Aside from the simple PPC ads provided by AdSense for Content, there's another way to generate ad revenue from your website. If your site is large enough that visitors could benefit from searching the site for the information they want, you can add a Google search box to your site and generate revenue from the ads that appear on the subsequent search results pages.
You do all this via Google's AdSense for Search program. And when you place a search box on your site, you not only generate ad revenue, you also improve the experience of your site's visitors. It's a win-win for everybody.
Understanding AdSense for Search
Google AdSense for Search is another way for you to generate ad revenue from your website. The AdSense for Search program is a subset of Google's AdSense for Content program that lets you insert a search box on your site, like the one in Figure 4.1. Depending on how you configure it, visitors can use this search box to either search your website or to search the entire web. The search results pages display typical AdSense PPC ads; you generate revenue when visitors click on these ads.
Figure 4.1 A Google search box displayed on a typical website.
Even better, you can customize to some degree the results from these on-site searches—both the matching pages and how they're displayed on the results pages. And, of course, you can customize how the PPC ads are displayed on the search results pages.
For starters, you can specify just where your visitors can search. AdSense lets users search your site only, a collection of sites you choose, or the entire web. You can also prioritize and restrict visitors' searches to specific sections of these sites.
Obviously, the PPC ads that appear alongside the search results, like the ones shown in Figure 4.2, are targeted to the user's search query. It's the same content-sensitive advertising that you're used to with AdSense for Content, but displayed alongside users' search results. You can opt to display these ads along the top and right sidebar of the search results page, or at the top and bottom of the page. Naturally, you can also customize the color scheme of the ads to make them look more like organic search results, or to stand out from the results.
Figure 4.2 A typical search results page with AdSense for Search ads displayed in the right column.
AdSense for Search uses the same search technology used on the Google search site itself, so you know the results will be good—both fast and relevant to users' queries. In fact, the results should be identical to those obtained on the main Google site, at least before you do any customization.