Google today announced that it gives publishers 68% of its take for AdSense advertisements, eliminating one of the longest guessing games in our industry. Everyone knew that AOL, Ask, and other large partners pre-negotiated their deals, but no one knew what “typical” AdSense players made. Now we do, apparently.
This 68% split is relatively new. How do I know that? Well, as recently as two years ago, sources I know to be extremely reliable were actively negotiating with Google to get a 65% cut – less than what was announced today. So….you do the math.
Also, what many don’t realize is that Google takes a 15% “serving” fee off the top, before splitting revenues with publishers. So if you do the math, 68% of 85% is really 57.8% – not nearly as generous as first it seemed.
UPDATE: Google disputes this, sending me this note: “For online publishers, the 68% revenue share is not new – it’s been that figure for all online publishers since AdSense for content was launched in 2003.
And there is no 15% serving, or any other, fee for those online publishers. “
I’m quite certain there was such a fee. I’ll look into this after a day of meetings.
Update: The 15% fee, also known as a “AFC Deduction”, was commonly used (and still is as far as I know) for negotiated contracts with larger publishers. Google maintains it was never used for those who signed up directly on the Google website.