366 Part III: Designing Sites for Long-Term Success Reporting. If you re buying ads, you re going to want regular, comprehensive reports to see how the advertising is working. Similarly, if you are hosting ads, you may want to track which ads seem to be influencing your site visitors behavior. Most companies offering advertising also offer extensive reporting. Cost. Web ads can vary greatly in cost and type. Research to decide which advertising type is best for you. Along with ad hosting services, you can also consider running your own ad server software. note There are a large number of advertising services. The oldest and most well known is DoubleClick (www.doubleclick.com/), whose site offers a lot of helpful information covering a wide range of promotion and marketing for Web sites. For a good article on running your own ad server software, see Evaluating Ad Management Software by Bruce Morris, at www. webdevelopersjournal.com/articles/ad-management.html. Secret #240: Add Sponsored Links Sponsored linking is a phenomenon that staken off like crazy and seems to be one of the few new ideas to hit Web advertising. A sponsored link is a text link that can appear in the form of an ad or a simple link. You pay for the sponsorship, and the link is then extremely well targeted to appear on search engines or Web sites based on relevance. That relevancy seems to be a key component of sponsored link popularity. An excellent example of a sponsored link program is Google AdWords. Do any search on Google and you ll wind up seeing several links on the top and to the right side of the search results page. These are sponsored links, and if you compare the topic of your search to the resulting links, you ll see that the relevancy is pretty exacting. I put in the search term dog breeds and the sponsored links that appeared were both for breeder directories. You can purchase AdWords to run on Google (pricing structure is very sensible and guided by your budget needs), or use Google sAdSense, which allows you to build revenue by running others ads on your site all targeted by relevance (see the example in Figure 14-5). note To learn more about Google AdWords, see https://adwords.google .com/select/. To read more about AdSense, see www.google .com/adsense/. For bloggers or other sites where a wide range of topics might be freely discussed, this approach has been found to be controversial, largely due to Google policy. If you d like to read about the controversy, see www.kottke .org/03/10/google-adsense-sucks. The issues described pertain specifically to personal blogs rather than professional sites, but it s always good to be informed.
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