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Keywords: SEO, adsense, adwords, Google API, PHP, C#
Title: Google Advertising Tools
Author: Harold Davis
Verdict: A good all-round introduction to Google's advertising services and APIs
Google is, as the saying goes, an advertising company with a search engine attached. For web masters and developers getting the most out of Google's advertising services can make the difference between a site that generates income and one that doesn't. Get it wrong and a site can die, get it right and a site can flourish. Google Advertising Tools, by Harold Davis and published by O'Reilly takes the reader on a journey through the ins and outs of AdSense, AdWords and the AdWords API.
The book opens not with a discussion of Google's services but with a useful and generic collection of chapters that look at different aspects of creating an interesting and financially fruitful web site. Topics range from discussions of content, to search engine optimisation strategies to different forms of advertising (pay-per-click ads, affiliate programs etc.) and even concludes with a chapter devoted to make adult sites. While much of this section of the book is independent of Google, it provides solid advice, good references to other revenue streams and an overall context in which to look at AdSense and AdWords.
The second section then moves on to looking at Google's AdSense program, through which websites, blogs and other forms of content can publish ads. The three chapters in this section guide the reader through creating an AdSense account, publishing ads on a web site and then looks at various forms of tracking. While much of the content can be gleaned simply from signing up with Google, the book format is much more usable and is better structured than the what's available online.
Section three looks at the process of creating an AdWords account, which is the process a web site owner uses to create advertising campaigns for their own sites and products. Again there's a walk through of the whole process, though in this case the book scores very highly compared to what Google publish themselves. Where the online material is focussed on the individual steps to get going, this book provides the big picture up front and then goes into the steps involved. There's also a good chapter on tracking sales and conversions.
AdWords also features an API so that developers can get access to the system. The final section of the book provides a detailed look at the API, making using of PHP and C# to drive the API. For developers this is the part of the book where the code lives.
In all this is a well-rounded look at Google's advertising programs from the viewpoint of a web master or developer. There are other books that cover some of the same material, such as Eric Giguerre's 'Make Easy Money With Google', but the latter is pitched at a less technically adept reader. In contrast to the latter title, this is the one we recommend for the active web master or developer looking to make sense of Google's advertising programs.