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AdSense moving to pay per impression and updating revenue share for Content

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AdSense announced two major changes they will be implementing next year.
  • Moving from primarily pay-per-click to pay-per-impression
  • Updating the revenue share structure

Why make these changes? 

This update will provide a more uniform way for paying publishers for their ad space across Google’s products and third-party platforms, helping them compare with other technology providers they use. (source)

Note that the change to the revenue share will only affect AdSense for Content, not YouTube monetization or other AdSense products.

Will this change affect AdSense earnings?

AdSense does not believe this will affect earnings "based on their tests". (Source: FAQ)
Based on our tests, we don't expect publishers to see a change in their earnings as a result of these updates.

It seems likely that at least some publishers will be affected, but it's not possible to know how much until the change is implemented. 

There is no change to AdSense policy and nothing you need to change in your AdSense account or on your website.

AdSense makes a point of stating that publishers must continue to adhere to policies that prohibit "pop-ups or interruptive ads that take up the majority of the screen."

And note that artificially inflating impressions on your ads is considered "invalid traffic".

It may be a good time for a refresher on the AdSense ad placement policies and invalid traffic definition.

What's happening with the AdSense for Content revenue share? 

 One of the changes AdSense is making is more clearly breaking down the revenue sharing structure. 

You can check your current AdSense for Content revenue share: 

1. Sign in to AdSense

2. On the left menu click the Account gear

3. Under Account click Settings

4. Under Settings click Account Information

5. Next to Active Products check your publisher revenue share for Content

Under the new revenue sharing structure the revenue share taken by the advertising platform is separated from the revenue share taken by AdSense.

Google's explanation of revenue sharing from the announcement

The source of AdSense earnings is the money paid by advertisers for having their ads run.

The advertising platform takes a cut of that revenue. Google Ads usually takes about 15%, but third party platforms may take a different percentage. 

Then those ads run on your website. When there is a valid impression or click, that generates revenue for you. 

AdSense takes 20% of that revenue. 

So, doing the math: 
  • Advertisers pay 100%
  • Google Ads takes about 15%, leaving about 85%. 
  • AdSense takes 20% of that 85%, leaving about 68% of what the advertiser paid for publishers.

That 68% of the revenue is likely your current AdSense for Content revenue share. 

So what's changing? This is more transparent about where the money goes. And it may be third party advertiser platforms take more or less than the 15% that Google Ads keeps.

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