Google AdSense vs Google Ads… An Absurd Comparison

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Google AdSense vs Google Ads

Someone asked me recently in terms of Google AdSense vs Google Ads… which is best? I answered as best I could without wishing to be condescending because it’s an absurd comparison really. In a way it’s like asking if fish better than helicopters?

I’m going to explain why Google AdSense vs Google Ads is a comparison that cannot be made fairly. I’ll also explain why it’s like comparing fish to helicopters in an effort to understand which is better.

Why There is No Winner in the Google AdSense vs Google Ads Showdown

Although Google runs both platforms, you can’t compare Google AdSense to Google Ads. They are different platforms with two completely different user groups and two completely different (but related) aims. However, both platforms do work together.

Google Ads

Google Ads is an advertising system. Advertisers pay to show ads for their products and services to people browsing online. The ads may be:

  • Text results in Google searches or product ads (right at the top of the search results).
  • Video ads on sites such as YouTube (owned by Google).
  • Text and display ads on sites that have joined Google’s content display network.

The Google Ads system works on a Pay Per Click (PPC) model. Advertisers bid on specific keywords in Google searches, or a maximum cost per click in Google content display and video advertising networks.

Google AdSense

Where Google Ads is a system for advertisers, Google AdSense is a system for publishers.

Website or blog publishers can join the AdSense program to become a member of Google’s content display and video networks. Once approved, publishers can choose from a number of different ad formats to display advertisements from the Google Ads system on their domain.

The benefit of joining the Google Adsense program is that publishers can earn a revenue share for clicks or impressions on ads delivered to their domains from Google Ads advertisers. As such, Google Adsense is one of the ways bloggers make money.

Why You Can’t Compare Fish to Helicopters

Some things just can’t be compared. Google Adsense is a completely different system to Google Ads and both are designed to do different things. Of course they’re connected because Adsense is one of the delivery channels for Google Ads. However you can’t make a comparison like you might if you were asked if WordPress is better than Drupal, because it’s not a like for like comparison.

You can compare once breed of fish to another (with some context of course) but you can’t compare fish to helicopters!


  • Google AdSense vs Google Ads is not a comparison you can make. Although they’re connected they’re different types of systems designed to do different things. As such it’s an absurd comparison.
  • Google Ads is an online advertising system for people to promote products and services.
  • Google AdSense is a system for content publishers to display advertisements from Google Ads.
  • Content publishers can earn a revenue share in Google AdSense for ad clicks / impressions.

Missive ends!


Comparing Google AdSense to Google Ads

Over to you… leave a comment below if you’re feeling talkative!

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