Google AdWords and Google AdSense are two sides of the Google advertising platform designed for advertisers and publishers respectively. Since the rebranding of Google AdWords to Google Ads in 2018, some aspects have changed, but the core difference remains. Here’s a breakdown of each:

Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords)

Google Ads is Google's advertising system where advertisers bid on certain keywords in order for their clickable ads to appear in Google's search results or on other websites through the Google Display Network. It's designed for businesses and marketers who want to promote their products or services.

Key Characteristics of Google Ads:

  • Ad Creation: Advertisers can create ads using text, images, or videos.
  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC): Mostly, advertisers pay each time a user clicks on their ads.
  • Keyword Targeting: Advertisers choose keywords and bid for their ads to appear when those keywords are searched for.
  • Campaign Management: Advertisers have control over their campaigns, budgets, and where or when their ads are displayed.
  • Focus on Advertising: Google Ads is about helping businesses find customers through targeted ad campaigns.

Google AdSense

Google AdSense is the platform for publishers (website owners, bloggers, etc.) to earn money by displaying ads on their websites. These ads are created and paid for by advertisers who want to promote their products.

Key Characteristics of Google AdSense:

  • Monetization: Website owners can earn money from their online content.
  • Content Match: AdSense shows ads that are relevant to the website’s content or the interests of the visitor.
  • Revenue Generation: Publishers earn money when site visitors view or click on the ads.
  • Ad Customization: Publishers can customize the types of ads displayed to match their site and user preferences.
  • Focus on Content Creators: AdSense is about helping content creators earn revenue from their content.

In Summary:

  • Google Ads is for advertisers who want to create ads and pay to have them shown to potential customers.
  • Google AdSense is for publishers who want to monetize their websites by allowing Google to show relevant ads to their visitors.

Essentially, Google Ads helps you spend money to get your message out there, and Google AdSense helps you make money by hosting ads. When a Google ad is clicked on a publisher’s site through AdSense, both the publisher earns money, and the advertiser pays for the click, effectively connecting the two platforms.

Jesse Erickson

About the author

🔥.  I have an intense passion for helping businesses improve how they market, sell and fulfill their products and services.    My goal with every business I work with is to build predictable revenue each month so that they can focus on what they do best = serve their customers!