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Google Pays 68% of Adsense Revenue to Publishers: What Percentage Should Parking Companies Take?

On May 24th Google finally revealed what percentage of Adwords revenue they are paying to their Adsense publishers.  According to their Adsense blog

AdSense for content publishers, who make up the vast majority of our AdSense publishers, earn a 68% revenue share worldwide. This means we pay 68% of the revenue that we collect from advertisers for AdSense for content ads that appear on your sites. The remaining portion that we keep reflects Google’s costs for our continued investment in AdSense — including the development of new technologies, products and features that help maximize the earnings you generate from these ads. It also reflects the costs we incur in building products and features that enable our AdWords advertisers to serve ads on our AdSense partner sites. Since launching AdSense for content in 2003, this revenue share has never changed.

We pay our AdSense for search partners a 51% revenue share, worldwide, for the search ads that appear through their implementations. As with AdSense for content, the proportion of revenue that we keep reflects our costs, including the significant expense, research and development involved in building and enhancing our core search and AdWords technologies. The AdSense for search revenue share has remained the same since 2005, when we increased it.

In response to the question of whether this is an average or across the board they replied

The 68% revenue share for AdSense for content applies to all online publishers, and is not an average revenue share. If you’re showing AdSense for content ads on your pages, you’re receiving 68% of the amount advertisers pay for those ads. While the revenue share can vary for some major online publishers with whom we negotiate individual contracts, these amounts are not in any way averaged together. Also, there isn’t anything additional taken off the top. You get 68 percent, period.

So there we have it.  We know exactly what we make as publishers.  It also lets us know that most likely Internet Traffic has negotiated a deal higher than that.  Combine that with the better returns of the Google ad feed vs. Yahoo and you can easily get to the 40% increase in revenue that is being whispered, OK shouted, across the domainisphere.  We also know that the parking companies are receiving somewhere around the 68% mark and they are keeping a large percentage of that amount.  So the big question arises. what percentage should parking companies be taking as their cut?

Let’s first discuss what the parking companies have built.  They’ve built a platform that makes it easy to transform your domain.  They’ve built the software that allows you simply to enter your domain name and then change the DNS.  Instantly ready to go.  They have the software that analyzes traffic and determines which ads to serve on your parked page.  Almost all improve as more data comes through.  Google has done WAY more than that and they think they deserve 32% for their effort.  I can guarantee that parking companies are keeping more.  How can I guarantee?  From the analysis on one simply domain.

I have one domain that has a CPC of approximately $10.   On Sedo I was getting under a dollar per click so I moved to Domain Sponsor where it move up to $1.50.  I then moved it a developed site where the clicks moved to a around $3.  I realize that this is by no means scientific, but it certainly gave me a little better view of who is taking what.  With Google opening up and giving revenue share it is all coming together.  Google pays $3.20 and I would imagine the parking companies are in that ballpark.  They presently take 30 to 70% of that total leaving you with $1 to $2.25 of the $10 CPC depending on your standing with the parking company.  This is an educated guess based on webmaster forum discussions over the years but I bet you that it’s pretty close.  Somebody like me is probably only getting 30 percent of the total.  This is way too low in my opinion.

I think the parking companies should be keeping 30% of the revenue across the board. Lower for the big portfolios. I’ve chosen this number completely based on Google’s take.  Google does most of the work. They are getting all the advertisers.  They are collecting the payments and paying out.  They have developed the network.  Same goes for Yahoo. Parking companies have merely created a platform to feed all this in and optimize the traffic to choose the best ad keywords.  Much less work than Google so therefore they should keep less than them.  The staffing for a parking company is minimal.  Customer service on parking?  Barely a need.  The backend can probably be maintained by a person or two.  That leaves servers to handle the traffic.  When you look at it this way you can see how they have so much money to blow on trade shows, domains, and advertising.  It’s a cash cow.  But let me get this straight.  They are not shaving or stealing from you.  You have agreed to let them do whatever they want when you sign up to park with them.  You are allowing this.  Shaving is telling you one percentage and then paying you less.  They aren’t doing that.  They have always been paying you a low percentage.  That’s just good business, not shaving or stealing and you have been cool with it.

So now that you have all this info, what should they pay out? What percentage should they keep?  I’d love to hear what other domain investors think is a fair amount.

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13 Replies to “Google Pays 68% of Adsense Revenue to Publishers: What Percentage Should Parking Companies Take?”

  1. Put it to a real world consignment or auction scenario, everyday you say they should be allowed to take 30% of your products sale , I think this number should be in the 20% range. It is only a matter of time that a company is smart enough to develop a nice template, and give the domainers more like Franks feed, but market it to the masses… has to be a few waiting in line, the business model can work… its all automated

  2. I’d like to point out that Go Daddy has a parking plan (marketed to the masses) with an 80% rev share. I wish nothing but the best for Frank and his team, but sometimes what everyone is looking for has been there all along.

  3. What about adsense for domains. What is that percentage? I think is very very low. Any ideas. It seems with the new landing pages they have they are going in a direction to just eliminate all parking companies.

    1. Realistically it is lower but as Mike May stated in another comment, parking conversion has been excellent for Google. Three times better than search. It’s only lower because the bar is set so low by the other parking companies.

  4. Shane:

    Great post.

    What are your thoughts on Google’s own “Adsense for Domains”?

    1. Claude,
      I put all my best type-in domains on Adsense for Domains aka Google Parking. I leave 80% of them on Sedo because they don’t get traffic and Sedo has the best platform to sell a domain. I don’t see why any smaller domain investor that has decent traffic would go anywhere else than Google. You’re just adding a middleman if you do.

  5. Shane this is a good article but unfortunately it’s not the norm.
    Google has lots of various products for advertisers.
    The CPC estimate tools are the costs for advertising on Google’s search Network (PC & mobile).
    That CPC can be high but $10 a click would certainly be something like finance, or loans usually.
    Ads from Parking/Adsense come from Google Display Network (Content Network). There is no CPC estimation tool for this.
    This is usually good for branding & at the end of the month or if budgets aren’t consumed CPCs might go higher to spend the budget allocated for the month.

    The CPCs for my IDNs go up at the end of the month (some around $2 a click) but I completely understand why this happens.

    People look at that $10 & think that’s what advertisers are paying for the Google Display Network. It’s not. Usually clients want to spend under $1 on the Google Display Network for general categories.

    I analyzed where all my traffic is coming from. A lot came from mobile devices & I bet lots of people don’t realize they are getting traffic from mobile devices. Unfortunately the CPC for this is even lower.

  6. This is another poorly researched article on parking, the figures presented seem to be based on guesswork combined with some apparent confusion between domain parking and adsense for content,

    Secondly the news about the adsense revenue share is a year old, it didn’t just come out,

    “Monday, May 24, 2010 | 7:00:00 AM”

  7. Shane, it is about being accurate and the post it full of holes, much like your other recent post about parking. For anyone reading it who doesn’t know they are being led down the garden path. I think you need to be researching articles properly and correcting the errors you’ve made.

  8. “post it full of holes” Really?”


    Lets go through the points made then,

    1. “On May 24th Google finally revealed what percentage of Adwords revenue they are paying to their Adsense publishers.”

    -No, They revealed that one year ago, they haven’t just “finally” revealed it. It has been discussed a lot in the past.

    2. “We also know that the parking companies are receiving somewhere around the 68% mark”

    -Based on what? Adsense for content payouts?

    3. “They presently take 30 to 70% of that total leaving you with $1 to $2.25 of the $10 CPC depending on your standing with the parking company. ”

    -This whole example and analysis is mixed up. You you’ve stated that the CPC is $10 and Google pays 68%, if CPC really was $10, you’d be earning $6.80 with adsense (for content). It is highly likely that the advertiser is not being billed anywhere near $10 for those clicks. The numbers don’t tally with the argument presented and assumptions being made.

    4. “With Google opening up and giving revenue share it is all coming together. Google pays $3.20 and I would imagine the parking companies are in that ballpark. ”

    -Again makes no sense, the payout claimed by you is 68% but now you are talking about 32% (ie $3.20 from a $10 click).

  9. If you have ever dealt with Google before you would know that they have known that Google keeps 15% across the board first, then your revshare kicks in. So really you have an effective revshare of 57.8% not 68%. It’s called a cost of doing business.

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