Romel Choudhury
31 January, 2021

Have you heard of Google Ads and Google Adsense but not really understood what they’re all about? You're not alone. In this blog post, we’ll  explain what they are, what makes them different and what they are used for. A simple rule of thumb to clearly distinguish the two, is to divide them according to the following motto: Google Adsense is for publishers, Google Ads is for advertisers.

Google Ads – for advertisers

The goal of advertising with Google Ads (formerly called Adwords) is almost always to drive traffic to a website (traffic that will then, for example, convert through a purchase or become a lead). In exchange, you have to pay a penny to Google for every click, impression or conversion. Via Google Ads, you don’t just have to have text ads when someone searches something on the browser but you can also have shopping ads, image ads (banners) on Google's partner pages and YouTube ads.

When you choose to advertise through Google Ads (whose features and structure are very similar to their competitor Microsoft’s Advertising), you can design your ad exactly the way you want it to look (as long as you do not violate Google's rules, of course). You can select ad texts, headlines, image / video, and create a call-to-action. The better adverts you have, and the more you optimize them, the more relevant traffic you will get (which you can process using your website). You can either do this yourself, or contact an agency for expert help.

Google Adsense – for publishers

The goal when using Google Adsense is to get paid by Google. Adsense allows your website to display ads that advertisers have created in Google Ads (for example, a display ad). Every time a visitor then clicks on one on your website, you get money as a thank you.

Of course, when you display Google Ads ads on your website, you can’t make any changes to them because these ads weren’t created by you in the first place. The only thing you can choose is the format (such as image or text), the colour or the size. Since you can’t control which ad is displayed on your website, there is a risk that the ‘wrong’ type of ads are displayed, ie ads that you do not want to be associated with.

Google Adsense is therefore a good option when your main aim is to make money on your website without having a specific conversion goal (eg if you run a blog).

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