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Why Adsense Shouldn’t Be Your Sole Revenue Stream

Are you considering AdSense to monetize your website? The Google advertising network is one of the most well-known ad platforms and is usually one of the first publishers will approach. While there are certain benefits to using AdSense, publishers shouldn’t rely on the platform for their revenue.

Today, advanced ad technology and stricter privacy laws have created an ecosystem that prioritizes responsible advertising. Speed, privacy, and user experience are more important than ever. Unfortunately, AdSense may not be your best option if you want your site and monetization strategy to be part of this system.

In this article, we will look at several reasons why publishers shouldn’t rely on AdSense as their sole revenue stream.

 Why Publishers Shouldn’t Rely on Adsense

When publishers monetize their website, the goal is to generate sustainable revenue through reliable, compliant ads that won’t disrupt the user experience. Google AdSense used to be the first stop for most publishers, but it’s no longer the top ad network. Here’s why.

Lower Commissions and Strict Payment Terms

AdSense isn’t known for its excellent commission structure. In fact, a study by The Blog Millionaire showed that AdSense typically accounts for 2% of overall ad income, paling in comparison to other ad networks. Its final score in the study was 2/100, making it one of the poorest performers1.

Andrea Whitmer, an entrepreneur and web developer, worked on her site for nine months before AdSense rewarded her with $22. However, the platform has a minimum payout limit of $100, so it was a long time before she received any real revenue in return for her hard work.

While AdSense can be part of your ad stack, it will likely never be your top earner once you start diversifying your revenue streams.

Non-Compliant Practices and Poor-Quality Ads

User experience and speed are more important than ever. Google’s new Core Web Vitals emphasize the importance of fast loading times and optimized layouts. Conversely, Google AdSense significantly slows down sites, with scripts taking up to 60% of a page’s loading time.

Many also violate the International Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) ad guidelines3:

  • 46% exceed the max KB limit.
  • The average number of requests and scripts is over 50, compared to the recommended 15.
  • 32% of ads exceed the rendering time limit.
  • 51% of ads don’t comply with HTTP/2 encryption guidelines.

While these issues aren’t necessarily limited to AdSense, the platform doesn’t do the best job of sticking to the rules. For example, the IAB recommends three non-sticky ads per page. However, AdSense allows its certified partners to use significantly more ads.

According to the Digital Control Room, the Google AdSense banner doesn’t meet the EU cookie consent requirements. While Google’s policies protect the company, publishers may be left exposed to legal action if they don’t provide a complete cookie and privacy policy of their own.

Google only introduced its consent management platform (CMP), Funding Choices, in 2018. While the IAB and TCF approve the platform, it’s not mandatory, and many publishers don’t use the system at all.

Stringent Terms and Blacklisting

While it’s easy to become an AdSense member, staying one can be tricky. The platform has extremely strict terms and conditions, and violations can result in a publisher being blacklisted on the platform. If you use multiple ad networks to maximize your revenue, you run a higher risk of being banned.

If another network’s ads violate Google’s terms, you’ll still be held responsible. You can try to counter claims of violations, but AdSense very rarely reverses its decisions. It’s more likely that you’ll not be able to use the platform again once banned.

For publishers that rely on AdSense, being barred can be a financial death sentence.

Poor Analytics and Tracking

Google AdSense doesn’t provide as many in-depth insights as some other ad networks do. For example, the system doesn’t tell you what percentage of click revenue you received, nor does it tell you which ads are the most popular. Without this information, publishers can’t necessarily tell where they’re earning money, making optimization tricky.

What’s the Alternative? The rev•amp Solution

There are several ad networks and exchanges that offer publishers similar and better monetization solutions. To maximize your revenue, you may even work with several of these platforms.

However, there are still challenges that may make them unappealing. For example, many exchanges won’t bid on more than 30% of your ad inventory, leaving valuable revenue on the table. Additionally, most of the bigger networks require millions of page views before they’ll accept your application.

rev•amp is much more than a monetization platform. We plug into platforms like OpenX, Index, PubMatic, and many others. In turn, we give our publishers access to these networks, boosting their revenue and optimizing their ad stacks. We’re also compliant with international privacy laws and IAB requirements.

In short, we amplify your revenue effectively through secure, compliant, and quality ads.


Google AdSense may be one of the most well-known monetization platforms, but it’s not always the best fit for publishers. It has strict requirements and low commission rates, making it challenging to generate significant revenue. Being blacklisted can also cost publishers their entire income.

Instead of turning to AdSense, publishers should consider their options and choose an exchange, network, or partner to provide them with the best results. rev•amp is a compliant, safe, and effective solution that’ll help you maximize your revenue.



Ferran is the Director of Catalog & Traffic at Softonic.
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