waiting for this. I wanted to be one of the first few who integrates the AdSense APIs and claim the 'early bird credit'.

I spent few hours reading the API reference and documentation in the AdSense API developer's getting started guide - http://code.google.com/apis/adsense/gettingstarted.html. I did not have the patience to fully read and understand what Google want me to do or my enthusiasm did not allow me to wait. I jumped to the last steps and registered myself as a developer at http://services.google.com/ads_inquiry/api_application. The next step I did was, sent out an email to Google AdSense API team requesting to convert my account to a developer account.

To my surprise, it took only 5 minutes to get a reply for my email from Google. I was told I need to implement the APIs first and integrate our site with AdSense.

That gave me a chance to sit back, relax and read the AdSense APIs in detail. I went through the API reference (http://code.google.com/apis/adsense/developer/adsense_api_classref.html) and learnt what I can and what I cannot do using the APIs.

This is what I summarized and decided to implement in dotnetspider.com

- A welcome page where I give a brief introduction to our revenue sharing program with links to the Help section, FAQ, AdSense Control Panel and Account creation pages.

- Page where user get started with the account creation. This page has two radio buttons -
. Create New Account
. Associate Existing Account.

I will get referral bonus only for new AdSense accounts. So, I wanted to encourage users by highlighting the first option. Also, I give an indirect threat saying 'if you are not comfortable sharing your existing AdSense account information with us, create a new account'. (I was asked by Google to remove this highlighting and message)

- Create New Account page. If the user decide to create a new AdSense account, this page will be used.

This page has the following fields to capture information from user:

. Email Address (this becomes the AdSense user login)
. Primary Website of the user
. Website Locale
. User Locale
. Digital Signature (This is something I use to discourage the 'fun users'. I am displaying the user's IP Address next to the textbox and ask user to type this in the textbox as their digital signature. By doing this, they are agreeing that they have read, understood and agree to all the terms and conditions set by Google and dotnetspider. Links are provided to all the Google terms & conditions related pages for the convenience of the members who have time to read all those!

- Associate Account page. This screen allows members to associate their existing AdSense account with dotnetspider.

- Account Manager page. This is the control panel and most complicated AdSense integration page. This page provides the following features:

. View AdSense account settings
. Edit account settings
. View AdSense channels
. Add channels
. Invite friends to AdSense revenue sharing program
. View revenue summary/reports

- AdSense FAQ page. In this page, I have given answers to some of the expected questions.
- AdSense Policy. I have explained our revenue sharing policy in this page.

Issues in calling web services from .NET 2.0

I added web reference to the Google sandbox servers and started testing all the features. I occasionally got an error while calling web services.

"The underlying connection was closed: A connection that was expected to
be kept alive was closed by the server".

Initially, I was of the impression that this error was due to some problems on the Google sandbox server. I contacted Google support team regarding this error and I was told that this cannot be an error on their side. I did some googling on this issue and figured out that this is an error in .NET Framework 2.0 when calling webservices.

I have posted the resolution for this problem here.

Ready to contact AdSense Team

After implementing above pages, I decided to contact AdSense API support team. I sent an email with the URL of the above pages requesting them to upgrade my adsense account into a developer account.

I got a reply on the same day saying they will start reviewing my site soon. They asked me to create couple of user accounts in my website so that AdSense testing team can login and create/associate AdSense accounts. I did that on the same day and informed AdSense team.

After 2 days, AdSense team got back to me with couple of suggestions to change few wordings in the FAQ section and also some titles. Also, some of the web service calls were failing due to my wrong understanding of the APIs.

The next suggestion I received from AdSense team was, they could not see associated member accounts used in any of the pages in the site. This is because I was of the impression that I should start using the associated member account only after we go live. (At this stage, we were using Google sandbox server and all accounts created were on the test server). However, AdSense team wanted to see how I am using the associated member accounts in some pages. So I implemented them in the user profile pages. When the user create and AdSense account and after it is approved, the ads will start showing up in the member profiles pages.

I think Google was pretty happy about the implementation. Next day I got an email saying they are assigning a policy specialist to help me with the rest of the integration process.

I exchanged couple of emails with the policy specialist and his suggestions were pretty easy to make. He wanted us to change some words in various pages to adhere to the Google AdSense policies. One of the most important suggestions was, he suggested me to remove various topics I explained about click fraud. He suggested me to simply direct members to the Google AdSense Policy page rather than giving my own interpretation for those !

After 2 days of reviews and changes, I was told that Google is ready to approve me. Our team was very excited on this. We were all waiting for the Go Live day - 19 April 2007.

Going Live with AdSense API Integration

We had to do couple of steps as part of going live.

1. Provide our server IP address to Google so that they can white list our ip addresses and allow our server to access Google's server.

2. Switch all web services references to Google's live servers instead of the sandbox servers that we were using during testing phase.

3. Update our application to use our real AdSense account user id and password to call the web services. (During testing phase, we have been using a test account given by Google )

We did all those steps and were waiting for the Go Live date.

I woke up on 20 April morning and logged in to my AdSense account. I was redirected to a new AdSense API Policy & agreements page and was asked to agree to the terms and conditions before I can proceed with login. After I logged in, I saw the new tab called "My Publishers" in my account manager page.

Our site is officially promoted as a developer AdSense account !

I invited few of our partners and active contributors to join the revenue sharing program to make sure everything works as expected. Few of them created new AdSense accounts and some of them associated their existing accounts. To my surprise, everything worked great without any issues.

We are one of first few sites offering AdSense revenue sharing using AdSense APIs. We offer 90% of the AdSense revenue to the contributing members. Check out our AdSense revenue sharing program at http://www.dotnetspider.com/adsense/.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Wow! That was a surprise announcement from AdSense team today. They have support team in Hyderabad, India to help the Indian publishers. They are also introducing more case studies and tips specifically for the Indian readers! I wish some day my site also will be included in the AdSense case studies.

Read more: Google AdSense Support team in India


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

AdSense Revenue Sharing Sites

Google has opened the AdSense APIs to the world and now it is "revenue sharing season" !

Thousands of websites are in the work room offering the AdSense revenue sharing program. While majority of them simply try to offer something that look very attractive, not many of them really want to share much with you.

I am in the process of identifying some good websites that do really share the AdSense revenue. I will publish the list here along with the percentage of share offered by the sites and how to participate.

Please let me know if you know any good sites that have integrated AdSense APIs and offer revenue sharing.

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

I have decided to participate in Technorati. Here is my
Technorati Profile!

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Friday, March 30, 2007

AdSense APIs

Today Google has opened the AdSense APIs for all! This is something I have been waiting for more than 6 months.

Here is couple of things I am planning to do in dotnetspider in next couple of days:

1. Provide a VB.NET Google AdSense API sample code section in dotnetspider showing how to call each of the Google AdSense APIs using VB.NET. Google provides some C# samples, but no VB.NET samples yet for consuming their AdSense webservices. I have already posted some VB.NET samples in http://www.dotnetspider.com/adsense/AdSenseAPISamples.aspx

2. Integrate AdSense APIs with dotnetspider

3. Implement a feature where I can share revenue with the content publishers.

I guess this is going to keep me busy for next few weeks! And I am sure this will excite my members who actively contribute to the site.

Update: I have launched http://www.dotnetspider.com/adsenseapi where you can view all AdSense API samples and try them online !

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: A quick word about Googlebombs

Here is an interesting thread about Google Bombs!

Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: A quick word about Googlebombs