Can You Still Make A Living Out Of Google AdSense?



A lot of people went into Internet marketing because they were sold the idea that they could make a lot of money with Google AdSense. While it is true that many do make money with this pay-per-click monetization method, others are just so frustrated by the poor results they get from AdSense.

The lack of expected results from AdSense and the many complaints about Google’s changes in its policies have made many rethink whether AdSense still works as a way of making money online.

You cannot blame them for making this conclusion because Google’s many changes in policies and the reality of making money with AdSense have left so much to be desired.

That being said, many still recommend the AdSense program as one of the good ways of making money online because:

It is owned by Google and therefore would be given preference by the search engine.

Google still earns lots of revenue from the AdSense program as it shares revenue with publishers on 68/32 scale. Earnings from the complementary AdWord program or pay-per-click (PPC) are shared with publishers earning 68% and Google taking home 32%.

It is free and can be complemented with other advert programs that include affiliate marketing.

The argument for Google AdSense is clear but most would not like to put their effort and resources on the program because of:

Poor earnings compared to other monetization systems like direct sales, affiliate marketing, etc.

The high competitive nature of the program. There are millions of users of the program including large corporations and small businesses. In this case, it would be nearly impossible for newbies to think of making a great living with Google AdSense.

With these thoughts about Google AdSense, there are still many websites making money with this monetization system. Recommendations from experts and Google for success with this program are:

1. A website must be rich with content to provide value to readers.

Any type of content like text, images, videos, graphics, podcasts, etc., is acceptable as long as it complies with Google’s content policies.

2. A website must be of standard quality in the eyes of Google.

A high quality website remains a source of solution to the target audience. It contains high quality information and instruction that attract and resolve readers’ problem.

3. A website must drive more targeted traffic to earn from AdSense.

The more unique visits per day on the website the more likely would the site convert.

4. A website must target the right keywords.

These are keywords that are frequently used by advertisers to promote their products, the words that people uses to make their search. The right keywords are action keywords that enable people take action and it is important to go Longtail when thinking of keywords.

5. A website must comply with Google’s AdSense policy.

These policies ensure that your website is not just built for AdSense but it provides purposeful information that would help solve the readers or visitors’ problem.

There are many websites today that are still earning well from the AdSense program. They comply with the above and much more. The beginning of earning great from the AdSense is adherence to the webmaster guidelines and AdSense policies set by Google.

More so, a website that wants to do well must have quality in content and design, and it must be driving quality targeted traffic.

Conclusively, it’s safe to say making money with Google AdSense is possible and still relevant, but I will love to hear from others here:.

With the high competitiveness of the program, the changes and strictness in Google’s AdSense policies and Webmaster guidelines and the poor earnings compared to other monetization program:

Can you still make a living out of Google AdSense?

Is making money online with Google AdSense Still Relevant today?


  1. Of course, one can still make a living out of Google AdSense!

    Complying with Google’s policies and providing real value in the content and website will attract more clicks for the AdSense marketer.

    Although there is lull in the rewards of most marketers, there are still many BIG AdSense earners out there.

    Its a matter of changing strategy and adapting to any change in the webmaster’s policies.

    • Creating value for the audience is the very first journey to getting approval from Google Adsense. Marketers must embrace the fact that making a living from Adsense is a function of the true value they have created and presented to the individual!
      So, I agree with your comment Steven! Thanks for sharing your views!

  2. Yes, you can still get a passive income from Google Adsense. It’s great if you want a “hands-off” income stream and works really well with Youtube Videos.

    However, if you want the best return for your valuable keyword traffic & phrases try affiliate marketing or better yet – create your own product/service and receive 100% of the revenue generated.

    Titus Hoskins recently posted…Rock Solid Life Advice From 51 One-Liners Found on The InternetMy Profile

    • Hello Donsyen,

      These days, a lot of people find it difficult making money with Google Adsense. The strictness of Google and the competitive nature of this PPC ad can be viewed as the culprit.

      But do you know there are still some who still make a living with this program?

  3. Hello Sunday,

    I tried adsense back in the days but got banned for no apparent reason. And guess what? I had a couple hundred dollars that were never released.

    It’s not completely transparent what’s going on with adsense, that’s the problem.

    I will be checking this post to read what others have to say, if they are still earning well with adsense these days.

    Thanks for starting this discussion.

    • Hi Lynn,

      I know of some friends who were banned also by Adsense. While some appealed and got their money back, others did not succeed. I guess this is one reason why many are discouraged by Adsense.

      Yes, I hope many commenters will still leave their thoughts on this discussion so that we can understand and learn more about Google Adsense.
      Thanks for joining this conversation!

    • Hi Lynn,

      Similar to Sunday’s reply below I also know of people who have lost money with Adsense but this has not been my case.

      Years ago when I started all this online foolishness I used to feature Adsense on many of my sites mainly because I got a kick out of showing my relatives & friends my checks from Google. Keep in mind, Google also ran an affiliate network at one time.

      Don’t believe I ever received than more $300 or $400 amonth from them but it was quite steady and they did pay out consistently. Now I get direct deposits into my bank account and if I get one payment a year I consider myself lucky.

      In my case, using Adsense just didn’t make any economic sense. I was promoting top-end laptops with highly targeted traffic…

      Google Adsense Click = $1-$2
      Amazon Click w/conversion = $25
      Affiliate Product Click w/Sale = $200 – $300

      Which type of link would you use on your sites?

      Actually, this is kind of a trick question because you have to remember Adsense pays for the click (any click) whereas an affiliate link usually only pays if that click converts into a sale or lead. Also, I have found Amazon converts much higher than other affiliate links (people love buying from Amazon online) so even if the payout is less you can still make more money with them because the conversion rate is higher, ie. you make more sales with the limited traffic you have.

      Just my 2 cents worth!

      • Hi Titus,

        I kingged this comment twice, 🙂

        That’s why I said in my comment that I think it’s lazy people who still try to make money with adsense nowadays. They continue getting peanuts from adsense instead of trying other ways of monetization like affiliate marketing or selling their own products.

        Why should people continue to settle for peanuts from Adsense when they can make more from an affiliate promotion or from selling theirown products?

        That’s why now I prefer affiliate marketing or selling my own products.

        And it’s not that hard to sell your own products now. One can join resell rights membership sites like Kingged Ultimate Money Vault and get access to hundreds of good quality products to use and resell.

        Have you tried selling your own products this way?

        • Hi Anju,

          Not everyone gets cents for adsense clicks. Maybe you should have sites around profitable niches, then adsense can pay well if the sites get good traffic.

          The trick to adsense is to have high traffic sites around profitable niches. Not every click pays the same amount with adsense, some pay cents while some pay dollars, per click.

      • Hi Titus,

        I like your comment but what if your site gets a lot of the $1 to $2 adsense clicks per day compared to just 1 or nne of the $25 amazon clicks w/conversions per day? You said it yourself that adsense pays per click while the others only pay when the click converts.

        I think the trick to adsense is to have high traffic sites around profitable niches. Not every click pays the same amount with adsense, some pay cents while some pay dollars, per click.

        I have seen clicks that pay $5 to even $10 per click with adsense. Getting a lot of these clicks per day can add up for a site, wouldn’t you say?

        • Hi Mike,

          Don’t believe I ever went over $7 or $8 per click with Adsense but you’re right it all depends on which niche market you’re targeting. Believe some of the top paying Adsense keywords for 2017 are things like Mesothelioma Law Firm ($179), Donate Car for Tax Credit ($126.6) and Sell Annuity Payment ($107.46), Motor Replacements ($98.43) and Cheap Domain Registration Hosting ($98.39).

          Get a few of those in a day and promoting Adsense makes sense.

          Personally, I have never known anyone who has gotten those kind of payouts from Google but I suppose someone must be working those keywords. It’s not something I have done since I concentrate most of my time with affiliate marketing and residual income. Make one referral and get paid for years into the future.

          I guess it all depends on the level of marketing involved in that click. If that click/prospect has read one of my articles, click thru to my lead capture page and signed up to my follow-up informational emails – does it make marketing sense to have that “ready to buy” prospect click the Adsense ad for a few bucks or my affiliate link where I could make a hundred bucks or more if it’s residual income?

          IMO Adsense can work if you’re not into marketing and want to quickly monetize your content. Have a viral video(s) on YouTube with millions of views a day – just become a partner & slap Adsense code on there and you will probably make money.

          Just keep in mind, dealing with Google can be a tricky business. Some of us old-timers have been dealing with them since the very beginning. We all have war stories to tell… if you’re interested you can find mine here on SiteProNews.

          • Hi Titus,

            Oh wow, it looks like am in the presence of a true old-timer and guru, haha. You have really been there and done that, as they say. I checked out the sitepoint article and noticed the 2013 date, wow.

            I am off to read the article now.

          • Hi Titus,

            I just finished reading the 2013 sitepoint article, so much fun to read 🙂

            Your prediction in the article certainly did come true:

            “Google has turned into this monster bully who simply must have its way. Get rid of your SEO or else, accept our privacy policies or else, use Google+ or lose YouTube… and the demands go on.”

            Google has continued to let a lot of people down – not just let them down gently but thrown them off a cliff.

            Unfortunately your other prediction didn’t (or hasn’t) come true:

            “As a former teacher, I know a thing or two about bullies and Google should be careful of all the negative press coming its way. Bullies get their way for a little while, but they harvest resentment which lasts for years and never really disappears”.

            Do you think this prediction will ever come true? It seems Google is now too big to fail.

            • Hi Mike,

              Alphabet/Google won’t fail any time soon but if history has taught us right – all empires/dynasties/companies/bullies rise and fall. Unless you’re a God or a vampire you don’t get to live forever – the same applies to a hero/bully such as Google.

              I wrote that article (as I write most of my stuff) as tongue in cheek and not meant to be taken too seriously.

              As a small time webmaster in the late 90’s/early 2000’s Google was both a hero and bully to anyone creating content on the web. IMO they still are. It has and always will be a love/hate relationship but it is never boring.

              Like many old-time webmasters can attest Google has given and taken so much. It really has meant the world to many webmasters who has earned money from Adsense but more importantly, having profitable revenue generating keywords listed in the #1 spot on Google was and still is pure gold.

              Will Google fail?

              Perhaps not any time soon but that’s not the real question here – who is to say the Internet won’t fail. Viruses/hackers/malware/governments could possibly make the web useless in the future!

              Again, tongue in cheek – don’t take too seriously.

              • Hi Titus,

                What an interesting conversation going on between you and Mike (@mikeonthemove).

                It is revealing to learn of your vast experience with adsense.

                To weigh in on this discussion, kingdoms do rise and fall but their legacies influence their mark history.

                Google can fail, but their impact for now is defining what the future is looking like in search marketing!

                Do you agree?

                • Hi Sunday,

                  Guess we are getting off topic here but if you’re discussing Adsense – you can’t leave Google out of the picture!

                  If you use Adsense on your sites you will have to deal with Google. Actually, years ago publishers weren’t allowed to discuss their individual Adsense earnings publicly – don’t know if Google still has the same policy now. Regardless, I found Adsense ads good for my general content that wasn’t created to sell a product or service.

                  Viral fluff that can get a lot of clicks and earn you money from Adsense. Popular quotes, lists of internet facts, helpful tips, emotional crap… the kind of stuff you see on Facebook every day.

                  As to your question, everyone knows Google defines/controls the online search market. You simply have to play ball with Google or get out of the game. Short of cyberwars that can wipe out the web, Google is not
                  going anywhere any time soon.

                  Rightly or wrongly Google makes a lot of demands on webmasters… adjusting to their countless Algorithm Updates, making your site Mobile Friendly, upgrading to SSL and the list goes on.

                  All to make their SERPs product better, if it gives the web user a better experience who can really argue with that? And until something better comes along Google will rule the day.

                  • Hey Titus,

                    Sure, Google still rules the day for search marketers. I completely agree with you on that point.

                    Google defines online search but most people would want it to be fair. We expect it to ‘rule’ in a level playing field and not in a field where they would invite all but give preference to some in terms of better click value,better ranking etc even when others deserves same.

                    I will also not fail to mention the frequent algo changes which are geared towards fulfilling its own objectives.

                    Google has the power to do what it wants, after all, its there for profit making. I agree its not going away soon but we cannot completely rule out the possibility of better alternative in the nearest future.

                    Thanks for providing more view point on this discussion.

                    • Hi Sunday,

                      I also like the points you made in your replies to Titus.

                      Interesting discussion here for sure.

                      Thanks you guys!

              • Hi Titus,

                You are right again with your reply.

                Who is to say the Internet itself won’t fail indeed.

                You are also right about viruses and stuff.

                Viruses/hackers/malware/governments could indeed possibly make the web useless in the future… or dangerous… as the US has experienced with the recent election results and Russian interference 😉

  4. I must admit that I had written off the idea of usiung Adsense as a monetisation method some time ago. It is much less talked about in the general IM scene as a viable income means, but I’m sure there must be people doing very well with it.

    I didn’t know that Google gav ethe majority % to publishers. I thought it was at best a 50/50 split or even the better art to Google. That it’s more to the publisher does make it more attractive!

    Thanks for your post.

  5. Sure you can make money using Google Adsense but it requires you to have a lot of pages and a bunch of content that’s getting shared.

    I had about 10 Google Adsense sites and I created them all on Google sites, then Google withdrew support for adsense on their sites, so I gave up on Google Adsense.

    The only one that made me money was a 50 plus site I designed for resources for the elderly and it averaged $100 bucks a month.

    I’m sure some people are making a killing I recently read an income report on Mathew Woodwards site from one marketer that uses Adsense and she was making about $3800 a month from her coupon clipping site.

    It works for some but it didn’t work well for me.

    • Hi Gordie,

      Thanks for sharing your experience. I agree with you, it works for some and don’t work for others.

      From your experience, would you say that Google is playing double standard by withdrawing support for Adsense on its own sites? I am asking because some friends are just using the Adsense program to promote Adwords where it gets paid more from advertisers!

      • Of course they are, we talked about this in previous conversations. Google sucks you in with all their great features and then pushes you out so they can monetize. I’m not mad at them, it’s smart business.

        I use adwords religiously because it works so basically your friends are doing the right thing. Google plays to win that’s why they change their algorithm’s so frequently.

        I’m waiting to see what they’ll do to Google Plus it’s a stealth ranking tool right now but they hate to give up all that publicity for free.

  6. Hi Sunday,

    I once killed myself trying to make money with adsense and have to say, it wasn’t worth it. There’s just too much traffic you need to get for so little earnings that it’s not worth it.

    To answer your question, nope, am not making a living out of Google adsense.

  7. Hi Sunday,

    Thanks for another important discussion post.

    Adsense used to be the main way bloggers and site owners tried to make money online but that has changed a lot now. There are now other monetization methods that make more money than adsense.

    I think it’s lazy people who still try to make money with adsense nowadays. They continue getting peanuts from adsense instead of trying other ways of monetization like affiliate marketing or selling their own products.

    Why should I settle for peanuts from Adsense when I can make more from an affiliate promotion or from selling my own products?

    That’s why now I prefer affiliate marketing or selling my own products.

    And it’s not that hard to sell your own products now. One can join resell rights membership sites like Kingged Ultimate Money Vault and get access to hundreds of good quality products to use and resell.

    If anyone is interested in learning how to make money selling their own products, they can read my 7,500+ article on the subject, right here on Kingged:

    This article shows 26 Incredibly Superb Ways to Make Money Online With Resell Rights Products 🙂

  8. Hey Sunday,

    For the longest it took me a while just to make $1. I couldn’t get the grip of it until last year when I changed my way of thinking which resulted in a different approach.

    Here’s a couple of things I did.

    1. I focused on Branding
    2. I focused on publishing more quality blog posts
    3. I networked a little less and paid more attention on people I was already
    connected with.
    4. Spent about 80% of my time promoting which was a big increase in traffic

    As a result I started to get paid more through Google Adsense despite the fact that a lot of people use Ad Blockers.

    I’m sure if I increase promotions I’ll get better results. This is what I believe those who are killing it are doing.
    Sherman Smith recently posted…How To Build Trust And A Loyal Following With Your BlogMy Profile

  9. ​​
    Hey Sunday,
    Indeed this is a wonderful and informative write-up!
    Yes, the discussion is going on in high pitch,
    sorry I am a bit late to join in.

    Good that i found this the other day and had a read twice!
    The tips you brought out and the suggestions and views are really worth debatable.

    And of course the feedback here are worth notable too.
    In my opinion, yes we can have a wonderful time even without AdSense,
    but it is no doubt a wonderful addition all online users opt for!
    Though in the beginning its meager outcome may upset one and they just neglect it too.

    But a tactful approach may bring in more results on the long run. Need to learn more on this how to get more through our strategic approach.
    Coming to the point, there are a good number of options to earn more money via affiliate marketing, ad placements and sponsored and paid guest posts etc

    Though few years back when i started my blogging journey I applied for an account in adSense and I got it just in 3 months the usual time for an approval at that time was a mini,mum 6 to 9 months, but to my surprise i got it in three months and in the beginning i was not aware of how to place the ad and the positions etc but through some of my friends help i learned how to place it etc and now i am getting a decent earning out of it. and of course via other options too.

    Thanks Sunday for this wonderful share.

    Best Regards

    ~ Phil
    Philip Verghese ‘Ariel’ recently posted…How to make a blog of your own? An experience of a professional bloggerMy Profile

  10. Hi Phillip,

    Thanks for leaving your comment. It is highly invaluable! Google Adsense is still a preferred money earner for many online enthusiasts.

    Its meager rewards will discourage most people who want to hit it big.

    But for those who are just interested to learn how this works, the amount earned will not be much of a problem.

    Following the guidelines of Google with regards to Adsense is important. We cannot make much progress without such guidelines.

    Its good to be tactical to enjoy more earnings from Google. Those making it BIG with this program are very strategic with it!

  11. Hi Sunday,

    Thanks for this article and you explanation of the advantages and disadvantages of Adsense.

    I have to admit that I have never used Adsense. After reading the article and the comments I would have to conclude that website owner should not use it solely as his main source of revenue.

    It seems to me that to be successful with Adsense you need lots of great content and it needs to be viral content.

    I would think most of the websites that use it as a main source of income have paid writers so they can crank out lots of quality articles that people want to share.

    This is impossible with the budget of most small internet business owners. It makes more sense to study how to profit from affiliate programs, resell rights products or creating your own product.

    Adsense can be use but the smaller net business owner should just consider it extra income rather than trying to make it their sole source of income.

    Thanks for this interesting discussion…

    Take care Sunday!


    • Hi John,

      Thanks for lending your voice to this discussion. I agree with you that those who are succeeding with adsense are those with big budget and viral content.

      For the small business owner, it would be difficult to rely on adsense as a source of living.

      Using this program as supplementary income source makes more sense. It is best taking advantage of resell rights products, affiliate products and personal product creation as a source of true income!

  12. To make a living out of Google Adsense would mean earning big that would easily offset your bills and bring in savings.

    With the present policy on Google, earnings from this program is infinitesimal!

    One can earn money from Google but it won’t be enough to make a living!

  13. Hi Sunday,

    I gave up long time ago trying to make money with Google adsense, not worth it at all.

    I still have some niche sites with adsense but they are not making significant money at all, a few cents here and there only add up to peanuts, not worth it, I’d say.

  14. Hi Sunday,

    What an interesting conversation you have started and interesting comments and opinions that have been shared! I am learning a lot from the ideas of commenters of this post! 😉

    Google Adsense is popular as money making system in the past. These days, interest in it has dwindled. No thanks to the continuous stiff policies of Google!

    Nevertheless, there are still some people who still make a living with it!

  15. Yes, I still make money with Google Adsense. Although not as expected but it is still useful in helping offset some bills 😉

    To make a living with Google Adsense? Well that would be difficult!

  16. I have Adsense on my site, but what I earn have from google Adsense it’s only cover my web hosting expense only.

    I don’t think Google Adsense makes enough money for me or those that I know about. It’s too hard to make money with Adsense as others here have said.

    • Hi Steve,

      I agree with you, its too hard to make money with Adsense seeing that Google’s terms and conditions for webmasters change every now and then.

      More so, there is stiff competition in the system.

      Earning to cover web host expenses is welcoming from Google. Some people barely make cents!

  17. Sorry to be blunt, Sunday but adsense is useless way to earn money from websites.

    You do a lot of work, writing content, doing promotion and getting traffic but adsense only pay cents per click, it never adds up to anything meaningful.

    And you can get banned anytime and your money seized. I know some friends who got banned from adsense because they have adsense on many of their sites, that’s all their offence.

    I don’t recommend adsense for anybody.
    Anju Jerry Mathew recently posted…INSPIRATIONAL QUOTESMy Profile

  18. Hi Sunday,

    Google adsense can still pay well and you can still make a living with it, but only if you have a site which gets a lot of traffic.

    You know those kinds of massive traffic? Those are the types of sites making money with Google adsense.

    If your site is just a small site or not receiving a lot of traffic, you won’t make much with adsense.

    And another thing that makes a site earn well from adsense, aside from lots of traffic, is profitable niches. Not every click pays the same amount with adsense, some pay cents while some pay dollars, per click.

    I have seen clicks that pay $5 to even $10 per click with adsense. Getting a lot of these clicks per day can add up for a site.

    If you want to earn from adsense, then your site must get lots of traffic and also be around profitable niches and keywords that pay big per clicks, such as Insurance, Legal, etc.

    • Hello Mike,

      I agree so much with your comment. I remember those days of high paying adsense keywords when we would hunt down those keywords that pay $10 to as high as even $50 per click.

      There were even marketers making a killing just selling these keywords for people to build adsense sites with.

      But am not sure such keywords still pay high these days, as things have changed now.

    • Hi Mike,

      I agree with you on the fact that traffic, profitable niches and high paying keywords or clicks will help one make money online.

      However, many would like to remind you that alternatives to Adsense will pay higher for same clicks or keywords.

      Would you now say that Google Adsense is better off in making a living than those other PPC programs?

  19. I am surprised many have bad stories about adsense. If so many people make little money with it, why are even more people killing themselves to get approved by adsense? Don’t they read other people’s stories before trying to join?

  20. Hi Sunday,

    It’s fair to say some people really made good money back in those days, even hundreds of dollars per day. I was one of those.

    I made some really good money with adsense back in those days of adsense riches.

    But not so sure now if many are still making that much money with adsense.