Adsense vs. Adwords

AdSense vs. AdWords: All Questions Answered



Businesses pay AdWords to get exposure. On the other hand, AdSense pays businesses to get the ad space. This background information is essential when analyzing AdSense vs. AdWords.

However, several things come into play when describing these two concepts. The brand has to consider its goals, content mix, and audience before viding itself in the campaign mode.  Each of these techniques comes with several benefits to your business.

Here is a list of the questions we will be answering in this article;

  • What are the differences between AdSense and AdWords
  • How do I start with AdWords
  • How do I start with AdSense
  • When Should I utilize AdWords on its own
  • When should I utilize AdSense on its own
  • When is it best to use both AdSense and AdWords together

What are the Differences between AdSense and AdWords?

difference between AdSense and AdWords

The primary difference between AdSense and AdWords is that every platform is designed with a user in mind. AdSense is for website owners who create their personal content while Adwords is for advertisers.

Adwords allow enterprises to bid on advertisement spaces that promote your ad in Google Search results. On the other hand, AdSense allows publishers to enroll with the service and then sell ad space to enterprises.

The use of one tool over the other depends on your objectives and the type of website that you own. You would like to monetize your blog or sell a product or service. Look at the features of AdSense vs. AdWords and choose what will work for you best.

Background Information on Google AdWords

Google AdWords

The current name for AdWords is now Ads. It is the advertisement service from Google that enables users to pay for the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). This platform has been in existence from 2000 up to date.

It is one of the best ways of connecting with your audience. Businesses from all sectors can use AdWords in driving traffic to their site. The primary goal is to convert your traffic into customers or subscribers.

Don’t wait for your site to rank organically in the search engine. Google Adwords enables users to bid on keywords searchers enter in the search bar.

You will create an ad depending on your keywords. Google charges users depending on the number of clicks that the ads receive (PPC or pay-per-click). Below are some of the things that you need to know while using Google AdWords.

How to Start With AdWords


All that you require is a Google account to set up an account. Use your email and password to sign in to AdWords. From here, you can set your time zone and currency preferences.

Signup in Google Ads is not a difficult process. Once you are ready to begin, the platform will ask you the kind of campaign that you will be running. Here are some of the types of Ads that you can choose from;

Shopping: Ads with an image or description displayed to individuals who are trying to find out where they can purchase an item.

Image: Visual ads that you can showcase on the Google AdSense partner websites.

Video: Show video ads as standalone ads on partner websites or within steaming content.

Add Promotion: Ads are utilized in driving more downloads of apps which are typically linked to your website or Google play.

Responsive: Ads that adjust appearance, format, and size to fit on the space that is available. They can also shift between text and image as required.

Text: Resembles organic results which make connecting with clients who are performing a Google search easy.

Ads Should Match Your Business Goals

Business Goals

Google Ads present an excellent way of attracting individuals to your site. However, you need a set of goals that have a clear definition before you launch your campaign. Think of what you want to accomplish.

Maybe you want to drive sign-ups or traffic. The other goals could be driving sales or creating a sense of awareness. The most important thing is to make sure that the Ads match your business goals.

Your business can greatly benefit from working with the highest paying ad network. Your business can greatly benefit from working with the highest paying ad network. If you produce high-quality, partnering with a high-paying ad network allows you to diversify your revenue streams beyond traditional methods like affiliate marketing or selling products/services.

Partnering with a reputable high-paying ad network can enhance your website’s credibility and reputation. Visitors may perceive your site as more trustworthy when they see ads from well-known brands. Moreover, some high-paying ad networks provide advanced targeting and optimization tools. This can help you deliver more relevant ads to your audience to boost conversion and sales.

Earning more from ads can give you a competitive edge in your industry. It provides you with additional resources to stay ahead of the curve and invest in new technologies or marketing efforts. Some high-paying ad networks may offer exclusive opportunities, such as premium ad formats or campaigns, that can further boost your earnings.

Choosing the right ad network for your business involves considering several important factors to ensure you maximize your revenue and achieve your advertising goals. Look for ad networks that offer a variety of monetization options. Examples include Cost Per Mille (CPM), Cost Per Click (CPC), Cost Per Action (CPA), or revenue sharing models.

Reasons for Adding AdWords Campaign

AdWords Campaign

  • Growing a following
  • Capturing leads
  • Driving conversions
  • Building awareness

Once you set your goals, determine whether the Search Network or Display Network makes the most sense. Display ads show up on over 2 million partner sites for Google and they work perfectly when it comes to increasing sales.

Search Network is next to the organic results. When a user queries match the keywords you choose, it triggers the search network. From there, you will have to select the correct strategy for bidding that will meet those objectives.

CPA: The CPA method works well for lead magnets and app downloads. The reason is that the CPA uses it to measure the cost per acquisition. It is an excellent strategy for highly experienced advertisements whose aim is to drive conversations.

CPM: It is an excellent strategy to use in building awareness. CPM is a representation of the cost for every one thousand impressions. The strategy is exclusively available on the Google Display Network and not the SERP.

CPC: The cost per click method is best when it comes to driving traffic on your website. CPA is more specific than CPC. The primary goal of CPC is to get page views. It is up to you whether it is a product, landing page, or blog.

Because AdWords tend to get expensive very fast, you may want to measure the ROI of the campaign continuously. It is a critical step when comparing the performance of AdSense vs. AdWords.

Overview of Google AdSense

Google AdSense

Google AdSense gives the owners of websites the ability to monetize their digital content. If you own a website, you can choose to sign up with the service. You can rent out the advertisement blocks that are in the sidebars, footers, and headers.

Advertisers bid for your space in a live auction and the ads that pay the highest will go live. Once visitors or clicks in the ads, you will receive a small commission as a site owner. There is so much content that explains how to earn passive income through Google AdSense.

However, your website needs a huge following to generate some meaningful revenue. Therefore, there is a significant difference between AdSense vs. AdWords. In one case, you will be paying to promote your brand. In the other case, people will be paying you to advertise their products on your website.

Notes about Signing Up on AdSense

google Adsense notes

Signing up with AdSense can be free. However, Google has to approve your website before you can start off. Google reviews your site to ensure that you have enough content library that is original.

Beyond that, Google recommends that you take care of the following things before you sign up on Google AdSense;

  • readability
  • relevance
  • An inviting layout
  • Unique content
  • clear navigation

What Google wants to ensure is that your website has to deliver value to the sites’ pool of advertisers.

How the Ads Look Like

Ads Look

After you set up your account and Google approves it, the remaining part of AdSense is an automated process. You are not select the ads that will show up on your website. However, you will choose the look, format, and size so that they fit perfectly on your site.

Web owners also set restrictions that prevent the display of some forms of websites. Google matches sites with advertisers who have similar demographic features. It will make sure that there is a win-win situation between the website owner and advertisers.

AdSense vs. AdWords: How Google AdSense Works

Google AdSense Works

There is a series of three steps on how Google AdSense works. These include

  1. Website owners can decide where to display the ads by simply pasting a few code lines on their website.
  2. Advertisers bid for the slots that are available in a real-time auction
  3. Google will bill advertisers for their ads depending on the performance and then pays the owners of websites

The good news is that Google takes care of the payments and partnerships. However, as a website owner, you should put in some effort to earn revenue from the website.

Tips on Earning with Google AdSense

Google AdSense earning

We have so many people who earn a decent income from Google AdSense. All you need is to optimize your website well and attract a lot of traffic. However, the mileage varies depending on the audience size and how they engage with your ads.

There are two ways in which AdSense sends payments to publishers;

1. Clicks:

Advertisers may decide to pay on the pricing structure of cost per click. In this case, the webmasters will get a cut of the CPC each time a person clicks on the ad.

2. Impressions:

Advertisers may also decide to pay on the basis of cost per thousand impressions (CPM). It means that the webmaster will earn their commission depending on the number of views. Therefore, your website should get a specific number of views in a specific period.

However, if the advertisers don’t deliver high-quality ads, it may hurt the feelings of clients towards your website. Note that if a website visitor clicks on any of the ads, he will be leaving your website.

As a result, Google AdSense works best for new sites or bloggers. You may not want to use it if you are a website owner who sells products or services.

AdSense vs. AdWords: Both of Them Rely on Target keyword Research

Target keyword Research

With AdSense, advertisers are responsible for the creation of compelling ads that earn clicks. You have a responsibility to drive enough traffic to your content. It will increase the number of people who see your ads.

The implication is that you need original and high-quality content. Address the key questions of the pain points of the users. You also need to aim to be useful with your content.

If you are an AdSense user, pay close attention to those keywords that will help you attract more page views. To succeed on both AdSense and AdWords, ensure the keywords align with what individuals wish to accomplish.

There is a reason as to why people type the keywords in Google. The best approach is creating content around the long-tail keywords.

With AdWords, you need to bid on the long-tail keywords and utilize them in your content. Their terminologies are more affordable but capture the searcher’s intent perfectly.

By contrast, AdSense concentrates on capturing attention by using relevant keywords that have a high search volume. You will not be bidding on keywords and hence the price is not a factor. However, you have to select your keywords with the competition in mind.

New sites should target keywords that have low to medium search volumes because they have less competition. If you have a well-established website, go for high volume keywords. Most of such keywords show up on the first page of the SERPs.

AdSense vs. AdWords: Can You Use Them Together

AdSense vs. AdWords theme

Generally, AdWords and AdSense represent two distinct goals. However, there are some instances when you can use these two approaches concurrently. All AdSense users can also benefit from AdWords. However, not all AdWords users should utilize AdSense. Here are some instances where the combo strategy can work or not;

When AdSense and AdWords Pair Perfectly

The case is not always AdSense vs. AdWords. There comes a time when these two methods form a perfect pair.

The aim of AdSense is to help publishers earn extra money. It redirects visitors to the sites of other brands to make purchases. The arrangement makes a lot of sense for blogs, news platforms, and affiliate marketing review websites. It does not work well for sites that sell real products and services.

For instance, food bloggers can sign up for AdSense and display ads for flatware, meal kits, and cooking equipment. It is one of the best ways to monetize your website. The ads feature the items that the visitors may find to be useful.

However, you should not take away from the tips and recipes that are posted on the website. In such a case, website owners may run short AdWords campaigns for growing their following. It helps in getting that page views that you need to succeed with AdSense.

When AdSense Works Best on Its Own

AdSense Works

AdSense sites are content-driven meaning sites that don’t provide. For instance, e-commerce stores that have outside ads will just be sending people away from the website.

In such a case, it makes sense for website owners to focus on the attraction of clients vial Google Ads. It makes sure that they deliver a lot of value once clients land on your website.

When can it Go Either Way

Either Way

In some cases, deciding to use AdSense vs. AdWords may go either way. Combining AdSense and AdWords may get off murky if you are working in the service industry. Services such as coaching or consulting, web design, and content writing will benefit from the use of AdSense. It can be a secondary stream of revenue for your website.

In such a case, utilizing AdSense to promote marketing tools may work. Such a site has two goals: offering a service and growing a readership. Publishers should tread lightly here because too many ads may become a turn off for potential customers and readers.

Websites that promote sites like plumbing or construction may not benefit from AdSense. Such sites have blogs but concentrate on conversion instead of setting up a loyal content following.

AdSense vs. AdWords: Final Thoughts

The whole idea of AdSense vs. AdWords may seem to be somehow misleading. Content heavy sites benefit more from AdSense for revenue and AdWords for growth strategies. An approach will make sense depending on how you utilize your website.

Read Also:

Tags Adsense Adsense vs. Adwords Adwords AdWords Campaign Google Ads Google Adwords idea of AdSense vs. AdWords
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Mashum Mollah is an entrepreneur, founder and CEO at Viacon, a digital marketing agency that drive visibility, engagement, and proven results. He blogs at

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