Google’s AdSense is a popular platform for earning from digital advertising. With bare minimum requirements and little-to-no effort required from publishers, it’s a logical first step for beginners. However, many bloggers will attest that scaling earnings is nearly impossible.
AdSense leaves a lot of money on the table. Unfortunately, between their ad ranking system and lack of support, the platform can’t provide the dynamic approach publishers need. But luckily, it’s far from the only option to earn with. So, if you’re ready to upgrade or explore new possibilities, here are the best AdSense alternatives to help you increase website earnings.
Why Should You Consider an AdSense Alternative?
As we mentioned earlier, AdSense has a lot of shortcomings— all of which hurt the money going into your pocket! So let’s take a closer look at the issues bloggers deal with.
AdSense works by auctioning off ad units to their pool of advertisers. After bids are in, they use an ad rank system to determine which advertiser is awarded the ad space. Unfortunately, the winner is not always the highest bidder because of this ranking system. As a result, bloggers get short-changed on the worth of their ad unit.
Other alternatives work to create a ‘fair’ auction, ensuring the highest bidder is always selected. That way, publishers receive what they’re entitled to. Consequently, this can also drive up competition and even get better rates for their bloggers.
Regardless of its reputation, AdSense has some of the lowest pay rates in the industry. This can be attributed to their ad rank system, limited network stack, and revenue model.
Firstly, having a limited supply of advertisers is insufficient to drive up competition and create high payouts. So even bloggers who are rewarded the highest bid could still be awarded more with another network.
Additionally, they operate on a pay-per-click (PPC) revenue model— one of the trickiest to earn with. Even with the added effort of optimizing ad units for better viewability, publishers can’t guarantee users will engage with them. Instead, bloggers with decent traffic can benefit from other revenue models such as cost-per-impression (CPM) and get paid per view.
Limited ad support
Publishers receive the bare minimum in terms of ad management and solutions. Essentially, AdSense supports a small number of ad types and doesn’t help publishers optimize them. For example, while best practices are in place, A/B testing is needed to help bloggers find the best layout and types for their sites. While bloggers using AdSense need to do this independently, other alternatives provide this service.
What Should an Alternative Offer?
To avoid taking two steps backward, publishers must look for an alternative that can provide more than AdSense. To do this, publishers should assess the following factors:
- Network Size: A big network stack is needed to increase earnings and ad quality. The increase in competition drives prices, and the diversity within the stack helps publishers receive more relevant ads.
- Compensation: If you fail to make much with a PPC model, your network should offer other revenue models.
- Ad Management Services: In addition to having more control over your ads, a provider should help you craft high-performing units. Whether you opt for layout optimization or page-load speed services, there are plenty of bells and whistles to take advantage of.
The Best AdSense Alternatives
Although ad networks are never a one-size-fits-all platform, some do more to help bloggers scale their earnings.
With no set traffic requirement, Media.Net is an easy AdSense alternative to start with. They run contextual ads supported by the Yahoo!Bing Network. They have reliable customer service, insightful analytics, and support various ad types. Additionally, they have a unique customization feature that allows bloggers to change layout color designs.
Similar to AdSense, they operate on a PPC basis. Bloggers get paid on a NET30 basis and allow payout via Paypal or Wire Transfer.
If traditional ad space is not for you, consider Amazon Associates. It acts more like an affiliate program and embeds links within your content to products. A commission is earned whenever a user purchases the product through your link! Bloggers benefit with higher payouts than they receive with ad units and clear their site from pesky ads.
Not every website will be lucrative with Amazon Associates. You’ll need to play to your niche and craft incredibly supportive content to earn big. There’s no traffic requirement or restrictive guidelines to join, but there are strict guidelines to follow once you’re in.
There are many significant advantages to working with Revenue Hits. They offer a 100% fill rate, easy-to-use dashboard, and anti-pop-blocker feature that bloggers boast about. Additionally, they support more ad types than AdSense, such as buttons, sliders, interstitials, and pop-under ads. Another notable benefit is their app and widget monetization services.
Getting started is easy as they have no traffic requirement. Bloggers are paid on a NET30 basis, and payouts are made via PayPal, wire transfer, Payoneer, and Bitcoin.
AdSterra prides itself on its competitive pay rates, user-friendly ad platform, and impressive network stack. Additionally, they do a lot in terms of brand safety. For example, they run their ads through a fraud detection system to prevent fraud and malvertising.
They have particular guidelines to get started: 5,000 visitors for pop-under ads and 50,000 impressions per month for banner displays. They support CPM, PPC, and cost-per-action (CPA) revenue models. You get paid on a NET15 basis and offer payouts through Paypal, Webmoney, Wire Transfer, Bitcoin, and Paxum.
For bloggers looking for more, ditching the conventional network and upgrading to a full-service ad platform is a wise decision. Newor Media is a full-service provider that has quickly risen in popularity among bloggers. They offer an insightful dashboard, competitive network stack, and an abundance of ad types.
In addition to the traditional offerings, they support many ad services geared towards crafting high-performing ad units. Bloggers can utilize layout optimization services, revenue-generating solutions (Adblock solutions, ad refresh, lazy loading, etc.), page loading speed improvements, and a consent management platform for pesky data and privacy laws.
Newor Media has a minimum traffic requirement of 30,000 unique users per month and requires sites to be predominately in English. They operate on a NET30 basis and guarantee payments (despite network clawbacks). Payouts can be made via Paypal, Wire Transfer, and Payoneer.
In short, AdSense is far from the end-all-be-all of ad platforms—transparently, it’s not even the best. Reputation aside, scaling your website earrings can be very difficult for publishers using them. Instead, publishers should consider alternatives that can better meet their needs and offer more. There’s no shortage of them out there. Here’s a free earnings calculator to gauge what your website could be making with an AdSense alternative.