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The AdSense Code: What Google Never Told You About Making Money with AdSense Paperback – April 15, 2006
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This book is chock full of self promotion (for Joel Comm) and as nice a guy as he genuinely seems like, this information is all fluff and the Google site will teach you all of it for free. If you want a MUCH better look at both Adsense and Adwords, as well as how Google really works, check out the updated Google Advertising Tools: Cashing in with AdSense and AdWords (Animal Guide) by Harold Davis. Davis has the most intimate and useful knowledge I've yet found (which doesn't mean there aren't other good books out there--I'm certain there must be) and I underlined and highlighted so much in the book in the first few days I could barely see the text anymore.
I think that Joel Comm probably knows what he's writing about, but he seems so wrapped up in making it seem simple and easy that after a while you start to doubt his knowledge--do you know what I mean? Making it sound too simple makes it sound like there's a lot that he's leaving out. If you want a light read that you can skim and then donate to a book sale, sure, try the book. But my real suggestion is to read Davis' book, or some other author's more in-depth book, then pester every webmaster you know until you find someone that will take you under his wing and teach you some of the techniques for making Adsense work.
I'm not sure if Adsense is still pulling in the bucks for webmaster that it once did, but I do make a small amount of money each month and it pays my hosting bills with something left over. But the only "code" there is in Adsense is the same code there is in any business: hard work, lots of learning time, good ideas, a genuine concern for your customers (read Growing a Business sometime if you want to get a good lesson in customer care) and the patience to experiment, keep good notes and create worthwhile content.
It's not that you won't learn something from this book--if you're very new to Adwords/Adsense and SEO, you just might. But there are better books with much more true information and lots less chest pounding.
If you know anything about me you will know that I harp that Joels E-book Adsense Secrets is a must have, it took my sites to an unheard of level way beyond what I thought I could make.When I heard Joel was coming out with a real book I said to myself that I didn't need no stinking book to tell me what I know already. Boy was I wrong!
After following my sites for only a week I could see that I was causing my own sites to actually pay less. I did something that caused my click thru's to pay less that what I should be getting. That in itself paid for the book and more. I felt complacent with what I was already earning from Adsense and that right there was my first mistake.
I don't want to go into details about what I changed but imagine if your income suddenly doubled as mine has. Sometimes learning what not to do is as important as to what you should be doing. I forgot to use Robert Kiyosaki's Rich Dad - Poor Dad lesson #1 which is learn from your mistakes . Anyway, what I like about this book is the same thing that I like when I am reading something online and that is short paragraphs packed with a lot of information. Before I knew it I had read all 228 pages. I wonder if Joel made the book this way on purpose since he knows how people glance at a page online.
I had the privalege of meeting Joel out at affiliate summit in Las Vegas back in January 2006 and I talked to him for a few hours. I thought he really knew his stuff but I was wrong as I only got to see the tip of the iceberg. Once again if you are using Adsense this book is a must have.
I thought this book would be a difficult, page yawning slog but Joel manages to turn a potentially technical subject into easily comprehensible chapters with no padding. It's as straight to the point as it could possibly be. The concepts I learnt are still in the back of my mind every time I'm placing Adsense blocks on my website.
I'm not sure how this book has dated since I bought it but I imagine all the chapters on Ad placement and design are still just as relevant as when the book was first published. Highly recommended.