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Advertising Network vs Affiliate Marketing Links Comparison

Advertising Network vs Affiliate

The Internet offers different ways to generate income, and among the most popular are advertising networks vs affiliate marketing. But what’s the difference between these two?

The current article is "9.1. Ad Network vs Affiliate Links" of our Complete SEO Guide Box.
Previous Article: 8.12. Removing Posts with SEO. Next Article: 9.2. Affiliate Marketing Monetization

What are Advertising Networks: Google Adsense Example

Advertising networks, like Google AdSense, provide a way to earn money by showcasing ads on your site. These ads come from a pool provided by Google, and they tend to align with your site’s content or the interests of your visitors. When it comes to payment, it generally works in two ways: pay-per-click (PPC) or cost-per-mile (CPM). However, the control over the ads shown is minimal. Read about monetizing concepts: CPA, CPM, PPC, CPC, and more.

What is Affiliate Marketing

When we examine advertising network vs affiliate marketing, a major difference lies in control. In affiliate marketing, you promote specific products or services, and each time a visitor purchases through your affiliate links, you earn a commission. This gives you more control, allowing you to select the products or services you want to promote. The revenue you earn from affiliate marketing comes solely from successful sales.

Advertising Network vs Affiliate Marketing

Ads Relevance

Another aspect to consider in the advertising network vs. affiliate marketing debate is relevance. Google AdSense will display ads that broadly relate to your site’s content or the interests of your visitors. In contrast, you are likely to promote products closely related to your content or audience in affiliate marketing. Such products increase the likelihood that a visitor will engage in conversion.

Earning Potential

When comparing advertising network vs affiliate marketing, you might find that affiliate marketing has the potential to yield higher earnings per interaction, particularly for expensive items or services. However, AdSense could provide more consistent earnings if your site attracts a high traffic volume.

Speed Performance Differences

Regarding site speed, there is a noticeable difference between advertising networks vs affiliate marketing. Advertising networks like Google AdSense often use analytics techniques and heavy JavaScript files to serve ads. These elements can slow down your site’s performance speed, affecting user experience and SEO rankings (a paradox in Google’s case).

On the other hand, affiliate marketing links are just hyperlinks that direct users to the product or service you’re promoting. They have little to no impact on your site’s performance speed, ensuring a smoother user experience.

If site speed is a concern, affiliate marketing may be a more suitable option for monetizing your website.

Advertising Network vs Affiliate Marketing: Pros and Cons List

In AdSense, Google decides what ads to display, while in affiliate marketing, the website owner chooses the products or services to promote.

AdSense ads can be broadly related (mostly not) to a site’s content or user interests. At the same time, affiliate products are typically more closely aligned with the site’s content. In Affiliate marketing, you choose the products you want to promote to your users. Targeted promotions have a higher conversion rate.

AdSense pays for clicks or impressions, whereas affiliate marketing pays for successful sales.

Affiliate marketing can yield higher earnings per interaction, especially for high-ticket items or services. In contrast, AdSense might provide more consistent, albeit potentially lower, earnings for high-traffic sites.

It is much harder to get into Google Adsense than to Affiliate Marketing. But you can try other advertising networks.

Suppose you unwillingly do something wrong in Google Adsense. In that case, all the accounts that relate to you will be banned from Google Adsense.

Google Adsense is served to users as a JavaScript code or file heavier than just an affiliate link and will have more HTTP requests while any page of your site is loading. Google Search Engine is lowering rank for slow pages with a high number of requests.

If you’re using Google Adsense, you will need to add a Cookie notice and Cookie Consent Banner for your site and more legal information in the Privacy Policy, unlike in the Affiliate link, you will need much less legal info.

Separate Gmail Account for AdSense

Suppose you decided to use Google AdSense for your site. In that case, creating a separate Gmail account exclusively for AdSense purposes is advisable. This segregation has multiple benefits.

First, it helps keep your personal and professional correspondence separate, making it easier to manage your emails.

Secondly, it adds a layer of security. In case your primary account gets compromised, your AdSense account remains safe.

Additionally, it can also prevent accidental rule violations. As Google’s AdSense policies are pretty strict, any unintentional mistake could result in account suspension. By keeping separate Gmail accounts for AdSense, you can minimize the risk of suspension of all your Google Adsense accounts.

A dedicated Gmail account for AdSense can help you stay organized, secure, and compliant with Google’s policies, ensuring a smoother monetization experience.

SEO Guide Box Recommendation

You could easily guess that we recommend affiliate marketing links over advertising networks by stating all the information above.


When weighing up advertising network vs affiliate marketing, consider factors like control, relevance, potential earnings, revenue models, accessibility, and technical and legal implications. AdSense allows Google to decide on ad displays based on clicks or impressions but can impose technical burdens and demand more detailed legal information.

Conversely, while rewarding successful sales, affiliate marketing allows website owners to promote products closely aligned with their content, potentially yielding higher earnings. Moreover, affiliate marketing has fewer entry barriers and technical and legal demands, making it an accessible and flexible option for website monetization.

Both methods have advantages and can be effective ways to monetize your website. Understanding the differences between the two can help you choose the one that suits your site’s content and audience the best.

The current article is "9.1. Ad Network vs Affiliate Links" of our Complete SEO Guide Box.
Previous Article: 8.12. Removing Posts with SEO. Next Article: 9.2. Affiliate Marketing Monetization


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