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Google AdSense is a simple plug-and-play solution that enables publishers to make money easily from their web and mobile resources. It’s also an excellent way to monetize a niche blog. However, as your traffic volume and credibility increase, you might be invited to join Google DoubleClick Ad Exchange, the big boys’ club. AdX is another name for that as well.

The question you’re probably asking is: Which will generate more revenue for me? According to some reports, using AdX instead of AdSense has resulted in a 30% rise in total ad revenue. But before you rush to fill out the fields on a Google signup form, feel sure that we’ve done the necessary work for you and properly examined the issue.

So, what’s the answer to this major life question? The response, as is so often the case, is that it varies by publisher. 

AdSense and AdX: What’s the Difference?

Don’t worry if you’re not sure what the difference between Google AdSense and AdX is. In a nutshell, AdSense is an automatic smooth rider, while AdX is a manual speed racer with a stick shift. One will get you from point A to point B, while the other will give you more control over your yield.

Your chosen solution may drive your revenues in the direction you want them to go, or it may break down in the middle of the lane, leaving you hitchhiking for user donations. Or perhaps worse. 

Who Pays and Who Sets the Price?

AdSense is the publisher side of Google’s AdWords advertising network. AdSense provides search ads on Google Search, ads in Google products (such as Gmail, Blogspot, and YouTube), and GDN, Google’s display network, where you sell ad space.

Google AdSense essentially buys all of the inventory sold to it by publishers and prices it based on the bids set by advertisers for each ad, campaign, and keyword. Your AdSense units will never be empty once you paste the ad unit code on your site (unless you have a technical issue affecting your AdSense setup).

Your RPM, on the other hand, would be almost entirely determined by Google’s contextual ad serving algorithm and retargeting ads. You won’t be able to set a floor price for ads served on your page no matter how much you optimize your AdSense metrics.

So, if you’ve reached a revenue ceiling with AdSense (even after using all of our optimization tips), you may want to try driving stick for a while. What are the chances? It’s likely that you’ll enjoy it.

Google DoubleClick Ad Exchange, on the other hand, is a programmatic RTB exchange with a large number of participants, including brands, agencies, arbitrage buyers and sellers, as well as various advertisement networks. You increase the number of demand channels for your inventory and have more leverage on who can bid on it.

You set the floor prices for your inventory on AdX, and buyers participate in a live auction to see who gets to show that ad on your website.

Who Needs What and When

The biggest difference between the two monetization platforms, according to Google, is the target audience. Although AdSense is a one-stop-shop for ad-based web content monetization, AdX is targeted at existing brands and eCommerce sites with a lot of quality traffic, as well as publishers that also sell inventory directly.

That’s not everything, though. AdX also offers more strict blocking solutions to avoid inventory cannibalization and, of course, to prohibit rival products from advertising on your platform. Nobody wants to find out that a rival is siphoning off their hard-earned premium traffic.

AdX, as you might have guessed by this point, needs a lot more care and time commitment to be truly profitable than AdSense. If you want to use Google’s ad exchange, you’ll need to learn a lot of new words, methods, and variables (or any other ad exchange).

AdX allows you to construct advanced rule sets and flows for individual advertisers, use direct deals routed through the exchange, and efficiently assign inventory and pricing based on your ad space and expected website traffic.

More or Less Ad Units?

One of the most prominent discrepancies that everybody seems to be discussing is the number of ad units available in each of Google’s monetization platforms for publishers.

In a nutshell, AdSense allows for up to three ad units per page, while AdX allows for up to five. In fact, increasing the number of advertisements on each page will greatly increase RPMs. But that’s just a hypothesis. Reality check: you should be able to maximize your RPM when optimizing your RPM with just three ad units.

The first thing to remember is that people still dislike commercials. If you overegg your ad pudding, your audience will either equip themselves with ad blockers or simply leave you.

Getting more ads would not necessarily increase your RPMs, and it will certainly not raise your most significant metric: RPV (revenue per visitor).

However, if your content pages are extensive, having more ad units per page can save you from having to use “floating” ads. 

And if you use AdX, the maximum number of AdSense ads per page remains the same. This means that if you have a limit of 5 ad units per page (on desktop), AdSense will only fill 3 of them. The remaining funds would have to come from other exchange buyers and guaranteed or preferred advertisers.

Revenue Share

Google is very open about how much money it makes from each AdSense click. With display advertising, publishers get 68 percent of what advertisers pay for each click. With AdSense for a quest, it’s just 51%.

It’s not the same for AdX. If you have a big enough website with excellent content, you may be able to negotiate a revenue share with Google. That’s probably why you’ve heard AdX is going to give you a higher rev share.

Only if you have a wide website and a dedicated Google account manager is this accurate.

While selling ad space on AdX is time-consuming and complicated, the revenue difference can be substantial on large websites with a high volume of traffic and clicks.

CPM vs CPC

Any time someone clicks on an ad in AdSense, you get paid. In a way. What you’re really getting is a share of Google’s sales, which is calculated in CPM. They then convert it to CPC.

It’s pretty much the same for AdX. Even if the ads you view are fallback AdSense ads, you’ll be paid for impressions rather than clicks because bids and floor prices are set in CPMs.

This isn’t to suggest that you shouldn’t aspire for a high CTR. Advertisers aren’t all dumb, and if they see that your site’s traffic isn’t converting, they’ll move their funds somewhere.

The Final Decision

While AdX has a number of advantages over AdSense, your ability to increase revenue by moving to AdX is largely dependent on your needs, scale, advertisers, capacity, and technological expertise. Before all of that, you must first be accepted into Google’s AdX system.

Before accepting a domain, Google pays close attention to its content. Google will eventually reject material that is poorly written and inaccurate.

However, the material must be original. So the number one reason Google can reject your account is your domain’s poorly written content.

Other Good Alternatives are available. MediaFem is one of the greatest. MediaFem, which was established more than 13 years ago, is always up to date on the latest digital solutions. The Publisher connects to a website that provides them with transparency and 24-hour access to their information. Because of the openness and protection they offer, using their services is absolutely free, and their business model is clear. Because of the openness and protection they offer, using their services is completely free, and their business model is focused on a revenue share of 70% for Publishers and 30% for them.

Publishers can choose between header bidding and the standard One Ad Code choice for their solutions. Video, display, mobile, and native formats are all available through MediaFem.

Sign up is Free, you can do it here.


Also published on Medium.


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