Google AdSense

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Google AdSense is the biggest and most widely used revenue sharing advertisement program for website publishers. Website publishers serve Google AdSense advertisements by embedding JavaScript provided by Google either in pages headers or the page body or both. Advertisement sales, administration and placement is handled by Google. Google AdSense is dominant and pervasive, more than 12 million websites serve advertisements using this service [1].


Jason Kint, CEO of Digital Content Next, gave some great insights into the Google AdSense platform in a hearing in the US Senate on June 16th, 2019.

"Almost all the incremental growth in our industry is going to Google and Facebook. In the case of Google, they have cornered the advertising server market. (...) On the demand side, because Google oversees more advertising demand than any of the top five advertising agencies, Google is able to in effect set the prices of ads in the auction markets. Google determines the rules of their auctions with full knowledge of whether it will help Google or they will help publishers. It can't be both."

Jason Kint, CEO of Digital Content Next
US Senate on June 16th, 2019

There is a very simple reason why Google AdSense is so dominant: It is the by far best alternative for publishers who want to or need to service advertisements. There is, practically speaking, no viable alternative.


Google AdSense is really nice from a publisher perspective. You sign up, submit your website for approval and you either get it approved or you don't. The next step, if the website is approved, is to add some JavaScript code to your website. Adding a small block of code which loads JavaScript from AdSense to the <head></head> section of web pages is enough to enable "Auto Ads" advertisements which are placed where Google thinks advertisements will fit in and maximize revenue. And that's it, that's all a publisher has to do.

In comparison, services like TradeDoubler require you to apply for each advertisement "partner". These partners can change their terms or stop accepting traffic from served advertisers at any point in time. Keeping up with their changing partners, the ever-changing terms, the changing promotional material and so on a full-time job.

Some services like AdReactor offer similar services for publishers and advertisers. We tried using AdReactor on this site. Every page impression got a single banner advertising "Click here to download" with no indication of what you would be downloading if you clicked that advertisement. That service is a joke compared to Google AdSense.

Google AdSense is so poplar because it really is the best choice for publishers who want to cover server costs using website advertisements.

Privacy considerations

The Google AdSense JavaScript websites with AdSense advertisement use HTTP cookies as well as several other methods to track users across websites and devices. Google can see much of what you do on the web.


Google AdSense advertisements can be blocked by either turning JavaScript off. It can also be blocked with web browser extensions like Ublock Origin. The Brave Web Browser has built-in advertisement filtering.

You may also want to out out of Google Analytics either using Googles own tool at or by using a web browser add-on (there are many available for Firefox).

Using a hosts blacklist file listing the servers used by both Google Adsense and Google Analytics is also an alternative. Using a third party advertisement-blocking DNS service like NextDNS may also be an alternative - depending on your location (NextDNS is unacceptably slow from many locations).


The advertiser side of AdSense is called AdWords. AdSense is for website publishers, AdWords is for advertisers who would like to advertise on sites using AdSense.




18 months ago
Score 0++
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