Is AdSense worth it?

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Ah, Adsense. So may bloggers are excited to get accepted to Adsense and FINALLY make some money.

This article isn’t bashing Adsense. They pay out, and you will probably need to be accepted by them because other ad networks require that you have an Adsense account in good standing (whatever that means) in order to accept you.

What is AdSense?

Adsense is Google’s advertisement network.

They’ll accept most bloggers in most niches as long as you have a decent amount of decent content.

Unfortunately, Adsense is famous for not paying well. You tend to be paid on pay-per-click basis. You could be a getting a million views a month, but only making a few pennies because no one clicked on your site.

How much money can you expect to make from AdSense?

In order to make a full time living from Adsense, you would need multiple sites with many thousand of pageviews.

Adsense is kind of like a weird rite of passage in the blogging world – we all have to do it whether we want to or not and we don’t get anything out of it. Just a box we have to tick.

What criteria does your blog need to meet to be accepted by AdSense?

It seems to be entirely random, but here’s what the rules seem to say your site must have:

  • 10 posts that are shareable
  • 3 months old
  • Quality content
  • Nothing dodgy (porn, drugs, and apparently excessive swearing. Fuck.)
  • Clear design
  • Easy to navigate
  • Standard site pages (who knows? A privacy page maybe?)
  • Images
  • Original content (don’t try any dodgy methods of repurposing other people’s content)

Why is AdSense so popular?

Because it’s easy to follow the rules, they won’t break your site, and they don’t care that you don’t have much traffic.

Apart from that, they have no redeemable features, other than as a gateway to bigger an better networks.

Why I don’t recommend putting AdSense on your site

It’s so tempting to get Adsense set up as soon as you hit the thee month mark, but I urge you not to.

You won’t make much money. The average adsense CPM is £1.50, so if you get 30k visitors a month, you might make £45.

Compare that to an ad network that offers a CPM of £20 and you’re looking at £600.

Ok, you might say, but if I’m only get 1000 pageviews per month, then £1.50 is better than nothing, surely?

Er, kind of, but also no.

You see, Adsense code seriously slows down your site. For more premium networks, it’s in their best interest to clean up the code so that it doesn’t affect pagespeed. Companies pay a lot of money for advertising, and the ad networks have to compete with one another.

Adsense doesn’t compete with the other networks. It doesn’t need to.

I imagine they’re paying a fee somewhere to get our site’s data from Google, which is why they require you’re registered with Adsense.

Adsense can use data from Google’s crawlers to look at our sites, something other networks don’t want to have to pay for.

So I would wait until you’re driving decent traffic to your site from search (say, 10k pageviews per month) before applying to Adsense. Get approved (you don’t need to actually put any ads up), and then wait until you have enough traffic to apply to a more premium network

Alternatives to AdSense

Ezoic and Monumetric

These will accept sites with 10k pageviews per month. I’ve heard differing reviews, but general consensus is that they will slow your site down. Ezoic has very mixed reviews, so read a few and see what you think.

I personally think it’s worth waiting until you have the traffic to apply for Mediavine (you need 25k sessions per month, which is about 30k pageviews). They actually speed up your site, apparently by up to 200% but it will vary massively on how fast your site was to begin with.

AdThrive is recommended by a lot of bloggers, and consistently gets good reviews. Unfortunately I’m not reaching the 100k pageviews per month they require before you apply (YET).

Final thoughts on using AdSense to monetise your website

If those few pennies would really make a difference to your life, then go ahead and put some Adsense ads on your site.

I just worry that the slowed site speed would lead to a lower ranking before your traffic has really gotten going. In the beginning stages (the first year) of a website, you really need to make your site as good as possible, and site speed is such an easy win.

There are so few circumstances under which the £0.30 you MIGHT earn is going to make that much of a difference to your life, compared to waiting a few more months and making £600.

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