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AdSense revenue share split revealed

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Tuesday May 25, 2010 )

Google AdSense, the hugely popular revenue generation tool for online publishers, has finally revealed what has been a closely guarded secret, the percentage share of ad revenue it pays to publishers.

I was expecting to see the cut being 50% or perhaps even less based on experiences with other ad networks. But the mighty G seems to also be the generous G.

AdSense for content publishers earn a 68% revenue share worldwide. AdSense for search partners get a 51% revenue share.

Since launching AdSense for content in 2003, Google says the content publisher revenue share has never changed. The AdSense for search revenue share has remained the same since 2005, when it was increased.

Google says while it can make no guarantees, it has no plans to change the revenue share percentage for either product in the foreseeable future.

Having that information doesn’t change a thing really, but finally knowing it is nice and it gives some idea how much advertisers are paying per click in total and on average. It also gives you and indication of what your site is worth in terms CPM (cost per thousand impressions).

While some ad networks do pay a bigger chunk of the pie, that’s only useful if the pie (what the advertiser pays) is the same size or bigger than Google’s.. and it most instances in my experience it won’t be. I’d much rather be paid 68% of 20 bucks than 90% of 10 bucks for the same number of clicks.

Additionally, when it comes to content matching, an important part in attracting clicks, I don’t think anyone is even close to Google’s capabilities yet. No-one would have the pool of advertisers either and more advertisers means more competition, which boosts click price bids.

Google says the revenue share splits will start appearing in the AdSense interface soon.

What I do find a little curious is why Google kept the revenue share split secret for so long (7 years) and why they chose now to announce it. Perhaps it ties in with something else they have planned? Nothing bad of course, after all, there’s the Google motto of “don’t be evil” to reassure us all ;).

Now, time for me to light the candles at my personal Google shrine and give thanks. Shame I’m all out of sacrificial goats.


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