Is AdSense Worth it for Bloggers?
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You’ve got your site up and running. That means you are starting to write new posts.
And now, your goal is to make money. The first thought that comes to your mind is AdSense.
But, is Adsense worth it, or not?
As a blog owner, you need to develop a monetization strategy. That means you should never place all of your earning options into a single basket.
You can make money blogging through affiliate marketing, selling products, offering coaching or consulting, creating courses, and of course, through an ad network.
Most new bloggers tend to think the best option for them is an ad network.
But – not so fast.
The reality is that ads are not the best income-earning opportunity for those who are getting started. Even if you have been blogging for a while and are ready to place ads on your site, the answer is not AdSense.
I know this, as I speak from experience.
Many years ago, I used AdSense on my blog. The reason was that it was the only network available that paid OK. There were others, but they paid less than even AdSense did, so they were rather worthless.
I would log in each day to check my earnings. Most days, it was $5 or less (even on my high-traffic days).
The problem was that it led me to have a false sense of security. I felt that I only had to place ads to make money. Once I created a smarter strategy, I also wised up and realized that AdSense. was not worth it. Not at all.
Ditching AdSense was one of the best moves I made. And, I don’t want you to make those same mistakes. It is important you understand why AdSense isn’t worth it to bloggers.
What is Google AdSense?
AdSense is one of the most popular advertising networks for bloggers. You sign up with them, and once they approve your account, you get some code to add to your blog. Once you place it, then ads will show on your site.
How do you make money?
Ad networks pay on a CPM, cost per impression, rate. That means, for every 1,000 impressions your ads get, they pay a rate to you. Let’s simplify this for you.
Let’s say that your ads end up getting 10,000 impressions on your site. The network pays you $5 per CPM. That means that the 10,000 ads that showed earned $50.
Can you earn much?
Not really. The reason is that they pay some of the lowest rates when looking at ad networks.
Others, such as Monumetric, Mediavine, and AdThrive, all pay much higher rates, which will earn much more.
Why You Should Avoid Putting AdSense on Your Blog
Now you know what they are and how ads work, let’s discuss why you shouldn’t place the code on your site.
The code is poorly written and slows sites
One important factor in getting your content to rank is that site speed. A slow-loading site will struggle to rank well on Google.
It is a poor user experience, and the reader will often click before the page loads as they don’t want to rank. And, since Google wants to share only helpful content, that doesn’t happen if readers can’t even wait for the site to load properly.
It is rather ironic that the AdSense code is not very well written and can slow sites, considering it comes from Google.
They pay insulting rates
Google does not pay well on its ads. Quality networks will pay a much as $25 – $30 CPM, and many times, Google will be lucky to pay $5.
Yeah, it can be that bad.
You can’t collect payment until you earn $100
Because the rates are low, it can take a few months to earn $100. And that is what is required for Google to pay you.
It could take you a month, but it may take four or more. That means you work, and Google holds onto your money until you reach their threshold.
It takes a lot of traffic to earn much
When you look at the rate they pay and the time it takes to get money sent to you, one thing is clear. It is going to take a lot of traffic to earn much, if anything, at all.
It is easier to get your account shut down
One struggle bloggers deal with is bot traffic. These are automated systems that send fake traffic to your website. They not only skew your traffic results they can also get your AdSense account shut down.
Sometimes, the bots are written to come in and click on your ads. While Google wants people to click (as you can earn more), they can tell when it is from a bot, and those are invalid clicks.
When Google sees this, they suspend accounts as you aren’t earning from real people.
“But, it’s not my fault, and that’s not fair!”
I get it. However, people can pay for traffic, and they use bots to get it. Google can’t tell if you paid or not, so when they see any automated traffic coming in and clicking on links, it has no way to know.
The result is a suspended AdSense account.
And, it is not just bots – even legit traffic can get your account suspended!!
Remember those bots I just mentioned. As I said, people can pay to get more traffic. And again, Google can’t tell whether the traffic surge is due to your viral post or the bot.
When it sees that uptick in traffic that surges in, they deem it all fake. And, the result? Yep – the suspended account.
The ads can lead to a poor user experience
I get that ads can make money. However, too many, or those that appear spammy in any way, can be a negative user experience.
Do I need AdSense to get approved by a larger network?
Yes – and no.
Let’s start with yes. If you already signed up with AdSense, it will be something the quality ad networks look at.
Your account must be in good standing and not suspended. If it is, you may not be approved. Even though the suspension is due to nothing you did, it can prevent the approval from happening.
I also say no, as you don’t even need an AdSense account when you want to join one of the big three networks. It is not required. That means there is no reason for you to set one up if your goal is to reach someone like Mediavine.
If AdSense is so bad, what network should a new blogger use?
The networks that new sites can use are simply not worth it. The ads are spammy, and they pay poorly (less than even AdSense), and the code is awful.
Instead of worrying about ads, work on building your SEO traffic and use affiliate marketing to make money. Once you get more people visiting, you can more quickly reach the traffic requirements set by the network.
Ads can be a brilliant strategy. But, they should not be the only method you use on your site. In addition to placing ads through a premium network, you should look into affiliate marketing, selling your own products, and other income-generating opportunities.
I don’t know how people make money off it. I have been stuck at $30 for like 2 years. Now I switched to WordPress, half the time I just see a blank box where my ad should be. Love Google but not one of their best for bloggers
Oh gosh, that stinks! And yes, Google Adsense seems to be what everyone thinks you need – but it is sooooo not good!
Tracie, normally I agree with everything you say, but $50 a day is $1500 a month. Not everyone would call that an insulting income. I understand that if you have enough traffic to earn that kind of money, you would be better off going to a more lucrative ad network.
But not all of us do. Some of us struggle along for years, never reaching the required 50K visits per month for the big companies. $1500 a month does not seem insulting to us.
Oh gosh – that was a typo! It is $50 a month (if you are lucky). Not $50 a day. WOOPS! Will get that updated asap!! That is why it is not worth it. All that for $50 a month It will take more than 2 months to even hit the threshold to be eligible for payment and then another 30 days before it shows in your account. T
Great post. Thank you for sharing this info.
I have it, how do I get rid of it?
You need to take the code off of your site and that is it.
I found your article very interesting, because it wasn’t written like an ad. I have been internet marketing since the late 90’s and use to make over a 1000 a month on Adsense. Now Im lucky to hit the 100 minimum a month. I have always hated having those damn ads on my cooking sites as they will show a bloated liver for an ad for food suppliments next to my nice picture of a salad. At least with Amazon affiliate you can put the pic you want. However they are downsizing their compensation rates all the time and I just wonder if these ads are even worth it anymore. I will look up the companies you recommend. Thank you for a good article.