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

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.

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.