This is part of a series of reviewing on-site advertising I have used: Project Wonderful, Google Adsense, WordAds.

Google Adsense is the grand daddy of ad systems, and if you can use it, it’s got the highest rewards. In the last 3 years, they’ve streamlined and upgraded and made the system incredibly nice to work with.

I stopped using Adsense for the 3 years prior to this experience because I was frustrated with the lack of control. That’s far less the case today. You can now allow and block ads far more granularly than before. You can blacklist specific domains or specific types of ads. While it’s a little derpy to get the URLs, I was able to blacklist some anti-gay sites right away.

Even though I still wish they’d just blacklist those people from making money in the first place (not Rand Paul, the hate sites), Google’s doing a much better job than they used to, and I feel morally better about it.

Of course, while there are a bajillion WordPress plugins for it, there’s no official Google Plugin and because of that, I don’t use any plugin. The same code I wrote up for Project Wonderful is easily applied to how I want to use Google Adsense.

Also Adsense remains the highest earner of any revenue stream I’ve used. Their current system even includes a scorecard, updating regularly, that explains how your site is doing:

My scores are 5/5 mostly

That ‘Site Health’ score being a 4 is due to WordPress putting ‘render blocking javascript‘ in the header. I’ll live. Everything else is fine.

The interesting thing about Adsense is that Google’s rolling out something new. Google Contributor. And if you have adsense then it’s already on:

Google Contributor is active

I’m not entirely sure how it works, and I kind of want to see it be such that people can pick a site to sponsor, but the idea is a game changer I’m excited for. This alone was why I went back to Adsense.


  • Ease of Registration: 4/5
  • Ease of use (on WordPress): 3/5
  • Ease of use (non WordPress): 3/5
  • Customizable: 5/5
  • Control: 3/5
  • Analytics: 5/5
  • Revenue: 4/5

Adsense is old, but it’s aged well and Google’s treating it with love. It makes money, they appreciate that, and it shows.

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  1. Actually there is an official AdSense plugin from Google in the repo:

    The reviews are pretty mixed though. I’ve never used it, but I remember it coming out. Personally, I just add the code through theme files.

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