Google uses its Internet search technology to serve advertisements based on website content, the user's geographical location, and other factors. Those wanting to advertise with Google's targeted advertisement system may enroll through AdWords. AdSense has become a popular method of placing advertising on a website because the advertisements are less intrusive than most banners, and the content of the advertisements is often relevant to the website.
Many websites use AdSense to monetize their content. AdSense has been particularly important for delivering advertising revenue to small websites that do not have the resources for developing advertising sales programs and salespeople. To fill a website with advertisements that are relevant to the topics discussed, webmasters implement a brief script on the websites' pages. Websites that are content-rich have been very successful with this advertising program, as noted in a number of publisher case studies on the AdSense website.
Some webmasters invest significant effort into maximizing their own AdSense income. They do this in three ways:
- They use a wide range of traffic-generating techniques, including but not limited to online advertising.
- They build valuable content on their websites that attracts AdSense advertisements, which pay out the most when they are clicked.
- They use copy on their websites that encourages visitors to click on advertisements. Note that Google prohibits webmasters from using phrases like "Click on my AdSense ads" to increase click rates. The phrases accepted are "Sponsored Links" and "Advertisements".
The source of all AdSense income is the AdWords program, which in turn has a complex pricing model based on a Vickrey second price auction. AdSense commands an advertiser to submit a sealed bid (i.e., a bid not observable by competitors). Additionally, for any given click received, advertisers only pay one bid increment above the second-highest bid.How Adsense Works:
srcattribute set to the page's URL.
- For contextual advertisements, Google's servers use a cache of the page to determine a set of high-value keywords. If keywords have been cached already, advertisements are served for those keywords based on the AdWords bidding system. (More details are described in the AdSense patent.)
- For site-targeted advertisements, the advertiser chooses the page(s) on which to display advertisements, and pays based on cost per mille (CPM), or the price advertisers choose to pay for every thousand advertisements displayed. 
- For referrals, Google adds money to the advertiser's account when visitors either download the referred software or subscribe to the referred service. The referral program will be retired in August 2008.
- Search advertisements are added to the list of results after the visitor performs a search.