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Google AdX vs AdSense: Which is better for publishers in 2023

Rehnuma Khatoon

Published on February 6, 2023

Google AdX vs Google AdSense
Ad fraudMobile AdvertisingPublishersAdvertisers

Google AdX and AdSense are the top programmatic advertising solutions for publishers to make more money from ads. Both platforms are Google-owned and have powerful features. Publishers using Google AdX and AdSense have the same objective and target a similar audience. Then, why do publishers face challenges while choosing one between these platforms? Let’s look into Google AdX vs AdSense and know which platform is better for publishers in 2023.

What is Google AdX

Google AdX is an open, real-time marketplace that facilitates seamless buying and selling of digital ad space. Google Ad Exchange was formerly called DoubleClick Ad Exchange, a renowned ad server that Google took over in 1996.

To better understand Google AdX, think of this platform as a digital version of the stock exchange that offers entry to only the largest brokers (says NYSE).

Likewise, AdX is explicitly designed for large publishers, ad networks, and ad agencies.

What is Google AdSense

Google AdSense is a website monetization platform that allows publishers to show ads on their sites and make money. Whenever a user takes the desired action, such as clicks, views, or downloads, the website owner receives money upon every click, and the advertiser is charged for the click.

To easily understand AdSense, think of a webmaster analyst that examines a website, its content, and targeted users and asks publishers to serve the most relevant ads on the website ecosystem, increasing the likelihood that visitors will click on the ads.

How does Google AdX work

As a publisher-centric platform, Google AdX essentially works on the supply-side, connecting media buyers and sellers and helping them crack the best programmatic deals. By offering top-tier demands to advertisers and publishers, Google AdX eliminates the wastage of ad inventory, maximizes publishers' earnings on each ad slot, and optimizes the whole advertising buying process.

  1. Step 1: You put your ad space before advertisers. Sign up for Google AdX account, get the ads.txt file, upload it to your app/website, and choose the placements where the ads appear. Thereby, you make your ad spaces available to buyers or advertisers.

  2. Step 2: AdX connects you with premium demand partners. Demand partners, advertisers, and DSPs bid on your ad slot in real time. The highest bid wins the auction, and thus their ads are displayed on your app/website.

  3. Step 3: You get paid as per the decided revenue model. Google AdX manages everything related to billing and payments, helping you withdraw the payouts on time.

How does Google AdSense work

The way Google AdSense works and benefits website publishers is straightforward. If you qualify for the eligibility criteria, you sign up for Google AdSense (see eligibility below) and create your AdSense account. Upon successful signup, Google provides you with code to add to the website. Integration done right, Google will start showing relevant ads on the website, allowing you to make money from the ads. The revenue model can be CPM, RPM, or RPC.

What are the top benefits of Google AdX

  1. Real-time bidding

    Google AdX supports real-time bidding that regulates and completes the digital inventory buying and selling process in a few milliseconds. Real-time bidding is beneficial for both publishers and advertisers with live price tracking and buying or selling the inventory as per the desired price.

  2. Access to premium demand

    With Google AdX, publishers access top-tier demands to find better programmatic deals. For example, they can choose buyers based on brand-specific parameters under the decided budget. Google AdX aggregates programmatic demands from premium AdX networks, third-party advertisers, and high-quality ad networks in Google Ad Manager. Publishers looking to make the most of their ad impressions can sign up for AdX and start getting the desired results.

  3. Smart targeting

    Google AdX uses smart targeting and segmentation features to show your ads to the interested audience rather than targeting a random audience. The platform determines your ideal audience by using unique algorithms. Thereby, driving quality traffic, leads, and eventually, revenue for your business.

  4. High revenue growth

    Google AdX is popular because it allows publishers to connect with high-paying advertisers, DSPs, and publishing partners, maximizing their revenue on each ad slot. Further, deals on Google AdX are high-quality demands that ensure higher revenue and growth.

What are the top benefits of Google AdSense

  1. Improved user experience

    Publishers starting with ad monetization often think that more ads lead to higher ad revenue. However, any website loaded with ads hurts user experience and decreases their interest considerably. Now, you can balance the number of ads as per the ecosystem where these are displayed.

  2. A/B testing for high-performing ads

    Optimization of ads is essential to provide your audience with more relevant, informative, and visually appealing ads. Considering this, the A/B testing feature in Google AdSense allows you to experiment with multiple versions of ads, understand which is performing better, and choose the best version.

  3. Performance optimization

    AdSense discovers improvement opportunities in your account and optimizes its performance for better results. To do this, AdSense offers the "Opportunities" page that web publishers can use to understand the scope of improvement in their account and do modifications as required.

  4. Unique content suggestions

    Knowing that creating unique content is the goal of every publisher, AdSense provides personalized ad suggestions based on the details you add during account setup. This feature helps publishers create ads that the audience appreciates driving higher engagement and conversion.

  5. Data-backed analytics

    Google Analytics is a widely used tool that advertisers and publishers use to check engagement on the ads, traffic, conversions, bounce rates, spend time, etc. AdSense supports the Google Analytics integration, allowing publishers to check important analytics and monetize ads on a single platform.

Who can use Google AdX

  1. Ad space sellers or publishers

    Publishers can connect with premium advertisers in Google Ad Manager and sell their ad slots at the highest bid.

  2. Ad space buyers or advertisers

    Advertisers can connect with trusted publishers and show their ads on high-quality apps or websites, driving maximum ad traffic.

  3. Google Ads advertisers

    Advertisers in Google Ads can use the Google Ads interface to access Google Ad Exchange and other programmatic advertising platforms.

  4. Google AdSense publishers

    Publishers in AdSense can connect with high-paying advertisers in Google AdX and earn maximum revenue on each ad impression.

  5. Google Ad Manager publishers

    Google AdX is a tool integrated into Google Ad Manager. Hence, publishers who have signed up with GAM or GAM 360 can access the top programmatic deals over Google Ad Exchange.

Who can use Google AdSense

Designed specifically for small and medium-sized website publishers, AdSense does not set hard-to-qualify requirements. The following are the standard eligibility criteria that publishers must fulfill:

  • 250-400 daily page views.
  • At least 6 months aged website.
  • No abuse experience in the past.
  • No content copyright.
  • Traffic sources should be genuine, i.e., from real users and not bots.
  • Clear and safe navigation.

Following is the list of possible Google AdSense users:

  1. Website publishers

    Website owners who are looking to monetize their ad inventory to show ads to the website visitors and earn revenue from the same.

  2. Advertising agency

    Ad agencies who are often called digital media agencies and work indirectly to run ads on behalf of businesses and brands.

  3. AdSense publishers

    Authorized publishers to have unique identifiers for AdSense accounts.

How to access Google AdX

The following are two ways to get access to Google Ad Exchange:

  • Direct signup for Google AdX using Google Ad Manager - This option requires you to create an account on AdX by contacting Google and following the given instructions.
  • Access through Google AdX Partner - You can connect with an authorized Google AdX Partner to access Google AdX with complete policy compliance.

How to access Google AdSense

Since there are no challenging entry barriers on Google AdSense, you can sign up for AdSense using the instructions given here and start running ads on your website.

Google AdX vs AdSense - Highlighting the difference

Areas of comparison Google AdX Google AdSense
What is it Ad exchange network for connecting publishers and advertisers for programmatic buying and selling A website monetization platform that helps publishers monetize their website traffic and earn revenue from it
Supported ecosystem Supports monetization for websites, games, and apps Supports monetization for websites only
Designed for Mainly for large publishers Small and medium-sized publishers
GAM requirement A Google Ad Manager account is required as Google AdX is integrated into Google Ad Manager. Publishers first need to sign up for a GAM account and then request access to Google AdX A Google Ad Manager account is not required as Google AdSense is an independent Google advertising tool
Payment model Cost per mille - CPM Cost per click - CPC
Real-time bidding Supports real-time bidding Supports real-time bidding
How to get access Direct account access is challenging. A Google AdX partner may help Entry barriers are not that tough. Publishers can directly sign up for Google AdSense and start website monetization
Traffic threshold 5 million monthly views No specific traffic parameters
Floor price setup Publishers are authorized to set floor prices Publishers cannot set floor prices
Control Publishers have complete control over who can advertise on their website Advertisers have more control over choosing the website for running their ads
Ads relevance Google AdX sends highly relevant ads to the publishers’ websites AdSense may sometimes send less relevant ads to the publishers’ websites
Setup time Complex setup, usually Less complicated setup
Chances of policy violations Policy violation can occur Policy violations occurs rarely
Technical knowledge Required for setup Not required

Google AdX vs AdSense - Which one publishers should choose

While both Google AdX and AdSense are widely used programmatic advertising platforms, publishers know that Google AdX has some benefits over AdSense. Following are the reasons why publishers should choose AdX over AdSense:

  1. Google AdSense is designed for website monetization. In comparison, Google AdX supports both website and app monetization. Hence, publishers looking for a dedicated website monetization platform should choose AdSense, and those seeking all-inclusive monetization should go for Google AdX.

  2. AdX allows publishers to access premium demand partners and make money. However, entry barriers to AdX are a little complex compared to AdSense. To tackle that, many Google AdX partners help publishers to create AdX accounts and manage them well.

  3. Google AdX requires publishers' websites to have a minimum of 5M page views per month, but it ensures a higher revenue. If your website is new with fewer views, you can get started with AdSense and later shift to AdX to leverage additional benefits.

Further, publishers can perform intense research about their business ecosystem, bandwidth, and the core need for an ad monetization solution. This strategy helps them choose Google AdX vs AdSense.

Google AdX and AdSense FAQ

  1. What is Google AdX?

    Google AdX is a real-time exchange marketplace that allows website publishers to come together and buy/sell ad inventory via real-time bidding.

  2. What is Google AdSense?

    Google AdSense is a website monetization platform that helps small to medium-sized businesses to make money by running ads on their website ecosystem.

  3. How do I access Google AdX?

    Google AdX (earlier known as Double Click Exchange) is integrated into GAM. Hence you should ask your Google Ad Manager if you are eligible to sign up for Google AdX.

  4. How do I access Google AdSense?

    You can sign up directly to Google AdSense and get ads on your websites.

  5. Which platform is popular- AdX or AdSense?

    Google AdX and Adsense are both popular. The difference is, AdX is popular mainly across big publishers, while AdSense is popular across medium and small-sized publishers.

Category :
Adtech Tools & Practices


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© GreedyGame Media Pvt. Ltd. 2023. All Rights Reserved.
India Office
GreedyGame Media Private Limited,
4th Floor, No.04, Zed Pentagon,
Hosur Main Road, Bommanahalli,
Bengaluru 560068 Karnataka
USA Office
GreedyGame Inc.
2093 Philadelphia Pike,
#2346, Claymont,
State of Delaware 19703
© GreedyGame Media Pvt. Ltd. 2023. All Rights Reserved.