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Tuesday, November 28, 2023

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Google Finally Reveals How Much It Keeps From AdSense

The Google AdSense blog announced the exact revenue share they give publishers for placing AdSense ads on their web site. In the upcoming months, Google promised to show the revenue share within the AdSense interface reports.

Google broke down the revenue share in two categories so far:

(1) 68% revenue share for content ads, the ads you see on web sites. Meaning, publishers keep 68% of the revenue earned, while Google takes the rest.

(2) 51% revenue share for search ads, the search ads you see for using Google search on your web site. Publishers get 51% and Google takes the rest.

Google said they will not disclose the revenue share AdSense for mobile applications, AdSense for feeds, and AdSense for games at this point, but may disclose those revenue share amounts as the products mature.

Why is Google disclosing this information now? Earlier this month, it promised to do so in response to an investigation by the Italian anti-trust authority see (Google May Finally Disclose AdSense Split … If You’re An Italian Newspaper, That Is). It has also been under pressure to reveal this information not just for Italian ad publishers worldwide — which it’s finally doing today.

Google also said the revenue share of 68% has never changed, but the 51% was less prior to 2005. Google said they “can’t guarantee that the revenue share will never change (our costs may change significantly, for example), but we don’t have any current plans to do so for any AdSense product.”

Postscript From Danny Sullivan: It’s important to note that split disclosed is what’s provided to “self-serve” AdSense publishers, those who sign-up through the Google web site. Big publishers that work directly with Google ad deals will have different splits. How much varies by publisher, Google says. Big publishers have long been rumored to get a larger share.

The split will also likely put Google under pressure to share more. Keeping half of all search ad revenue is a huge chunk. Even keeping over 30% seems a huge slice. Expect competitors to perhaps stand out by offering to share more with advertisers. However, the bottom line will remain not just the percentage but the overall revenue. IE, publishers might earn more from Google even if it takes a higher share of sales if its ad network has more inventory and advertisers who pay more to be in that network.

Finally, I’m glad to see the figure out there. I’ve been pushing for it since at least 2007 (see Google: As Open As It Wants To Be) and spoke with Google CEO Eric Schmidt directly about the issue last year, where he said eventually, the split might be revealed ( Schmidt: Someday, AdSense Publishers May Know Google’s Cut Of Ad Revenues). I know Jeff Jarvis has been similarly hammering away at them.

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