What is Google Adsense (+Alternatives and 4 Reasons Not to Use It)May 15, 2020
What is Google Adsense? In a nutshell, an advertising network. Google Adsense will show ads on all of your web pages and blog posts and you will receive commission for the number of "clicks" through to the ad.
A funny thing happened on the way to a blog post awhile back. I was going to do a video and blog post about when to use Google Adsense and how to set it all up. That rabbit hole lead me to whether or not to use the new Google SiteKit and whether or not to even use Google Adsense.
After a conversation with Grayson Bell of iMarkInteractive, I came to the 4 reasons NOT use Google Adsense. Here’s why and some Google Adsense Alternatives.
Table of Contents
1. Foremost Reasons NOT to use Google Adsense -- no real money
One of the main reasons not to use Google Adsense, is no money. Honestly, I was using Google Adsense for almost a year. I have about 16,000 sessions and over 20,000 page views per month. The total I made with Google Adsense? $11.68.
Yeah, Eleven Dollars and sixty-eight American cents. Wow.
2. Google Adsense requires CLICKs
Google Adsense requires someone to actually CLICK the ad before you get paid. So out of 20,000 page views, only a handful have actually CLICKed the ad. Hmmm.
3. Google Adsense recommends Site Kit
This brings up another reason NOT to use Google Adsense, the latest information from Google is that Adsense recommends Google Site Kit be installed on your Wordpress site. I thought, well, that sounds cool.
Site Kit is pretty, little to no setup for Google Adsense with SiteKit. Done! Welll…
Sometimes Google SiteKit Slows Down your Site
Depending on your site, hosting, and other factors, SiteKit may significantly slow down your site. Seriously! I originally installed it about a year ago. It significantly slowed down my site. I have since re-installed it and am not noticing a significant difference at this time.
But I want Users to get used to seeing Ads!
Well, that’s a myth. According to Grayson Bell, iMarkInteractive,
People have ad blindness now so they don't really see them
— Grayson Bell
I concur. Unless something REALLY catches my eye, I don’t notice ads anymore at all. We all have them. It doesn’t matter if you have them or not, unless the user WANTS to see the ad, or is LOOKING for an ad, they will ignore it.
4. So What are Google Adsense Alternatives?
Contextual Ad Networks (not recommended)
Media.net is actually considered #2 in the ad network game and a good Google Adsense Alternative. Although they favor Bing and Yahoo as their search engine, the ads still qualify on Google.
They offer contextual ads and you can manipulate their placement somewhat. Media.net requires a very low traffic requirement, so if you’re a new blogger, you can still apply. Acceptance is easy and takes about 2-3 days.
Monumetric is a medium-sized blogger network. The requirements are 10,000+ pageviews per month. Although Monumetric pays well and does not require you to click the ads to get payment, it is very slow to be accepted.
It may take 6 months to be accepted for Monumetric, at which point you may qualify for Mediavine, which pays more. There is a one-time payment of $99 that they will take out of your first month’s revenue (nothing out of pocket).
Mediavine is considered the cream of the crop in contextual Ad Networks. Mediavine requires 25,000 unique sessions/month. It does take a month or so to qualify. Some say to apply earlier than 25,000 (but close).
Although affiliates aren’t nearly as quick moneymaker as high dollar ads such as Monumetric (which requires over 10,000 pageviews) or Mediavine (which requires 25,000 users), affiliates will pay more than Google Adsense. For example, affiliates of mine such as Fastcomet, Siteground, and BigScoots are fairly profitable.
However, the best affiliates are those of other bloggers for courses, etc. Normally, those pay 30-40%. I don’t make tons of money from these, but when a user signs up for one of these, it’s worth it.
Most Common Affiliates to Use
There are tons of affiliates. Consider all the things you use in blogging. Or, depending on your niche, there are ways to use affiliates specific to your niche. For example, if you are a crafter, become a Cricut affiliate, or Dollar Tree.
Amazon doesn’t pay much either, but at least it’s more than Adsense. Becoming an Amazon Affiliate is easy. All that is required is three sales (of any amount) in a three month period. It cannot be you or your relatives, but there is always someone willing to use your Amazon link for purchases. I haven’t even tried much, but have already made over $100 in affiliate sales for Amazon.
So bottom line...skip Google Adsense
Concentrate on increasing your traffic and SEO. Write, write, write! Skip Adsense and move on.