|If you are new to the online publishing business and looking for a method to earn money from your websites, Google Adsense is the perfect choice!
Here’s how it works and how you can get started.
Since its launch in 2003, Google Adsense has emerged as the leading advertising platform for publishers who are considering monetizing their website content. Over 58 million websites have chosen to earn money with Google AdSense. This comprehensive guide unveils everything rookie publishers need to know before diving into this lucrative avenue.
What is Google AdSense?
Google AdSense is an advertising program for website owners or publishers to earn money from their website content. Basically, Adsense delivers ads from Google Display Network (Google Ads), shows them on publisher’s website, and pays them money for every click or impression the ad receives, depending on the ad type.
Ad type: display ads, text ads, video ads, native ads, in-feed ads, in-article ads, matched content ads, vv.
Targeting: contextual targeting, placement targeting, personalized targeting, and run-of-network targeting.
Ad Revenue model: cost-per-impression (CPM), pay-per-click (PPC)
Google Adsense’s revenue model is a win-win, empowering publishers to monetize while granting advertisers a cost-effective avenue to engage their target audience.
How Does Google AdSense Work?
Google Adsense simplifies the monetization process, requiring basic knowledge of CSS and HTML from publishers.
AdSense requires the placement of Adsense code on your website, which is crucial for various tasks like error-checking, report generation, allocation of ad units, and other vital aspects of ad monetization.
Next, you need to create ad units and placements using ad tags. Ad tags allow publishers to customize ad units by selecting sizes, preferred colors, and targeting options. Once these ad tags are placed on suitable spots on webpages, ads will start appearing.
- Adsense code, known as head code, is a site-wide placement that continuously monitors the website to collect details such as page type, availability of ad tags, and more. It is required to be placed in the <head> section of a webpage, between the <head> and </head> tags.
- Ad tags: Compact code snippets placed within the webpage’s body, determining ad details like size, format, and target audience. Crucially, they need to be nestled between the <body> and </body> tags for optimal display.
Ensuring the correct placement of these codes is essential for a flawless ad display experience.
What are the advantages of using Google Adsense?
Now that we have defined what Google AdSense is, let’s discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using Google Adsense.
- Free initiation: AdSense operates on a revenue-sharing model, ensuring that earnings are generated for publishers before AdSense earns. This makes it cost-free to get started.
- Simple to operate: You can easily manage your earnings, optimize ad units, and run experiments through a streamlined dashboard.
- Straightforward eligibility standards: AdSense has simple eligibility criteria where they approve websites that are at least three months old, have original content, and are free from unsafe content with a decent design.
- Centralized Management: It’s possible to consolidate multiple websites, blogs, and YouTube channels into a singular account, streamlining the optimization and management of ad revenue.
- Diverse ad formats: AdSense supports different types of ads such as text, display, native, video, and rich media. Native ads are specifically crafted to blend in seamlessly with site content, providing a better user experience.
What are the disadvantages of using Google Adsense?
- Stringent Policies: Instant termination of account if Google policies are hindered. Depending on the severity of the violation, it may take months to resolve the issue and get back to normal, or in some cases, one may never be allowed to use AdSense again.
- Transparency issues: The revenue share for AdSense publishers is not disclosed by Google, which creates a sense of ambiguity and uncertainty for publishers to understand the actual earning potential of their inventory.
- Restricted Demand: AdSense operates on the Google Display Network, which is a closed network that does not allow external advertisers or demand to purchase impressions. This limits opportunities for publishers who are unable to bring their own demand to the network.
- Limited Advanced Features: AdSense maintains a simple platform without offering certain advanced features such as ad refresh and customizable price floors, which are highly valued by many publishers for optimizing their ad revenue.
- Second-Price Auction Model: AdSense works on a second-price auction model, which is different from the unified first-price auction model used by other Google products (like GAM). This means publishers may earn less than they would have if the advertiser had paid the agreed CPM, as the auction replaces it with the second-highest bid plus one cent. It results in a loss of monetization opportunities for publishers.
- No direct or dedicated support by Google: AdSense is pretty straightforward; you place AdSense code and it pays you. AdSense often advises publishers to focus on their content. However, if a publisher is stuck with an issue — like a decrease in revenue, ad units not appearing, a two-click penalty, and more — AdSense is unable to offer direct/dedicated support to help publishers with the issue.
Optimizing Adsense usage involves navigating its benefits and drawbacks to maximize revenue while adhering to policies for a seamless experience.
Google AdSense revenue share structure
AdSense has been open about the charges levied for their services, which is in line with the industry standards. Publishers who have used AdSense to monetize their content have received 68% of the revenue share.
Earlier, AdSense fees were processed in a single transaction. However, the AdSense revenue share has now been split into separate rates for the buy-side and sell-side, ensuring a more streamlined process. Publishers who choose to display ads with AdSense for their content will receive 80% of the revenue after the advertiser platform takes its fee. This fee could be either paid by Google’s buyer-side or third-party platforms.
For instance, when Google Ads purchases display ads on AdSense, Google Ads will retain an average of 15% of advertiser spend. However, as advertisers choose to pay based on user actions such as a click or conversion, Google Ads does not take a fixed per-impression fee. Overall, publishers will continue to retain about 68% of the revenue.
When advertisers use third-party platforms to buy display ads on AdSense, publishers still keep 80% of the revenue. After the third-party platform’s deduction, the remainder is credited to the publishers. Google doesn’t oversee or have visibility into the fees charged by these platforms to advertisers but ensures publishers receive their rightful share.
Understanding Adsense payment
- Supported model: CPM and CPC
- Payment method: Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT), Check, and Wire Transfer.
- Minimum payment threshold: $100
- Payment terms: Net-30
AdSense operates on a monthly payment cycle with a $100 threshold. Upon reaching this threshold, AdSense issues payments within the subsequent cycle. Payment method and currency are contingent upon the publisher’s country and account currency. Additionally, AdSense levies a minor fee for each payment method, prompting publishers to choose the most suitable option.
Understanding Google AdSense Policies
Adsense policies are designed to ensure publishers display appropriate and safe ads for users. These policies address various areas, including content guidelines, ad placement policies, and prohibited practices.
- Content guidelines cover the type of content that can be monetized through Adsense. Google prohibits ads on websites that contain adult content, copyrighted material, violent or hateful content, and illegal content. Advertisers also have the option to exclude their ads from appearing on certain types of content or websites.
- Ad placement policies ensure that ads are displayed in a way that is user-friendly and does not interfere with the user experience. Publishers must ensure that ads are not placed in a deceptive or misleading way, and they cannot use techniques such as pop-ups or auto-refreshing pages to increase ad impressions.
- Prohibited practices include fraudulent clicks and impressions, encouraging ad clicks, or artificially inflating ad metrics. Publishers must also provide a transparent and accurate disclosure of their data collection and usage practices.
Violating these policies can result in consequences such as account suspension or termination. Publishers can appeal if they believe their website was incorrectly flagged for a policy violation, and Google provides resources and support to help publishers understand and comply with Adsense policies.
How to Get Started with Google Adsense
If you’re looking to set up Google AdSense on your website, there are a few steps you’ll need to follow.
- Create a Google AdSense account: Go to Google Adsense website and sign up using your Google account. If you’re using Gmail or any other Google service, you already have one.
- Add code to your website: Once you have an account set up, you’ll need to add AdSense code and ad tags to your website to display ads and track impressions and clicks.
- Customize your ads: Choose your ad formats, color, and other customization options that work best for your website.
- Await approval: This can take a few days, so be patient.
- Start earning: Once your AdSense account is approved, you can start earning revenue by displaying ads on your website. Google will pay you based on the number of clicks or impressions your ads receive.
Best Practices: Tips to Increasing Ad Revenue
Here are some best practices that you can implement to achieve revenue goal:
- Optimize Ad Placement: Placing ads in the suitable locations on your website can make a huge difference in ad revenue. The most effective locations are above the fold, where users can easily see them. Try experimenting with different ad placements and measuring the results.
- Focus on User Experience: A poor user experience can drive users away from your website. Ensure that your website is fast, easy to navigate, and mobile-friendly, which can improve engagement and increase ad revenue.
- Do A/B testing: To optimize ad revenue, it’s crucial to evaluate the effectiveness of ad placements on your website. A/B testing can be a helpful tool in determining which placements work best for your audience. Additionally, experimenting with different types of ads, such as banners, videos, sticker ads, and native ads, can provide valuable insights.
- Improve content quality: Creating original and high-quality content is crucial to attracting a larger audience and establishing yourself as an authority in your niche.
- Monitor Performance: Regularly monitoring your ads’ performance can help you make informed decisions about ad placement, targeting, and more. Use analytics tools to track engagement, click-through rates, and revenue.
Why Should You Look for Google AdSense Alternatives?
Ad tech is a very volatile market. Technologies that are in demand today may become obsolete in a matter of months. Hence, publishers are constantly exploring new technologies to gain insights into their audience, enhance their inventory, and secure the future of their business.
In this regard, trying out AdSense alternatives is a common preference among most publishers. The reasons behind this can vary as below:
- Rejection from AdSense: AdSense may decline websites even if they are operated by promising bloggers or webmasters. This usually happens when the website fails to comply with AdSense’s policies. In such a scenario, publishers are left with no choice but to explore other options and seek partnerships with AdSense alternatives.
- Looking for more advanced targeting features, such as the ability to target users based on demographics and device preferences.
- Opting for more transparent alternatives than AdSense
Some of the great AdSense alternatives to try are:
Using Google AdSense with Other Networks
Publishers using Google AdSense can simultaneously use other ad networks, which can help them advance their business while receiving secure earnings support from AdSense.
It is even possible for publishers to make these networks compete against each other to increase bid pressure on their inventory. However, it is vital to maintain control over the number of ad units and the auction time frame to ensure a positive user experience.
Additionally, employing other ad networks along with AdSense can help offset any drawbacks associated with AdSense. For example, using other networks may provide the benefits of a first-price auction, dedicated support, and access to top demand from the market.
Advanced solutions for revenue improvement
Google AdSense can be a great starting point for new publishers and bloggers who want to monetize their content. However, as your website grows and your traffic and content quality improve, exploring other options to increase your revenue is essential. If you’re already familiar with Google’s products and services, you may want to consider trying out more advanced solutions like Google AdX and Google Ad Manager. Beyond Google’s offerings, there are other technologies available for publishers keen on revenue growth, whether or not they use AdSense. Some of these technologies encompass:
If your websites have a specific niche, there is a good chance that some advertisers would be interested in securing impressions on your pages. This is where direct deals can come into play. Currently, direct deals can be arranged either programmatically or manually. Most publishers opt for the programmatic option due to its reporting benefits. You can enter into a direct deal with an advertiser, allowing them to display their creatives to your audience for a negotiated CPM or CPC.
Header bidding is a real-time auction allowing publishers to offer their ad inventory to multiple ad exchanges simultaneously before sending requests to their ad servers. This transparent process gives publishers complete control over their inventory and can result in higher payouts. While header bidding requires some technical support, it can be incredibly lucrative for publishers. There are two main options for publishers: client-side header bidding, which runs auctions on the user’s browser, and server-side header bidding, which runs auctions on the publisher’s server.
Hybrid Bidding is a cutting-edge programmatic advertising technique that allows publishers to connect with multiple demand sources, including header bidding, AdX demand, and third-party ad networks. By leveraging Hybrid Bidding, publishers can maximize their revenue potential and streamline their ad operations.
Google AdSense is a powerful advertising program that can help website owners monetize their content and generate revenue. With its user-friendly dashboard and support for various ad formats, AdSense is a popular choice for publishers looking for a simple ad monetization method.
If you are entirely new to the AdSense platform, we recommend you visit the AdSense YouTube page for some quick tutorials on various getting started steps.
However, while AdSense is a great option for many publishers, it’s not the only game in town – there are plenty of other advertising programs and platforms out there waiting to be explored.