Google bought a company called Applied Semantics in April of 2003 and AdSense was effectively born.
Google AdSense is an advertising platform that content publishers can use to generate revenue off of their websites. If you have used the web, you have seen, and probably clicked on, ads that were served by AdSense.
Every time a visitor to a website clicks on an ad, the site owner gets a portion of what the advertiser pays Google to put the ad on the network.
AdSense is a great way for sites of any size to generate revenue. The amount you will earn off a site is based on quite a few factors, the two primary of which are: traffic to your site, and the relevance of the content to your traffic.
I personally know people that were having $60k months in the “early days” of Google. The early 2000’s was literally the “Wild Fucking West” in terms of getting ranked on Google and AdSense revenue.
Spamming search engines and directory sites was a no brainer. Plus, there weren’t the number of absolute shit sites on the web that there are today. Click fraud was a rampant problem. Most of that has changed, at least the rules have changed, but people still try to game the system. Google has improved their algorithms (and everything else) over the years and is now a pretty challenging beast to tame.
But there is still one killer way to rank in Google (which is undisputed King of search engines) and make money with AdSense (and affiliate programs, information products, services, consulting, etc.) and that is to provide quality content on a very specific topic.
I have been crating niche content sites since 2004. I’m not going to bullshit you and say this is easy, but it is consistent. Building websites is a great way to learn skills that are directly transferable to paying jobs. In fact, I have learned more about software and web development on my own that I ever learned in a classroom.