Mar 26, 2008

The Top 10 Alternatives to Google Adsense

(Originally posted on

Google AdSense is the current leader in content-sensitive web-based marketing. Webmasters can place Google AdSense JavaScript code on their web pages in order to allow Google's servers to show context sensitive advertisements (Google Adwords).
Google's terms and conditions are very strict such that many web publishers cannot use adsense adverts on their sites. They are either denied from joining the Google AdSense program, or in a situation that is becoming more and more common do not wish to do business with Google. A number of publishers are also finding their Adsense accounts are being disabled for reasons that are completely beyond their control. The problem is that most of the alternatives to Google's Adsense are pretty useless. Most of the good ones (such as doubleclick) are only interested in very large volume customers and so are not interested in the little guy with his blog who wants to earn a small income on the side. For this reason I have compiled my Top 10 alternatives to Google's Adsense that are ideal for the small time publisher.

Has your adsense account been disabled? Then try these top 10 alternatives.

  1. Clicksor
  2. Yahoo Publisher Network
  3. All Feeds
  4. Fast Click
  5. Veoda
  6. Bidvertiser
  7. Chitika
  8. Target Point
  9. Revenue Pilot
  10. ClickThruTraffic

1) Clicksor

Clicksor is easily the current leader of the small publisher Adsense competition. They have payouts upto a market leading 85% and unlike a number of alternatives the cost per click bid values are high enough that you can earn a decent income. They are also, in my experience, much more tollerant than Google. Their terms and conditions suggest that you should only place one copy of their code on a page but as long as you only place a single pop-up or DHTML code on a page they seem happy to let you place many context sensitive ad blocks on a single site.

Clicksor also has a big advantage over a number of the lower ranked alternatives on this site in that their ads are truly context sensitive. Thus while you can provide keywords they have technology that will also show ads targeted to the content of your site. This means your visitors are exposed to ads of the same subject as they were searching for when they reached your site and thus vastly increases the click thru ratio and thus your sites earning potential. The context sensitive nature also saves you the hassle of having to specify keywords for all of your sites and decide in advance what people might be looking for.

2) Yahoo Publisher Network

Yahoo are currently playing catch up to Google and are trying to release their own context sensitive advertising service. This promises to be an excellent alternative to Google Adsense but in reality is likely to be a simple copy with the same restrictive terms and conditions as Google, including $100 minimums on payouts. At present the system is still in beta test and while you can visit their site and sign up to register your interest it appears at present that they are not accepting new advertisers. In fact most applicants won't even receive a reply. Thus until it goes live and it becomes clear what type of website owners Yahoo will be targetting I can only place it in second place.

Advert wise Yahoo Publisher Network will feature:

  • Display ads related to the content on your site. You'll earn revenue from qualified clicks.
  • Integrate other Yahoo! services into your web site, including Add to My Yahoo! (RSS), Y!Q and much more to come...
  • This beta program is just the beginning. Our mission is to deliver products and services based on the needs of the publishing community.

3) AllFeeds

Allfeeds is another alternative to Google Adsense particularly targetted to smaller publishers. They offer a huge selection of advertsing options including:

  • Text Links
  • Search Boxes
  • DHTML Popups
  • Buttons
  • Banners
  • XML Feeds

The payouts are not as good as Clicksor and Yahoo but if you have relevant keywords can be fairly good. The only real problem is that you have to get each individual page approved and provide a set of keywords for each page. This can be real time consuming and makes it difficult to accurately target your website's audience.

4) FastClick

At first look FastClick would appear to be one of the better alternatives to Google's Adsense however, they are one of many online advertising companies that tend to favor the large customers. You'd think companies would have learnt from Google's success and accepted that the way to make money is to target both large and small. Remember Excite? They went the way of the dodo because they only targeted the top 100 companies rather than the small guys who can't afford large TV adverts and have to advertise on the Internet instead. Anyway, I digress. If you can get yourself accepted to FastClick (now called ValueClick) then you will probably be able to run some reasonably high paying adverts on your site but most small website owners will find that FastClick simply aren't interested.

Advertising wise FastClick (ValueClick) off an industry-average 65-percent monthly payout on all advertising revenue your website generates. Fastclick pays by the 25th of the month for the previous month by check or PayPal.

5) Veoda

Veoda can be a useful alternative for small website owners since they don't require any minimum page views per month. They pay 60% of the revenues generated per click to you and upto 90% if your site has a high traffic rate. They payout at only $25.00 and unlike Google and Yahoo do not require any tax information making it ideal for small website owners who don't want to have to deal with registering their website as a small business. Something they would have to do if they earnt money through Google or Yahoo where social security numbers are required. The range of advertizers is sadly lacking but Veoda does have an intriguing range of different advert format options including:

  • Static Listings
  • Context Sensitive Ads
  • Text and Graphical Ads
  • Flash Ads
  • Animated Scrolling Ads
  • Flash Listings professional animated scrolling ads
  • Search boxes
  • Fly in Ads
  • Xml Feeds Data feed for external parsing
Click here to sign up for Veoda and try it out on your site today. There is no obligation, it is completely free and you can cancel at any time.

6) Bidvertiser

Bidvertiser can be a useful alternative to Google and offer some intriguing ad formats including what they refer to as free design. This lets you specify the look and dimensions of your text ads. While a useful feature I have not investigated how well it works but imagine that while it sounds good on paper it could result in lower priced ads being displayed. I.e. most advertisers will probably want to keep control of the layout of their ads and so turn off support for Free design ads.

Bidvertizer pays you either in $50.00 increments by check or $10.00 increments by PayPal.

Customize the layout of your ads: BidVertiser gives you a simple point-and-click tool to help you customize the layout of the ads to fit your site's look and feel, in order to retain the high quality of your website. Bidvertizer also offers the opportunity to block unwanted ads. The reports provided by Bidvertiser are adequate but not outstanding. The only real problem is that they can be picky with who they accept into their program and can be quick to ban users whose websites show what may be perfectly valid fluctuating visitor behaviour.

7) Chitika

Chitika takes a different approach to internet advertizing. Instead of displaying the 'industry standard' advert boxes with text and image ads that all look the same they instead provide active boxes that show targeted products from different manufacturers. If you run a blog for example and discuss a product you may find the chitika box showing links for this product and competitors products. If people purchase these products you get a paid a commission. This is refered to as impulse marketing in the form of eMinimalls. Feel free to give it a try although I think the ideal use of this service would be as a compliment to another advertizers service. E.g. you could show Clicksor context sensitive ads on your site and then compliment these with Chitika's eMinimalls.

8) TargetPoint

Targetpoint�s services are particularly publisher-oriented, you have absolute control over the appearance of your ads. They provide supervision over ad content. The payouts tend to be reasonable but they can be quite choosey regarding which sites are accepted.

Advert wise Target Point provide:

  • Adpoint generates content-relevant, revenue-evaluated ads.
  • Exitpoint helps utilizing the full capacity web exit traffic.
  • Imagepoint serves visual ads. Known to the rest of the world as Image ads.
  • Underpoint serves pop-under ad windows.
  • Searchpoint (beta) features enhanced search capabilities, which enhance your users� experience and generate additional profit.

Registration is free and they pay back a minimum of 60% of the total on-click revenue. Payment options include Bank checks, PayPal and Wire transfers (if eligible).

9) Revenue Pilot

RevenuePilot would appear to be a very good ad server alternative although I would be careful to take most of their claims at face value. They claim to offer the Industry's highest bid prices and largest payouts with CPC of $2.00 or more. I find these claims very hard to believe. Indeed why would an advertiser be interested in advertising with a client that essentially claims to be ripping them off. Either way the claims may be true in which case this could be a very lucrative advertising system for your website. Feel free to try it and make up your own mind.

10) ClickThruTraffic

Not the best alternative but if you can't get accepted by any of the above you can always try these guys. They claim that you will earn between 6 and 20 cents everytime a surfer clicks on an advertisement on your site but in reality I think you are more likely to see rates around the 0.5c to 2c range. However, feel free to try it out and see how you get on. Advert wise they offer text links, buttons and banners.