There are plenty of google Adsense alternatives out there but it might be frustrating to choose the right one that you trust and know that the results are transparent without any hidden fees or commissions. In this post we will be talking about the most used and top 10 Best Google Adsense Alternatives for Your Website/Blog that anyone can test and see for themselves. It is always recommended that you try at least a few monetization products so that the best paying can be found and effectively used. Sometimes a combination of 2 or more can be the most profitable. That is why we have provided Pros and Cons on each of the product so that you can make these decisions easier. We will be looking at referral, header bidding, video, native, direct and commerce advertising. The list is in no specific order.

Why Should Someone Try Something Else?

Generally Adsense is used by smaller blogs and websites with not so much traffic. As the website grows you might start thinking about applying for Google Adx, creating and developing your own Header Bidding solution or some sort of waterfall hybrid(not recommended). Generally there are two main reasons why someone would consider alternatives to Google Adsense.

Reason Number one:

Your website/blog has been rejected by Adsense because of one or more of following reasons(not exhaustive):

  1. There is not enough content / Content is unacceptable
    • The blog/website does not have enough content.
    • Bad grammar, poorly written text.
  2. No Privacy Policy, Contact Us or About Us pages
    • These pages make the impression that your website is legit, high quality and professional and that you are working according to google policies.
  3. The design of the website
    • Poorly designed layout is a no no for Google, as advertisers want their banners to be shown in good positions with banner friendly content.
  4. Blog/Website does not comply with Google Adsense Policies
    • If the traffic is coming from illegal sources, or websites with poorly coded design, excessive keywords usually get rejected.
    • No meaningful, rich content, no organic visits and pages with little or no content, bad user experience are not going to work with Google.

Reason Number Two

You think that there is something better out there and you could be earning more revenue just by trying some other product rather than just depending on Google as the sole buyer of your precious website inventory. Most large websites actually do not solely depend Google Adx or Adsense and the reason for that is the advertising world is changing rapidly and other solutions with implemented Artificial Intelligence are available.

The most popular and widely used Adsense alternative is header bidding. Simply put: to make Google more competitive and squeeze more revenue it made to fight against other such ad exchanges called SSPS(Supply Side Platforms) this way the highest bidder wins the chance to display their advertisement.

Google Ad Exchange (Adx)

Google Adx is the next step for bigger publishers and websites. Some say that you do not find them, they find you. First let’s look at the main differences between Adsense and Adx. Google has created a comparison table where it has stated all of the differences between these two products.

The main difference between Adx and Adsense is that Adx is based on eCPM(effective cost per thousand impressions), where Adsense pays for clicks. If your website users are very engaged in your content there might be cases where Adsense actually pays more even with less buyers, additionally if the banner is in a clickable position(sticky for example) then you might want to consider not using Adx in such placements.

While both provide access to millions of buyers, Ad Exchange is built for publishers that require granular controls to avoid undermining their direct sales efforts. If you don’t have a significant direct sales business or if channel conflict is not a major concern for you, AdSense might be a better solution.” by Google.

Pros

  • Ad Exchange allows all vendors
  • It is a programmatic platform with Real Time Bidding technology for premium websites and they can be paired with premium/high quality advertisers.
    • Access to advertisers such as AdWords, AdX, Local and Global DSPs with RTB Integration.
  • Ability to make inventory available in as anonymous, branded, semi-transparent, or through a combination two.
  • Advanced reporting.
  • Publishers keep 80-90% of revenue, whereas Adsense only keeps 68%.
  • Filtering of ads is very extensive:
    • URL Blockling,
    • Advertiser blocking,
    • Ad Technologies blocking,
    • Data and cookies usage blocking.

Cons

  • Minimum threshold to apply for Google Ad Exchange is 5 million visitors per month.
  • To get an account you need to have a dedicated Google account rep or you work with a certified Publisher Partner, like Setupad.

Links to the website

Google Ad Exchange info: Google Adexchange Information Page

Setupad.com Programmatic Header Bidding

If the reason for your website being rejected is not illegal content or you want to increase your revenue and not just depend on Adsense should consider a product that is based on header bidding and has some experience in the field. Most of large and good SSPS(Supply Side Platforms or simple Ad Exchanges) require minimum amount of monthly requests that are close to 100million, for a small publisher this is unreachable but products such as Setupad have a solution that allows them to add these high quality buyers and earn you more revenue. They have more than 15+ international high grossing SSPS that can help anyone monetise their website to its full potential.

Pros

  • Great support and individual optimization for each website.
  • Increase in revenue guaranteed 30%-70% – really depends on the website, visitors, traffic sources and geography.
  • A lot of SSP’s in a smartly created Header Bidding.
  • Banner, video and native advertising products.

Cons

  • Payment is 80 days, most SSP’s pay in 60-90 days so it makes sense.
  • Offices are in Baltic countries so most of the conversations happen in Skype/Call or through email.
  • Minimum payout 200 eur.

Links to the website

You can check them out here: Setupad.com
Might as well read some of their blog posts and case studies: Setupad Blog

Amazon Associates Program

Amazon was the company that paved the way for the affiliate programs and was one of the first to offer this to the public in 1998. At first it was all about buying and selling books, people could earn money by referring friends or really anyone. This was how Amazon managed to spend zero money on advertising and bringing in visitors only by the referral program. We suggest you do a thorough research and get to know this product well.

Here is what we found. To be an affiliate of amazon you do not need to have a minimum threshold and really anyone can apply with many products to promote and with tools to help you sell specific items. Reporting helps with analytics that can help with generating more clicks and impressions. Even if the visitor does not buy a product right away it, when he/she returns to the website and decides to actually purchase it you will earn commission. This is one of the best Adsense alternatives if Google has rejected your website.

Pros

  • Vast product line, every niche available.
  • Huge customer base.
  • High credibility.
  • Products added to cart stay there for 90 days.

Cons

  • Low payout compared to other affiliate programs
    • 4 to 8.5 percent, depends on sales volume and product.
  • Cookies only last 24 hours, when this expires you no longer receive a commission on the purchase.
  • Minimum payout 100$

Links to the website

You can apply here: Amazon Associates Affiliate Program
Follow the instructions on the website and read the rules.

Your Own Header Bidding Solution

Creating your own header bidding is time consuming and complex as there are many SSP’s and DSP’s that need to be added in order for it to work. To simply put: Header Bidding is an auction where Ad Exchanges(SSP’s, DSP’s) are placing bets on each position of your website and the highest bidder will win a chance to display their ad banner. The bids are based on eCPM(effective cost per thousand impressions).
For example: Buyer 1 bids: 0.3, buyer 2 bids: 0,11, buyer 3 bids: 0,33. Winner: Buyer 3 with 0,33 eCPM.

Generally you will have to sign contracts and keep up to date with the newest adapters. If you wish to try to earn extra and also put in a lot of work, this might be the one of the best google Adsense alternatives is for you. To start you should visit Prebid.org for all of the necessary information to develop your own Header Bidding wrapper and add partners (SSP’s, DSP’s) to get it started. There are plenty of Header Bidding partners out there that do not necessarily require for you to have minimum amount of visitors and are good to just have you getting started and testing the results for yourself.

Pros

  • It is the future and there is no going back.
  • You get paid the maximum revenue possible as the buyers are pushed to pay more because of the high level of competition. Every impression is sold to the highest bidder.
  • Supply of premium inventory (depends on the ad exchange).
  • High fill rate and revenue. As more advertisers participate there are opportunities of filling your ad inventory to the max (99-100%).
  • Transparency – publishers can track data about each ad impression.

Cons

  • Latency(becoming less of a problem). It takes a little more time for the ad to appear because of the auction, where for Adsense the ad is displayed fairly quickly.
  • Costs – if you are serious about this you would have to consider costs for ad server.
  • Very time consuming and complex to develop.
  • To have effective header bidding you need at last 5 partners.
  • Many SSP’s/DSP’s pay in 60-90 days, so you would have to wait to get paid.

Links to the website

Header Bidding info: Prebid.org and Header Bidding Explained in Simple Terms

Taboola Native Advertising

Taboola is one of the most popular native advertising products for publishers and advertisers. Did you know: native ads can come in virtually any shape or size, so long as the publisher and advertiser clearly label the unit as “sponsored”. In 2015, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) began identifying some of the most widely used native formats, including in-feed units, promoted product listings, and recommendation widgets. Taboola guarantees a 100% fill rate across any geo.

Three most popular places for native ads:

  • Search – google was the pioneer in this with their “sponsored” search results.
  • Social – Networks such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are known for using native carousel ad and in-feed ad formats.
  • Open web (probably your website) – “Content discovery” platforms such as Taboola are used across popular publisher websites such as:
    • Kapook.com
    • Reach PLC
    • Hear.com
    • Many more even larger websites with more traffic.

There is minimum traffic requirement of 500 thousand to 1 million page views for a website/blog. Niche and visitor countries are important for approval and will help you with acquiring you an account. It seems that the minimum requirement is different for each website, so I would not count on it entirely and would still try to apply even if there are not enough visits for your blog or app. It is easy to implement and the reporting is intuitive. The website can be in any language and there is really no prohibited publisher content. The cost per click is about $0.25–$0.35; $0.75 for its network of top 30 sites.

Pros

  • Can be integrated with really any website and framework.
  • Easy to optimize for any layout.
  • Available on all devices.
  • Easy to implement, intuitive reporting.
  • Engaging ads and fits well with the design of a website.

Cons

  • Often shows ads in English even if your website is in a different language.
  • Sponsored content units appear spammy.
  • Makes payments only through Direct Deposit via Payoneer.
    • No PayPal or a paper check.
  • Unknown publisher revenue share.

Links to the website

Taboola info: Taboola For Publishers

Revcontent Native Advertising

Revcontent is content delivery and native advertising platform that is one of the fastest growing ad networks at the moment. It was first launched back in 2013 and has been increasing in size and product range since then. Each month Revcontent delivers more than 250 billion content recommendations, they serve some of the top content marketers such as CBS, Forbes, NBC News and others.

There is a lot of information provided for publishers as well as advertisers on their website (link below). The minimum payout is 50$, which is very good compared to other similar products considering there are plenty of methods the revenue can be transferred. You need to have at least 50,000 monthly visits to get approved and the process is strict where only 6% of applications submitted are accepted, rejecting 94% of applicants. Revcontent is based on eCPM which is one of the highest for international traffic, of course this depends also on the quality of visitors.

Revcontent widgets can be added to any type of website and blog and they have a wide range of options including media, native ad networks, entertainment and technology widgets.

Pros

  • Multiple payment methods available:
    • ACH Transfer (Available only for publishers located in the United States),
      • Minimum 50$ earnings during the previous cycle(s).
    • Paypal
      • Available for international publishers with earnings less than 100$,
      • Minimum 50$ earnings, the maximum is 2,500$. If this is exceeded then the amount has to be paid via Wire Transfer.
    • Wire Transfer
      • Only for international publishers,
      • Minimum 1000$ earnings during the previous cycle.
  • Simple to integrate – auto generated javascript code that can be just copied and pasted in the widget area (this will insert native display and recommended ads).
  • Fully responsive widgets that can be implemented in both mobile and web devices.
  • Can be integrated together with Adsense as many publishers choose to do so to reach the maximum efficiency.
  • Has Publisher referral program – give 5%, get 5%.

Cons

  • Minimum requirement of 50,000 visits per month.
  • Revcontent has many restrictions to its publishers and advertisers and rejects most of the applications for quality purposes.
  • Ads might be a little intrusive.

Links to the website

Revcontent info: Revcontent for Publishers

PopAds Popunders

Popads is an advertising network specialising in popunders. The main argument is that they are the highest and fastest ad network on this market. It is one of the oldest ad networks, and was launched back in 2010. Their goal is to be the status of a premium ad network. Average revenue for 1000 US unique visitors are always above $4,00. They also cover over 40 countries and the ads can be implemented for websites including North America, India, Western Europe, South Asia and Australia. What is great about this product is that you can request withdraw payments at any time using PayPal or AlterPay accounts. The money will arrive within 24 hours.

Ad types: only pop ups (Pop Under, Pupup, Tabunder, Tabup). Each bid is set for each pop and can be easily changed in the user panel. If your website was not approved for Adsense because it has adult content, think no more! They offer ads for mainstream and adult websites.

Popads revenue is based on impressions (eCPM), so each time a user has an ad in screen you get paid.

The approval is quick and easy. The registration takes 2 minutes with only 10 standard fields. The ad network is simple, user-friendly and functional. The reports though are not very granular and detailed as some other ad networks do, for example SSP’s and DSP’s.

Pros

  • Minimum payout $5.
  • No Minimum Traffic Requirement.
  • Fast payments – can be done daily.
  • High eCPM.
  • Can set up your own floor prices (keep in mind this will lower the fillrate).

Cons

  • PopAds might seem intrusive for many users and could annoy them.
  • Publishers claim that the account can get deleted/terminated because of copyrighted content on a website/blog.
  • Low rates for Asian countries, for example Pakistan and India. (Generally these countries have lower eCPM anyway, so this has to be tested properly and compared with for example Header Bidding.)

Links to the website

Sign Up page: PopAds Signup
PopAds product info: PopAds for Publishers

Carbon Ads

This advertising solution is perfect for websites where designers and developers are the main visitor audience. Carbon ads was founded in 2010 and is owned by BuySellAds. The network is exclusive and only for specific types of websites that include high quality design, tech and development content. Ads are beautiful and easy to customise, if your layout is important to you then this is what you need. Some of websites who use these ads are Laravel, get bootstrap, coding horror, font awesome, jsfiddle, dribble, sketch app resources, world vector logo, kottke and more.

The network is invite only for both advertisers and publishers, but you can apply and will be considered if your website matches the following criteria:

  • How relevant their ads will be to their audience.
  • Number of monthly page views.
  • Site has to be actively maintained.
  • They look at if there is vacancy in the network.
  • Your website has to be able to comply with their terms of service.

Pros

  • Very high quality, good looking – targeted ads.
  • CTR is into consideration, if you have engagement rate you will get paid well. You are paid by eCPM, the higher the CTR is the better eCPM will be.
  • You will receive your payment at 15th of each month.
  • Many payment methods such as PayPal, Wire Transfer or Check.
  • You can place your own house ads or affiliate banners on a passback if Carbon Ads has not filled 100% of the available inventory.

Cons

  • Only can be run exclusively and other networks are not allowed to run while Carbon Ads are active.
  • Very specific rules on where the ads should be, what size and viewpoint.
  • The revenue split is 50/50.

Links to the website

Carbon ads product info: Carbon Ads FAQ

Sovrn Commerce / VigLink Content Driven Commerce

VigLink is a product that allows publishers to earn revenue from existing links on your website. These can be links to your own ecommerce products or affiliate links such as Amazon (mentioned before). It is considerably a good combination to use Amazon Affiliate together with VigLink. Dashboard is easy to understand and intuitive.

VigLink converts your normal outgoing links into affiliate links, and if users make a purchase, you earn a referral commission from it. The best part is that you don’t need to be signed up for an individual affiliate account on all networks.

Pros

  • Monthly minimum payout $10,00.
  • 30 000 Merchants Worldwide.
  • Instant approval.
  • Payments via PayPal.
  • Covers a wide range of niche of merchants.
  • SEO Friendly.
  • Supports multiple platforms – forums, blogs.
  • Does not violate AdSense policies, so it can be run side by side.

Cons

  • Sometimes can redirect users to broken links.
  • Do not work on browsers that do not support JavaScript.

Links to the website

VigLink info: VigLink for Publishers
Signup here: Join VigLink

Direct Sales/In House

Direct advertising is one of the most time consuming and difficult ways of earning revenue. Most of large news publishers actually still sell a lot of their advertising space directly and only if there is leftover inventory it is passed back to some of the previously mentioned products. Through direct sales you could be earning a very high eCPM.

Pros

  • Can be optimised any way you wish.
  • You have all of the control over the inventory.
  • Good looking, perfectly fit ads.
  • Learning skills and gaining experience of being a good salesman.
  • Guaranteed contracts can provide better fill rates and higher yield.
  • Data insights – easy to measure revenue that is received in a more efficient way.

Cons

  • Time consuming as you will have to look for clients.
  • Knowledge of how contracts work.
    • This means you will have to create your own contracts as well as sign the terms of others.
  • Visiting client locations (can also be a pro if you enjoy human interaction and negotiation).
  • Working with sales quotes – meaning you would have to reach certain goals.

Conclusion

To top it off, always be aware that you also have to optimize your website the best you can for the most effective and revenue grossing way possible. We have made some tips on how to choose the top and best ad sizes, positions and formats for desktop and mobile advertising.

Based on all that was written, there are many ways a publisher (blog or website owner) can earn the maximum possible revenue. For example combining direct sales, header bidding and VigLink together with Amazon and other affiliate programs. It really depends on the website, visitors and goals.

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