5 Best CPC Ad Platforms for Publishers (Comparison)

5 Best CPC Ad Platforms for Publishers (2024 Comparison)

In our experience, there are five factors you should consider when choosing a CPC ad platform (i.e., cost per click platform):

  • Type of solution (e.g., ad network, header bidding partner): We recommend using a header bidding partner as it allows you to connect with advertisers on several different ad networks, ad exchanges, and SSPs at once. This boosts ad revenue because more advertisers are bidding against each other to place their ad creatives on your website.
  • Ad strategy support: Self-serve ad platforms require you to set up, manage, and optimize your ad strategy on your own. But, many publishers don’t have the time or expertise to do this effectively, so most publishers that use a self-serve platform miss out on revenue. Instead, a good CPC ad platform should provide you with an ad ops expert who does the heavy lifting for you.
  • Customizable ad tech: Creating a custom ad setup is also key for maximizing revenue because no two websites are the same. Most ad platforms offer a few basic settings for the ad tech (e.g., on/off), but that’s rarely enough to truly maximize revenue. It’s better to look for an ad solution that offers customizable ad tech and ad tech experts who will do all the customizations for you.
  • Eligibility: You should also consider the requirements that CPC ad solutions have. Some are invite-only, while others only allow you to join if you meet their minimum traffic threshold.
  • Revenue potential: Many publishers look at the percentage of revenue they get to keep when choosing a CPC ad partner (i.e., revenue share). However, this isn’t the full picture because it doesn’t consider how much revenue an ad platform can generate in the first place. So, you should also take into account their track record for how much they’re able to earn for publishers overall.

In this guide, we cover five of the best CPC ad platforms for publishers, including Adcash, Media.net, 7Search PPC, BidVertiser, and Infolinks. However, some publishers are able to earn more revenue overall by CPM ads instead of or inconjunction with CPC ads. So, we also cover when to use CPC vs CPM ads and share Snigel, our solution for CPM ads.

Publishers who work with Snigel earn up to 57% more ad revenue because we partner them with a dedicated ad ops expert who takes care of all customizations. If you’d like us to increase your website’s ad revenue, reach out for a free assessment.

Should You Use CPC or CPM Ads?

Before comparing the top CPC ad platforms, it’s worth noting that many publishers are able to earn more revenue with CPM (cost per mille) ads. This is a way for publishers to get paid based on impression or views of an ad rather than on clicks.

Publishers need a high CTR (click-through rate), around 2% or more, to maximize ad revenue with CPC ads. If their CTR is below 2%, CPM ads typically work better, as they pay regardless of whether a user clicks on an ad.

Learn more: What Is CPM? - The Definitive Guide With Examples

If you'd like to determine whether CPC or CPM ads are a more profitable option for your website, you can contact our team. We'll split test which is best by running CPM ads on a percentage of your web pages.

Snigel — Our Solution for Earning More with CPM Ads

Snigel homepage: Unleash the Power of AI for Unmatched Monetization

If you think CPM ads may be the right choice for your website, Snigel is a great option. You can test out Snigel on just 10% of your traffic and consult with our ad experts to determine which model will earn you the most revenue. Our ad ops experts will identify pages with a high CTR and run CPC ads on them while using Snigel’s CPM ads on pages with a low CTR.

In addition to allowing you to run both CPC and CPM ads, depending on which is more profitable, Snigel offers the following ad monetization features:

  • Dedicated ad ops experts
  • Access to the best ad networks, ad exchanges, and SSPs
  • AI-powered customizable ad tech

Dedicated Ad Ops Experts

Many header bidding platforms are self-serving, meaning that it’s up to you to create and implement your ad monetization strategy, monitor its performance, and run the correct customizations. However, many publishers don’t have the time or expertise to do this correctly.

This is because connecting with certain ad exchanges and SSPs can be a technical and time-consuming process. Additionally, running A/B tests to determine which ad tech and placements work best requires a deep understanding of ad monetization strategy.

This is why we assign a dedicated ad ops expert to each publisher. They create ad strategies customized around your goals and target audience, and then A/B tests various ad setups to find the most profitable one.

Our ad ops experts have decades of experience monetizing websites in various niches. So, instead of learning the ins and outs of ad monetization strategy, you can take advantage of our expertise.

Here are a few examples of our ad ops experts increasing revenue for publishers:

  • WeatherSpark switched to Snigel after using AdSense because they wanted to maximize ad revenue. They already had a good user experience and Core Web Vitals, so Snigel used adhesive ads, video ads, and Smart Refresh (more on this ad tech below) to maintain this and boost ad revenue by 51%.
  • DeviceTests approached Snigel to help increase ad revenue. Snigel’s ad ops experts used ad tech such as lazy loading, adhesive ad units, dynamic floor pricing, and Smart Refresh to increase ad revenue by 180%.

Access to the Best Ad Networks, Ad Exchanges, and SSPs

As we mentioned earlier, connecting with multiple ad exchanges and SSPs on your own can be quite tedious and often requires technical knowledge.

Also, many SSPs are invite-only, meaning you may not even get the opportunity to join because they are reserved for large companies (for instance, to qualify for Google AdX, you need to generate millions of pageviews).

Instead, when publishers partner with Snigel, they don’t have to hire programmers to help connect with SSPs. They’re also able to gain access to exclusive platforms without meeting their strict requirements.

Snigel works with top ad exchanges and SSPs, such as:

  • Google AdX
  • OpenX
  • Xandr (formerly AppNexus)
  • Sovrn
  • ConnectAd
  • Index Exchange
  • Amazon Publisher Services
  • ConnectAd
  • Magnite (formerly Rubicon Project)
  • District M

AI-Powered Customizable Ad Tech

AI Bidder Optimization

Snigel’s AI bidder matches the highest-paying advertiser with each ad unit on your website, maximizing ad revenue. Then, it automatically switches between server-side and client-side header bidding, depending on whichever one preserves the user experience.

Smart Refresh

Standard ad refresh increases ad revenue by allowing you to reload ads on your website at regular intervals, increasing the number of ad views you receive.

Smart Refresh Ads example [GIF]

However, the problem with standard ad refresh is that it refreshes ads even if a reader is in another tab. This harms ad viewability, thus, lowering how much money advertisers are willing to bid for your ad inventory.

To avoid this, Snigel’s Smart Refresh uses triggers — such as scroll, click, and screen position change — to understand whether a reader is browsing your webpage. Then, it only refreshes ads if a reader actively engages with your webpage. This increases CPM by showing new ad units to readers without hurting the viewability of your ad inventory.

Dynamic Floor Pricing

Snigel’s dynamic floor pricing feature changes your ad inventory’s floor pricing (i.e., the minimum required bid) every hour to combat bid shading, a practice advertisers use to predict the lowest amount they need to pay to win a bid.

By changing your floor pricing, it’s harder for these bid shading algorithms to make an accurate prediction, ultimately increasing ad revenue.

This also reduces unfilled ad space because if the volume of bids is low, Snigel automatically lowers the floor price to ensure your ad inventory remains filled.

Lazy Loading

When readers normally land on your website, all ads are loaded simultaneously, including ads at the bottom of your page.

This can hurt the viewability of your ad inventory because you’re loading ads that readers are unlikely to see.

Snigel’s lazy loading feature solves this by only loading ads as readers scroll through your webpage. This increases ad viewability and revenue.

Super Adhesive Ads

Snigel’s super adhesive ads are ad tech that shows large ad creatives in smaller spaces. When readers first view the ad, they can only see a portion of it. But as they scroll down, the ad creative moves within the ad space to show the rest of the ad.

Super Adhesive Ads example

This allows you to show larger ads in smaller spaces, earning you more revenue without having to dedicate more space on your website to ads.

Interactive Ads

Snigel’s interactive ad tech displays surveys, quizzes, personality tests, and other types of fun ad creatives on your website. These ads engage readers better than static ads, which is why advertisers bid three to four times more for them.

Interactive ad example (GIF)

Sometimes readers may think that interactive ads are part of your website’s content because they are so engaging. This helps to maintain or even improve the user experience while showing more profitable ads.

Adaptive Ads

Snigel’s adaptive ad tech fills ad space on your website depending on which combination of ads is most profitable.

Dynamic Auction and Adaptive Ads example

It does this by sending bid requests for various combinations of ad sizes each time a reader lands on your webpage. Then, it chooses the highest-paying combination.

For instance, if one 300x600 ad generates $0.60 and two 300x300 ads generate $0.40 each, Snigel will choose the 300x300 ad combination.

Video Ads

Displaying relevant, high-quality video ads is a great way to grab users’ attention and earn more ad revenue. In fact, we found that video ads can increase ad revenue by up to 20%.

With Snigel’s lightweight video ad tech, known as AdStream, you can display profitable video ads without increasing load times.

Adblock Revenue Recovery

27% of internet users have an adblock tool installed (as of 2021). This means that if you don’t have measures in place to bypass these tools, you’ll lose a large percentage of ad revenue.

Share of Internet Users: Bar Chart with Statistics

This is why we added an adblock revenue recovery feature to Snigel. It works by detecting whether a reader is using adblock. If so, Snigel shows them whitelisted ads, which are ads that don’t affect the user experience much.

acceptable ads example what is anti-adblock? text ads from adsense

If the reader doesn’t have an adblock turned on, Snigel shows them more profitable ads that still comply with IAB rules.

Video and Interactive ad example (GIF)

Who Do We Work With?

Snigel works with publishers in all verticals who generate more than $50 per day.

If you’d like to optimize your website’s ad revenue, contact our team for a free assessment.

5 Top CPC Ad Platforms

1. Adcash

Adcash homepage

Adcash is a self-serve ad platform that runs both CPC and CPM ads. Adcash is beginner-friendly because it has no minimum traffic requirements.

Adcash has slightly more advanced ad tech than solutions like AdSense, allowing publishers to display pop-under, interstitial, in-page push, banner, and auto-tag ads.

Additionally, Adcash can work with websites in all languages, making it a good option for multilingual websites.

However, like many ad platforms, Adcash doesn’t provide publishers with dedicated ad ops experts; you have to build and maintain your ad monetization strategy yourself.

2. Media.net

Media.net homepage: Are you ready to maximize your revenue?

Media.net is another ad platform that lets publishers run both CPC and CPM ads. They don't disclose their minimum traffic requirements publicly. However, many users report that Media.net mainly works with websites that have over 10,000 monthly page views.

Unlike Adcash, Media.net gives publishers their own ad ops expert who can help set up and optimize their ad campaigns.

However, Media.net does limit publishers to quite basic ad tech, only allowing them to run native ads, display ads, and contextual ads. They don't have ad tech like adaptive ads or AI bidding optimization.

3. 7Search PPC

7Search PPC homepage

7Search PPC is a CPC ad platform that offers server-side header bidding with its Programmatic Platform. It can run ads for users on mobile and desktop and offers native ads, pop-under ads, banner ads, in-page push ads, and video ads.

In addition to these ad types, 7Search PPC also offers cookieless contextual ads powered by Yahoo. This allows publishers to show ads to users based on their behaviors and interests.

To personalize ads further, Media.net has display-to-search (D2S) ads, where publishers can display ads based on strict targeting parameters. This ensures all ads are relevant to the user's interest, optimizing CTR.

7Search PPC has zero traffic requirements and supports any vertical and GEO, meaning most publishers can use their platform.

However, keep in mind that 7Search PPC is self-serving, so it's up to you to optimize your ad monetization strategy.

4. BidVertiser

Bidvertiser homepage

BidVertiser is a CPC ad platform optimized for smaller publishers. It allows publishers to run ads for mobile and desktop users and customize each setup to minimize latency.

Publishers can run various types of ads, including native, display, video, contextual, and banner ads.

BidVertiser also has a Traffic Estimator Tool that predicts daily traffic and recommends the minimum bid or floor price for each ad unit.

Additionally, BidVertiser has a low withdrawal threshold of only $10, which is a good feature for smaller websites that aren't generating much traffic and revenue.

However, their ad tech is quite limited as they don't have an AI bidding optimization feature, nor do they allow publishers to run adaptive ads or super adhesive ads.

Infolinks homepage: Curated Viewability & Audience Attention

Infolinks is a CPC ad platform that emphasizes maintaining the user experience. This makes it a viable option for publishers who aren't necessarily looking to earn as much as possible in the short-term but rather grow traffic in the long-term.

To make their ads as unintrusive as possible, Infolinks only has two ad types: in-text ads and image banner ads. This means you can link to advertisers' products by hyperlinking text in your content or having image ads on the top of your website in a leaderboard fashion.

Although Infolinks doesn't state the exact number of pageviews a website needs to join, it does say that it's quite a modest number.

But as we keep mentioning, Infolinks doesn't have dedicated ad ops experts; it's up to you to set up and manage everything.

Partner with Snigel & Boost Ad Revenue by 57%

If you’d like to get access to advanced ad tech, the best ad exchanges and SSPs, and your very own ad ops experts, contact our customer success team for a free assessment.

About the Author

Ira is Snigel's Head Of Marketing. She supports our team and publishers by creating awesome guides on the latest adtech trends. Ira's background is in software development, communications, and media.


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