Google Goes Transparent with AdSense

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Back in 2005, I considered using Google’s Adsense product on my blog. I never did use it. The thing that bothered me the most about it was that it wasn’t transparent — that Google would not share with you as a content publisher what the split was. If I am going to go into business with someone, it seems crazy to be in the dark about revenue share. The “trust us, we’re being fair with you,” argument that Google seemed to represent never sat well with me.

Instead I later ended up working with John Battelle and his wonderful team over at Federated Media, a relationship that I still have today and am very happy with. They really do a first rate job managing the advertisements for my blog and they seem to get very high CPM rates at that.

That said, I was very pleased earlier today to see, in an act of transparency, that Google had finally chosen to disclose the Adsense split between publishers and Google with their primary Adsense products.

From the Google Inside Adsense Blog:

AdSense for content publishers, who make up the vast majority of our AdSense publishers, earn a 68% revenue share worldwide. This means we pay 68% of the revenue that we collect from advertisers for AdSense for content ads that appear on your sites. The remaining portion that we keep reflects Google’s costs for our continued investment in AdSense — including the development of new technologies, products and features that help maximize the earnings you generate from these ads. It also reflects the costs we incur in building products and features that enable our AdWords advertisers to serve ads on our AdSense partner sites. Since launching AdSense for content in 2003, this revenue share has never changed.

68% seems like a very fair deal to me between publishers and Google, and so after learning this news, I’m going to add Google Adsense to my blog in addition to the ads also currently being run by Federated Media. Thanks to Google for opening up this split and making it easier for publishers like me to work with you going forward.

Now hurry up and get going with building a stock photography business for us to use with Google. The paltry 20% that we get paid out for our photos with Flickr/Getty is way too low.

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6 Comments

  1. William Beem says:

    You may want to see what John Battelle says about Google’s reported split. He seems to think it’s actually less than they claim. Still, it is good to see some information coming out now. I’m not a fan of secret knowledge, either.

  2. Eric in SF says:

    I believe you will have to drop Federated Media. When I signed my site up several years ago with AdSense, one of the terms and conditions was that you could not serve ads from another network and AdSense at the same time. Check the fine print carefully.

  3. Thomas Hawk says:

    Eric I’d be surprised by that. It looks like Battelle himself has adsense on his own blog. But I’ll definitely look into it in exploring this.

    Thanks!

  4. Thanks for the article and the information. At least us publishers are getting more than 50% – which is a lot better than some other related sites are offering!

    It was always my understanding that one could have other ads on their site as long as those ads did NOT look like the Adsense ads.

  5. Dasril Iteza says:

    However, revenue shares alone can be misleading, so please encourage you to focus on the total revenue generated for your site.

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