AdSense or Amazon Associates – Which is better?

I’ve been hearing a lot of people abandoning Google AdSense and switching to Amazon Associates as a way to make money from their websites. Since I love optimizing my sites (and their revenue), I decided to run a test to see which would work best for my websites. I swapped out the ads using AmpedSense for a week, and then looked at the stats. Can you guess which one earned more for me?

The test

I ran this test for a full week to make sure timing of the week didn’t have any effect. I ran it on 3 separate sites (2 niche sites, and 1 tool/reference site). I used 3 different types of Amazon links – native ads, product ads, and direct links.

Case Study 1

The first site is a site for musicians. Here’s how it looks with AdSense ads:

skf-adsense

 

And here’s the Amazon ads I put on instead. I opted for the native ads, which allows you to specify a search term and automatically generates links for you. I picked a term that matched what my visitors are looking for, and Amazon did a great job filling the listings with relevant products:

 

skf-azon

 

After a week, let’s look at the amazon stats:

 

skf-azon-earn

 

Uh oh, tons of clicks but no sales. Ouch! How much does this site normally make in AdSense? About $20/week.

Winner: AdSense.

Case Study 2

The second site is a niche site focused on jewelry. Here’s how it looks with AdSense ads:

 

moiss-adsense

 

And here’s the Amazon ads I put on instead. I opted for a few specific product ads this time. The products I picked are relatively expensive, so I didn’t have much hope for this, but it’s what my visitors are looking for:

 

moiss-azon

 

After a week, let’s look at the amazon stats:

 

moiss-azon-earn

 

Less clicks, and again no sales. Bummer. How much does this site normally make in AdSense? About $5/week.

Winner: AdSense.

Case Study 3

The last site is a niche site focused on men’s health. Here’s how it looks with AdSense ads:

 

keg-adsense

 

And here’s the Amazon ads I put on instead. I have a lot of users of this site emailing me asking for more info, so a book about this topic is exactly what these people are looking for. I didn’t like any of the images Amazon had, so I created my own, and added my own callouts to it. Here’s how it looks:

 

keg-azon

 

After a week, let’s look at the amazon stats:

 

keg-azon-earn

Yay, finally a sale! But 4% of a $9.99 sale is only $0.40. Darn. This site normally makes about $5/week with AdSense.

Winner: AdSense.

Conclusion

For these three sites, AdSense is the clear winner. Normally between all of these I would have made about $30 for the week, yet with Amazon I made a measly $0.40.

That doesn’t mean that AdSense is superior for all sites – you must test! Every niche, website, and set of visitors is different, and you’ll never know what the best way to earn from your site is until you split test it.



3 thoughts on “AdSense or Amazon Associates – Which is better?

  1. Great analysis,i reached the same conclusion when i tested,i did test with my niche site using clickbak product i had more than 1000 hops without any sales then i changed to adsense i started making at least $5 per day

  2. Hello,

    You really have set-up nice case studies here.

    I think from what I saw on each site mentioned here,
    the design is definitely works with adsense and not amazon.

    But anyway, it is a great case studies to compare both provider.
    Very good reading for me 😉

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