After unsuccessfully attempting to install the long-unsupported AdSense Extension and the buggy AdSense Widget, I finally found a simple way to add ads to the Top, Bottom, and Sidebar of a MediaWiki page.
But first, some explanation:
AdSense is a Google-based advertising service that allows you to sell ad space on your website. They have some extensive rules about what kind of websites they will allow their ads to appear on, and if your website is not unique content that you created, you might as well just give up now. Also, AdSense has a lengthy review process, where their bots and engineers investigate your site to ensure you have unique content. It takes a few weeks. Lastly, if your site is controversial or political or pornographic, you might as well give up on AdSense as well, because you won’t be approved.
To recap: Your site needs to have unique but uncontroversial content in order to apply for AdSense.
AdSense uses some nifty algorithms to detect what you have on your website to tailor the ad that appears on your client’s screen. So if you blog about computer programming, the AdSense algorithm will try to sell ad space pertaining to computers. If you blog about combustion engines, then AdSense will tailor the ads to show car stuff. It’s pretty simple. This way, you aren’t putting up ads that are completely off your existing website demographic.
Once you apply, you wait for a few weeks to get approved. The approval process involves you putting an AdSense Code in the “head” of your HTML on your website. The AdSense algorithm searches through your website and Google will decide if they think your stuff is novel and interesting. AdSense will send you an email. If you waited a month and got nothing, you probably aren’t the type of website Google wants to associate with.
However, if you are lucky and get approved, then you need to set up some new ads on your AdSense Account. You aren’t literally making the ads. You are just setting up a conduit for the advertisers to connect to your site. This is the “Ad Unit.” You get to decide the size, type, and style of advertisement using these “Ad Units.” To find them, go to your Google Adsense Dashboard, click the “≡” icon on the upper left, find the “Ads” category on the left side, and then click the “Ad units” sub-category.
More to follow….