Embeddable Google Maps

View Larger Map

Hot off the press over at the Google Maps API Blog is news of their great new embeddable maps. Google Maps is a great tool and now, thanks to this latest development, it can feature on your site even if you have no coding knowledge whatsoever. All that's required is the ability to copy and paste the embed link - pretty neat, huh? Check out the full article over at the Google Maps API Blog. To demonstrate how easy it is even I can embed a map at the top of this post!

Ads by Google - Blogger Update

If there's one question I hear more than any others it's "how do we integrate AdSense between our Blogger posts?" Google recommend optimising your AdSense earnings by placing ad units between the page content of your blog. The process used to involved tinkering with the code of each individual post - not ideal if you're an HTML dunce and hassle even if you aren't. Thankfully there's now an easier way to place AdSense units at the bottom of each of your blog entries. The clever Blogger and AdSense Googlers have been refining the AdSense widget. Now all you have to do is go to your blog layout screen, click 'Edit' on the post layout section and select the 'Show Ads Between Posts' option.

The new widget also allows you to easily customise the appearance of your in-post ads. Get optimising those Blogger AdSense ads now. Check out more on this story by visiting Inside AdSense.

AdSense4Dummies Competition - $30 Top Prize

Welcome to the first AdSense4Dummies competition. I am seeking to increase the exposure of AdSense4Dummies a little bit by calling on the blog reviewing skills of my readers (or anyone else who wishes to participate). The rules of this particular competition are quite simple - in 300 words or less write a review of this blog.

Entry Criteria:
The review must comply with the following guidelines:
  • This is a blog review competition - if your site isn't a blog you're not eligible to participate.
  • The review must not exceed 300 words.
  • Include at least one link to the AdSense4Dummies homepage.
  • Include at least 2 deeplinks from this choice of 4:
  • Entries will be judged on the quality of writing, breadth of content and presentation.
  • By entering the competition you agree to leave your review in the archive of your blog for an indefinite period. A second best entry, winning a $20 prize, will be chosen from the archived entries one month after the competition closing date.
Submit your entry by:
  • Either: Leaving a link to your review in a blog comment.
  • Or: Emailing me the link using the email address on the sidebar.
  • I will try my best to acknowledge all entries, although I can't guarantee to do so.
  • Please ensure I have some means of contacting you - preferably have a contact email address somewhere on your blog.
Prizes will be awarded as follows:
  • The best entry, as chosen by me, will receive $30 by PayPal on the day after the competition closing date.
  • The second best entry, as chosen by me, will receive $20 by PayPal one month after the competition closing date.
  • If you can not accept PayPal as a means of payment there's no point in entering - it is my only payment method.
  • Winners will be announced on AdSense4Dummies, with a link to their respective entries. They will also have the opportunity to write a guest post on AdSense4Dummies.
Closing Date:
The closing date and last date for entries is Friday, 31st August 2007 (UK time, GMT+1). Entries will not be accepted after this date.

My decision about the winners is final.

Let the creative juices flow!

Google - Increased Storage Capacity

Apologies I'm slow to cotton on, but I've been away for the past week so missed this article on the The Official Google Blog.

I've always thought that the free storage capacity that comes with Gmail and Picasa Web Albums was exceptionally generous. The current capacities stand at 2.8 GB and 1 GB respectively, meaning you can store tens of thousands of emails, far more than any normal user could ever generate, and several hundred high resolution images completely free of charge. In the unlikely event that you run out of free space you could just start a new Google Account, but that's not an ideal solution because it means your data is spread over several different places at the same time. Cue Google hosting - not their name, but my description. Basically Google are going to allow regular account holders to purchase storage 'bolt ons' for their account. The basic package is going to cost just $20 a year for an extra 6 GB (or several thousand high resolution images) of storage space. Google intend to offer power users plans of up to a massive 250 GB of increased capacity.

Keep an eye out for the latest developments by visiting the The Official Google Blog.

AdBrite - A Well Paying Ad Network

I've been using AdBrite for quite a long time (say 8 months) but I've not been able to review them because I hadn't tested all of their services - until now that is. Last week I got an email from them saying I had sold an ad on my YouTube Karaoke blog. It's the first time I've managed to sell an ad directly using AdBrite - usually I display their network ads. AdBrite is a very good alternative to AdSense - it's what I normally recommend to anyone who has been banned from AdSense, but you can now use AdBrite alongside AdSense too.

For anyone who hasn't heard of AdBrite, it is program that allows you to sell link ads on your websites. Nothing unusual there you might think and you'd be right. What makes AdBrite different from something like Text Link Ads is that you can choose to display network ads at times when advertisers haven't bought any links directly from you.

Registration and Acceptance:
It is very easy to get accepted into AdBrite - simply complete the online application form, submit your site to the directory, place your ad code and away you go. They don't have any strict PageRank or traffic requirements like other programs. AdBrite is open to publishers from all over the world. One problem people encounter is that the application form asks for a US Social Security Number - being from the UK I don't have one of those, so I just left the space blank and have had no problems. I've heard other people say that they've just used the number '00000000' and this works too, although I can't confirm that.

Directly Purchased Ads:
After registering you can submit your sites to the online AdBrite directory. If an advertiser likes your site they might buy a link from you. You can price your own links, but I always select the automatic pricing because it's easier. You can also choose the duration of the ads you wish to sell.

Network Ads:
The network ads look very similar to AdSense for content units and AdBrite now offer inline ads too (shown in image above). The inline ads, which appear under keywords in your text, have a particularly good click thru rate. You get paid a small amount, typically 5 - 50 cents, for every click on a network ad. The image below shows a fairly typical day's earnings of 15 cents per click. Network ads aren't contextual, so they don't necessarily fit with the theme of your site. A lot of publishers choose to display network ads only - if you have regular traffic to your site you can make very good money from them.

Payment is on a NET-60 basis - this means the earnings in your account must be 60 days old before they are paid out. Payment is made by check in US Dollars, which is posted to your registered address. The minimum payout is USD $5, but if you're overseas it is recommended you wait until you have earned much more (say $100) - you will be charged a fee to convert the check to local currency when you pay it into the bank.

Earnings for a fairly typical AdBrite day.

One of my AdBrite payment checks - this one for $315.

AdBrite is a very good alternative to AdSense. Since January 2007 it is now possible to display AdBrite on the same pages as AdSense, as long as the competing ad formats don't look confusingly similar. If you want to earn a little extra money after being banned from AdSense then AdBrite is the program for you.

If you've found this review useful and wish to try AdBrite yourself please sign up and tell them we sent you by using our link below.