Facebook Pixel
Join our Facebook Community

NYT reports that AdSense pays publishers 78.5 cents on the dollar

Posted By Darren Rowse 16th of January 2006 Adsense 0 Comments

I am often asked by readers what percentage of the money advertisers pay Google is kept by them and what they give to AdSense publishers. Jen has spotted an article in the NYT that claims the figure Google gives publishers is 78.5%.

‘the article clearly states Google pays roughly 78.5 cents for every dollar an advertiser pays for advertising on partner sites. Unfortunately, it isn’t clearly attributed to anyone. However, this figure is definitely in the neighborhood of what I had believed the revenue split was at, so I do believe it is fairly accurate to my knowledge, based upon the information given in the SEC filings.’

Like Jen, I’m not sure whether it’s accurate but it was at the upper end of the ballpark that I would have estimated.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. I think the actual value is much lower.

  2. This means Google retains 21.5 cents in a dollar. I see Google as a commission agent, who brings advertisers and the prospective customers together. As far as commission rates for advertising go, 21.5 % is pretty huge. Anyone know similar rates for Yahoo!


  3. Interesting. I don’t think 21% give or take is unreasonable at all. I think Big Guy’s comment ignores that part of the number (whatever it actually is) is a return on the Google’s context technology.

    Now as many have said, the technology is not perfect for all websites, but gives many small publisher a chance to make a little or a lot of change with little or no effort

  4. AdSense pays publishers 78.5 cents on the dollar

    Problogger points to a NY Times piece that claims that “AdSense pays publishers 78.5 cents on the dollar”. Ahh, the mythical number of rev-share that has eluded publishers for the past few years, finally exposed? ‘the article clearly states Google…

  5. If true, I think their split is very generous considering the technology behind it.

  6. That is way higher than I had ever expected. My best guess would have been somewhere in the 25-50% range. Although, could that 78.5% number be what Google pays for site tageted ads on a CPM basis? It may not necessarily be what google pays for CPC contextual advertising.

    Of course, the great debate could be ended easily enough. Create ads with very specific keyword targeting and set up a site on a different publisher account with a keyword rich site for that targeted ad. Once clicks come in, see what the difference between the two are.

    Here’s another interesting thing to think about. If I have some clicks that I only earn 1-3 cents on, yet Google’s minimum bid for advertisers is 5 cents. On any ad paying me less than .03 per click, they are keeping drastically more than 21%….

  7. I emailed Bob Tedeschi (author of the article) about where he got the numbers and he said that he gleaned the figures from Google’s 10-Q. Of $675M in revenues from the Google Network, they paid out 78.5%, or $530M. Then he mentioned that the company emphasized that 78.5% is an average payback… so each publisher gets more or less than that (smart pricing?).

  8. Trent says: 01/17/2006 at 7:35 am

    The payback averages 78.5% but includes partners such as AOL that likely receive a much higher percentage. In addition, certain high-traffic partners receive guaranteed minimum payouts, and in certain cases these result in payouts in excess of 100% (this is all in the regulatory filings, by the way.) The average payout for a blog owner is likely significantly lower.

  9. Then it’s time for me to get to 20 million hits a month!

  10. […] An article today by Bob Tedeschi talks about something we’ve all been speculating – the revenue sharing in Google Adsense. In the article, which I heard about at Problogger and JenSense, reveals that Google pays out about 78.5% of each dollar of revenue to publishers. […]

  11. George says: 01/17/2006 at 8:57 am

    Thats just bull. Remember NY Times are known to publish fake stories and I bet this is just one of them to help sell paper.

    No way Google is paying that high of a split.

  12. How Much Money Does Google Keep From AdSense Clicks?

    When a user clicks on an ad on your site you receive a certain amount of money. This amount is based off of how much an advertiser bid for the keyword, but how much of what the advertiser bid do…

  13. Doesn’t BlogAds take a 30% cut? In light of that, 21.5% doesn’t sound too bad.

  14. Great Post.

A Practical Podcast… to Help You Build a Better Blog

The ProBlogger Podcast

A Practical Podcast…