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If you work in digital, you have surely heard of Google Ads. You may also have heard of Google AdSense, another advertising platform used by Google.

But do you know the difference between the two?

According to your development objectives via internet advertising, one of these two platforms will be adapted to your needs.

The major difference between Google AdSense and Google Ads

Google Ads is used by advertisers and AdSense is a tool used by website publishers who want to monetize their site by serving advertising directly on it.

💡 With Google Ads, advertisers can show their ads on Google: they will then appear first in search results. It is also possible to broadcast on partner search engines of the Google search network as well as on the Google Display Network (all the sites of the Google network allowing the display of Display ads, ads displayed outside search engines).

In the case of Google Ads, a business uses the tool to get qualified traffic to their site for the purpose of generating sales or obtaining leads. The business pays a certain amount each time an ad is clicked.

With AdSense, website or blog owners can earn income from relevant ads appearing on their site alongside their content. A payment is received each time an internet user clicks on an ad. This method can be particularly interesting for publishers benefiting from a significant traffic on their site.

And the other differences?

There are additional differences between the two platforms.

Existence of platforms

Google Ads has been around longer. Originally named AdWords, this platform has been around for 20 years with its creation in 2000, while AdSense was created 3 years later in 2003.

Create an account

While it is extremely easy to create a Google Ads account, creating an AdSense account requires a few extra steps.

  • For Google Ads, only a few steps are required:

Create a Google Account

Sign in to Google Ads using this account

Set the time zone and currency.

  • For AdSense, a form must be submitted and contain:

Website URL

The language of the site

The type of account chosen (personal or business)

His name, address and telephone number

  • Certain rules must also be observed to be authorized to use the AdSense platform:

Do not display ads on sites that encourage clicks on them

Do not display ads on sites with sexual content

Do not click on ads showing on your own site

Approve reading of AdSense terms and conditions

Certify that you do not already have an AdSense account and that you are at least 18 years old

Prove that the name used for the account matches that of the bank account.

Once these elements have been validated, it is possible to use an existing Google account or to create a new one to link it to AdSense.

What about ad formats?

Google Ads users have great flexibility in writing their ads where AdSense publishers don’t have the ability to change the text that appears in the ads on their site.

AdSense users can, however, choose the ad formats that will appear on their site (e.g., text, image, video, etc.) as well as the size and colors of the ads.

Note that a Google Ads advertiser has more features when creating ads on the Display network than on the search network, such as for example the choice of its logo.

The maximum number of ads per page

On every page of their site, an AdSense user is allowed to display 3 ads, 3 sponsored links, and two search bars (these bars, when used, serve targeted text ads).

Google Ads advertisers can only serve one ad per user, on the Google search engine, its search partners and its Display network. This means that you won’t be able to see your ad twice on the same Google search results page, for example.

Possible click modes

A Google Ads user has, depending on their campaign settings, several possible billing methods on the Google Display network, for example with a cost per click model or a cost per impression (display of an ad).

💡 on the other hand, a site using AdSense to display ads cannot choose whether the ads displayed on its site are displayed via cost-per-click or cost-per-impression campaigns (parameter defined in advance by the Google Ads user).

Payment systems

An advertiser on Google Ads can easily manage the advertising investment they want to make by setting maximum bids on the queries and keywords associated with their ads and by setting daily campaign budgets. On the other hand, an AdSense publisher will not be able to know in advance the advertising gains that the advertisements will bring him because their remuneration depends on the volume of clicks generated on the advertisements hosted on their site. They also can’t set the cost per click or cost per impression of ads running on their site.