This article is quite interesting for all publisher because we are going to compare two products meant for them: one is Google Adsense and the other is Google Ad Exchange and in this article we are going to see that what is the relevance of these products and when publishers should use Google Adsense and when they should use Google Ad Exchange and hopefully this would clear a lot of doubts which new publishers are having.
The Major Differences Between Google Adsense and Google Ad Exchange
1- Revenue Share
The ads for Google Adsense are sourced from Google Adwords and the revenue share which google does with publishers is [68% / 32%]; 68% of the revenue is being retained by publishers and google takes 32% of the revenue. While Google Ad Exchange you get to have ads served through Google Adwords as well as Google DoubleClick Bid Manager. Basically the difference is that Adwords is meant for small business while DoubleClick Bid Manager it is meant for high valued brands who have budgets of almost millions of dollars yearly budget and the revenue share for this Google Ad Exchange is [80% / 20%]; so google gives 80% to the publishers and keeps 20% for themselves.
2- Pricing Model
While Google Adsense is majorly a CPC based ad network Google Ad Exchange is primarily a CPM based ad network so the difference is for Google Adsense you would be paid when an user clicks on your ad where as in Google Ad Exchange, only if an impression is being served on your website you would be paid for that impression.
3- Website Niche
This is very crucial and i want you all to understand it in great detail because a lot of times publishers says that they want to use Google Ad Exchange and where in fact they are performing way better in Google Adsense.
Google Adsense is meant for a niche website so if you have a website which is has a specific niche then the fact is you would be earning like way better from Adsense and Ad Exchange wouldn't be relevant; however, Google Ad Exchange is relevant for websites like publishing websites, news websites; it's relevant for viral websites where the audience is not very niche so what happens is that more general purpose ads are being shown in Google Ad Exchange at cpms which are comparatively higher than Google Adsense but if you have a website which is niche then Google Adsense can give give you cpcs as high as 5 dollars to 10 dollars or more but you would see Google Ad Exchange cpms to be somewhere around 1 dollar to 3 dollars at max so this is a very fundamental difference between Google Ad Exchange and Google Adsense. Adsense is for niche websites while Ad Exchanges for more of news websites and viral websites.
4- Screening Process
Your Google Adsense account can be temporarily banned or it can be permanently banned whereas your Google Ad Exchange account can never get banned. The reason behind this is basically that Adsense is meant for small publishers and Ad Exchange is meant for big publishers who generate more than 30 million page views per month or 30 million visitors sometimes per month.
Google Adsense allows you to have display ads, native ads and video ads to certain extent so these are the kind of ads which you can run in you website; whereas in Google Ad Exchange you can run display ads, you can run native ads, you can have out-stream video ads which are not available for Adsense, you can have in stream video ads which are again very limitedly available for Adsense publishers and also you can have access to direct programmatic deals and demands.
Google Ad Exchange also allows you to have those extra benefits so that publishers can make the most out of their ad inventory but keep in mind that there is no possible way through which you can apply for Google Ad Exchange because Google team or Adsense team basically evaluates which particular publishers are eligible for Google Ad Exchange and they provide Ad Exchange accounts, they directly contact them and provide Ad Exchange accounts. Alternatively what you can do what a lot of publishers do is they get the Ad Exchange demand through some of the Google Certified Publishing Partners.
Google Certified Publishing Partners are basically companies which do have expertise in managing Ad Exchange accounts and Ad Exchange inventory and they give you the Ad Exchange demand tags like ad tags which you can generate from Adsense.
You can easily get a Google Adsense account however, to even to get an Ad Exchange demand ad tag from a Google Certified Publishing Partner you need to at least have 300,000 page views every month, there are some Publishing Partners who generally give you the ADX demand when you are doing somewhere around 100k page views but a substantial portion of your traffic has to be tier 1 traffic otherwise you wouldn't be approved to the networks.
The thumb rule is that you need to focus on your Google Adsense revenue, build and grow that revenue to at least 1,000 dollars a month and there after you can make use of Google Ad Exchange and generate some more additional revenue by showing relevant display ads.
If you need to know more about growing your Google Adsense revenue check out how to optimize your ads placement.