BTRIPP (btripp) wrote,

Another ...

OK, so I was sort of mocking the “for dummies” books the last time I reviewed one, but here I am again, with another awaiting review! Frankly, I pretty much ordered Jerri Ledford's Google AdSense for Dummies by mistake … I have some projects where I'll be using Google's Ad Manager but the specific terminology was not set in my head when I went looking for something to get me up to speed with that, and saw books on Google's AdWords and this one on AdSense and figured this was the one I was looking for, only realizing after it arrived that it wasn't the “manual” that I was hoping to be reading. However, AdSense is a product that I'm likely to use at some point or another, so I figured “what the heck”, and launched into it. This wasn't quite a quick a read as the Ning book (which I plowed through on one afternoon/evening), but that's because it wasn't something that was really holding my interest in the way that something that I was actually working with would have.

I don't generally read other reviews of a book before I write about it, but in this case I took a peek at the Amazon scribes and found very mixed reviews of it, some folks savaging it for perceived inaccuracies, some raving that it was a very useful introduction to the Google program. Having no functional experience with AdSense, I really couldn't speak to the accuracy of the book, but I found it informative, if a bit irritating in parts (the author appears to be some sort of religious fanatic and almost all her “examples” eventually got around to preachy sites).

Of course, the sine qua non of the “For Dummies” books is their ability to take the reader from total cluelessness to the ability to at least reasonably function in a program. Judged by this standard (and with the caveat that I haven't tried anything outlined in the book), I suspect that this fulfills its purpose, as I believe I have a pretty good sense of what's involved in running an AdSense campaign.

The most interesting parts of the book for me were on the “general website coaching” side of things … recommendations of how to keep stuff fresh, how to incorporate profitable “key words” into your pages, and how to stay on the good side of Google (despite the many temptations out there that would lead you to the exile of the banned).

While I have had many web sites and blogs over the years (obviously, my main blogging platform is LiveJournal which does not offer ad options, so it's never been something I've thought at looking into except at the far end of having to make a massive content move to another service!), this at least gave me a context of what one might be able to produce off of one's sites. Honestly, none of my personal sites have ever had the sort of traffic that would make the effort involved (and resulting page clutter) worth the pennies that it might generate via a program like this, but this at least gives me some context from which to discuss the option with others whose sites I may be working on.

As is frequently the case, I got this via the new/used vendors on Amazon, with this running me a relatively high $8.42 (plus shipping) for a “new” copy, still a good discount from the $24.99 cover price and Amazon's own 34% discount. Given that the author has "tainted" the book with her religion (where it hardly belongs!), I'd wholeheartedly recommend getting this though the “used” channels (heck, the same vendor I got this from now has a "new" copy for just $3.79!) to deny her the revenue … something that I usually feel genuinely bad about when pointing out the after-market option. I do feel, however, that this is a useful introduction if you're looking to make some change on your web sites.

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Tags: book review
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