The growing number of internet users—which has climbed from 2.3 billion in 2012 to 5.1 billion in 2022—has made digital marketing an indispensable tool for businesses.
Total digital ad spend is expected to top $700 billion in 2023. This constant growth in this spend has led to a rise in the number of ad networks available for digital publishers to choose from.
While there are several reasons why publishers favor AdSense—no traffic requirements, popular pay-per-click (PPC) program, ease of use, etc.—there are a few flaws that might make you look for alternatives. Advantages such as a more attractive revenue share, minimum payout threshold, advanced technology, enhanced visibility, etc. make ad networks such as Mediavine and Publift appealing alternatives.
Read on as we take a detailed look at a detailed comparison between Mediavine, Publift, and AdSense to help you decide which ad network pays the highest.
Table of contents:
Mediavine vs. AdSense vs. Publift: The Full Overview
What Is Mediavine?
Founded in 2004, Mediavine is a full-service ad management company that specializes in helping website owners monetize their online presence. It is a Google Certified Publishing Partner that provides a variety of ad management services, including ad optimization, video monetization, and sponsored content to help website owners maximize their ad revenue.
Mediavine supports a wide range of ad formats, including display ads, video ads, and native ads. Moreover, it is optimized for mobile devices, ensuring that ads are displayed correctly on smartphones and tablets. Its technology is designed to optimize ad performance and increase revenue for publishers. Here are some of the underlying technologies that power the Mediavine ad network:
- Header Bidding: This allows multiple advertisers to bid on an ad space simultaneously, resulting in higher bids and increased revenue for publishers.
- Machine Learning: Mediavine's machine learning algorithms analyze traffic and user behavior, helping to optimize ad placement and increase publisher revenue.
- Ad Server: This selects the most relevant ad for each user based on their location, browsing history, and other factors.
- Video Ad Technology: This allows publishers to monetize their video content.
- Analytics and Reporting: This provides detailed analytics and reporting tools to help publishers track their ad performance and revenue, allowing them to optimize their ad strategy.
- High-quality ad placements that are designed to be user-friendly and non-intrusive
- Advanced ad targeting capabilities, which allow publishers to target ads to specific audiences based on their interests.
- Comprehensive reporting and analytics, which give publishers insights into how their ads are performing.
- Excellent customer support, including a dedicated account manager and a team of technical experts.
- Supports a wide variety of ad formats, including display ads, native ads, and video ads.
- Provides publishers with access to a large pool of premium advertisers, helping them to earn higher CPMs.
- High revenue potential compared to other ad platforms.
- User-friendly interface.
- Diverse ad formats.
- Better user experience for visitors to your site.
- High minimum traffic requirement of 50,000 sessions per month.
- Long approval process.
- Strict ad placement policies.
Mediavine is a popular ad network that offers a range of features and services to help publishers monetize their content and maximize their ad revenue. It uses advanced technologies such as machine learning and header bidding to deliver targeted ads optimized for user engagement and revenue generation.
What Is Google AdSense?
Google AdSense is an ad platform that allows publishers to monetize their content by displaying ads. Advertisers bid on website ad inventory space, and the AdSense system automatically chooses the ads that are most relevant to the website's content and audience.
It offers a variety of ad formats, including display ads, text ads, and link units. It uses a combination of technology, algorithms, and human review to serve relevant ads to the user, while also ensuring that the ads comply with Google's advertising policies.
Here are some of the underlying technologies that power the Google AdSense ad network:
- Ad-Serving Technology: This matches the ads with the site’s content. Keep in mind that certain AdSense niches can help boost your ad revenue more than others.
- Machine Learning: The algorithm uses historical data to predict which ads users are most likely to click on.
- Real-Time Bidding (RTB): RTB allows advertisers to bid on ad space in real-time and the highest bidder’s ad is shown to the user.
- Advertiser Quality Score: This system ensures that only high-quality ads are displayed on the network.
Google AdSense Features
- It uses contextual targeting to show ads that are relevant to your site's content and your audience's interests.
- Publishers can customize the look and feel of ads to match their site design.
- It provides detailed performance reports that show how much revenue you're earning, which ads are performing best, and more.
- It has a search feature that allows you to display ads alongside search results on your website.
- It offers mobile-specific ad formats and optimization options to help you monetize mobile traffic.
Google AdSense Benefits
- Large network of advertisers.
- Easy to use.
- Allows publishers to customize and control where and which ads are displayed on their sites.
- Displays ads relevant to the website content that enhances user experience.
- Publishers don't have to deal with advertisers directly as Google handles the ad inventory and payment processing.
Google AdSense Drawbacks
- Doesn’t support push notifications and pop-under ad formats.
- A high payment threshold of $100 can lead to a long wait for new publishers to withdraw their earnings.
- Lack of human customer support.
- Accounts can be shut down for a wide range of policy breaches.
- The site needs to be highly ranked for better visibility to drive traffic.
Google AdSense offers a flexible and customizable advertising solution for new and established publishers looking to monetize their sites with targeted ads. Its advanced technology delivers relevant, high-quality ads to publishers while providing a valuable ad platform for advertisers.
What Is Publift?
Publift is a Google Certified Publishing Partner that connects publishers with advertisers to monetize their content. It offers a range of services that include ad inventory management, ad optimization, header bidding, and programmatic advertising.
Publift provides publishers with access to real-time reporting and analytics that allows them to track their ad performance and revenue. It works with various ad formats, including display ads, native ads, video ads, and mobile ads. The network also offers ad targeting options, such as contextual targeting, audience targeting, and geographic targeting.
Publift employs several underlying technologies to help publishers monetize their content while ensuring a positive user experience.
- Header Bidding: This allows publishers to offer their ad inventory to multiple ad exchanges simultaneously before sending the ad request to their ad server.
- Real-Time Bidding (RTB): This is a programmatic advertising process where ad inventory is bought and sold in real-time using algorithms and data.
- Data Analytics: Publift uses data analytics to track ad performance, measure user engagement, and optimize ad placements.
- Ad Fraud Detection: This technology identifies and blocks fraudulent activity, ensuring that advertisers get value for their investment.
- Publift offers custom ad unit designs to make ads look more engaging and less intrusive.
- It works with multiple ad networks and demand partners to ensure that publishers get the best rates for their ad inventory.
- It offers a range of pricing plans to suit different publisher needs and budgets.
- Publift has won multiple awards including the Drum APAC Award for Best Sell-Side Technology for Programmatic Trading in 2019 for its innovative solutions and excellent service.
- Publift provides publishers with detailed reporting and analytics, allowing them to see exactly how their ads are performing and make informed decisions about how to optimize their revenue.
- Publift has a team of experts who provide personalized support and offers access to a dedicated account manager that helps publishers with ad optimization.
- Provides high fill rates and eCPMs
- Supports a wide range of ad formats including display, native, video, and mobile ads.
- Easy-to-use platform with advanced reporting and analytics.
- Excellent customer service and effortless approval process.
- Offers integration with other ad networks and platforms.
- Primarily works with established publishers and may not be suitable for small or new publishers.
- High minimum traffic requirement.
- Charges a commission fee on ad revenue earned by publishers.
Overall, Publift is a reliable and efficient ad network that can help established publishers maximize their ad revenue through its advanced ad optimization. The company leverages a range of technologies to help publishers get the most out of their monetization model without impeding the user’s experience.
Mediavine vs. AdSense vs. Publift: Comparing Ad Networks
Mediavine, AdSense, and Publift each have their own benefits and drawbacks, and the choice between them depends on a publisher's goals, traffic, and niche.
Mediavine is a good option for high-traffic established publishers who want to maximize their ad revenue, while AdSense is a good option for small publishers who are just starting out. Publift is a good option for publishers who want to optimize their ad revenue across multiple ad networks.
Here are some key differences between these three ad networks.
Comparing Approval Requirements
While Mediavine, Publift, and AdSense are all advertising platforms that serve the same general purpose, there are some differences in their approval requirements.
Mediavine Approval Requirements
To be eligible for Mediavine approval, your site must meet the following approval requirements:
- Have at least 50,000 monthly page views as per Google Analytics.
- Comply with Mediavine's content guidelines, which include restrictions on adult content, hate speech, and illegal activities.
- Contain original and engaging content.
- Have a clean design and user-friendly navigation.
- Hosted on a platform that allows for ad placement, such as WordPress or Blogger.
- Have a valid SSL certificate.
- Website owners must be at least 18 years old and have a valid PayPal account.
- Website owners must agree to Mediavine's revenue share agreement.
Meeting all of these requirements does not guarantee approval, as Mediavine also considers factors such as niche, audience demographics, and engagement metrics when evaluating applications.
AdSense Approval Requirements
To be eligible for Adsense approval, your site must meet the following requirements:
- Adhere to AdSense program policies.
- Contain original and valuable content.
- Have a clear navigation menu and a user-friendly interface.
- Omit any copyrighted material.
- Avoid promoting or linking to illegal activities.
- Avoid excessive profanity or adult content.
- Have a valid mailing address.
- Website owners must be at least 18 years old.
Publift Approval Requirements
To be eligible for Publift approval, your site must meet the following requirements:
- Has a domain name and is live.
- Has original, high-quality content that is relevant to your audience.
- At least 500,000 page views per month or a minimum monthly revenue of $2,000.
- Ad policy should be compliant with industry standards.
- Should be brand safe and not contain any content that is prohibited or harmful to advertisers.
- Have the legal right to display ads.
- Comply with all applicable laws, regulations, and industry standards.
Mediavine places a greater emphasis on content quality and social media presence. Publift focuses on optimizing existing ad revenue streams and requires a minimum of three ad partners. AdSense has no specific minimum traffic requirement but recommends having at least 100 visitors per day and complying with its content policies.
Comparing Ad Optimization Opportunities
Mediavine, AdSense, and Publift employ different ad optimization tools and techniques to boost publishers' ad revenue. Here are some of the key differences between them.
Mediavine Ad Optimization Tools
Mediavine’s optimization tools include:
- The Header Bidding tool allows publishers to access multiple ad exchanges simultaneously, ensuring that they get the best possible price for their ad inventory.
- The Ad Refresh feature refreshes ads automatically at a set interval, ensuring that the most relevant and profitable ads are always displayed.
- The Lazy Loading tool ensures that ads are only loaded when they are about to be displayed, reducing page load times and improving user experience.
- The Video Adhesion feature enables publishers to place a small video player at the bottom of the page, which plays a short video ad that doesn't interfere with the user's browsing experience.
- The Mobile Optimization tool is designed to work seamlessly on mobile devices, ensuring that publishers can maximize their revenue potential from mobile traffic.
- The Ad Blocker Recovery feature allows publishers to monetize their ad inventory even if the user has an ad blocker installed, ensuring that publishers don't miss out on revenue.
- The RPM Reporting tool provides real-time RPM reporting, allowing publishers to see how much they are earning per 1,000 page views and adjust their ad strategy accordingly.
AdSense Ad Optimization Tools
Google AdSense’s optimization tools include:
- AdSense Auto Ads is an AI-powered ad placement tool that automatically places ads on your website where they are likely to perform best. With Auto Ads, you simply add a small piece of code to your site and let AdSense do the rest. Auto Ads will analyze your website and place ads in optimal locations to maximize your revenue.
- AdSense Ad Balance tool allows you to control the number of ads displayed on your website. You can adjust the ad balance to show only the best-performing ads, which can improve user experience and increase engagement.
- Page-Level Ads are mobile-specific ad formats that can be placed on specific pages of your website to target mobile users. AdSense offers two types of page-level ads: Anchor ads, which stick to the bottom of the user's screen, and Vignette ads, which appear between page loads.
- AdSense Matched Content is a tool that recommends related content to users based on their browsing history. This tool can help increase user engagement and keep users on your website longer.
- AdSense Experiments allow you to test different ad formats, sizes, and placements to find the best-performing ads. With this tool, you can compare the performance of different ad settings and make data-driven decisions to optimize your ad revenue.
- AdSense Reports provide detailed insights into your ad performance, including ad impressions, clicks, and revenue. You can use this data to identify trends, optimize your ad placements, and improve your overall revenue.
Publift Ad Optimization Tools
Publift’s optimization tools include:
- The Header Bidding tool allows publishers to access a wider pool of demand sources and increase competition, which can result in higher ad prices and increased revenue.
- Publift offers an Ad Layout Optimization tool that analyzes a website and recommends the best ad placements and sizes to maximize revenue without compromising user experience.
- The Ad Quality Monitoring tool helps publishers ensure that the high-quality ads on their sites don't violate any policies and enhance the user experience.
- The Ad Network Management tool manages multiple ad networks and demand partners to ensure publishers get the best possible rates and fill rates for their ad inventory.
- The Ad Revenue Reporting tool provides publishers with detailed insights into their ad revenue, including information on which ad formats and placements are generating the most revenue.
Overall, Mediavine focuses on providing high-touch service and data-driven insights to optimize ad inventory for each user, while AdSense uses contextual targeting and offers various ad formats and real-time performance reports.
Publift uses programmatic advertising, header bidding, and ad quality monitoring to maximize ad revenue.
Comparing Analytics Tools
While all three platforms offer analytics tools, there are some key differences between their solutions.
Mediavine Analytics Tools
- Dashboard: This provides a real-time snapshot of key metrics, including revenue, impressions, clicks, and eCPM, allowing publishers to monitor their ad performance and adjust their strategy in real time.
- Google Analytics Integration: Integrating with Google Analytics provides publishers deeper insights into their traffic. It allows them to track user behavior, including how visitors navigate their site, and which pages are most popular.
- AdThrive Video: This platform provides publishers with detailed analytics on their video content, including engagement metrics such as video starts, completions, and playtime. Publishers can then optimize their video content for maximum engagement and revenue.
- Ad Inspector: This allows publishers to monitor the performance of individual ad units and troubleshoot issues in real time. It provides detailed metrics on ad load times, latency, and other key performance indicators.
- PageSpeed Insights: Mediavine provides publishers with access to Google's PageSpeed Insights tool, which analyzes site performance and provides recommendations for improvement. This tool helps publishers optimize their websites for faster load times, which can improve user experience and ad performance.
AdSense Analytics Tools
- Performance Reports: AdSense provides detailed performance reports that show publishers how their ads are performing. These reports include metrics such as impressions, clicks, click-through rates (CTR), earnings, and more. Publishers can use this information to identify which ads are performing well and which ones need improvement.
- Ad Unit Analysis: This allows publishers to analyze the performance of individual ad units, helping to identify which ad sizes, types, and locations are most effective for their audience.
- Ad Review Center: This allows website owners to review the ads that are being displayed on their web pages. The Ad Review Center provides tools to block specific ads or ad categories that may not be relevant or appropriate for their audience.
- Audience Insights: This tool helps publishers with information about their audience, such as their demographics, interests, and behavior. Publishers can use this information to create more targeted ad campaigns and increase engagement with their audience.
- Experiments: AdSense allows publishers to run experiments to test different ad formats, placements, and other variables. This feature enables them to optimize their ad strategy to increase their revenue.
Publift Analytics Tools
- Publift Dashboard: This user-friendly dashboard provides publishers with real-time data on their site's performance. It includes metrics such as revenue, impressions, clicks, eCPM, fill rate, and more. Publishers can use this data to monitor their site's performance and make informed decisions about optimizing their ad revenue.
- Ad Quality Analytics: This tool allows publishers to track the quality of their ads and identify any issues that may be impacting their revenue. It provides detailed information on ad viewability, ad latency, ad errors, and more.
- Audience Analytics: It provides publishers with insights into their website's audience. This tool helps publishers improve user engagement on their websites by providing information on demographics, user behavior, interests, and more.
- Reporting: Publift provides publishers with detailed reporting on their ad revenue and site performance. These reports include a range of metrics such as revenue by ad unit, performance by location, and more. These help publishers make data-driven decisions about site performance.
All three platforms provide comprehensive analytics tools to track user engagement, page views, ad impressions, revenue, and more. Publishers looking to make informed decisions around their ad inventory can rest assured in the knowledge that all three platforms provide the tools necessary to collect and analyze website data.
Mediavine is a full-service ad management platform that works with a limited number of publishers, but those publishers typically see higher earnings per 1,000 impressions (eCPM) and better overall performance compared to other ad networks.
AdSense, on the other hand, is a popular and widely used ad network, which is a great option for smaller or new digital publishers. It is easy to use and doesn't have any high entry barriers. However, AdSense earnings can be unpredictable compared to other networks owing to its reliance on programmatic advertising. Publift is a managed service provider known for excellent customer service and attention to detail, but it typically requires a high traffic threshold to be accepted as a client.
Deciding which is the best ad network for you depends on your requirements and goals as a publisher. It's important to consider factors such as eCPM, ease of use, customer service, and traffic requirements when choosing an ad network. Consider testing different networks to see which one works best for you and your audience.
Publift is one of the best Mediavine alternatives that helps publishers and developers by providing a full-service solution with a focus on maximizing mobile and desktop ad revenue. It has helped publishers to grow their revenue—by up to 55% on average—since 2015 by working with them to sell digital ad inventories to premium advertisers.
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.