Monetizing a WinForms application


Junior Member
Jan 1, 2011
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Hi guys,

I've written a little Winforms .NET application and would like to offer it for free, however I am looking at ways to monetize the application.

The first thing that came to mind was to throw in a WebBrowser control to display AdSense adverts, but as I understand it 1) the WebBrowser control is locked down from running javascript and may have problems showing the ads, and 2) it is against AdSense TOS to run adverts in a desktop application, which will likely result in my account being disabled.

Can anyone make any suggestions? I'm open to any forms of monetizing, using any publishers.

You can simulate web agent and stuff on your webbrowser, otherwise google will ban you
You can simulate web agent and stuff on your webbrowser, otherwise google will ban you

I am aware this can be done but wasn't sure if it's acceptable. Google AdSense TOS says no ads on desktop applications, period.

Do you know what the minimum requirements are for using the webbrowser object in order to prevent Google identifying that the browser was a integrated browser within a desktop application? Such as required headers, cookies etc?
I run my applications with a webbrowser that points to a web page that has content on it that is tailored to what the software is about. I've been doing this for 2 1/2 years and I've yet to get in trouble. Mostly because Google thinks they are just an average viewer of this 1 page. You can also use a position code that keeps the webbrowser view over the ad so that it looks seamless to the user.

Just make the page that the ad is on very content heavy so that if Google looks at this page, they will think it is just a normal web page. Put like software FAQ, description, title, keywords, menu, links etc.

Don't worry about altering headers or cookies. I've never done that on a webbrowser ad before. But, if you are worried, here is an example code:

webBrowser1.Navigate("MY AD URL HERE", null, null, "User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/41.0.2228.0 Safari/537.36");
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I am not sure if you would able to make any decent money with adsense with the risk of getting banned. Better option would be to link to software products that are related to your product/niche and make aflfiliate commissions. Other than that you could try PPI by bundling those external software within your installation package.
PPD(I don't know any good recent ones I don't follow the market) or your own or a loosely-regulated affiliate system. Probably one of those quick banner or traffic sharing sites. Google is going to have frame-breaking and probably advanced browser detection using cache and JRT.

I'm also interested in being schooled on this somehow because I think I know it all and I don't see any profit really. I can code in any language pretty fast and stable and could get this running over night..
Well Google will ban you if you use it in app.

But try to google for "ads networks for desktop applications" there are some, but never tried it.
You want to throw in some shit ads into a software other people use? Lol, that's horrible.
Why not just add paid plugins into it, or make a PRO version out of your tool?
Yeah I think the same but that was not OP question :)

I think its best to offer some functionality for free so people can play with your tool and for advanced use they will pay for premium...

Still better than ads in app.
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