Does Google Adsense Suck?

Manuel Campos

I know Google Adsense has a lot of critics and it is usually linked to lower earnings when compared to other display ad companies out there.

I use Google Adsense and I think they are a good option to monetize your sites until your site meets the requirement to be accepted by a premium Adsense alternative such as Mediavine or AdThrive.

Because my sites don’t have a majority of traffic coming from the United States and other High RPM countries, I gotta stick with it and learn how to use it to make the most money possible.

These are my thoughts about all the trashing and criticism that Adsense gets.

Every Ad Network out There can Beat Adsense

Every ad network out there can beat Adsense in an ideal world.

If any ad company can give you what Adsense is giving you at this moment and add more to it, that’s the one that you should use.

These are some factors that you have to take into account before committing to an Adsense alternative.


Let’s say that you have anchor ads on Mobile and Desktop and three sidebar ads on Desktop and the AdSense coverage is around 95%

Then you replace your Adsense ad units with other ad network units and you get coverage between 65% to 70%

That’s between 25% to 35% fewer ad impressions.

The new ads can make you more money by click or impression, but you are gonna make the same amount of money since you are getting fewer impressions.

Adsense with Extra Steps

The only real argument in favor of ad networks in this hypothetical situation is that you are making the same amount of money with fewer ads.

User Experience

You are gonna end up making more money by impression or click using an Adsense alternative however, that might not be the case if user experience gets deteriorated after the transition.

The problems with user experience happen when:

  • The ads load too slowly and you only see blank spots as you scroll past them.
  • Your site is cluttered with ads above and below the fold and the visitors leave thinking that they can find the same information somewhere else.

If your ad viewability decreases, your bounce rate gets higher, you get fewer and fewer visitors from Google, and you will end up making or same money that you used to.

The problem now is that your visitors are not happy with the experience after visiting your site

300% to 600% Increase in Earnings Explained

An argument used by Influencers when trashing Adsense is that they are making between 300% to 600% now that they are part of this or that ad network.

This is my way to explain those numbers:

Influencers Lying Intentionally

In some cases, influencers are intentionally lying in order to make money from you.

They know the ad network can make you more money but it won’t double or triple your earnings by any means.

Let’s take Ezoic as an example:

If you join that network and end up making $2000 per month, I am gonna secure $60 per month.

Now, you probably understand why influencers with big audiences are pushing people to Ezoic.

Mediavine and Adthrive don’t have an affiliate program so their publishers couldn’t care less if you apply or if your site gets affected or not.

Ignorant Influencers

Let’s say you have a website running AdSense ads, you have five ad units after every three paragraphs and that’s all that you have.

Your site gets accepted by an ad network and they add sticky sidebar ads and anchor ads because they aren’t idiots and know that’s low-hanging fruit.


Then they add interstitial ads, and more in-content ads and they make you feel like you won the lottery.

Of course, you are gonna get a 300% increase in earnings.

Manipulated Case Studies

Take into account that those public case studies found online can be easily manipulated by the Ad Network being experimented with.

Let’s say that you have sidebar ads, anchor ads, interstitial ads, and in-content ads in the best places possible.

An ad network approaches you because you can move tons of people to their service.

In order to beat your current Adsense setup, the ad network will serve premium ads on your site to increase your earnings without telling you.

You double or triple your earnings and now you have your clickbaity title and screenshots for your post.

Adsense vs The Rest of the World

These are some comparisons between Adsense and the rest of the alternatives out there.


Adsense has pretty good tools to help you make the most money possible.

You can use their panel to remove and add more units intelligently.

Adsense alternatives show you what they want you to see.

Ezoic doesn’t show you the number of impressions and Ad.Plus doesn’t show you the number of pageviews.


One thing that I like about the Adsense alternatives is that you can get some sort of support by chat or email.

With Adsense, you don’t have an account manager if you run into any issues.

With Ezoic or Ad.Plus, you get support by email in 48 hours or less.


The top ad companies which are making publishers happy are Mediavine and AdThrive.

They don’t take all sites even if those sites meet their traffic requirements.

They are very picky and that’s good for your site if it gets finally accepted by them.

Ezoic takes pretty much every site, small and big publishers from all parts of the world.

Adsense will take your site if you meet its requirements.


Once approved by Adsense, your site is ready to show ads.

Most Adsense alternatives play the game the same way.

Ezoic is the only one I know which makes you dizzy with all the options available in their panel.

Things you Should know about Adsense

These are some things that you should know about Adsense

Adsense Panel

You have all the information you need in the Adsense Panel to play and test all you want and make rational decisions about your Ad Placement.

Adsense AutoAds

Even if you know what you are doing with your ad placement, you should give Adsense Auto Ads a try, don’t remove your best Adsense ad units, and let that feature make you some extra income by placing ads in areas you are not monetizing well.

Adsense Sticky Ads

These are my recommendation for sticky ads

  • Activate Side rails ads: Ads that stick to the sides of the screen as the page is scrolled
  • Activate Vignette ads: Full-screen ads that appear between page loads
  • Even if you use a plugin or know how to show Anchor ads using some CSS, give Adsense Anchor Ads a try.
  • Mobile Anchor Ads are displayed up to maximum width of 880px and the Desktop Anchor Ads are shown when the minimum width of your browser is 1000px

Adsense: Bidding Types

These are the main Adsense bidding types:

  • The cost-per-click (CPC) is the amount you earn each time a user clicks on your ad. 
  • CPM stands for “cost per 1000 impressions.
  • Active View CPM is the amount you earn by 1000 viewable impressions

Sometimes I have concerns about the viewability of the site ad units and I try to lazy load the ad units below the fold.

Then I check the data on my Adsense panel and I see that most of my site earnings come from CPC and CPM Bids so that’s what I have to take into account for my ad placement strategy.

If I am getting it right, I should care about viewability but lazy loading won’t make much of a difference since that bidding type only makes 5% of my earnings.

Adsense: Lazy Loading

Lazy loading is a technique used on the web to postpone the loading of ads until they are about to be viewed.

I am not really sure if Lazy loading will increase your earnings but I still use it because lazy loading the ad units below the fold let the ads above the fold load faster.

If you use AdInserter Pro, you can set the offset to 1200px or more so you reap the speed benefits and don’t lose that many impressions.

Final Thoughts

Not all sites are the same, not all the sites get the same type of visitors, and advertisers don’t love all the sites.

Advertisers and Ad Networks don’t exist to make you quit your 9 to 5 job.

Advertisers and ad networks don’t give a sh*t about your site, it is about what you can give them back.

If you are planning to move from Adsense to another alternative, make sure it is the right one.

More about Monetization

You might want to check these posts before you leave

  1. Ad.Plus Review: As Honest as It Gets
  2. Ezoic: Questions and Answers
  3. Ezoic: What I don’t Like about it
  4. Ezoic Publishers: Their Most Common Mistakes
  5. Ad Inserter Review: Love it or Leave it
  6. How to Lazy Load Ads
  7. How to Increase Ad Viewability
Manuel Campos, English Professor

Manuel Campos

I am José Manuel. I am writing about things I know and things that I am learning about WordPress. I hope you find the content of this blog useful.






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