Google AdSense is the most popular ad network for publishers just starting with ad monetization. If you are new to ad tech, it is recommended to start with AdSense to truly understand the basics of it.
During their ad monetization journey, publishers find themselves looking for alternatives to Google AdSense. And consequently, the industry doesn’t fail to offer just what publishers need.
Reasons to Look For AdSense Alternatives
There are many reasons to look for AdSense alternatives—the most important being the self-management of ad units and placement.
Here are the common reasons:
- Google AdSense rejects many sites for not having enough or appropriate content for advertisers.
- If you read any of the internet marketing or webmaster forums, I’m sure you’ve seen thread after thread with a title that goes something like… “AdSense banned me! Why?”
- Google AdSense has a lot of rules and they monitor sites constantly. If you happen to break even one rule, they will not just ban the site, they will ban you and won’t let you open a new AdSense account. And even if you manage to open one somehow and they catch you later, they will ban the new account.
- Did you know that if you even accidentally click on an ad on your site you could be banned for life?
- Many site owners feel that Google AdSense rules are just too strict. Conforming to the many rules often leads to site design issues and inability to express via content.
- In some instances, you have to redesign your entire site just so you can use Google AdSense.
- Contextual text ads sometimes just don’t fit a site’s design and layout. Other ad formats that Google AdSense does not support work better on many sites.
Types of Ads
Now let’s briefly take a look at the main types of ads available to publishers looking to shift to an AdSense alternative.
Targeted Text Ads: These ads are text-based and are usually found in groups. They are targeted to match the site’s content or the search phrase that was used on a search engine to bring them to your site’s page.
In-Text: These style of ads popup when you hover over selected text phrases with your mouse. A small box pops up and usually contains either image, text or video as well as the ad’s link.
Display: Display ads contain images, headlines, body text and other elements used to get a viewer’s attention. Sizes range from eighth page to full page ads.
Banner: These are your typical image ads you see on many sites. They can be just the image or an image with a text line above or below it. Sizes range from button size to half page and come in all orientations.
List of AdSense Alternatives
Here are the top alternative ad networks that you can use instead of Google AdSense. Take your time and check out each one of them. You should find several that will work well with your sites.
Media.net gives you exclusive access to Yahoo! Bing Network. They are one of the world’s largest contextual ad networks and boast many top publishers like Forbes, ELLE, Reuters, and Good Housekeeping.
Media.net offers publishers several ad styles — display ads, search ads, and mobile ads. They have access to content-driven advertisers who are looking for contextual targeting. They were the first one to come up with server-to-server header bidding, allowing publishers maximize revenue via header bidding without having to risk increased page latency.
They are the direct AdSense competitor. But, be aware that they are known for suspending accounts and not stating the reason. So, if you use them, read all the rules and be careful to follow them.
Possible roadblock: Media.net needs to approve each site you want to place ads on. And they’re a little strict on what sites they approve.
(Before going further with the list, a little self-plug.)
Managed Demand. Adblock Recovery. Greater Revenue.
AdPushup is a full-stack ad revenue optimization platform for publishers. The features include ad layout optimization, header bidding implementation, automated A/B testing, and adblock recovery.
The ad ops team at AdPushup takes care of all the heavy lifting of tasks related to operations and inventory management. Additionally, they have demand-partnership with top-tier ad networks and exchanges such as Google AdX, AppNexus, Rubicon, and OpenX, among others.
AdPushup is a Google Certified Publishing Partner and trusted by 300+ publishers including CNET, Deccan Chronicle, NDTV, and more.
On an average, AdPushup offers a 40% revenue uplift for their publishing partners. Get on a call with AdPushup to understand the potential of your inventory.
Infolinks ad network currently serves targeted ads and works best on sites that contain large amounts of text-based content.
Infolinks indexes your pages to determine the best ads to display. Several types of ads are available to publishers for use on their sites.
The main ad type Infolinks provides is their in-text ad links. A few words on your page are selected and either double underlined or dotted underlined. When a visitor scrolls over one of the words, a pops up containing an ad relevant to the word appears.
These ads can appear a little spammy and get a little annoying when you accidentally move your cursor over a link. They do allow you to limit the number on a page, though.
They also have an ad block called related tags. These are very similar in look to AdSense horizontal link blocks. A tag cloud ad block is available for your use if you feel it would be suitable for your site’s layout.
Infolinks has a search widget that sits at the bottom of the screen and when a visitor moves their cursor over its bar, it slides up to display its contents.
Infolinks will not approve a site if they feel it is thin on content.
RevenueHits offers a nice variety of ad types including banner, pop-under, sliders, top and footer style banners, buttons, and interstitials.
They offer both contextual and geo-targeted ads. They are a performance-based network (CPA), not a CPC or CPM network. So make sure you understand that you are paid when a visitor to your site takes specific actions instead of being paid when they click on an ad.
RevenueHits offers payment via wire, PayPal, Payoneer, and Bitcoin. Their current model doesn’t have any minimum traffic requirements. Moreover, publishers can benefit from their proprietary anti-pop-blocker and desktop interstitial features.
BidVertiser pays you on both clicks and conversions, potentially improving the publisher’s earning from the site.
Text ads, banner ads, mobile ads and slider ads are available. They offer publishers a point-and-click ad builder tool that helps you to customize the ads to fit the look and feel of your site. They pay monthly by check, wire, PayPal, and Bitcoing. The current minimum payout is only $10 for Paypal, $100 for Check, and $500 for Bank Wire.
One downside to BidVertiser is that they use an advertiser bidding system. Each advertiser bids ad placement and what sites their ads appear on. So, it may take some time for advertisers to find your site in the BidVertiser network and start bidding on your ad spots.
PopAds specializes in pop-under ad delivery, claiming to be the best provider of this ad type.
Publishers can select the minimum bid they will accept from advertisers as well as setting the frequency with which the pop-under ads display to site visitors. One of the great features of PopAds is that you can request payment of your PopAds revenue anytime you want.
They use wire, PayPal, and AlertPay to manage payment. And the minimum payment threshold is $10 for PayPal and AlertPay; no minimum deposit for Wire Transfers. Getting an account and site approvals is easy with PopAds. All in all, this makes it a good AdSense alternative.
PopMyAds is a pop-under ad network that accepts publishers and traffic from all countries.
They provide quick site approval; many times in under one day. This is one of the few ad networks that accepts legal adult sites. Please check their TOS for more details on the sites they accept.
They have a real-time dashboard using which publishers can track the performance of ads and see their earnings. Their minimum payout is just $5.00 and can be paid through PayPal or Payza. You can contact them if you need to be paid through wire transfer. All payments are processed in 1 to 7 business days.
PropellerAds is a large ad network that specializes in pop-under ads but also provides standard banner ads, on-click ads, and in-banner video ads. They also have sliders, sponsored links and other ad formats available for publishers.
If your website is in one of the following niches, you will want to check them out: Games, entertainment, movies, dating, finances, software or gambling.
They also have a great ad fill rate for tier 2 and 3 countries. So if you have site visitors from India, South Africa or Singapore, you should give this AdSense alternative a try.
Vibrant Media is a popular ad network that you will see at work on many popular sites. They have many premium advertisers and pay high CPC rates to their publishers.
They can picky about what sites they accept. Any site publishers submit to them for approval must be of high quality and receive a minimum of 500,000 page views per month.
Vibrant uses their own IntelliTXT technology that searches your pages for relevant keywords and phrases. It then underlines these and adds the code needed to open a small popup when the user hovers over the link. These popup ads are interactive and draw a high number of clicks. Vibrant also offers other ad types, including in-image and display.
Though site approval is difficult, if you do have a site that meets their minimum criteria, they are a great AdSense alternative to be on.
BuySellAds sells a niche audience and advertising space to the right advertisers.
When publishers submit a site to BuySellAds for approval they look at your PageRank, Alexa score, inbound link count and other metrics to determine your site’s overall quality. They only accept high-quality sites.
BuySellAds supports many ad types, including background takeovers, display, email newsletters, RSS feed ads, image plus text, text ads etc. They pay publishers 75% of the revenue your ad space brings in. BuySellAds only accepts English language sites. Publishers also need to have a minimum of 100,000 page views per month.
Adversal is a self-serve ad platform that allows publishers a complete control of their inventory.
They support native, video, and display ads. Their ad tag is designed to protect against common ad fraud and comply with privacy laws like GDPR. Adversal allows publishers to set their own goal and help them achieve it.
To use Adserval, a publisher must own the domain and has at least 50K pageviews a month. Also, they don’t allow adult and illegal content. Adversal issues payment every 35 days via Check, PayPal, Bank Wire, or ACH. And the minimum threshold for payment is $20 for Check and PayPal, $100 for ACH, and $250 for wire.
Revcontent thrives in the native advertising, however, it has started offering display ads to publishers as well. The ad network claims to offer 30-50% higher rates than other platforms. Along with better publisher control and user experience.
They are also widely recognized for their targeting capabilities. They offer more control and transparency in their platform than any other network. Advertisers have the ability to target based on geo-location, mobile operating system device, brand, and they recently launched the only retargeting pixel available in content recommendation.
The payment term of Revcontent is Net-30 with a payment threshold of $50. Even with the restrictions, it applies to publishers and websites, it still offers a good CPM rate.
PopCash is a popunder ad network offering worldwide coverage. They are known to be a fast approval network that takes 1 to 12 hour to approve a site.
They promote safe and clean ad to keep publishers’ websites clean and fraud-free. The integration system for PopCash is the same as the AdSense — publishers start by placing a code to their website.
PopCash’s payment system is quite fast. They process payment daily with a minimum threshold of $10. And they support payment via Paypal, Paxum, Skrill, and wire transfer.
Skimlinks empower publishers with automated affiliation to build a sustainable stream of revenue. Skimlinks gives publishers direct access to a global network of 48,500 merchants and 50 demand partners.
Skimlinks works with over 60K publishers including Dotdash and Daily mail. It generally work with the publishers who create commerce content and product reviews. And find appropriate advertisers for them to place affiliate links.
ylliK is CPM / CPC / CPA ad network that supports ads for both mobile and desktop traffic popunder ads, mobile redirects, sliders, layer ads, and full-page ads.
They are a fast approval ad network. And ylliK is known to offer daily payouts to the publishers with minimum limit of $1. Publishers always have the complete control of the ad campaign using their self-serve platform.
They also offer a generous referral program, paying up to $100 for each new active publisher or advertiser you refer, plus 2% of their lifetime earnings or spend.
Now it’s time for you to explore all the options you have and pick the AdSense alternative works best for you, your sites, and your goals.
Update: Apart from AdSense alternatives, you should also check out some native ad networks, mobile ad networks, CPM based ad networks and affiliate ad networks to explore alternate monetization options.