The percentage share of advertising revenue that Google AdSense publishers get from Google is always subject to open debate and speculation, as Google has never officially announces or reveals the revenue share it gives out and distributes to websites’ partners and publishers. But with the listing of Google in NASDAQ as public company and various form 10-Q unaudited quarterly financial reports given by Google in the SEC filings, the Google AdSense’s revenue share for publishers secret has been revealed.
New York Times has calculated and published the cut that a publisher gets from Google in AdSense program. The calculation was based on Google’s Q3 2005 financial report, and the magical figure is that publishers and partners get 78.5% cut of the ads revenue served from their sites. So for every dollar that Google collects from advertisers, 78.5 cents are later paid to Google AdSense publishers and partners.
With the release of latest Google third quarter 2006 financial results, the finding of revenue sharing at 78.5% is more or less correct and consistent. From the reports, Google reveals that Google Network Revenues, the revenues generated by Google’s partner sites through AdSense programs totaled $1.04 billion. And Traffic Acquisition Costs (TAC), which is the the portion of revenues that Google shared with Google’s partners and publishers is $825 million. This translates into payout ratio of about 79%. If only AdSense publishers are taking into account (TAC consists of costs paid to AdSense publishers, certain distribution partners and others who direct traffic to Google’s website), the publishers’ revenue cut totaled $780 million. If all revenue from Google Network Revenues is considered to be generated from AdSense’s partner (Google doesn’t differentiate between AdSense and other third party distribution channels), then the revenue split for AdSense’s partners will be 75%.
However, most likely an AdSense publisher won’t consistently and always get at least 75% of the advertising income from the click on the ads. And the revenue share may be lower quite a lot from 78%. The CPC of AdSense ads is always fluctuating based on variety of factors, such as smart pricing, and it the split or cut may be different between premium publishers and normal publishers, or even between sites of different size. What certain is that no publisher will know for sure what percentage he or she is getting from the ads revenue generated from his or her sites.
Whatsoever, with the average revenue share to AdSense publishers of around 78.5% (or between 75% to 79%), the payout ratio is very generous and high compared to other ads network. For example, Tribal Fusion pays publishers 55% of all revenue generated from the site, Blogads takes 30% of ad fee from publishers, popular AdSense alternative AdBrite takes 30% share of ad revenue and Casale Media also payouts 70%.
Note: Google has revealed official Google AdSense revenue share for publishers.