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Compare Ad Manager, AdSense, and AdMob

Learn which Google publisher solution is right for your websites or apps

Google Ad Manager, AdSense, and AdMob are powerful products that help you sell ads on your site or app. Each provides different features suited to different kinds of publishers. This article helps you choose the product that's the right fit for your advertising needs. 

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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 for their ad solutions, and have a small dedicated ad management team.

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 way to implement ad delivery
  • Google to optimize your ad inventory for you and maximize your revenue through Auto Ads
  • Accessible performance reports

Sign up for AdSense


AdMob is a mobile ad network and monetization platform for mobile developers who want to earn money from ads, gain actionable insights, and grow their app business. As a network, AdMob allows you to monetize your mobile apps by helping you serve ads globally. As a monetization platform, for developers who work with multiple ad networks, AdMob helps you maximize ad revenue across all your third-party network partners.

AdMob is for you if you need:

  • Access to high-performing mobile app ad formats with strong controls for brand safety
  • A solution to help you maximize ad revenue across Google and third-party networks with waterfall mediation and bidding
  • A holistic view of ads performance and user engagement with Google Analytics for Firebase
  • Automated tools to streamline your day-to-day tasks with features such as Ad Network Optimization
  • A solution to balance in-app purchase and ads-based revenue streams based on user behavior with smart segmentation

Sign up for AdMob

Google Ad Manager is an ad management platform for large publishers who have significant direct sales. Ad Manager provides granular controls and supports multiple ad exchanges and networks, including AdSense, Ad Exchange, third-party networks, and third-party exchanges.

Ad Manager is for you if you need:

  • A central place to monetize all of your inventory types (websites, mobile apps, videos, or games)
  • To manage a significant amount of ad revenue that 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, AdMob, and Ad Manager publishers have access to the same premium Authorized Buyers. You can serve high-quality ads from all three platforms.

"Ad Manager is a premium version of AdSense" Not true

Ad Manager is a different product to AdSense and AdMob. Ad Manager is a unified platform with granular inventory controls and other features that allow you to manage direct sales, third-party networks, and programmatic demand across desktop, mobile web and apps.

Differences between products 


Google Ad Manager
(ad platform)

Google AdSense
(ad network)

Google AdMob
(ad platform)

Google AdMob
(ad network) 

Inventory types available

Web + App 




Use other ad networks or negotiate directly-sold ads





Just tag pages to see ads

Yes, if you allow AdSense to show through Ad Manager




Make AdSense network compete with other ad networks to maximize revenue





AdMob Network = Google demand + third-party bidding sources


Consistent reporting across all ad serving activities





Google manages payments to you and billing your advertisers or collecting payable amounts from ad networks

Yes, for Authorized Buyers, bidding, and transactions through Programmatic Direct


No, payments to you come directly from your advertisers or ad networks and you manage billing and collection


No, for traditionally negotiated line items, payments to you come directly from your advertisers or ad networks and you manage billing and collection

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