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May 14, 2008

AdSense Videos

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Seems Google has one-up'd their AdSense service to include full-on YouTube videos. You can embed a video player in your website which will play YouTube videos with overlay ads.

To create an AdSense video unit, you must first own both an AdSense account and a YouTube account. Following the links from within the AdSense website, you must link the two accounts together (fairly straightforward). Once linked, YouTube will put you on the video unit setup page, where you can add a name and description, color scheme (nine available at time of writing), size (Mini 400x415, Standard 500x510, and Full-Sized 780x560 -- yikes!), and content. The content options seem the most difficult part to figure out; a "keywords" field is offered, but all my attempts at using only keywords failed. You can also pick-and-choose from categories. Once a "search is successful", you are presented with a bunch of YouTube channels from which to choose your content. The "Channel Picker" offers the helpful hint "Click on a content owner to preview their information." The information? Their name, a link to their YouTube page, when they joined, how many channel views they've had, and, if you're lucky, a picture. Nothing useful enough to choose what content my viewers might enjoy. It does offer a "preview videos" button, which returns a table of video thumbnails with links you can click through to view the corresponding videos. Sorry, still not enough to accurately filter my content. Anyway. Moving on.

The smallest player, 400x415, is not "small". Granted, everyone has screens that are 1024x768 at a minimum (I myself use a 1440x900 notebook), but the browser no longer occupies the entire screen. I keep my FireFox window constantly at 1024x768 with the help of the Web Developer extension, and this "Mini" player is anything but mini. I suppose it does depend on your website's layout, of course, but seriously. 400 pixels wide is pretty "intrusive" by my standards; my current blog layout allows only 512 pixels for content width, and about 230 pixels for the sidebar content. Gimme something that's 200 pixels wide or less ("Micro" size, perhaps :D ), and hope it doesn't lose too much quality.

I know, I know, they've only just released it, more options will come with time and development, give em a break, right? Fine. I'm not really for the idea anyway, but that's another post.

Now, just because I'm not for the idea, doesn't mean I won't try it. I've added a "mini" sized player to the bottom of the blog, and we'll see how it goes. Enjoy the LockerGnome :)

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