Review Information Last Updated on: September 9th, 2016
AdMob is a Google-owned ad network that allows developers and publishers to monetize their mobile apps with relevant ads from a huge inventory of advertisers (over one million). Developers simply need to sign up for a free account and install the SDK into their app. Revenue is usually earned on a CPC basis, though there is also some CPM advertising available.
AdMob Tech Implementation Rating: 5 out of 5.
AdMob Publisher Reporting & Admin Control Panel Rating: 5 out of 5.
AdMob Payment Rating: 5 out of 5.
AdMob Account Help Rating: 2 out of 5.
The following review was contributed by Michael Johnston on January 3, 2014.
AdMob is one of the largest and most popular tools for monetizing mobile apps. AdMob was acquired by Google in 2010, and has since been rebuilt to incorporate many of the core functionalities of the Google advertising network. The result is an extremely deep pool of advertisers, which generally leads to very good fill rates and competitive eCPMs. It also means there is an extensive support guide and numerous forums dedicated to solving any technical issues that arise. In other words, AdMob is basically AdSense for mobile traffic. The network functions across all major platforms, including Android, iOS, and Windows 8.
AdMob can be used by both basic and advanced app publishers. The simplest way to use AdMob is to create standard-sized ads to appear in your app and to be filled using the Google mobile ad network. You’ll split any revenue earned with the network (approximately 40% goes to Google) and your earnings will be deposited into your account each month (assuming you meet the $100 payment threshold, or relevant amount in foreign currencies).
The process for creating and activating a new AdMob ad unit is fairly straightforward, and works in much the same way AdSense does. You’ll have the ability to customize your text ad units with specific colors and fonts in order to maximize visibility and click rates (and to test and optimize down the road). AdMob also lets you specify a refresh period for your app’s ads, which can result in a larger number of ads shown and higher click rates. The refresh period can be as short as 30 seconds, at which point the ad would be refreshed and a new ad would appear.
For more advanced appmakers looking to max out their mobile earnings, AdMob also includes a tool called “AdMob Mediation” that facilitates ongoing optimization. This feature allows users to display ads from multiple sources, including the AdMob network and other mobile ad networks as well. By having these line items compete against one another, you’ll be able to identify the highest payers and gradually shift your impressions toward the ads with the highest payout. This process requires ongoing maintenance and monitoring, but can pay off big for large volumes of traffic. You can also let AdMob do the optimization for you, by enabling their “Ad network optimization” feature to automatically pull eCPMs from different networks based on historical performance.
It’s important to note that this AdMob Mediation feature does NOT support all mobile ad networks. Rather, there’s a limited number of ad networks who can run within this optimization framework.
AdMob can also be used to serve either house ads that promote your own products or ads from third parties with whom you’ve reached an advertising arrangement. In other words, if you sign a deal directly with an advertiser to run their banners in your app, AdMob features tools that let you set up, deliver, monitor, and report on that campaign. If you plan on selling your app’s ad space directly to third party advertisers (which will likely result in much higher eCPMs than using ad networks), the AdMob functionality will come in handy.
AdMob also features targeting and filtering capabilities similar to what appears within Google AdSense. That means that users are able to control which types of ads appear in their apps, banning advertisers that they don’t want to associate with their brand and tilting exposure towards (or away from) certain verticals.
Also similar to AdSense is the reporting interface. AdMob features a detailed and customizable reporting dashboard that allows for both basic and advanced analytics.
AdMob does place some strict limits on ads; you’re not allowed to have more than one ad per static page, or more than one visible at a time if the page scrolls. For some apps, that may be a drawback that limits the overall earning capacity. They also have requirements regarding positioning of ad units so as not to solicit invalid clicks.
For mobile sites and apps, AdMob is generally a very good monetization solution. In addition to the extremely deep Google mobile ad networks, the functionality allows for certain third party networks to be plugged in with relative ease (which, in turn, allows for relatively easy optimization). Publishers should be able to achieve 100% fill rates from the very beginning, and the optimization algos employed by Google will help to maximize clicks and earnings.