When I started in Internet Marketing, about 12 years ago, Google Adsense was the best way to monetize a website. They paid by click and the payment was good. As Internet marketing grew, other ways to monetize a website became available to any type of internet marketer: affiliate marketing, product selling, subscriptions, etc. The revenue earned from Google Adsense decreased as more and more publishers wanted to make money with their website. In the same time, Google added more and more ad spots on their search engine, so most advertisers focused on search, where the good traffic is, instead of the display network where they have less control where their ad appears.

Today, I want to find out if Google Adsense is still a good option to monetize a website. The short answer is Yes, they are serious and they still pay, but is the amount of money you earn from Adsense worth your time ? This answer depends on many factors, including the amount of traffic, website topic, website audience, demographics.

Website topic and niche.

The niche is an important factor that will decide your Google Adsense earnings. The earnings depend on what advertisers are willing to pay to get traffic in a certain topic or niche. The amount of money they are willing to pay depends on how much they make by selling the products they are trying to sell trough advertising in Google Adsense. This is why, health topic and especially cancer treatment and information was considered one of the best paying niche. Pharmaceutical companies make big profits from selling their stuff, and they are willing to invest in all kind of advertising that will bring them sales. Another good topic is financing/insurances. People make a lot of money in insurances and they are easy to sell online.

According to this article, Health and Insurance are still the most profitable topics in Google Adsense. Here is another list, more comprehensive, that list download websites in top, while health is on third spot. These lists are made by analyzing what are the top keywords with highest bids in Google Adwords: here and here. The number along each keywords is not the amount of money you will make for one click, but the bid that advertisers are willing to pay, which is usually a lot higher than what you might get on a click.

Website Audience.

This might be more important that topic or niche. You might be in a good niche, for example health or insurance, but you might have visitors from a country that is not targeted by high paying advertisers. If your visitors are mainly from Spain, but spain pharmaceutical companies don’t advertise on Google display network then other irrelevant ads should be displayed, lowering your income.

However, even if most of your traffic is from a low paying country, with few advertisers, there might be a hot topic specific to your country. Everything goes down to demand and supply. If there is a hot product or service that makes profit for companies or sales agents, they might pay a lot to get traffic.

Here is a list with countries sorted by the amount of money advertisers pay on average. You will be surprised that United States is not on the top of the list. It’s Australia.

Today, not only the country origin is important. But states and cities too. Google adwords let advertisers to advertise only on specific regions, states or cities. A company who sells product and services nationwide will not be interested to target offers to specific states or cities, but a physical retail store, or a local law firm will only advertise in a specific area. So if you have visitors who are from big cities you might make more money.

The location is not the only thing important related to your audience. We have interests. Advertisers can target campaigns based on topics of interests. They learn this by using cookies on ads to see what other websites are visited. Your visitors might see health related ads even if you website is about cars. Remarketing is another technique advertisers use that can show different ads to different visitors and this might impact your website earnings.