If you want to make some extra money or boost your earnings on your website then signing up with an ad network is an ideal way to go.
This is on top of the other options we all know and love like affiliate marketing, direct ads and even selling your own courses or products.
The advantage of an ad network is that they have access to a huge number of ads and suppliers and can maximize your earnings per thousand visitors, way more than say Adsense ads can ever do.
Just to be honest, right off the bat.
I own and run a range of affiliate websites and also put ads on most of them.
I have tried and experimented with Google Adsense, Ezoic and Mediavine. And I have earned decent money with all of them. To a point.
For me right now, it comes down to Ezoic vs Mediavine. Both are top-notch premium ad networks. And each ad management platform has its own pros and cons.
And that is what I want to cover in this post.
Both Mediavine and Ezoic have a minimum level that they expect to see in terms of quality content and a decent website.
In order to get website approval, you will also need to be in good standing with Google Adsense, as Google Ads is one of the main suppliers of ads to both networks. However, if you have never been on Adsense before, it is not an issue.
Mediavine typically takes a little longer than Ezoic to approve sites, around two weeks, with Ezoic being around a few days. But there is also the approval from Adsense to contend with, which sometimes slows things down. One of my more recent sites on Ezoic has taken over a week.
When comparing Mediavine vs Ezoic, these requirements are vastly different. Ezoic used to have a minimum traffic requirement, but since mid-2021 they have dropped it. So, anyone can apply to use Ezoic ads and get approval. Within reason of course. You can check out their FAQs here.
Mediavine requires 50,000 unique sessions, along with its own quality standards and a good Google Adsense standing, as I mentioned above. They will ask you for proof from Google analytics.
They usually work with more quality blogs, with long-form content and great quality. So, even if you have 50k sessions, it is not a guarantee. They also typically look for a lot of USA-based traffic, due to their ad placements, but I have not tried anything else with them – since the two sites I have with them are both big in the USA.
Winner: Ezoic is easy to get onto, especially when you have are a smaller publisher
Many of you will be wondering what you can earn from ads with Ezoic vs Mediavine. Should you wait until you get 50k sessions to get on Mediavine, or jump on Ezoic asap and stick with them?
It is quite hard to give exact numbers for ad revenue because each site differs so vastly. Advertisers are willing to pay significant money for ads on finance sites, but less so for obscure topics.
You will see the same things if you dive deep into the Google keyword tool where the bids on ads for specific keywords are. Product-related keywords tend to get a lot more money than informational keywords, as a general rule. Because e-commerce stores are fighting each other for traffic.
Generally speaking, Mediavine ads seem to pay a little bit more than Ezoic. But it is not significant enough to say they are a clear winner. After all, I am comparing different websites, with vastly different topics and content.
Looking at the last few days, you can see the average I got on one website with Mediavine was around $12 for every thousand views.
In comparison, Ezoic was around $10 per thousand. So, there is not much in it when you consider that it is not an apples-to-apples comparison.
One thing to keep in mind is how Mediavine calculates its revenue share. They start you out with 75% of the revenue, which is certainly fair and means you will earn well.
However, for every year you stay with them, they add another 1%. up until 80% I believe. Or, if your site hits half a million views, it will go to 80% straight away.
In comparison to Mediavine, Ezoic takes a very different approach. They offer Premium ads to some of their customers which give you the chance to earn more money per thousand impressions.
This is an invite-only program, although given my sites are not big traffic sites (15,000 visitors per month max), it is probably not hard to be invited.
Ezoic Ads promises that you will earn more, and they have a variety of different levels you can choose from. The only catch is that you have to pay a subscription per month (or year). Which they say will always be less than the extra you learn.
I have just signed up this month, so I can’t report on it yet. But so far, the earnings seem to have improved in just a few days.
Winner: There is little between them here.
When it comes to Ezoic vs Mediavine, ad placements is one of the core differences.
The Mediavine Dashboard gives you a little control over how dense the ads are, and to tweak a few settings such as leaderboard ads, sidebar or bottom of image ads. However, they control the majority of the ad placement.
They do give you some alternate ad options as well such as intersitals as well as video ads.
They also have charity ads, which you can turn on and use leftover ad placements that you are not currently earning on. And, they allow you to opt-out of various categories if you are not ok with showing them on your site.
Ezoic, on the other hand, is fully transparent when it comes to ad placements. They give you the exact placeholders they use and allow you to turn them off if you don’t like them.
The upside is control. The downside, like many things with this ad platform, is that it gets a little too technical for some people.
The Ezoic Platform of course also gives you control over blocking certain advertisers, categories, placements and much more. I have not specifically used these filters, but they are available. They also have charity ads like Mediavine.
When comparing Mediavine vs Ezoic, one of the things you will want to be aware of is how the loading of ads affects your site speed.
The Ezoic Platform takes a different angle in that they like to help you directly with a tech-focused approach. They prefer to have your site go via their DNS which gives them more insight into the site behavior too.
In comparison, when it comes to site speed, the Mediavine ad scripts are relatively fast right out of the box. They have optimized their script to load later and be as lean as possible. However, when it really comes to optimizing your site, especially if you are having website speed issues, Mediavine does not have tools built into its platform to help.
Instead, they have decided to build a WordPress Theme called Trellis. They have been testing it for over a year and it is dedicated to helping bloggers and publishers to blog easily without having to worry about ad integration. Trellis is also designed to be fast, straight from the get-go.
Winner: Ezoic offers more tools and options. Although Mediavine tends to be fast out of the gate.
For me, it comes down to a few simple decisions.
If you are just starting out and/or want more control over ads and your site.
The Ezoic Platform focuses more on small publishers. Ezoic accepts websites that do not have a specific number of page views (ie. any number is ok, more or less). So, if you are just starting out it is a no-brainer!
They are also great if you like to have a lot more control over how your site runs, the overall site speed, and the ad placements as well.
If you are a bigger publisher and want the majority of things taken care of for you.
Mediavine is for larger publishers and requires you to have a minimum of 50k sessions a month to apply. And that is also not a guarantee you will be accepted. As they also look at where your traffic comes from, and the quality of your content.
However, they are far more focused on the customer, probably because they have less of them to deal with. Mediavine support is top-notch, with a fast reaction time. And they take care of most of the setup process for you.
The Mediavine Dashboard is also simpler, easier to use and get an overview, and involves very little tech.
They are more focused on bloggers who want all the load taken from them in terms of their website and ads, and just want to get on with earning money. That is why they don’t have as many options, and also have a dedicated theme to help publishers.
Ashley is obsessed with SEO and WordPress. He is also the founder of Mad Lemmings. When he is not busy helping clients get higher on Google he can be found doing crazy sports in the Swiss Alps (or eating too much chocolate - a habit he is trying to break).