Google AdMob vs Adsense: What’s the Difference?

Brock Munro
February 6, 2023
July 10, 2024
Google AdMob vs Adsense: What’s the Difference?

The online advertising market has grown immensely over the last decade, pushing other forms of advertising, such as print and television, to the sidelines.

Digital advertising is expected to top $700 billion in 2023. Programmatic advertising is set to account for about 89% of digital ad revenue by 2027.

Google has been at the forefront of the advertising ecosystem for several years with AdMob and Adsense. While both of these are Google ad networks, they have different features and are better suited to different types of publishers. In this post we take a detailed look at what each of these has to offer publishers.

Table of contents

Google AdMob vs Adsense: The Full Overview

What Is Google AdMob?

What Is Google AdSense?

AdMob vs AdSense: What’s the Difference?

AdMob vs AdSense: Who Pays Better in 2024?

Final Thoughts

Google AdMob vs Adsense: The Full Overview

Network Traffic Requirements Revenue share CPM earnings
Google AdMob No strict requirements. 60:40.
60% of the total revenue stays with the publisher and Google gets the remaining 40%.
CPM rates are set by advertisers and app developers get paid every time the ad appears in the app.
Google Adsense No strict requirements. 68:32.
68% of the total revenue stays with the publisher and Google gets the remaining 32%.

CPM rates are set by advertisers. Publisher earnings depend on geography, topic, niche, and more.
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What Is Google AdMob? 

AdMob is a Google ads platform for mobile applications that developers use to monetize their apps. It allows mobile apps developers to generate revenue by using in-app advertising and promoting their apps.

Google AdMob works with both Android and iOS apps allowing app developers to boost their revenue by showing high-quality in-app ads. 

How Does AdMob Work?

AdMob works with advertisers to show their ads to your mobile app users. An advertiser who wishes to promote their product or services on the app creates interactive media advertisements which the app developer displays on their app.

Google AdMob is perhaps the largest mobile ad network in the market with millions of advertisers. More advertisers imply more demand, high-quality relevant ads, and higher revenue for app developers.

The network offers hybrid revenue models for app owners that allow them to balance in-app advertising along with in-app purchases to boost revenue. 

How to Integrate AdMob

Here is how you can integrate AdMob with your mobile applications.

  1. Sign in to your AdMob account or create a new AdMob account if you do not have one.
  2. Open the dashboard and generate your AdMob ID
  3. In Application settings under Application Information select the option that allows you to link your app to Firebase.
  4. Add the <meta-data> to the AndroidManifest.xml file to add your AdMob Application ID.
  5. Add and initialize the Mobile Ads SDK. 

AdMob Pros:

  • Global network of advertisers and developers
  • Offers complete control to the app developer over the type of ads shown to users to maintain the brand image and ensure authenticity
  • Integration with Google Analytics allows valuable insights regarding performance, revenue, user engagement, etc. 
  • Multiple ad formats

AdMob Cons:

  • High minimum payout threshold of $100
  • Low earnings for small or new developers

What Is Google AdSense?

AdSense is an ad network that helps publishers maximize their revenue by selling ad inventory to advertisers looking for space to feature their ads.

AdSense works in a similar way to AdMob, with the difference that where AdMob catered to mobile app publishers, AdSense is a solution for website publishers, whether desktop or mobile web based.

Google AdSense is regarded as one of the best advertising platforms for publishers as it allows website owners to connect with multiple ad networks.

It is important to note that AdSense is an ad network and not an ad exchange. The two work differently, in that an ad network acts as an intermediary between an advertiser and a publisher, whereas in an ad exchange there is no intermediary.

For a more detailed discussion on the difference between the two, refer to this resource on Google AdSense vs ad exchange.

How Does Google AdSense Work?

Publishers can make AdSense work for them in three simple steps:

  1. Simply paste the ad code on your website where you want the ads to appear.
  2. Advertisers bid for ad space on your website in a real-time auction. The highest paying advertiser gets to show their ads on your webpage.
  3. Google manages the billing and payment from advertisers to ensure you get paid as per the revenue share. 

Yet another strategy publishers deploy to generate revenue from AdSense is Google AdSense arbitrage, where publishers use paid ads to drive traffic to their website. The expectation is that this traffic will click on ads already present on the page and generate revenue. 

How to Integrate AdSense

The process of integrating AdSense into your website is simple and can be done by following the steps mentioned below.

  • Ensure your site complies with Google policies: Before creating your AdSense account, please ensure that your website complies with AdSense program policies. Advertisers pay for ads shown on the website, so content on the site must meet the eligibility requirement set by Google
  • Apply for AdSense: Now that you are all set, open the Google AdSense website and sign up to create your AdSense account.
  • Configure ads: Google allows you to control what type of ads you wish to show on your website. Simply configure the settings by clicking on the “Ad units” option in the drop-down menu under the “Content” option on the left-hand side of the dashboard. 
  • Paste AdSense code: After completing the ad configuration, click on the “save and get code” button. Copy the code generated by Google and paste it onto your website. 
  • Include privacy policy: Refer to Privacy and Security required content to include/update the privacy policy on your website.
  • Confirm and verify your address: Google requires you to verify your mailing address to withdraw money from your AdSense account after reaching the minimum threshold of $100. You can verify the PIN online by following the instructions mentioned in the card sent to your address.

AdSense Pros:

  • No strict requirements for minimum traffic
  • Provides detailed traffic analysis and makes it easy to monitor multiple ads on different websites
  • Easy approval system
  • You do not have to update the code for new ads
  • Has a large pool of advertisers that provide relevant ads that pay well
  • Publishers can also run ads from third party networks along with the ads from Google AdSense

AdSense Cons:

  • Limited ad formats as AdSense does not offer some of the widely used ad formats such as pop-unders and push notifications 
  • Relatively high minimum payment threshold of $100 can result in a long wait for beginners and new publishers to cash out their revenue
  • Non-existent or limited human customer support

AdMob vs AdSense: What’s the Difference?

We now know that AdMob is a Google solution for mobile app developers while AdSense is for website publishers.

However, beyond this fundamental difference, AdMob and AdSense also differ from each other in several other key areas, while sharing certain similarities.


AdSense and AdMob do not have very strict regulations when it comes to traffic requirements as long as your website or mobile app complies with Google policies and provides unique and interesting content. 

AdMob Requirements 

Requirements for Google AdMob are mentioned below.

  • Traffic requirements: No minimum traffic requirements so you may start using it to show in-app ads as soon as you incorporate it.
  • App requirements: To integrate apps with AdMob, you must use Android Studio 3.2 or higher.

You also need to ensure that the app's build file uses the following values: 

  • compileSdkVersion of 28 or higher
  • minSdkVersion of 19 or higher 
  • App owner requirements: The app developer or owner must be at least 18 years old.

AdSense Requirements 

Approval requirements for Google AdSense are listed below.

  • Traffic requirements: While there are no minimum traffic requirements, website publishers must publish engaging content on a regular basis to ensure they get AdSense approval and generate revenue.
  • Content requirements: Your website must have original content that is published frequently and complies with the AdSense program policies.
  • Website requirements: A website must be six months old to get approved by Google AdSense.
  • Website owner requirements: The applicant or site owners applying for the approval must be at least 18 years old.

Sign-Up Process

We next look at AdMob and AdSense’ sign-up processes in turn.

AdMob Sign-up Process 

Every app that applies to be accepted into AdMob has to go through an app readiness review before it can post ads. You need a Google account and phone number to set up your AdMob account.

The steps to sign-up for AdMob are listed below:

  1. Visit
  2. Create a Google account or sign in to an existing one
  3. Fill in the required information such as Country or Territory, Time zone, etc. to create a Google Publisher account with AdMob
  4. Click Create AdMob account
  5. Select communication preferences and move to Verify your account
  6. Enter your phone number and select how you would like to receive the verification code, via SMS or call
  7. Enter the 6-digit verification code
  8. Provide payment details (name, account type, and payment address) to finish the process.

AdSense Sign-up Process

If you already have a website or a blog and a Google account then you can sign up for AdSense. Just follow the steps listed below:

  1. Open the Adsense website
  2. Click on Get Started at the top right of the page
  3. Sign in using your Google account
  4. Enter the URL of your website or blog where you want to display ads
  5. Select whether you want to receive customized help and performance suggestions 
  6. Select your Country/Territory where you can receive the PIN by mail
  7. Go through the Terms and Conditions and click on Accept 
  8. Click on Start Using AdSense.

Ad Optimization

Ad optimization techniques are the processes employed by publishers to increase traffic on their websites and enhance ad performance. We discuss ad optimization techniques for both AdMob and AdSense in turn below.

Google AdMob Ad Optimization

Tips listed below can help you with optimizing your ads:

  • Use the right ad format: AdMob allows multiple ad formats as listed below. Choose the one that is best suited for your application’s user experience.
  • Native:These ads match the look and feel of the app
  • Banner: These are rectangular ads that usually appear at the top or bottom of your app screen
  • Interstitial: These are ads that appear at transition points in an app flow without disrupting a user’s app experience
  • Rewarded: One of the most engaging types of in-app ads that offer in-app rewards for users like bonus points
  • Allow all ad types: Restricting the type of ads shown can affect your revenue. Allowing multiple ad types can boost revenue as more advertisers bidding for your ad inventory will increase the average RPM. 

Google AdSense Ad Optimization

Some of the steps you can take to optimize the AdSense ads are:

  • Increase the viewability of the ads to generate more clicks and increase ad revenue by experimenting with different ad placement techniques 
  • You can try switching from a fixed-sized ad unit to responsive ad units by updating the code
  • Visit the Optimization page in your AdSense account to customize the settings to grow revenue
  • Allow Google to run experiments on your ad format settings to see which changes in ad settings perform better and help you boost the revenue.

Analytics Tools

Analytics tools help publishers and app developers to gauge their app or website’s performance and make informed decisions to maximize revenue and enhance user engagement. We now compare the analytics tools provided by AdMob and AdSense in turn.

AdMob Analytics Tools 

With AdMob you get actionable insights to track app performance and to decide which ad format would be ideal to ensure your app user experience is not disrupted. 

With Google Analytics for Firebase integration, you can easily build a customized experience for different user segments and track growth. Linking your app to Firebase allows access to insights, helps segregate the audience based on various metrics, and lets you build a better app to boost revenue.

AdSense Analytics Tools 

While it might be useful for basic functions, AdSense does not provide in-depth analysis. 

You can, however, link AdSense to Google Analytics to compare the real-time data with AdSense performance. Larger publishers can consider using Google ad manager which provides access to granular analytics and insights. With Google ad manager, publishers can run and monitor AdSense, Ad Exchange, and a host of other automated tools from the Google network at the same time.

Revenue Share 

We compare the revenue share arrangements for both the ad networks below.

AdMob Revenue Share 

The revenue share percentage for using AdMob is 60:40. The app developers get 60% of the revenue generated by selling ad inventory and 40% of it remains with Google for AdMob services. 

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AdSense Revenue Share 

The revenue share percentage for using AdSense is 68:32. As was the case with AdMob, the revenue generated from digital advertising depends on geography, niche, and content quality, but the revenue share remains the same for all demographics. If AdSense is used for search then the website owner gets 51% of the total revenue.

Ad Quality 

The quality of ads displayed on your app or website influences a user’s experience. 

AdMob Ad Quality 

AdMob displays high-quality advertisements from its huge network of advertisers and helps developers make money through their mobile applications by offering innovative ad formats. 

AdSense Ad Quality 

AdSense lets publishers customize advertisements as per the look and feel of their website and helps them display high-quality relevant ads to their website visitors. Google’s global reach and quality policies provide publishers with a wide network of advertisers that create quality ads.

AdMob vs AdSense: Who Pays Better in 2024?

We compare the payments for both the ad networks in detail below, with special attention paid to the cost-per-mille (CPM) and page revenue-per-mille (RPM) metrics.

AdMob Payment 

The amount of money a developer makes from AdMob depends on several factors ranging from revenue model deployed to the level of user engagement the app generates. So for instance, whether you choose to rely on in-app purchases or opt for a hybrid revenue model can help determine how much money you make from AdMob. 

Moreover, the CPM rates for AdMob may vary from $0.2 to $10 per 1,000 impressions based on the location of your app users, adding yet another variable into revenue calculation. 

Google AdSense pays publishers via the following payment methods:

  • Check
  • Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT)
  • EFT via Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA)
  • Wire Transfer Directly to Bank Account
  • Rapida

It used to offer PayPal as a payment method, but this is no longer available.

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AdSense Payment 

Google AdSense may not be at the top of the list of the highest paying ad networks, but it pays publishers relatively well.

RPM and CPM rates for AdSense depend upon the region, niche, and content quality. As a broad estimate, publishers can expect an average RPM of about $5-10. A publisher stands to make 68% of the total revenue generated from the advertisements displayed on their website.

AdSense supports payments via the following payment methods:

  • Check
  • Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT)
  • EFT via Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA)
  • Wire Transfer Directly to Bank Account

Final Thoughts

If you are a new publisher planning to monetize your website, then AdSense is one of the best ad networks for you. It does not have overtly rigorous eligibility or compliance requirements, and allows you to generate ad revenue by displaying google ads in a fairly straightforward manner.. 

AdMob is a widely recognized tool for mobile advertising and is suited for both, new and established app developers.

Publift is one of the best Google AdSense alternatives that helps publishers and developers get the most out of the ads on their mobile apps or websites.

If you’re making more than $2,000 in monthly ad revenue, contact us today to learn more about how Publift can help increase your ad revenue and best optimize the ad space available on your website or app.

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