How to make Google display FSP ads
instead of its own PSA ads, Part 1
If you have a website that runs Google AdSense ads, you know that Google attempts to run ads targeted to the content on the page, but if it cannot find a targeted ad, it runs a public service announcement (PSA) ad instead.
Rather than just letting Google run some generic PSA of its choosing, you can employ code that tells Google to display instead an ad of your choosing. For Free State Project members who have websites using Google AdSense, this an easy opportunity to get free publicity for the FSP.
Here's a two-part procedure for adding this feature to your Google AdSense code. Part 1 tells you how to generate the code itself; Part 2 tells you how to implement the code and create the HTML file for serving the Free State Project ad of your choice.
Part 1: How to generate the code
1. Sign into your Google AdSense account and click the Ad Settings link.
The Ad Settings page opens:
2. Use the Ad layout option to choose the size of the Google ads you want to display on your page. The FSP now has tower-sized ads to match some of Google's options.
For example, if you want your page to display FSP large banner ads, choose AdSense's 480 x 60 option.
If you want your page to display FSP tower ads, choose AdSense's 120 x 600 option.
In our example, we'll use one of FSP's new tower ads. I especially like the one with the raining porcupines:
(What you do with the Ad Type, Color palettes, Channel, and Framed pages options will depend upon the parameters of your website, but they don't matter for our purposes here.)
3. The Alternate ad URL or color field is where you tell AdSense the HTML page where it can find the FSP ad you want Google to display whenever it doesn't have a targeted ad to display for your site.
We'll call our page http://www.yourdomain.com/fsp_ad.html (of course, in your url you'll substitute the name of your website domain in place of yourdomain.com). Put this url in the Alternate ad URL or color box, like so:
(Yeah, Google really should make that field larger, so that you can make sure your URL is in there correctly. I recommend that you paste the URL in there from another location, just to be sure. But anyway.)
4. Now click the button. Google generates the ad code for you and displays it in the Your AdSense code box. This is the code you will add to your HTML code at the spot where you want your ad to appear. (In the illustration, I've blocked out the publisher number, which will differ for each website.)
Now you have the code to put in each of your HTML pages on which you want to display FSP ads in cases where Google would otherwise serve up PSA ads. Notice that your AdSense code now includes the URL you provided as the location of the page containing your alternate ad information. In Part 2 you'll create this page.
Part 2: Making the HTML page where Google can find the FSP ad you want AdSense to display.