Updates to how publishers monetize with AdSense

Twenty years ago, we built Google AdSense to help publishers of all sizes make money from their websites. Our easy-to-use ad network simplified digital advertising, connecting publishers with advertisers around the world to sell their ad space. And now, every year, we pay out billions of dollars to the publishing partners in our ad network. This allows content creators to spend more time doing what they do best: creating great content.

As the advertising industry has evolved, so have the monetization choices available to publishers. Today, website owners use a combination of direct sales, ad networks and sell-side platforms to sell their ad space, often using multiple technologies simultaneously.

This is why we are making two changes: updating AdSense’s revenue-share structure and moving to paying publishers by impression. These changes will provide a consistent way for publishers to compare the differing fees across the various technologies they use to monetize and will provide even greater transparency into the media-buying process.

Based on our tests, we don’t expect publishers to see a change in their earnings as a result of these updates.

Updating the AdSense revenue share structure

For years, AdSense has been transparent about the fee we charge for our service, which is consistent with industry rates. When publishers have chosen to use AdSense to monetize their content, they have kept 68% of the revenue.

Previously, the Google AdSense network processed fees within a single transaction. We are now splitting the AdSense revenue share into separate rates for the buy-side and sell-side. For displaying ads with AdSense for content, publishers will receive 80% of the revenue after the advertiser platform takes its fee, whether that be Google’s buy-side or third-party platforms.

For example, when Google Ads purchases display ads on AdSense, Google Ads will retain on average 15% of advertiser spend. There are variations because Google Ads does not take a fixed, per-impression fee, as many advertisers choose to pay based on user actions, like a click or conversion. Overall, publishers will continue to keep about 68% of the revenue.

When advertisers use a third-party platform to purchase display ads on AdSense, publishers will keep 80% of the revenue after the third-party platform has taken its fee. Google does not control or have visibility into the fees that these third-party platforms charge advertisers or how they calculate them.

Image showing how one dollar from an advertiser becomes sixty eight cents after buy and sell-side fees

Moving to per-impression payments for publishers

In addition to updating our revenue-share structure, AdSense will soon transition from primarily paying publishers per click to the display industry standard of paying per impression. This update will provide a more uniform way for paying publishers for their ad space across Google’s products and third-party platforms, helping them compare with other technology providers they use.

It’s important to note that this change will not influence the type or quantity of ads publishers can display on their websites. Publishers in our ad network are required to adhere to both our AdSense policies and the Better Ads Standards which do not allow practices like pop-ups or interruptive ads that take up the majority of the screen.

We expect these updates to go into effect early next year. These changes do not require any action from publishers.

Advertising technology helps fund the creative and diverse content we all enjoy online. That’s why we’ve spent years investing in AdSense to help publishers of all sizes easily make money and grow. As the internet evolves, we will continue our work to contribute to the open web and the access to content that advertising supports, while continuing to simplify and provide transparency into the process.