AdSense is one of the widely-used monetization tools amongst digital publishers, especially those of the smaller variety. Yet publishers have no idea what portion of the advertising revenue their sites generate is being shared with them by Google. Until now.
Yesterday, in a move that has been discussed and anticipated for some time, Google has finally shared the AdSense revenue share with publishers.
In a post on Google's Inside AdSense blog, VP of Product Management Neal Mohan detailed:
AdSense for content publishers, who make up the vast majority of our AdSense publishers, earn a 68% revenue share worldwide. This means we pay 68% of the revenue that we collect from advertisers for AdSense for content ads that appear on your sites.
We pay our AdSense for search partners a 51% revenue share, worldwide, for the search ads that appear through their implementations.
Calling these figures "very competitive", Mohan stated "We hope this additional transparency helps you gain more insight into your business partnership with Google."
Google's move is certainly one that will be welcomed by publishers. According to Mohan, Google doesn't have plans to change its revenue share structure anytime soon, although it of course reserves the right to if it feels business conditions warrant such action. Even so, yesterday's announcement should put to rest some of the speculation that frequently pops up about the revenue share figures.
The big question now is how AdSense competitors will respond to Google's newfound transparency. As Search Engine Land's Danny Sullivan notes:
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.
Google is no doubt aware that disclosing the AdSense revenue share will give competitors a new means to try to poach publishers, which is probably why Mohan encouraged AdSense publishers to look at the big picture: alternatives to AdSense may offer a higher revenue share but deliver a lower yield. Publishers should "focus on the total revenue generated from your site, rather than just revenue share, which can be misleading," he wrote.
Whatever happens, Google's transparency is long overdue and the trust this move may help to build is probably worth far more to Google than publishers who aren't happy with 68% and who try their luck elsewhere.