Compare Ad Manager and AdSense

Learn which product is right for you

Ad Manager and AdSense are both powerful tools that help you sell your ad inventory but perform different functions. You should choose the product that's the right fit for your advertising needs. 


AdSense acts as an ad network, providing you access to demand from advertisers and helping you set up your ad inventory. AdSense is best for publishers who want more automation, easy to implement ad solutions, and have a small dedicated ad management team. 

Ad Manager

Ad Manager acts as an ad server that can support multiple ad networks including AdSense, Ad Exchange, and other third-party networks. Ad Manager is for publishers who have significant direct sales, require granular controls, and want to work with third-party networks. 

AdSense is for you if you need 

  • A place to monetize your website—blogs, forums, and online services perform exceptionally well on AdSense
  • A fast and easy way to implement ad delivery
  • Google to optimize your ad inventory for you and maximize your revenue through Auto Ads
  • Easily accessible performance reports

Sign up for AdSense

Ad Manager is for you if you need 

  • A central place to monetize all of your platforms (websites, mobile apps, videos, or games)
  • To manage ad revenue that mainly comes through direct deals from buyers
  • To use third-party networks to compete for ad inventory
  • More complex reports to gain granular insights

Sign up for Ad Manager

Common misconceptions

"Ad Manager serves higher quality ads"

Not true. AdSense and Ad Manager publishers have access to the same premium advertisers and certified buyers. You can serve high-quality ads from both AdSense and Ad Manager. 

"Ad Manager is a premium version of AdSense"

Not true. Ad Manager is a different product from AdSense. AdSense is an ad network that offers high-quality advertiser demand, optimization insights, and easy-to-implement monetization opportunities. Ad Manager is a unified platform with granular inventory controls and other features that allow you to manage direct deals, third-party networks, and programmatic demand across desktop, mobile web and apps.

Differences between Ad Manager and Google AdSense

  Google Ad Manager Google AdSense
You can traffic other ad networks or directly sold ads Yes No
You only have to place the tags on your pages to see ads Yes, if you allow Google AdSense to show through Ad Manager Yes
You can make Google AdSense compete with other ad networks to maximize your revenue Yes No
You can have a consistent reporting among all ad serving activities Yes No
You will be paid by Ad Manager / Google AdSense No, payments come from your advertisers or ad networks, such as Google AdSense Yes
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