Google Ads vs. Google Adsense – What’s the Difference?

/ 01:58 AM February 01, 2019

Google Ads is something that has really emerged in the sphere of digital marketing and has now become a vital tool in the digital marketer’s tool box. There are many spheres of the digital marketing sphere that allow us as marketers to access individuals as never before. Google AdSense however is a totally different sphere, it allows content creators to have access to auto generated ads to be placed on their content and then they can monetize as such. There is a big difference between google ads and Google AdSense.

Google Ads has recently released a set of best practices to ensure its users improve their optimization score. Optimization is used as a metric that was set back in August to analyze how well Google Ads campaign is optimized.


Google Ads vs Google AdSense

First things first with google ads is that it is a complete contrast to Google AdSense. Google Ads is totally controlled by the digital marketer in order to hopefully bring in more conversions or clicks or potentially something that could help their business in the long run. We will break it down in depth later on in this article everything along with all the categories of Google Ads and how digital marketers use it as such.


Google AdSense

You have been exposed every single day to Google Adsense, you just might not be aware of it. Have you ever seen one of those silly little commercials before or have visited any of the 11.1 million sites that use google AdSense across the world wide web?

It essentially allows automatic text, media, image or interactive media to be generated for the webmaster who agrees to participate in advertising on a site. It plants cookies when users visit certain sites, then generates contextual ads that make sense on the subject of the person’s viewing on its page. Google AdSense is personalized per each individual and shows up regardless of what they are searching for. This is much different to what Google Ads does.

A publisher for example with Google AdSense receives 51 percent of the revenue for an ad, it allows them to be displayed alongside any piece of content they might potentially buy. AdSense hasn’t always been the tyrant that it is today it did at one point struggle to make ends back in the early 2000’s, when users couldn’t opt out of the options. People involved were complaining that it didn’t truly let their ads perform to the best of their  abilities so in 2010 after a lot of extensive research I feel this is when google really started to take a turn with the AdSense research and department as a whole, leading it to now be one of the biggest generators of revenue for the company.

Google AdSense is now based on cookies, search, and browsing history. They attempted to let publishers directly sell ads for roughly a year but obviously that would lead to a certain type of bias and they didn’t feel as though it was working appropriately for their advertisers so they got rid of it. Now the Google AdSense you know today is much different than it was than few years ago. However, its involvement in our society is now more than ever and advertising is all around you.

Google Ads

As mentioned earlier, Google Ads still does have to do with advertising but it is a completely different ballgame than Google AdSense. With Google Ads, it is often companies both big or small and wide or just a single brick and mortar shop that can advertise on Google with a chance to be the top dog in a so important search race. Different to AdSense in the fact that there are many different types of display settings or environments in which you can show your ad.

For example, you can show your ad in the most basic of Google Ads functions which is to just show it on the basic search feature, however associated with that is your own hard-earned money as a company. You’re paying to just put a pre typed ad out into the market with hopes that potentially people will view your website. From there people will click through your ad and then hopefully fulfil some type of conversion on your website that will eventually and hopefully make your company much more profitable at the end of the day.

You can display certain ads based on location. Its very important that you get your keyword structure correct. Google displays your ads based on 3 things; the quality of the copy or the writing in the ad, the quality of the landing page and then also of course how much money you are bidding for a certain click.


If you are an independent business bidding on flowers in Tallahassee Florida, it might be less than if you were going up against Amazon selling Nike shoes and you’re advertising there. It’s a totally different ball game and an incredibly different service to Google AdSense.

How they are the Same

However there is some interfacing within google ads and Google AdSense. If you’re using google ads and you decide to advertise on their display network, then it goes into a google AdSense type of space because you will now be paying to advertise on YouTube or in the Gmail app or whatever form of remarketing you are using.


While Google Ads and Google AdSense are very different in the digital marketing sphere they are still incredibly similar and at times work together hand in hand. I hope now that after reading this you have a better idea of Google ads vs Google Adsense.

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