Google Reveals AdSense Revenue Share, Is it Satisfactory?

Google Shares Percentages for AdSense for Content, Search

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Google has kept its AdSense revenue share numbers a secret for quite some time, but has now decided to disclose them – or at least some of them. They’ve revealed the percentages for AdSense for Content and AdSense for Search, but are remaining mum on some of the other offerings. Still, content and search are the two biggies.

Is Google’s revenue split better or worse than you expected? Let us know.

The company says this is an effort to increase transparency (though the situation in Italy likely played a significant role), and is now displaying the revenue shares right in the new AdSense interface, in the ‘Account Information’ section of the ‘Account Settings’ page (the numbers will also be available soon in the existing interface).

Neal Mohan Talks AdSense revenue share"AdSense for content publishers, who make up the vast majority of our AdSense publishers, earn a 68% revenue share worldwide," says Neal Mohan VP, Product Management. "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."

"We pay our AdSense for search partners a 51% revenue share, worldwide, for the search ads that appear through their implementations," adds Mohan. "As with AdSense for content, the proportion of revenue that we keep reflects our costs, including the significant expense, research and development involved in building and enhancing our core search and AdWords technologies. The AdSense for search revenue share has remained the same since 2005, when we increased it."

John Battelle brought up some confusion around a 15% "serving" fee, known as an "AFC Deduction", which he says was commonly used for negotiated contracts with large publishers, but Google says it was never used for publishers who signed up directly on the Google website. The company told him, "There is no 15% serving, or any other, fee for those online publishers."

In fact, Arlene from Google’s Inside AdSense team stepped into the comments on the announcement to address this and other questions that had been coming up. She said:

The 68% revenue share for AdSense for content applies to all online publishers, and is not an average revenue share. If you’re showing AdSense for content ads on your pages, you’re receiving 68% of the amount advertisers pay for those ads. While the revenue share can vary for some major online publishers with whom we negotiate individual contracts, these amounts are not in any way averaged together. Also, there isn’t anything additional taken off the top. You get 68 percent, period.

The transparency around revenue share could become more critical if Facebook ends up offering its own AdSense-like product around the Open Graph. This has been widely speculated upon, and if it ever comes to fruition, it could become a real competitor to AdSense due to the comprehensive targeting abilities that would come with it.

Do you think a Facebook ad network would make for a worthy competitor to AdSense? Comment here.

Danny Sullivan suggests that Google’s transparency could lead to competitors offering up better deals, but Google appears comfortable with its competition thus far. "We believe our revenue share is very competitive, and the vast number of advertisers who compete to appear on AdSense sites helps to ensure that you’re earning the most from every ad impression," says Mohan.

At this point, Google is still not disclosing its revenue shares for AdSense for mobile applications, feeds, or games. The reason for this the company gives, is that these are still evolving, and they’re still learning about the costs associated with supporting them. Revenue shares may change in the future, but they don’t have any changes planned yet.

Does knowing the AdSense revenue share percentages change the way you feel about the AdSense program? Tell us what you think.

Google Reveals AdSense Revenue Share, Is it Satisfactory?
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  • http://www.TheOkayNetwork.com Adsense Publisher

    Don’t forget that in addition to the 49%/51% split that Google splits with publishers in regards to the Adsense for Search units, that if you have a low CTR with those units and don’t do a high enough volume of traffic to make up for the low CTR, Google may opt to take 100% of your earnings from Adsense for Search. Granted, the amount they take will never exceed the amount those units made, it’s still a rip off since they already are taking 49% which they claim is supposed to be to pay for the search. The non-ad version of their search is like $100 for a license, so it would seem to me that when a publisher makes $30 using Adsense for Search that Google has made already almost $30 already, and now they want to take the publisher’s $30 too if it took a lot of searches performed to generate such a low amount of income? Not only that, Google isn’t saying how much they are going to take and when. It’s not like if they say you dip below a certain CTR in searches, or a certain amount of income and they’re going to take X dollars or X percentage of that income. They just take it and leave publishers with more questions than answers as to why.

  • Tim

    SmartPricing? They sure don’t mention how SmartPricing affects your revenue.

    If your traffic does not convert, according to them, then if an ad pays .50 cents a click they may SmartPrice it down to .10 cents. and you only get roughly .05 cents.

    Total sham.

  • Guest

    Any move towards a more transparent system is a move in the right direction.

    Good job Google.

  • http://apexmedia.biz ApexMedia

    It would be good if google did have a worthy competitor and facebook is in the position to be that competitor, google has had it too easy for far too long.

  • Guest

    I’ve been involved in web development for over 15 years and quite frankly the arguments over what Google does or doesn’t do or the steps people have to take to get this or get that out of Google, are quite frankly rubbish.
    Is no-one aware of the greater world out there, and NO it doesn’t evolve around Google. You are all jumping on the same bandwagon and always waiting for the next move from Google. Why?, please tell me.

    The majority of you have been suckered into the Google story over-hyped with a mass of disinformation and no one actually knows what is what. Please get a life and take a few simple steps.

    Write 100% legal code.
    Provide content for the site about the client or business and NOT for Google
    Keep imagery simple, optimised and clean
    Spread you business with other associated businesses
    Make sure the site is fully accessible to disabilities
    Social Networking NOT NEEDED*

    * For the majority of businesses it isn’t needed, doesn’t matter what anyone says, its just a passing phase, endof!

    You stick to the above and you won’t need any consultant advising you on Adwords or SEO.
    A little bit of effort can go a long way.

    • Guest

      This is how I have run my website since the start 14 years ago. I am happy with the Google income my ads provide and do not understand the importance people put on page rank and other
      Do not panic and keep your site running like suggested and you will win.

  • http://detector-ym.blogspot.com/ Pereira

    Adsense is the best

  • http://www.villaralfa.com Guest

    While it is nice to know what percentage Google passes on to the publisher, what would be of more interest is how long they have been paying this percentage, and, if it has changed in the last two years, what was the percentage before.

    What has happened since November 2008 for my site at any rate is the total amount which has been paid each month. When I first put Adsense on my web site I was earning from $25 to $40 per month, and then quite suddenly the income dropped to as little as $5 per month and sometimes nothing.

    As the number of visitors to my site has remained almost constant (although it is seasonal and is always higher in the summer months), what has changed to make my earnings less?

    The payment history does not really tell me much because it does not show the click rate or any other data so I cannot compare tha actual figures, but I do wonder whether Google are charging advertisers less so I get less, or whether the adverts are ‘stale’ and so nobody clicks on them any more…….

  • http://www.adscams.info Kevin Hillman

    There has been well over a million webmasters suspended last year for doing nothing wrong who had all their earnings stolen by Google. Lets say they all had $100.00 in their account, that is $100,000,000.00 that they never paid out nor returned it to the advertisers. They fixed their books to make it look like they gave it back to the advertisers in the form of a credit for more advertising.

    They pocketed $100,000,000.00 in one year, told the government they gave it back so did not pay taxes on it so in one year they stole $100,000,000.00 and this trick has been going on since the start of ad sense. At my estimate, Google has stolen over a trillion dollars without ever paying one penny of taxes on the money.

    They have bought off the IRS and the US Government with this untraceable cash so no one investigates it but it will come to light when the Google Bubble Bursts and I guarantee it will burst and all stockholders will lose every penny, Google is nothing more than an paper tiger and is a bigger ponzi than any ever seen. When this one goes, it will make Bernie’s ponzi look like a lemonade stand went broke.

    • http://www.bbsport.info jose

      I agree with this comment, it is not relevenat the revenue share when google has suspended too many webmasters accounts.
      If these webmasters have done something wrong, ok , they have to be suspended, but what happens if they have do not done anything wrong? How do you know the reason?
      the problem is that google does not give any explanation at all about the reason they dedice to suspend you suddendly one given day

  • vybixa

    Sure, this is a bit of transparency from Google on the Adsense front,however,the operative word here is “bit”! No mention is made of the “forfeited” earnings of publishers who never reach the thresh-hold of $60 before payout can be made. I have held an acount with Google Adsense for over 5 years with, admitedly low traffic and thus low earnings, and have just not yet passed that thresh-hold. I have been told (NOT by Google) that I am about to loose a portion of these earnings to Google due to “my slow earning rate??!”. Now this, in my book,is what needs more transparency when faced with the threat of new competitors (Facebook springs to mind). Sure, that does not serve the interests of Google, but then again, claiming to be transparent should have a higher moral latitude than what Google are putting it down too! (For my TWOPENCE)

  • http://www.goobony.com Jesus Sanchez

    My site is basically a Google Custom search site with a twist. I do pretty good on my conversion rates, but to say that Google pays 51% on the search conversions, well… I don’t know about that one. But the content ads pay well enough.

  • http://www.wpmagereview.org WPMage Review

    Google has finally started to practice what they preach. It’s about time. I’m sure it’s because they are well aware of the competition that the future will present. But I’m still more likely to see this recent info as a peephole than transparency.

  • http://www.lovebirthdaypoems.com love birthday poem

    the month on google’s face. how can we know each words is true or not. forget about that. the funny thing is we enjoy the adsense account number goes up.

  • http://www.blogginhealth.com BlogginHealth

    First, let me commend you on a great article and a great breakdown. It came as no surprise to me seeing that after the “Arrogance” of google in many web based arenas it’s about time somebody came and did something about it. We webmasters depend on google(At least me who practises only SEO). I think I read it somewhere maybe on this same website that for the first time ever, facebook beat google in daily visits and searches. This is an indication as history has repeatedly told us that no one is invincible and sooner or later an end will come to domination.

    That release of figures by google comes as a result of the tough battle for web domination. My personal opinion.

  • http://www.rallystar.co.za Leon

    No matter how big you are, or how well your site is doing – companies such as Google will remain in control until they reach the bottom of their bag of tricks. We are and will remain caught up in the powerful stream – so be thankful if you receive what they claim they give or you might be cancelled just before they pay out once in a year, decade??

    It is sad to acknowledge that we are being pulled deeper and deeper down?

    What I can not understand though – as that will give them an even better deal – is why they do not promote sites that carry their ads? There are millions of sites not even listed on their search engines – I suppose you have to pay to be a partner?

  • http://www.my-blog-review.com Steve

    Google has held a dominant place in online ads for far too long, their monoply has been very lucrative to them (Google), but nowhere near as lucrative to the website owners that promote their often out of context ads!

    It is a good thing & a step in the right direction, that they now choose to reveal some figures, however, Google are not the only ones to suffer running costs & expenses & therefore I think a 75% – 25% split would be far more appropriate. After all, without the publishers that place these ads on their sites, Google would not attract advertisers & would not hold the elite position they now do.

    As for Facebook being the next big threat to Google..? yeah right we’ve heard it all before with Twitter, if you recall. Don’t forget that Google was in negotiations with Twitter some time back..? So I would not write Google off just yet, they are a huge company as we all know & I don’t believe they will just sit back & let the likes of Facebook pull the rug from under them, although perhaps some healthy competition is well over due !

  • Guest

    Google has got away with too much for too long. Any person who has dealt with them whether publisher or advertiser, is familiar with the exploitation.

  • http://www.janleow.com Jan

    It is nice to finally know the ratio. 68:32, is not too bad. It is after all a numbers game. The more traffic, the better your chances and so it is for google too. I read with interest on some of these comments, and do sympathize on those webmaster whose website only gathers about $25-$50 per month or even less. I do pretty well every month get a nice paycheck from google to supplement my income. And I know there are some webmasters who earns enough to live off google adsense comfortably. Do your research well and you get your returns, if you flip-flop on your blog, then what you get is flip-flop.

    And yes the terms spelt out by google is rather restrictive. So no choice but to abide by them if you want your income. Know this, they don’t owe you an income so don’t bitch about it! Don’t like google? Then find another similar program. There are many out there, tried some of them, google is still the best returns. Maybe I’m doing something wrong with the alternatives. Anybody has better experience?

  • http://www.globalclassifiedscentral.com/ Global Classified Ads

    I have blogs and website and running adsense, got good traffic but not making money. I think i have to increase traffic.

  • Bogo

    First – 68% is good. Period. Most affiliate networks pay even less.

    However, Facebook doesn’t pay a dime for advertising on my profile page.
    Or for accessing my profile data and letting others use it.

    You could argue that I get a free service from them, but I get a free service from Google too.
    And more than one – docs, calendar, wave, gmail etc.
    You won’t get rich using AdSense, but occasional check comes as a nice surprise every now and then.

    Thumbs up for Google.

  • Guest

    I was estimating +/- 70%, so I’m happy.

    Those on here complaining that there is no money in AdSense are just doing something wrong – no or poor content, little traffic, etc. I make GREAT money with AdSense and in a couple more months will be telling my boss to stick it.

    Facebook as a competitor? I don’t think so. They offer a closed market and poor targeting.

  • http://www.skopjehotels.info/ Skopje Hotels


    I am not disappointed, but I was thinking 80 to 90%

  • http://www.armyofangels.org.uk Army Of Angels

    Adsense doesn’t work for me!

  • http://www.kooiii.com Andy Anderson

    The 68% pay for content ads has to be an average and not a set number.

    Any lower volume publisher can attest that you will see days with a single click earning a penny but then check you Adwords account and the minimum bid is 5 cents, well 1 cent from five is only 20% earnings, a far cry from the 68% they claim to pay publishers.

    Google rewards performance it seems, the more traffic the greater the rewards.

    We had a search engine that was displaying 20-30K ads a day and the average per click we would earn was around 25-50 cents. A second engine with 1/3 the traffic seldom had a click pay more then 10 cents and yet the hottest search terms in both were almost identical.

    We had to jump through so many hoops to even get those while being crushed by our competition and finally tired of the Google headache. Thus for honesty and openness I must tell you we have opened our own ad server and are now basically competition. This comment could be considered biased by that fact but please understand that KART was created out of frustration with other ad suppliers and part of that frustration was Google Double Speak such as telling you the average and not the scale when they state 68%.

    Andy Anderson

  • http://kooiii.com Dave Gilbert

    Google recently canned our adsense account stating their reasons as our “Search Engine ” didn’t meet their publisher requirements even though it delivers over 10,000 page views daily and operates slightly faster than googles own engine.

    while our account was operational we noticed that the ads being delivered were mostly low grade and when we got close to a check (normally withn the first 1 -3 days) our ads switched from english to arabic even though we were mostly a us based engine delivering results in english.

    As for their 68% publisher earnings we never got above 15 -20% return on click throughs from our users.

    To us Google is a fraud a liar and a cheat and we would not carry their ads if they offered us 100% of the bid price you simply can’t trust them.

    • http://ads.kooiii.com Andy Anderson

      Just to Clarify on Dave’s statement. The account that was canceled was not the most recent account with Google, it was his personal Adsense account and not our business account which managed more sites and was done prior to the engine being taken into Velocity Marketer. Google did make statements though in dropping his account related to that engine which would have also meant their own engine did not fit their terms of service.

      Dave though lost a sizable amount of due funds because of them waiting until he was a couple dollars from earning a check before dropping the account. As for the language issue it was actually related to the Interest Based Advertising system which would swap us to arabic ads on our English language website which has been a massive complaint and something that has even happened on giants such as Tagged.com.

      Still Google has never dealt the best with us or many marketers and online business owners we know.


      • Guest

        Isn’t the minimum pay $10? …And he lost a sizable amount?

  • Adsense dropped,Adsense sucks

    Google never cared for the creative and honest publisher. I doubt they care for the end user(searchers) either. Google claims to be in favor of good content and quality sites,yet they came up with Blogger and has used it primarily as a weapon against the good publishers.99% of Blogger is full of content scrapers and google rewards them for their MFA blogs,ranks their blogs. It seems google thinks they can use blogger content(most of it spam and stolen) if the good publishers ever think to rebel.
    Am afraid Google does skip recording legitimate clicks at times(possibly to be used as bribes for recession-hit advertisers but publishers need to know about this likely secret “Bailout”)
    If Google’s transparency is to be credible,they should:

    1-Remove adsense from blogger
    2- Remove arbitrage ads
    3-Allow publishers to set a minimum bid(at least for quality sites . PR4+ 60.000 visitors per month and get paid 0.2 cents per click?????

  • http://www.netlogos.com.br cria

    Excellent article, I

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