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Mediavine Review: How I Switched From Google Adsense and Increased Earnings by 80%

By Spencer Haws |

Just because this is a Mediavine review doesn’t mean I don’t like Adsense. I’ve been a huge fan of Google Adsense for years.  I started putting Google Adsense on my sites over 10 years ago. Then 7 years ago the income I was making from Google Adsense was enough for me to quit my job.

I will always be thankful to Google for that.

However, as ad networks have become more sophisticated over the years, I’ve discovered that sometimes there are better ways to monetize that just straight Google Adsense.

In the past year, I’ve tried out Ezoic, AdThrive, and Mediavine ad networks.   Each of these work as a good Google Adsense alternative depending on the amount of traffic your site is getting.

I’ve now been on Mediavine for 10 days, and I’m LOVING the results!

I’ll give a few more details on each of the ad networks below, but here is the main point I want to convey. 

My site has INCREASED in earnings by about 80% over the past 10 days when I moved to Mediavine from Ezoic/Google Adsense.

I was hoping for a small bump, but not almost double! Don’t get me wrong, I’ll take it 🙂 In this Mediavine review, I’m going to show you how you can have the same boost to your ad income with no work.  I’ll share all the details below.

Mediavine Earnings vs Ezoic vs. Google Adsense Earnings

When I first started this particular niche site, I was just using Google Adsense and Amazon Associates.   However, about a year ago I switched over to Ezoic, which is an ad optimization platform and network.

I saw a nice bump when I moved from Google Adsense to Ezoic.  Ezoic is a Google ad partner, so they are able to place more ad units on my site than I could on my own.  In addition, I believe they have some additional ad partners.

Ideally Ezoic gives you the absolute best of AdSense in addition to extra revenue from Ezoic ads from other partners, as well.

Then I heard about Medivine from someone in a Facebook group, so I decided to give them a shot.  Here’s my earnings the previous month from Ezoic:

The site was earnings roughly $25 per day on average from Ezoic Ads.

Then I switched to Mediavine ad network, and you can see the immediate jump!  Here’s the earnings screenshot:

The site is now earning about $45 a day on average, or about an 80% increase from what it was doing the previous month! 

That’s a Mediavine RPM of $15 or so (revenue per 1000 pageviews).

I also really wish they had an affiliate program. I’d be first in line to sign up for a mediavine affiliate program, but they don’t have one. 

So, I am not compensated at all for recommending them. I just saw an awesome increase in earnings and so I wanted to share.

If you can get higher advertising revenue from the exact same amount of blog traffic, that’s a good thing. Money in the pocket.

MediaVine Review: Update After NSP4

In my Niche Site Project 4, I’ve been using Ezoic for a while. I started with Ezoic when my site was new as a way to monetize my info articles. And the longer I stayed with them, the more they impressed me.

It seems like Ezoic has come a long way since I first tried them out. They now add a lot of speed optimization options and are always split testing my ad placements. For the foreseeable future, I’m sticking with them.

The constant testing of ad units and ad placement for more income is part of the reason they’ve done so well.

I’ll update this article again if I ever move NSP4 to Mediavine.

You can read our full Ezoic review here.

MediaVine vs. Ezoic vs. Google Adsense vs. Adthrive

So, what’s the difference between Mediavine, Google Adsense, AdThrive, and Ezoic? At the end of the day, they are all ad networks that tend to serve very similar looking ads. Most ads from these networks are even serving up Google ads.

Each of these programs let a blogger place display ads on any blog post they publish. Or all of them. But the differences in results can be huge.

This Mediavine review compares Mediavine to each of the other ad management platforms out there.

MediaVine vs. Google AdSense

You are most likely already familiar with Google Adsense since it’s been around the longest.  Someone clicks an ad and you get paid.  The beauty (and curse?) is that Google is the middle man so you don’t have to work with advertisers at all.

Google automatically finds the relevant ads for your content.  You just copy and paste a snippet of code and then you are all set.  I love this simple model, because it’s a great way to get started making some money from your site.

Almost everyone starts off with Google AdSense when blogging. They have the lowest barrier for entry and dead you the ropes of how the display ad model works.

How do they compare to Mediavine?

Unsurprisingly, Mediavine would be a next step up. Mediavine ads will earn more than Adsense, and the Mediavine RPM will be far higher.

MedaVine vs. Ezoic

Ezoic is actually a certified Google Adsense Partner.  This basically means that Ezoic still gets most of the ads it run from Google Adsense, but they are given some advantages.  They are allowed to place more ad units per page than a regular publisher for example. 

More ads tends to equal more earnings.

Ezoic also does additional optimization, and I believe even automated optimization once you are in their network to increase earnings.   So moving from Google Adsense to letting Ezoic run them for you is probably a good move for most people.

I do believe that Ezoic has some of their own ad partners outside of Google Adsense as well.

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Ezoic also works with less monthly viewers. For Mediavine, you’ll need 25k monthly viewers before you can apply. Ezoic will accept you if you just have 10k monthly viewers.

Ezoic is also looking at expanding to work with certain sites below that 10k traffic mark. So that’s worth keeping an eye on.

Mediavine works similar to Ezoic.  They are a certified Google Adsense Partner and many (most?) of their ads are straight from the Google Adsense inventory. 

However, they also have their own network so have a wider range of ad options for your site.

Why the Different Ad Revenue Results?

So, I don’t know exactly WHY my Mediavine earnings were so much higher than Ezoic, I just know that they were when I tried them out the first time. For my NSP4, I’ve been making a ton with Ezoic instead. My ads have been making up to $17.40 per thousand visitors. That is a ton! 

It’s more than the $15 per thousand I was making with Mediavine, but it’s not fair to compare sites in two different niches. Even so, an extra $2.40 per thousand visitors is a lot. 

You can find many reports online of Medavine earnings beating out Ezoic earnings on the same site. You can also find Mediavine reviews that say the opposite. This could very well be niche and site dependent.

The biggest concern on Ezoic vs. Mediavine has been that site speed is often more heavily affected by Ezoic. In theory this could cause some SEO issues, but if it was that bad a situation they wouldn’t be able to survive as an ad platform. 

Mediavine Vs. AdThrive

Finally, I wanted to briefly mention AdThrive network.  AdThrive works very similar to Mediavine.  However, you need to have at least 100,000 pageviews as a minimum traffic requirement in order to qualify for AdThrive.  

I do have a site using the AdThrive network and the overall RPM is around $13 to $14.  As you can see, this is actually lower revenue per thousand visitors than Mediavine and Ezoic.  However, I think the main reason for the lower RPM is due to the site itself, not the network. 

You can’t compare the earnings of 2 completely different sites in different niches.

I would personally put the earnings potential at about the same for both AdThrive and Mediavine. 

This seems to hold up in many blogging studies that have been done in recent years. Though it will be interesting to see what comes out as more large traffic sites do studies on each ad platform, the ad revenue they make, and what the results are at that point with more data.

The Process of Using Mediavine

The process for applying for and getting set up on Mediavine is not that complicated.  It will probably take a couple of weeks to go through the process, but it’s not a lot of work.

First you have to apply here.

Please be aware:  Mediavine requires a minimum of 50,000 sessions per month to apply.  So, if your site is brand new, you’ll need to wait until you get that much traffic.

Once you submit your application, they will request to verify your Google Analytics.  Then you have to go through a verification for Google AdExchange (you basically login to your Google Adsense account through a certain link).

Once verified, it might take a few days but you should get an approval email from Mediavine.  If you have any questions, you can always reply to their emails.  I found the Mediavine team very helpful and responsive through the process.

Once approved, you have to make a few small tweaks to your site, but nothing complicated.  You basically need to get the Mediavine team access where they need it and then you are set.

They get your ads up and running for you and you can start earning money.  They will optimize the ad placement for you, but you can also request certain ad layouts if you are particular about anything.

After that, it’s pretty much hands free.

Let the Mediavine ad network do their thing while you get to focus on getting more traffic. Check in every so often on your Mediavine dashboard to see how things are going, and let their team do their thing.

Use this Knowledge to Buy Sites…

If you are just now discovering that there are a couple of ways to increase the earnings of your site that has just Google Adsense, you are not alone.  Many website owners out there monetize with Google Adsense and have never tried Mediavine, AdThrive, or Ezoic. 

They are likely leaving money on the table.

One website buying strategy would be to find sites that are monetized with Google Adsense that are getting over 50,000 sessions per month.  

If you did nothing more than just get the site approved for Mediavine, you could potentially increase the earnings of the site by 80%.

Let’s take a look at a potential website purchase.  If you found a site making $1,000 a month with Google Adsense, you might be able to buy it for $30,000 (30 times monthly earnings).

If you did nothing more than just switched Google Adsense to Mediavine, the site could increase by 80% to $1,800 per month.

At 30 times earnings of $1,800 a month, the site is now worth $54,000.  A $24,000 bump in value…not bad!

(If you have a Google Adsense site you are looking to sell, you can sell it on MotionInvest here :)).  

Final Thoughts on my Mediavine Review

Overall, I’ve been very happy with my Mediavine experience and earnings so far.  If you have a Google Adsense site that is getting over 50,000 sessions per month, then I highly recommend that you check out Mediavine.

If you aren’t quite at that level but are getting over 10,000 views per month, take a look at Ezoic.

But if you aren’t at that 10,000 views per month yet, keep working at it. 🙂

Whether you have a travel blog or are building your niche website, you have options to monetize once you get the traffic.

Have you had experience with Mediavine or another ad network that you would like to discuss?  Share your thoughts in the comments below.




Niche Business Ideas | 33 comments

By Spencer Haws

Spencer Haws is the founder of NichePursuits.com. After getting a degree in Business Finance from BYU (2002) and an MBA from ASU (2007) he worked for 8 years in Business Banking and Finance at both Merril Lynch and Wells Fargo Bank.

While consulting with other small business owners as a business banker, Spencer finally had the desire to start his own business. He successfully built a portfolio of niche sites using SEO and online marketing that allowed him to quit his job in 2011. Since then he's been involved in dozens of online business ventures including: creating and exiting Long Tail Pro, running an Amazon FBA business for over 3 years and selling that business, founding LinkWhisper.com, and co-founding MotionInvest.com. You can learn more about Spencer here.

Want to learn step-by-step how I built my Niche Site Empire up to a full-time income?

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33 Comments

Conversation

Adams paul

Do they care if the traffic is not from tier 1 country? I have a site earning some cash with adsense and the niche is for my local country. It has about 500,000 session per month and I have been with adsense for over 8 years…

Will you completely remove adsense ads and replace it with theirs?
Is there payment structure similar to Google? i.e. net 30?

Spencer Haws

I believe they want most of the traffic from US, I don’t know what the % threshold is though. Yes, they remove all your Google Adsense and replace.

Harry Bloom

I actually got contacted by Ezoic to have them implement themselves on my site, but for some reason, it just would work.

Just applied for Medivine now and fingers crossed, will see what happens!

Spencer Haws

Good luck!

Adeniyi

Thanks for sharing, Spencer. I think I would give Medivine a try on my high traffic site. How do they pay their publishers? PayPal, direct deposit to bank or what? Pls reply soon.

Thanks

Andrew J Jones

Paypal. You will have a 75 day wait period for 1st payout, then monthly

Also for other folks–mediavine is EXCLUSIVE. You can’t run other ad networks like media.net , revcontent, etc

BUT you CAN run amazon native ads–so I am doing both.

I actually found ezoic could match the ad network juggle–but mediavine beats it silly.

Simon

Can we use Mediavine with infolinks? Any update on that would be great, thank you

Spencer Haws

Paypal.

Andrew J Jones

Had a very similar experience and I can’t talk about Mediavine without sounding like a shill.

The only thing I disagree on is the RPM boost. I got about 2x and April is historically a LOW month.
Went from a historical $8 ish RPM on Ezoic to over $16 (and potentially climbing).

Ezoic is not bad–so I’d say–1st use them–then try and apply to Mediavine as SOON as possible.

I also think 2 things that are better–my UX google analytics are slightly better–as mediavine lazyloads–so the content is there faster for the user–THEN the ads roll/pop in as they scroll.

They also don’t use ATF ads nearly as much as Ezoic–so I do believe you cut down on initial pogo-ing.

I don’t have hard data but just my impression and a slight increase in average time on page. (2 sec? range)

Spencer Haws

Thanks for the thoughts!

Aditya

One important thing to be careful about the network is once you sign the contract you are lock for 90 days with them. So I feel check this before you think to try them…

Spencer Haws

Great point, thanks for sharing.

Serguei Kireev

thanks for mediavine info, will try it next thing. i tried ezoic some time ago to find my site completely covered in ads top to bottom, so went back to 2 adsense ads which performed as good as 10-15 ezoic ads..

i also wanted to note, your old article on being banned from adsense comes up first in google even when searching for new info.. article is quite outdated, links to adbright and generally has very little relevant info, although is the google’s goto for many searches.. maybe something can be done with that article? i couldn’t comment right on it for some reason…

Spencer Haws

I’ll have to update the article.

Muhammad Ismail

Thank you spencer for the Mediavince Review.
Just applied for the account, let’s see what reply i recieve.
I hope for the best as your said above.
regards

adrian

I have an amazon affiliate website, I use only amazon and 1 affiliate program of a manufacturer. The website is getting like 75k views/month from serps. If I will add mediavine how much my affiliate comis will decrease?
Thanks

Logan

Thanks for the insight Spenser, I’ve heard good stuff about Mediavine.

Question, do they have a certain threshold for number of Ads that must be placed per page?

Susannah

Hey Logan!

We utilize just four standard placements for our ads that have all been researched for excellent viewability and performance.

Two of those units would be placed in your sidebar — one above the fold and one below. We run an adhesion unit on desktop, mobile, and tablets. That’s the unit that sticks to the bottom of the browser as your reader scrolls. We also run ads in-content on both desktop and mobile. If you use a recipe card (typically food & lifestyle sites do) that would be a fifth placement that also performs really well.

All of our ads are placed automatically using our Mediavine script wrapper, so you won’t need to manually place any codes to get ads.

Feel free to reach out to [email protected] and we can help you answer any questions!

— Susannah at Mediavine

Simon

Hi Susannah,

If 90% of my traffic is mobile based will this work? Thank you.

Theodore Nwangene

This is wonderful Spencer,
Im actually hearing about this network for the first time, and it’s totally amazing. Please, how do they pay their publishers? Is it via check or PayPal alone?

Susannah

Hey Theodore!

Ad earnings are paid out via PayPal. Feel free to reach out to [email protected] if you have any other questions!

— Susannah at Mediavine

Otmane

at these last months, I have a low CPC -0.09? but at last year was fine +0.15.
why i have that cpc what is the reasons of that?
i think Q1.

Ben Shaffer

My understanding is that the threshold on the number of adsense ads that you are allowed to place has changed and it is now as per ‘judgement’.

One of these ways that these networks work is to self-optimise. So, although you have already had great results, they should actually get even better.

I suspect why you are getting paid more by one network rather than another is that they have a larger inventory from different ad companies.

Susannah

Thanks so much for the Mediavine shoutout!

Our application process is quick and easy and our support team guides you through every step to launch. With the Mediavine plugin or a simple line of code, you’ll get our optimized ad placements that have already been tested for viewability, which is what advertisers are paying for these days. We place a big focus on site speed and the best earnings possible without negatively impacting user experience. Digital ad income is a great source of passive income and while you’re 100% right that every site earns differently based on a number of factors, our publishers generally do extremely well.

If anyone has questions, we’re here at [email protected]!

— Susannah at Mediavine

Angela Harris

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In 2014, we’ve upgraded the product to version 2.0 so that you’ll be able to get more leads from your promotion and also to generate passive income.
After that, we’ve released version 3.0. With version 3.0, you’ll now have MULTIPLE “secret pages” to promote.
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Lore

I still haven’t an Adsense account I it’s a must have? I thinked that I read somewhere that it’s not needed.

Garth

Very interesting results. I’ve had the best results with Adsense and Link ads lately. I tried ezoic and they could not come close to the RPMs I was getting with my original layout. You have me intrigued with your MediaVine results. Sounds like it’s worth checking out. Thanks so much!

Andrew

Before coming to this blog post we had the plan to monetize our blog with Google AdSense as it’s a proven method to make money with any blog since years. But this post gave me an idea to try something different.

I will apply for the Mediavine program and see how this works for our blog.

Thank you very much. 🙂

Spencer Haws

You are welcome!

tanveer habib

Hello nichepersuits. Is this offer also available in Pakistan. Google Adsense is available in Pakistan but don’t know about this new company you are mentioning here. So can you tell us are they providing their services to south Asian countries also.

meike

One of these ways that these networks work is to self-optimise. So, although you have already had great results, they should actually get even better.

Rob

I have seen the comments in Facebook groups and everyone seems to think that Mediavine is the way to go however when I take a look at their sites the have an incredible amount of ads.
I mean the average amount of ads from Adsense is around 3-4 ads per page, but most of the Mediavine sites I have seen have around 21-24 ads, so of course you are going to make more money. With 6-7 times more ads you should be making 6-7 times more earnings. The thing is it really messes up the UX. The advertisers are not paying Mediavine more money than Adsesne so think that you are making more money from MV is not a reality it is just your site is displaying more ads.

Andres Bazil

I have two questions about something you wrote in your article, quote:

“Let’s take a look at a potential website purchase. For example, if you found a site making $1,000 a month with Google Adsense, you might be able to buy it for $30,000 (30 times monthly earnings).

If you did nothing more than just switched Google Adsense to Mediavine, the site could increase by 80% to $1,800 per month.

At 30 times earnings of $1,800 a month, the site is now worth $54,000. A $24,000 bump in value…not bad!”

Questions:

1- How long does the site need to be making those $1,000 a month for that valuation to make sense? 6 months? 1 year? 2 years?

2- What are the top 5 things you would look at before buying a site once the valuation/price make sense? (I’m looking at a site that is with AdThrive and it seems to be working fine but even though I am well versed in SEO and Content, I’ve never bought a website before. What things would you say: “Watch out for this?!”

Thanks!

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