Facebook Audience Network vs. AdSense

Rizza Devega
By Rizza Devega

If you have a quality blog or website that gets tons of traffic and engagement, then you may be considering website monetization.

Before deciding on what advertising platform to use on your website or blog, it’s vital to examine what ads will be most relevant to your target readers and if the ads will fit naturally and seamlessly onto your site.

Google AdSense may be one of the options on your radar. AdSense has been on the market for a long time, but now Facebook is giving them a run for their money. Facebook Audience Network is fairly new to the game but is taking large strides in monetizing mobile traffic.

Let’s review both Facebook Audience Network and Google AdSense and find which program is best suited for your website.

How do I earn money with Facebook Audience Network?

Facebook Audience Network’s monetization feature was once only available on mobile apps that were on FAN’s network. However, they have quickly adapted and have since added Instant Articles, making their network extremely similar to that of Google AdSense.

Website owners can link their website to their Facebook page and register for Facebook Instant Articles (IA). Once you’re approved, then users accessing your page on mobile through Facebook will see ads.

There are some prerequisites before you can start monetizing your instant articles:

  1. You must have a Facebook fan page (if you have a Facebook page with tons of engagement this is a great opportunity to take advantage of Audience Network)
  2. Connect your website/blog to the instant articles feature
  3. Set up instant articles and connect to your site ( go to publishing options and find the code that you’ll need to insert into your website header )
  4. Install the plugin and setup the plugin
  5. Sign up for an account as a Facebook developer
  6. Choose articles/blog posts to submit for review (This process takes about 72 hours)
  7. Enable the Facebook Audience Network to put ads on your instant articles

Related: What is Facebook Audience Network?

How do I earn money with Google AdSense?

Google Adsense is a website monetization program in which website owners can earn money by displaying targeted Google ads on their websites. Google matches text and display ads to your site based on your website content and your visitors. You can also customize the look and feel of the ads to match that of your website. That way only relevant, engaging ads are being shown on your website while still fitting naturally into the theme of your website.

AdSense is a free, simple way to earn money by displaying targeted ads next to your online content. These ads are created and paid for by the advertisers who want to promote their products. So let’s say you have your own blog; you can choose to participate in this program, and then Google will pay you for the ads that are displayed on your site based on user clicks on ads or on ad impressions.

Here’s a short and sweet step-by-step process of how AdSense works:

  1. You choose to run ads on your website by pasting a specific ad code on your site.
  2. Advertisers will bid in an auction and the highest paying ads will appear on your website
  3. You get paid!

Unfortunately, you cannot choose which specific ads show up on your site, but AdSense will automatically serve ads that are targeted to your specific content or audience. If you see an ad on your site that you do not want to be shown, you can choose not to show that ad on your page by navigating to the Allow & Block tab. Here you can review individual ads and choose if you’d like to show them on your page or not.

Difference Between AdWords and AdSense

You may be wondering if AdWords is essentially the same as AdSense. Although they both work in a similar style, they are actually quite different. We won’t go into too much detail here, but to sum it up Google AdWords is when you set up a campaign to advertise on Google. Businesses may set up a free AdWords account to create ads that will then show up on a Google search engine results page (SERP). This system will help you choose relevant keywords to ensure that your ads are being served to relevant users or users who are searching for what you are offering.

Google AdSense is a platform in which Google distributes ads that are found in AdWords. While AdWords is mostly used by businesses looking to advertise a product, AdSense is a way for website owner’s to display relevant ads on their website and earn money.

Website owners can earn money by displaying ads (that were created in AdWords) on their website that is relevant to their audience.

Related: The Ultimate Adwords Account Settings Activation List

Comparing Facebook Audience Network and AdSense

So, which should you choose? AdSense and Audience Network both have their perks and disadvantages.

AdSense allows ads on each and every device, on both desktop and mobile. Audience Network on the other hand only allows ads on mobile – Instant articles and apps.

Facebook has better data about consumers, where advertisers can make more informed decisions about how much to bid for a user. However, according to Datanyze, Google AdSense has over 3.2 million websites while Facebook Audience Network only has 819. So while Facebook has a large database of information about their consumers, they don’t have as many websites as AdSense.

Wrapping Up

As you can see, choosing one over the other program has a little give and take. An important thing to note before choosing which platform to monetize your website with is where your traffic is coming from. If you have a large, engaged audience on Facebook, then it may be beneficial to stick to Audience Network. If you aren’t as active on Facebook and haven’t built a following on there yet, then AdSense may make the most sense.

It may also be beneficial to cover all your bases and use both Audience Network and AdSense. Utilize Instant Articles for users who are already engaged with your Facebook Fan page. Users who don’t come to your site from Facebook will still see your AdSense banners and that way you can monetize both sources of traffic.

Rizza Devega is a Paid Social Project Manager at Power Digital. Born and raised in San Diego, she is passionate about all things digital media and loves helping brands and companies tell their story through various social media platforms.