Google AdSense is a relatively straightforward way for digital publishers to generate additional revenue by outsourcing their advertising operations to Google.
If you’re a website owner, content creator or online publisher, you can quickly start earning ad revenue by linking your website to Google's ad network, alleviating the need to find and bill individual advertisers.
This short guide gives you a primer on how to earn money with AdSense.
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Digital vs. Traditional Advertising
The main difference between digital advertising and traditional advertising is the former allows for greater automation in the ad sales process.
In the print era advertisers had to negotiate directly with media owners to display ads either on boards at busy traffic intersections or in the pages of popular print media. The advent of the digital era, however, saw both advertisers and media owners leverage ad tech platforms to automate the vast majority of ad unit sales on websites, YouTube channels or apps.
Google AdSense, for example, allows publishers to monetize their content by selling ad units that contextually match advertisers’ ad campaigns needs.
Google facilitates these transactions and takes a 32% cut of display ad revenue and 49% of search ad revenue.
How Big Is Google AdSense?
Around 47 millions websites use Google AdSense, with major clients including the likes of the BBC and Forbes.
Although Google is considered the world's preeminent search engine, it might be better described as the world's largest digital advertising agency. Close to 84% of Google's $250 billion revenue in 2021 came from ads.
- Out of every $3 spent globally on digital advertisements, Google earned $1.
- In 2021, Google's ad revenue stream generated $210 billion worth of income.
Benefits of Using Google AdSense
Some key benefits of using Google AdSense are:
- Access to the largest search database in the world, with over 50 billion indexed web pages.
- Google's industry leading search rankings algorithms keep users hooked to the platform. Almost 85% of the internet users prefer Google search.
- Google's vast ecosystem caters to the various needs of a user—email, cloud sharing, mobile OS, navigation and even wearable technology such as Fitbit.
- It uses comprehensively collected data to provide contextual targeting to advertisers.
- Complete control—you can choose the kind of ads on your site, decide how many ads are too many, the least jarring ad style, the allocation of ad spaces, ad types, etc. You can also completely automate it and opt for auto ads, that is a “set it and forget it” option.
- Google AdSense has a simple onboarding process with even simpler operations.
- AdSense publishers gain access to the immense reach and scale of Google's ad network
Google Ads’ Keyword Planner tool can help identify the most profitable niches for your website. It provides an analysis of search trends.
Google AdSense Requirements
Now that we know how Google AdSense can help you monetize your content, we need to understand Google Adsense eligibility requirements.
You need a “Yes” to all nine of the following questions to be eligible for Adsense.
- Are you over 18 years of age?
- Are you a website owner and control your website?
- Does your website have unique content?
- Is your website easily navigable?
- Is your website only receiving genuine traffic?
- Does the content of your website align with Google's content policies—centering on user safety and content legality?
- Does your website host original content, devoid of any copyright infringements?
- Do you use at least one of the Google supported languages on your website?
- Does your site provide a user experience free of abuse?
Apart from the above criteria, there are additional unofficial requirements that can be crucial to your Google Adsense approval. These criteria are more in the nature of SEO best practices that ensure that your website is trusted.
- Not too new: You should have been operational for at least six months. This allows both Google and your readers to have more trust in your website.
- Have sufficient traffic: Advertisers don’t want ad inventory on websites that have too few regular visitors.
6 Types of Google AdSense Ads
Each of your ad units is backed by an individual piece of code. Google AdSense offers various ad types and formats optimized for your website content, placement location, and user flow.
1. Display Ads
2. Native Ads
Native ad units display in-content ads which blend fluently with the aesthetics and structure of your website, providing the reader with a non-disruptive experience.
Native ads can be of three sub varieties:
Optimized for readers skimming through an article, these ad units use a layout that fits the width of placement location on the page and does not interrupt the user's reading flow. You can control the font and color of these ads or allow Google to optimally utilize the space.
Just as a news feed allows users to scroll through a stream of stories, your website may use feeds for various pages and purposes, such as a live Twitter feed during an event.
In-feed ads blend with the rest of the feed and are formatted just like the rest of the content that makes up the feed.
Google AdSense rebranded “matched content” ads as “multiplex” ads in March 2022.
While matched content ads showed other similar content from the same website and displayed it as matching ads, multiplex ads display thumbnail-sized AdSense ads for the user to find what's most relevant to them. They are usually relegated to the end of the content or the sidebar of the webpage and run multiple ads under one large ad unit.
3. Search Engine Ads
You can add a custom Google search box to your website that visitors can use to find relevant content from your website.
Similar to the sponsored ads visible on the first few rows of the Google search engine results pages (SERPs), you can use Adsense to show sponsored ads in the results of your website's custom search box. You can add this ad unit format, called Search engine ads, to your ad inventory.
4. AMP Ads
Google created the Advanced Mobile Pages (AMP) HTML framework to help improve mobile browsing speeds. The AMP ads displayed on pages designed with AMP HTML require a special, AMP specific ad code.
How to Apply for an AdSense Account
Here’s a quick guide to the key prerequisites and steps you’ll need to cover to set up a Google AdSense account.
- A Working Google Account
Chances are that you've already got one if you're a user of any one of the multiple Google services such as Gmail, YouTube, Android OS, etc. Since only one Adsense account can be connected to each Google account, you can't re-use a Google account that’s already been used to create an Adsense account.
- Original Web Content With Regular Visitors
Your own blog, website or YouTube channel, has content you built from scratch, and has regular visitors.
- An Address and Phone Number to Activate Payments
You’ll need to provide an address and phone number associated with the bank account through which you wish to receive payment.
Step 1. Link Google Adsense to Your Google Account
- The process begins by adding Google AdSense to your Google account.
- Go to https://www.google.com/adsense/start.
- Click on the “Get Started” button.
- Sign in with your Google account.
Step 2. Add Your Website to Google Adsense
- Upon signing up for Google AdSense, it will ask you to enter the URL of the website where you want to display ads.
- Note: You can also leave this field blank and select "I don't have a site yet” option to add it later.
- If you want to display Google Ads on your YouTube channel then you need to first join the YouTube Partner program and initiate monetization of your YouTube videos.
- Note: You’ll need at least 1,000 subscribers, 4,000 public watch hours, no community guidelines strikes, and a two-step authentication active to be eligible for video monetization.
- Google host partner websites (such as Blogger) follow a different, much faster process for AdSense onboarding. Click “Go To” after entering the URL to begin this process.
Step 3. Provide Payment Details
- Select the country and/or geographic territory where you wish to receive your payments from Google AdSense generated revenue.
- Make sure you select a location where you currently reside and will be able to receive a PIN code via postal mail for processing future payments. Since this location cannot be changed later, you need to avoid any mistakes.
- Review and accept the AdSense Terms and Conditions, and click “Start Using Adsense”.
How Does Google AdSense Payment Work?
Google AdSense pays publishers a commission for the number of clicks or impressions on the ads hosted on their website. The Google AdSense working model is simple—Google charges advertisers a certain amount every time a user clicks on their ads.
Publishers, in turn, get 68% of the amount Google receives from advertisers per click. In the case of AdSense for search, this commission goes down to 51%.
Google pays you via direct transfer or check every month when your revenue totals $100 or more. Anything short of $100 is rolled over to the next month.
Once you’ve applied for the Google AdSense program, it may take up to two weeks for your AdSense application to be approved. You will receive a confirmation email along with the HTML code that will need to be incorporated into your website to begin displaying your first ad unit.
You can generate and add multiple codes for multiple ad units and add it to the pages on which you want ad placements. Alternatively, you can also just add one auto ads code and it will take care of ad placements all over your website.
If you own more than one website then you can use the same ads code on all of them for increased AdSense ad revenue.
How to Earn Money With Google Adsense
1. Go Organic, Be Experimental
There is no one way of making more money apart from being unique. But in a world of 50 billion pages, it can be hard to stand out.
Your best bet is to create organic content and organically develop a loyal following. Additionally, you should experiment with the kinds of content and ad units which fetch you more views and ad revenue using A/B testing options.
2. Google AdSense Arbitrage
You could also use Google AdSense arbitrage to generate revenue from AdSense. Google AdSense arbitrage is where you use paid ads to drive traffic to your website with the goal of having visitors click on the ads already hosted on your website. This strategy is effective when your initial investment in driving traffic through paid ads is less than the income you generate from visitors clicking on the ads already hosted on your website.
3. Automate and Optimize Ad Inventory
Google ad inventory is the space on your website or blog which is available for hosting ads. Needless to say, to maximize your AdSense revenue, you need to optimize your ad inventory usage.
Ad inventory management is best handled by automating it. Auto ads is a great tool to automate the optimization of your AdSense ad inventory and thus to maximize your revenue.
4. Become a YouTube Partner
YouTube has more than 2 billion logins every month. Becoming a partner with both YouTube and AdSense will allow you to generate revenue from multiple revenue streams—YouTube premium subscription, sponsored ads, video ads, feed ads, merchandise sales, affiliate marketing, etc.
AdSense is a great way to generate a dependable side income and earn extra money. But to make money with Google, you need to strictly adhere to Google's rules and guidelines, with violations potentially leading to being blacklisted.
If you want the network to work in your favor, you need to produce unique content that drives traffic. This will open doors to being able to sell ad units to new digital advertisers.
Although ads can distract your visitors, we’d advise against trying to customize the ad units to improve the user experience and instead focus your time on making great content. Leave auto ads in your ad inventory for Google's ad manager to optimize itself.
This is especially true for small new publishers waiting on their first ad unit to go live and become profitable.
Consider customizing ad units when it comes time to figure out how to increase revenue per 1,000 impressions (RPM).
Despite its size and popularity, it’s always important to remember that there are ad tech platforms out there that serve as compelling alternatives to AdSense.
Here at Publift, for example, we’ve helped our digital publishing clients realize an average 55% uplift in ad revenue since 2015, through the use of cutting-edge programmatic advertising technology paired with impartial and ethical guidance.
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.
1. How Long Does It Take to Get a Google AdSense Account Approved?
Google usually approves your AdSense application within a few days but it could take up to two weeks and at most a month to get results.
2. How Much You Can Earn With Google AdSense?
How much you earn depends on a variety of factors, including but not restricted to:
- Your website’s niche (for example, pages and ads on insurance get paid more than ads on books),
- Number of daily visitors
- Visitors’ activity and revenue metric—CPC, CPM & CPA
- Geographic location of your visitors.
3. How Much Does Google AdSense Pay for 1 Click?
What AdSense pays per click differs depending on a few factors:
- Keywords and bid amount—insurance fetches more than children's books from advertisers during bidding.
- Ad placement location and type—ad units that appear first on a page earn more than ad units that appear towards the end. Restriction on ad styles could decrease the CPC.
- Geographic location of the users—A user from a high-income country (such as Canada) could generate a CPC of $0.40 whereas someone from a relatively low-income country (such as India) would generate around $0.10-0.20.
Use Google auto ads in your ad inventory and let Google adsense work on maximizing ad revenue for you.
4. Google AdX vs Google AdSense - What's the Difference?
AdSense and its alternatives are ad networks that allow publishers to monetize the content by selling to the networks’ demand partners . On the other hand, Google AdX is an ad exchange on which multiple ad networks bid for ad inventory.