Monetizing Your Site with Media.net vs AdSense vs Snigel

Monetizing Your Site with Media.net vs AdSense vs Snigel


Media.net and AdSense are two popular ad networks that publishers often like to compare. AdSense, of course, is arguably the most popular ad network, but Media.net is also popular and is not just an ad network (which aggregates ad inventory), but it also acts as a header bidding partner (i.e. they handle ad auctions for you).

Speaking of header bidding, Snigel offers header bidding solutions, and many of our clients have come to us from Media.net or AdSense, so we’ve thought carefully about what factors a publisher should consider before choosing an advertising partner. A few of the most important of these are:

  • Whether you’re eligible for their services
  • The kind of ads you’ll get access to (both in terms of type and content)
  • Their unique technology solutions for generating ad revenue on your site
  • How much and how often they’ll pay you

In this post, we’ll begin with an overview of how programmatic advertising works so you can get a better sense for where Media.net, AdSense, and Snigel are situated within the market. Then, we’ll go over the details of each service so you can figure out which one is the best ad network or header bidding partner for you.

Snigel is a header bidding partner that connects to the top SSPs and provides ad experts to help optimize the revenue of publishers we work with. We’ve increased revenue by 30% or more on average for partners like DeviceTests, MakeTechEasier, and Windfinder. To find out more about how our dedicated ad operations experts can boost your profits, get in touch today.

Overview of Programmatic Advertising

Types of Ad Platforms

Programmatic advertising refers to automated software-based transactions to handle the buying and selling of digital advertising. This is usually accomplished through auctions that complete so quickly that they’re over when a page loads; these auctions are typically hosted by a header bidding solution.

What is an Ad Exchange?

An ad exchange is an online marketplace in which advertisers purchase online ad space from publishers.

Both publishers and advertisers need to access ad exchanges, but while publishers are focused on managing and selling ad inventory, advertisers need to buy inventory — keeping in mind metrics like cost per click (CPC) and cost per thousand (CPM) to get the best value for their money. Therefore, advertisers and publishers use different ad platforms to access ad exchanges. Publishers use supply side platforms (SSPs).

What is a Supply Side Platform (SSP)?

SSPs are platforms publishers use to offer their ad space inventory to potential bidders. 

SSPs are typically fully integrated with the ad exchange, and therefore some people use the terms interchangeably. Meanwhile, advertisers use demand side platforms (DSPs).

What is a Demand Side Platform (DSP)?

DSPs are platforms advertisers use to purchase ad inventory.

DSPs are often connected to Data Management Programs (DMPs) that help advertisers with targeting by collecting and matching user data.

However, ad exchanges aren’t the only option for ad inventory transactions. There are also advertising networks (usually abbreviated as “ad network”).

What is an Ad Network?

An ad network is a service which bundles ad inventory to sell to advertisers.

Though ad networks are a powerful tool for digital marketing, publishers have less of an ability to control which ads are displayed on their site compared to direct transactions.

Note that the line between ad networks and ad exchanges can get blurred through their transactions with each other: ad networks sometimes buy inventory from ad exchanges, and ad exchanges may also offer inventory via ad exchanges as well as via DSPs.

Both ad exchanges and ad networks share the drawback that publishers can only reach advertisers who are participating in those exchanges and networks. In addition, publishers limiting themselves to a single SSP will miss out on opportunities such as private marketplaces, in which premium inventory is offered to select buyers via other SSPs. That’s where header bidding comes in.

What is Header bidding?

Header bidding is participation in programmatic advertising via a partner who connects publishers to multiple SSPs and ad networks.

How Header Bidding Works [Illustration]

By offering ad inventory across multiple marketplaces, header bidding partners increase competition, driving up bids (and by extension, revenue) for publishers.

Snigel connects publishers to top SSPs like Google AdX, Xandr, Amazon Publisher Services, and more. To learn more about how we can connect you to premium advertisers, get in touch today.

Media.net

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

Hybrid service Media.net offers Marketplace, an ad network that connects to leading DSPs and is one of the better-known Google AdSense alternatives. Media.net also offers a fully managed header bidding platform and contextual ads that don’t rely on cookies, instead being powered by the Yahoo! Bing network.

Eligibility

In general, publishers looking to partner with Media.net must get legitimate traffic, have high-quality content, and agree to a non-compete clause.

More specifically:

  • Web pages must comply with the Better Ad Standards
  • Publisher sites must host original content and be free of excessive advertising, deceptive or manipulative content, and malicious code
  • Content must be legal and generally family-friendly
  • Page views must be legitimate and organically driven
  • Publishers can only host approved ads on approved sites, can’t alter the ads, and neither provide ads to a third party nor receive ads from such entities

Ad Tech

Ad formats provided by the Media.net Marketplace can be implemented on your site with a short snippet of code and include display ads, native ads, video ads, and contextual ads. Notably, their contextual ad units don’t rely on cookies; instead, they use algorithms to match relevant advertisers to individual website pages. They also give the option for “sizeless ads,” allowing you to customize the ad design to your site layout. Whatever ads you use, Media.net keeps the burden on their servers, minimizing latency.

Media.net offers a reporting dashboard to track ad performance and impressions. Or you can leave your ad tags on autopilot, letting Media.net’s ad specialists handle performance adjustments and customizations.

How You Make Money

Media.net offers payments based on valid click-throughs, making money via commission. They pay out on a NET 30 schedule.

AdSense

Google AdSense homepage: We value your content

AdSense is an ad network that draws on Google’s resources for monetization, ad targeting, and ad optimization for mobile devices.

Eligibility

To sign up for AdSense, you need a Google account, a phone number, an address, and a compatible site. You also need to follow three page-level best practices to avoid violating their policies:

1. Create original content that is neither dangerous nor derogatory and that exceeds advertising and promotional space.

Best Practices to Remain Policy Compliant: Create outstanding content

2. Keep content legal and family friendly.

Keep it family safe, and legal

3. Avoid using deceptive layouts, inaccurate labels, or attention-manipulating layouts to encourage users to click on ads.

Focus on the user: Create valuable content, and provide clear structure and navigation so that users are not tricked

AdSense also maintains a directory of accredited providers to help beginners get started, including an official plugin for WordPress bloggers.

Ad Tech

Google ads are optimized for mobile, automatically adjusting the size for a better fit. Meanwhile, the auto ads feature scans your site and places ads in the locations most likely to boost site revenue. For web game developers, H5 game ads allow you to monetize HTML5 games with premium ads.

How You Make Money

For a while, publishers kept 68% of their revenue, with Google AdSense taking the rest as commission. Google is in the process of changing how the ad network pays publishers, who now get 80% of whatever’s left after third-party services take their cut, and revenue is calculated based on impressions rather than clicks.

AdSense also provides an earnings estimator> on their homepage. Available payment methods include cheque, Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), and wire transfer.

Snigel

Snigel homepage: Unleash the Power of AI for Unmatched Monetization

Snigel’s machine learning-powered header bidding solution — AdEngine — has access to all the top SSPs. We also provide dedicated ad operations experts to all of our clients.

These experts work with website owners to design a customized ad strategy that maximizes revenue while maintaining a good user experience for their particular site and audience. They also implement our ad tech solutions, monitor site and ad performance, and adapt ad strategies to ensure both continued site health and long-term profit.

Publishers that work with Snigel find that our ad tech combined with the ad strategy developed by our experts increases their revenue significantly. On average, publishers see a 57% increase in revenue after switching to Snigel (you can read case studies of specific publishers here).

Eligibility

Snigel requires its partners to generate unique, high quality content that attracts whitelisted traffic. Though we don’t have minimum traffic requirements, current monetization efforts should bring in $50/day in revenue; however, we’re open to working with sites that have high growth potential.

Ad Tech

Snigel’s AdEngine is a lightweight, user-friendly ad stack that includes next-gen ad formats such as interactive ads, super adhesive ads (large ads displayed in smaller spaces that move when the user scrolls), and adaptive ads (ad space is filled with whatever combination of sizes brings in the most revenue). AdStream even enables video ads. Ad units are automatically placed in-content to maximize user interactions and satisfaction.

AdEngine also includes revenue-boosting features like smart refresh, which serves users new ads based on how they interact with the page; AI-driven dynamic floor prices that prevent advertisers from artificially lowering their CPC by underpaying for impressions via bid shading; and an adblock revenue recovery system that, upon detecting an ad blocker, automatically serves ads compatible with the users’ settings.

Finally, Snigel’s AdConsent platform ensures your ads comply with privacy laws, including the GDPR and CCPA.

How You Make Money

Snigel offers a competitive commission with a NET 30 payout of 80% of the revenue.

To get a customized ad strategy for monetizing your site, get in touch to learn how we’ve maximized revenue for publishers like WeatherSpark, MakeTechEasier, and DeviceTests.

Summary Comparison

Low on time? Here’s a quick overview of Google AdSense vs Media.net vs Snigel:

Media.net

Media.net is a hybrid contextual ad network and header bidding partner powered by the Yahoo! Bing network. Its contextual advertising offerings don’t rely on cookies. To work with them, you need high-quality content, legitimate traffic, and to be willing to exclusively rely on them for monetization. They operate via commission and pay on a NET 30 basis based on users’ clickthrough rate (CTR).

AdSense

To make a Google AdSense account, you need a Google account, a phone number, an address, and a compatible site. In addition, you can only run AdSense ads on legitimate sites featuring high-quality content. They offer ads optimized for mobile, as well as H5 game ads. They operate off commission but are in the process of updating how publishers get paid.

Snigel

Snigel’s header bidding solution, AdEngine, is based on a user-friendly ad stack that enables next-gen ad formats and automatic ad placement; in addition, it boosts revenue via features like smart refresh, dynamic floor pricing, and adblock revenue recovery.

Publishers also receive a dedicated ad operations account manager who will create, implement, maintain, and adapt an ad strategy to ensure site visitors are served high-quality ads (including any necessary customizations on your website). We operate off commission and pay out on a NET 30 basis via wire transfer.

For more information on Snigel’s technology options or on our expert ad strategy support, visit our site or get in touch today.

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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