So what’s the difference between Google AdWords and Google AdSense? Sometimes people use the two terms interchangeably, but the two are in fact completely different.
Advertisers will pay Google for the use of Google AdWords, which is a method of Pay Per Click advertising services. This means the advertisers will create adverts which usually show up in Google, as “Sponsored Links” (in the cream box at the top of the page, and also on the right hand side of the Google results). These results will appear only when searchers use the keywords that the advertiser has specified. These adverts may also show across the internet, on various websites where the website owner has integrated Google AdSense. In AdWords, this network of websites is known as the Display Network (formerly known as the Content Network).
To integrate Google AdSense, the website owner will have signed up with Google, had their website approved for placement, and will have then placed a series of advertising units on their website in various locations. No doubt you will have seen these units, as they are denoted with the heading of “Ads by Google” to ensure visitors realise they are in fact adverts, not part of the main website.
Google AdSense will often make the website owner money, as Google will give them a certain percentage of the click cost they receive from the advertiser. Some website owners can make some pretty large sums using AdSense, if they have very busy websites. These website owners usually have popular blog sites, or perhaps a well ranked “hints and tips” type website. Note that it’s definitely not a good idea to run AdWords to get visitors into a website, and then have AdSense running on the same website. This is because you will not make the money back as the money paid out to Google will usually exceed the money received in from Adsense, and will lose money paying it to Google for the AdWords. In the not too distant past, it WAS actually possible to make money from this model – however this is no longer the case due to increased competition.
In Google AdWords, it’s usually a good idea for beginners to turn the Display Network off, as this will prevent their adverts being shown on these Google AdSense units. The reason for this is Google AdSense usually results in a far lower Click Through Rate for advertisers (people are on the website reading blogs or hints and tips, not searching for your products or services!).
Questions on AdWords or Adsense? Do ask them here!