Affiliate Marketing Vs. Google AdSense


It is a known fact that affiliate marketing and Google AdSense are both related to internet marketing or to those bloggers who are looking for ways to make money online. While both are important, there are a few things that you need to know about them and why they are different in terms of monetizing your website or blog.

What is Google Adsense?

You might have seen ads on websites pages but don’t really know why they are there. This is Google AdSense or AdSense to many people, is actually an advertising placement service that is offered by Google. This program is designed publishers (website) who are targeting text, image or video ads on website pages so they can earn money whenever these ads are viewed or clicked on by visitors.

These ads are managed and controlled by Google and publishers have to sign up for a free account. They are then given codes provided by Google which they can copy and paste so these can be displayed. The publisher is then paid by pay per click or per-impression basis.

How Google AdSense Works

There are many speculations on how this works but it’s relatively simple. Given of course that you follow the rules and regulations that Google placed, you can definitely make use of this program. So how does it work?

  • First of all you apply for AdSense and state the sites which you want to publish the ads.
  • Once you are approved, you will be then given access to publish the ad blocks on your site or blog. These blocks are the ads that you need to place (you probably have seen these on other websites) in your site and you can choose as to how many ads you would like to publish or where you wish to publish them.
  • Google will then visit these web pages where your blocks are placed and make use of semantic analysis to help establish the theme of your page or website. This will then publish the ads in these blocks from its AdWords program that is related to your blog or web page.
  • The advertisers pay for each click on the ads optimized according to the specific keywords used. Payments differ and could range from 1 cent to over $50 accordingly. It’s usually the highest bidder that gets the top list.
  • When an ad is clicked you are then credited with a percentage of the click cost.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is the process of selling or promoting products that belong to a seller for a commission. It is a form of marketing where you are able to refer someone to any product online and when that person buys the referred product, you are then paid through commission, percentage of the sales or according to the agreement between you (the publisher) and the seller.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

  • In order for one to become an affiliate, they must first sign up with an affiliate program. This could be ClickBank or other affiliate marketing sites that you can trust or even in some cases directly with the store whose product it is you are promoting.
  • Once you have been approved as an affiliate, you can then start advertising products in your blog or website by placing the affiliate reference links. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to use these links as some programs will explain how this is done and will even provide you with the materials you need to promote and sell.
  • A visitor might read or visit the content you have posted where these links are placed. If this visitor clicks on that link, it will take them directly to the merchant’s website where he or she can buy the product.
  • Once the links are clicked, a cookie is placed in visitors browser to know that this was done through your referral.  You can see how well it is performing by tracking your affiliate metrics.
  • If the visitor completes the purchase, the merchant will then check for this affiliate cookie in his system to see where the visitor came from. The merchant will then credit the cookie to the affiliate as a commission.
  • Once this is done, the merchant will then make a report to show the affiliate all the traffic generated from his website or blog with that affiliate link.
  • The merchant will then pay his affiliate of the commissions owed. The payment method will depend on the agreement of the merchant and publisher.

Which One is More Profitable?

Now don’t get me wrong, both programs are very helpful in generating income but which ones can really produce the best results? To know which ones work best, we have broken down the pros and cons of both parties to see which one will suit you best.

Advantages of Google AdSense:

  • This can be used if you have no affiliate products in your web page.
  • It’s a passive income so you don’t really have to interact with customers or create an email list. All you need to do is set up the ads accordingly.
  • You don’t have to constantly create fresh content to post.
  • It’s easy to create multiple pages with this program which can generate small amounts. Over time it can quickly add up to a bigger amount.
  • There’s no need to update or change anything on the ad as it will change accordingly AFTER the Google bot’s visit.
  • It’s easy to install as all you need is some JavaScript where you want to place these ads.


  • Earnings per click can be quite small, you need lots of clicks to add up to a decent amount.
  • The income depends on the visitors leaving your site.
  • Policies are often changed by Google so your earnings can disappear any time.
  • You can have your account easily suspended by Google. Some are even terminated especially if Google bots find out suspicious activities within your pages and accounts are no longer reinstated once it is terminated.
  • It is not a suitable long-term business.

Affiliate Marketing Advantages:

  • You can choose the niche you want as well as the products to sell depending on what you know best.
  • It can be a long term business model with steady source of income for years to come.
  • Your asset will grow in a matter of years.
  • The income is much higher than AdSense.
  • You get to see how much you are making per sale which makes it easier to plan your next move.
  • You can choose how you wish to be paid; Pay Per Click, Pay Per Sale and so on.


  • It takes time and you need to take time to write down the best promotional material. Generating email list is also important plus you must also seek out new products to promote.
  • There are affiliate programs with strict rules (they may require you to have a website or steady number of followers to begin with) so you may or may not be eligible to become an affiliate.

The Best One to Use

If you want to make the most money then becoming an affiliate marketer gives you better opportunity. While AdSense requires low maintenance, you may earn a little amount of money and if you get unlucky, Google might terminate your account if they find it to be “suspicious”. Affiliate marketing gives you more income, yes, this is true but you also need to work double time for it.

So which one is better? Both programs allow you to earn money but between the two we thing becoming an affiliate is the better long term option.

Both programs allow you to earn money but AdSense can only give you little income and that will also be based on how many clicks your ad can get. So in order for it to work, you need a lot of traffic to make a lot of income as well. But between the two, becoming an Affiliate is better. In fact, a lot of people became successful as an affiliate and so you can too.

Yes it can be a lot of hard work but remember that you can do this business for years and you can secure your income too. Whatever program you pick, the decision is entirely up to you. All you need is to do research well on it, find out which ones can benefit you better but who says you can't use both? In the end the choice is yours.




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11 thoughts on “Affiliate Marketing Vs. Google AdSense

  1. This is a very interesting post and I think that it is good to read other people’s views on matters such as these. I do think using adsense gives you less control on your site’s ads, and adsense can take time to generate income. I think using both can be helpful, but also learn to more creative in generating income.Thanks for sharing your view, I enjoyed it.

  2. Hi my name is Debabrata Upadhaya it would be the exiting experience to affiliate and thirsty affiliate marketing together I want to part of it please give me a chance I want to earn more and more through them.

  3. It’s a great explanation about Adsense and affiliate marketing. It’s very detailed and help me to take better decision. Keep up your good work. Thanks for sharing.

  4. This is a very intersting topic for earning purpose, both are good ways to earn money. But by affiliate marketing we can earn money in bulk and adsense is also good by adsense we also can earn but the money will be little less as compared to affiliate marketing. This was a good topic and I learned a lot from your article. It truly inspired me and thnx for sharing your review.
    Good luck !

  5. This is a very intersting topic for earning purpose, both are good ways to earn money. But by affiliate marketing we can earn money in bulk and adsense is also good by adsense we also can earn but the money will be little less as compared to affiliate marketing

  6. A great post, is it possible to give us an article on the best and effective ways of driving paid traffic to an affiliate marketing website?

    Already there is SEO and high quality article, however, this is a slower process but cheaper.

  7. A great guide to start with the affiliate marketing! Over the past couple of years, Adsense is returning low revenue as people are becoming more tech savvy and started using Ad Blockers which resulted in low revenue for bloggers. In order to survive in blogosphere Affiliate marketing is a good way to start.
    Thanks for the quick guide!

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