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On my web site there is a (self-coded) search functionality that searches through the web site's specific contents. However I'd like to display one banner in addition to the site's results, showing ads relevant to the entered search terms.

Can I do this e.g. with Google Ads? I want the ads to be based only on the search terms from the user, not the rest of the site's content, so there has to be a possibility to pass these search terms to the ad provider and get a banner based on these search terms.

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4 Answers

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Google Adsense won't let you do that, that's for sure. I don't know about many other ads clients, but I don't think I've ever heard of one that would allow this kind of setup.

One thing you could do is find search engines/websites that have affiliate programs. I forgot which it was, but there used to be a Dutch startup search website that would allow you to link to custom search queries on their page and get paid for clicks. Maybe there's more search affiliates like that, so you could just generate links to their search page based on the search queries used on your site.

Another option would be to register with some general affiliate brokers and set up your own database of affiliate links with related terms, so that when a user searches on a term you could query your database for that term and display affiliate links with the same terms from your database. This will take a lot of work though.

Finally, you could just optimize your search results page to contain the search query in the title, meta keywords and description, the <h1> tag and a couple of times throughout your page. This way you might be able to trick adsense into displaying ads that relate to the searched terms, but it's in no way waterproof.

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Thank you, very informative! I think I'll look if I find a page like that Dutch page and if there's nothing available go for the own DB option. –  Joe Nov 26 '10 at 15:57
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You can do that with Featured Results feature that comes with SearchBlox which is a free search engine for websites. http://www.searchblox.com/monetizing-your-vertical-search-engine-with-advertising

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I don't see any problems with this; as far as I know it is not against the Adsense TOS. Each search result is its own page, e.g. example.com/search?q=widgets so the Adsense crawler can see each search result and the page's content.

The main problem would come in that the pages don't have any unique content, it's all snippets from other sites. The quality of your ads is likely to be pretty low.

Otherwise try Adsense for Search like bdadam suggested.

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So you're saying I should use the usual Adsense? The problem there would be that the results are "mixed" based on the other (e.g. navigation) content of my site. What do you mean by "the pages don't have any unique content"? –  Joe Nov 27 '10 at 11:56
    
@user3826: By unique content I mean your search results will only have content from the pages you've returned, meaning it's essentially duplicate content. It's not a big problem but you are not likely to get the ad revenues you're expecting. –  DisgruntledGoat Dec 1 '10 at 11:15
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You could also try AdSense for Search: http://www.google.com/adsense/afs As long as I know, you can use it with your "search engine", you don't necessarily have to use Google Custom Seaaarch.

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That would be even better, but looking at the customization options it seems that I'd have to use Google's search field and display their results as well (I can only specify the width of the results area)... –  Joe Nov 26 '10 at 16:24
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