What Ad Networks Should You Run in Addition to Google AdSense?

Below, you will find an unedited excerpt from my new book about building Internet-based businesses, Online Business from Scratch. To receive updates about the book, visit www.fromscratchbook.com.

Google AdSense is not the only game in town. There are hundreds of other ad networks that you can use in addition to or in place of Google AdSense. None of the other networks have been able to match the earnings generated by Google AdSense on my websites, but your mileage may vary depending on what niche you are in. I like to use a few other ad networks in addition to Google AdSense as a nice way to generate incremental revenue on top of what my websites earn from Google AdSense. For example, I might add some additional units from AdBlade, Vibrant Media and Amazon CPM ads on my websites in addition to Google AdSense units to generate additional revenue. By adding ad units from these other ad networks, I can often increase my revenue per page view by between 25% and 50%.

Here are some other advertising networks that you might consider using on your websites:

  • AdBlade, Taboola and RevContent — AdBlade (www.adblade.com), Taboola (www.taboola.com) and RevContent (www.revcontent.com) are three advertising networks that offer sponsored content advertising units. These are typically large ad units that run below the main content of your post and feature links to articles that can politely be referred to as click bait. Examples of ads run on these networks include, “20 Times Kate Middleton Showed Off More Than She Should Have!” and “This is the 1 video Hillary never wanted anyone to see.” While these ads are somewhat spammy, many publishers run these ads because they pay very well. A single ad unit from these networks will often earn you between $1.50 and $3.00 for every 1,000 people that visit your website.
  • Amazon CPM Ads — Amazon CPM ads (associates.amazon.com) is a relatively new CPM ad network that is ran through Amazon’s affiliate program, Amazon Associates. As this book is being written, Amazon CPM ads are still in beta and not available to all Amazon Associates affiliates. While this network is relatively new, my early experiments lead me to believe that Amazon CPM ads will be extremely competitive compared to other CPM ad networks. Amazon CPM ads support standard Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) ad sizes, such as 728×90, 336×280 and 300×250.
  • BlogAds — BlogAds (www.blogads.com) is an advertising service that caters specifically to bloggers. BlogAds is not a traditional advertising network that will automatically rotate ads from a wide swath of advertisers, but rather allows a single advertiser to buy out an ad slot on your website for a fixed fee. These ads can work well if you have an established audience that advertisers want to be able to access, but it may be hard to attract advertiser interest if you’re first getting started. BlogAds supports most standard IAB ad sizes.
  • Conversant — Conversant (formerly ValueClick Media) (www.conversant.com) is an advertising network that runs campaigns for more than 5,000 brands each month. They support all standard IAB ad sizes and also offer a variety of unique formats, including in-text rollovers, rich media ads and interstitial ad units.
  • Media.net — Media.net (www.media.net) serves ads from the Yahoo! Bing contextual ad network, which enables publishers to access a large pool of local and national advertisers. Media.net supports all standard IAB ad sizes and has access to demand-side platform (DSP) ad-exchanges. Media.net’s large pool of advertisers have netted them some big name publishers, including Forbes, Reuters, Cosmopolitan and Esquire. Media.net also has no minimum traffic level, which makes it accessible to website owners that are first getting started.
  • Exponential — Exponential (formerly Tribal Fusion) (www.tribalfusion.com) offers some of the highest CPM rates available. They provide a dedicated account manager, offer real-time reporting and support all standard IAB ad sizes. The only major downside is that Exponential requires publishers to have 500,000 page views per month to get approved for an account.
  • Vibrant Media and Info Links — Vibrant Media (www.vibrantmedia.com) and Infolinks (www.infolinks.com) are two companies that eschew traditional banner ads and instead generate revenue for publishers by inserting ads that appear when users hover over certain keywords on your website. The main benefit of these networks is that their ad units do not take up a big block of space in your website’s design like traditional banner ads do.

The advertising networks listed above are small sample of additional advertising networks that you can use on your website. There are some other good networks out there, but I have personally used or tried the networks listed in this section. On my websites, I always use Google AdSense as my primary ad network and puts AdSense ads in the best ad-slots on my website. I will place a sponsored content ad from AdBlade or Dianomi (www.dianomi.com) below each post on my website. I often place CPM ads from Amazon CPM Ads or Tribal Fusion on my websites lower in the sidebar or below my AdBlade units. If I want to get more aggressive with ad placements, I will place Vibrant Media’s text-ads on my website.

Advertising networks tend to come in and out of favor over time, so these recommendations may become out-of-date over time. MonetizePro’s maintains a good list of best-performing ad networks on their website that is updated regularly, which can be accessed at http://monetizepros.com/display-advertising/what-are-the-top-ad-networks/.