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The super secret AdSense revenue share is finally revealed

New York Times spills the beans

   
8:07 am on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jenstar is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Google has always kept the revenue share a heavily guarded secret - unless you were willing to read through all the SEC filings and figure out the calculations that way. But today's New York Times has got some pretty specific and detailed figures.

Google.com and the company's foreign search sites contribute more to Google's bottom line than AdSense, because for every dollar the company brings in through AdSense and other places that distribute its ads, it pays roughly 78.5 cents back to sites like Digital Point that display the ads.

So publishers are making 78.5 cents for every dollar an advertiser pays out. And this is in line with the figure I had always believed the revenue split to be.

The full article:
[nytimes.com...]

8:19 am on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



"to sites like Digital Point" ......

may be.

For smaller sites or sites who has been struck by
StupidPricingTM it could be not exactly true.

Just my 2 cents in addition to their 78.5

8:22 am on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jenstar is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



It is all relative - if you are smart priced, the advertiser ALSO pays less for that same click (it doesn't just go to Google's pocket), so it would still be 78.5 cents on the dollar.
8:41 am on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Thanks Jenstar. That figure is way above what my expectations were and explains the high payouts/click they are giving.
8:46 am on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Jenstar, Can you give an idea of revenue share model followed by Yahoo Publisher Network? There payouts are really good.
8:49 am on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Could the figure be higher for Digital Point because they might be a premium publisher? It does say roughly so maybe there is a pay scale and a smaller publisher might get less.
9:58 am on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



i would imagine that google employs different percentage of revenue sharing based on earnings.

i imagine publishers grossing 5$ per day having different revenue sharing from those grossing 1000$ per day.

my gut feeling

ann

10:19 am on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ann is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Yes,

I agree with Aircut.

There does seem to be a wide discrepancy among payouts for different sites.

10:23 am on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Any one of them who starts a new forum discussion topic receives half of the advertising revenue paid to the site by Google for ads on the front page of that topic section. (The discussion's creator then splits his share with others who post messages.)

Is this allowed under Google Adsense TOS?

Why do I have the feeling that advertisers will get a raw deal? And that the conversion rates would be poorer than normal?

11:11 am on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member hobbs is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Agree with all who said that this % is too good to be true for the rest of us.

Incentive to create content, drive up impressions, drive up clicks and all that in the hands of your visitors (members)?
Innovative but a click fraud nightmare!

I would say this model is based too much on trust and the net profit must be low, with a high risk of loosing your account:

monthly $10k earnings: around $5k site owner share, will cost you at least $4k monthly fir professional moderators, stats and click monitoring and site general admin resources.. Net profit in the range of $1k monthly.

Plus: Only 15,000 members and $10k worth of monthly clicks? Is this normal?

11:54 am on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



There does seem to be a wide discrepancy among payouts for different sites.

Presumably in at least some cases this has to do with targeting, i.e. what search phrases are being matched to the ads.

12:55 pm on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)



It was in the Times, then it must be true! If this were an error or a fabrication it would hardly be a Jason Blair scandal.

I am pleased and sometimes even surprised that my earnings are as high as they are, but I am very skeptical of 78.5 for a number of reasons.

1:07 pm on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Jen,

Don't believe everything you read - especially in the NY Times. I think that number doesn't give us any more reliable information than we had before the article printed.

For the others, I don't think there is any difference in payout percent between folks making $50 per month vs $50,000 per month.

3:07 pm on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



If I were to guess, I'd say that like everything else, there's some kind of sliding scale involved...as I said, just an uneducated guess
3:37 pm on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Incentive to create content, drive up impressions, drive up clicks and all that in the hands of your visitors (members)?
Innovative but a click fraud nightmare!

I don't know how innovative it is. For instance, there was a site a couple years ago that allowed users to write articles and get a share of revenue from the ads on the author's article. Predictably, there were mostly ads on what were perceived to be expensive keywords. As an advertiser, I saw a very high number of clicks from this site and complained to Google several times. I don't know if my complaints had any effect, but the site was eventually dropped from AdSense.

3:55 pm on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



What about publishers like me i thought my site name should be [example]example.com[/example] whom often get paid 0,01$ will NYT publish an article about us also? :

[edited by: martinibuster at 4:56 pm (utc) on Jan. 16, 2006]
[edit reason] examplified [/edit]

4:04 pm on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



How exactly does this site expect to fight against click fraud? I'm surprised it was able to stay alive thus far.

People would be hesitant to click on their own adsense ads because Google has their secret police and advanaced algorithms to detect it. But here, apparently, you click on this guy's adsense account and he pays you for it? There is no risk because if worst comes to worst, his account would be banned, not yours.

4:07 pm on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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what happens if the forum users Adsense account is disabled?
4:08 pm on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)



i would imagine that google employs different percentage of revenue sharing based on earnings.

A sliding scale based on earnings may well be part of the compensation formuls.

But...

As I've often suggested, there could be more to it than that.

Google has never made any secret of its desire to make the Net a better place, or of the value that it places on information. Who's to say that the compensation formula doesn't reflect Google's corporate philosophy and idealistic goals? There could very well be an algorithm that looks for certain accoount, site, or page characteristics and adjusts the percentage split upward or downward based on what it sees. I'm not saying this is happening, but it could be happening--and why not, since Google has never promised a specific percentage of revenues to publishers?

6:07 pm on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jomaxx is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I wouldn't have put any stock in the number if the author hadn't cited any sources from inside Google, but he did quote "Gokul Rajaram, the business product manager for AdSense".

So there's a possibility that the 78.5% figure is correct, or at least an officially released number. But IMO it's more likely that the number comes from a reading of Google's financial reports, the same source that previous estimates have come from.

6:36 pm on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



1. SEC filings say that google is paying out 78.5% to ALL publishers.

2. AOL and ask jeeves are getting over 80% share.

3. In order to average out to 78.5% regular adsense publishers have to be paid less.

6:39 pm on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



78.5% is very generous IMO!
6:43 pm on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)



It's certainly a lot higher than other ad networks pay.
7:17 pm on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



What do u believe, Jenstar?

how much does google pay?

7:28 pm on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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People would be hesitant to click on their own adsense ads because Google has their secret police and advanaced algorithms to detect it. But here, apparently, you click on this guy's adsense account and he pays you for it? There is no risk because if worst comes to worst, his account would be banned, not yours.

The revenue sharing hack works in the way that it rotates the AdSense ID used in the javascript code; so occasionally you will see a disabled AdSense block put up if the poster has had their account banned.

You don't know who's ad you are clicking on unless you look at the source code of the page. As a user, if you post a new thread, you will get a share of the revenue from that thread... but it is still exceptionally small.. a few dollars at month for a typical poster.

Google is quite aware of the site in question; any sort of click fraud would be quickly and privately dealt with, I'm sure. And I doubt there is $4k of moderation fees needed on the site; I believe they are volunteers. I'm sure a great deal of the AdSense traffic comes from use of their free SEO tools.

7:57 pm on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Common sense would have Google shouting that number from the roof top if that was the split to all webmasters. In other words, if Google paid everyone that amount why hide the number?

I would be very surprised if small publishers received more than 50% and I believe that many of us are paid between 30 and 40 percent. The figure I see most often talked about is 70%, but I think the amount paid to large premium publishers is where most of that money goes.

8:07 pm on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jomaxx is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



It would be a fairly simple matter for AdWords advertisers to place one of their ads on one of their own sites, and use channels to collect a few data points. It wouldn't even require them to click on their own ads. I'm amazed we never hear of people doing this.
8:16 pm on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Can't do it, Google will not let your Adword ad's appear under your publisher ID. One good reason, you don't want to pay for a click from your web site ... to your web site. ;)

Also, you could in theory instigate a bidding war and increase the cost for an ad to appear on your site.

8:56 pm on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I have seen fairly concrete proof the average site earns far less then the numbers spoken about here, from what ive read on several sites where tests where ran the average is about 25-35% for your small fry.

But you know what? Who cares! As long as my net cpm is blowing away other sources they could pay me 1% and I wouldnt give a hoot. It's all about the bottom line and so far Google delivers hands down over the comp.

9:24 pm on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member




I don't believe the 78.5% figure, because I know what keywords in my niche generally go for, and I'm getting maybe 55-65%.

What do they keep it secret for anyway? How do we know they don't decide to give us 40% one day, and 70% the next?
I think they ought to let us know.

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