The Top 10 Alternatives to Google Adwords































Get Chitika eMiniMalls

Updated 01/31/2013 - Remove now bankrupt Adbrite
Updated 02/09/2013 - Add info.
Updated 05/15/2013 - Update Chitika Information.
Updated 09/30/2013 - Move SkimLinks higher in ranking.
Updated 01/03/2014 - General updates for 2014.

Google Adwords currently leads content-sensitive web-based marketing solution for internet advertizers. By participating in the Google AdWords program advertizers can have their text, image and video based ads shown on selected publishers sites that include Google AdWords JavaScript code. Google's servers show context sensitive advertisements (Google Adwords). However, a number of excellent alternatives exist, for example, the left hand side of this page shows a Clicksor skyscraper displaying a text or image ad just like Google Adwords.

However, Google's popularity also means that it is not necessarily the best solution for most small advertisers. Many small businesses are struggling to obtain effective internet advertizing through the Adwords program. They find that the bid prices (or Cost per Click) on Adwords can be prohibitively high. This makes advertizing campaigns extremely expensive and of limited effectiveness. Hence a number of competing alternative programs exist that offer much better value for money than Adwords. By using these programs in place of Adwords advertisers can significantly increase traffic to their websites for a lot less money.

In addition to the cost Google Adwords has very stringent terms and conditions are that mean that many would be advertisers are  turned away. If you are not satisfied with your Google Adwords experience or are looking for more cost effective alternatives then take a look at these Top 10 alternatives to Google's Adwords program that are ideal for the small time advertiser and business.

If you are a publisher then you may be interested in these best alternatives to adsense.

Is Adwords ineffective and costing you too much? Then try these top 10 alternatives.

  1. Bidvertiser (Get $20 of free clicks by using this link)
  2. Chitika
  3. Skimlinks
  5. InfoLinks
  6. Intellilinks
  7. Kontera
  8. Exit Junction
  9. Clicksor
  10. Dynamic Oxygen

Note: The descriptions are based on personal experience and do not represent any form of endorsement.



1) Bidvertiser (Get $20 in free clicks by following this link)

Bidvertiser can be a much more cost effective and useful alternative to Google Adwords. BidVertiser offers some intriguing ad formats including what they refer to as free design. This lets you specify the look and dimensions of your text ads and as an advertiser means that you can design ads that will stand out from the crowd and so maximize your conversion ratio and reduce your advertising costs on unrelated clicks. While a useful feature I have not investigated how well it works but imagine that while it sounds good on paper it could be difficult to setup. However, the custom nature of it means that it probably results in lower priced ads which makes it much more cost effective for you as an advertiser.

Another great thing about BidVertiser is that you can use it to drive customers to your eBay listings. Hence if you are a major user of eBay for your business then Bidvertiser may be the perfect solution for directing customers searching for related items to your eBay listings. Once you select your eBay item the ad is created for you automatically with the minimum amount of effort.

Bidvertiser allows you to:

  • Pay only for the clicks you receive.
  • Site-Targeted pay per click advertising.
  • Create your ads in minutes.
  • Choose your geographic targeting.
  • Closely monitor the performance of your ads.

BidVertiser includes a complex fraud-detection system that protects its customers from click fraud, ensuring that only valid and legit clicks are counted. Each click is processed online by their fraud-detection system, using a sophisticated algorithm that is being constantly updated by the fraud-detection team.

Bidvertiser have also recently introduced two knew features that can boost your conversion rates and target broader audiences:

  • Conversion Bonus
    As far as I am aware Bidvertiser is the first affiliate marketer to offer this seemingly obvious service. As well as offering traditional CPC for each valid click Bidvertiser will now track those clicks and if they turn into valid leads will pay a conversion bonus. As an advertizer this provides you with an excellent way to track your incoming clicks and monitor if they successfully turn into effective leads.
  • Revenue Generating Toolbar
    The second new feature offered by Bidvertiser is the customized toolbar. The BidVertiser Toolbar allows people to distribute their own customized toolbar to website visitors. This toolbar supersedes other search engines so placing your ads directly on the search results page for a fraction of the cost of what AdWords would cost you.

If you want you can download an example of the toolbar using the link below to try it out.

As an advertiser you can get $20 in free clicks by following this link: Bidvertiser Advertise and get $20 in free clicks.

2) Chitika

Chitika (pronounced CHIH-tih-ka) is the industry's leading alternative to Google AdSense both in terms of Revenue and Size of Network (with 200,000+ active publishers worldwide). Chitika was founded in May 2003, is based in Massachusetts and is closely tied with Yahoo as witnessed by this May 2013 press release. In fact, when Yahoo shut down its Affiliate Program, they referred all publishers to Chitika.

Chitika began, not as a stand-alone advertising solution but instead as way to complement existing advertising / publishing programs through the use of additional Ad Units which were altogether different from the standard ad boxes, pop-unders etc that everybody else provided. Instead of displaying these 'industry standard' advert boxes with text and image ads that all look the same Chitika instead provided active boxes that showed targeted products from different manufacturers. If you ran a blog for example and discussed a product you might have found the Chitika box showing links for this product and competitors' products. If people purchased these products you would get paid a commission. This was referred to as affiliate marketing in the form of Premium Ad Units (eMinimalls).

Chitika has now progressed, however, into a fully-fledged advertiser service. The eMinimalls initially evolved into advertising units that would show adverts based on what people searched for to get to your site (exactly like Google AdSense). This is subtly different from the standard keyword driven advertising since it shows ads that are more relevant to the original intent of your visitors search. This greatly increases the chance that someone will click on an ad. This type of advertising is still offered by Chitika and is a good addition to a site containing traditional banner ads.

However, Chitika now goes beyond this, also offering what are termed premium ads. Chitika uses its proprietary "Click Prediction" technology to show select ads when there is a greater chance they will be clicked on. This is obviously a great way to improve your revenue.

For advertisers and media buyers, Chitika is a proven channel for targeting on-line consumers and qualified buyers. For all publishers, Chitika is an easy-to-use platform for earning daily ad revenue. If you visit a site showing Chitika's ads from a search engine then the Chitika premium ad unit kicks in showing you ads that are specific to your searching - otherwise the ad code falls-back to the page text and finds a suitable ad to display.

You can find info about their entire ad suite on the Chitika website but in short:

  • Linx ad code - an in-text unit Linx ad units can be run in addition to Chitika's standard ad units and works best on sites with lots of text content. The code will scan the page, determine the words which should net the highest CPCs and underlines them. When the user mouse-s-over the word, a small, highly targeted text ad is shown.
  • Hover ad code - a slider unit Hover ad units can also be run in addition to the other ad types. It also targets incoming search terms and in the absence of that, it targets page content. The unit is a small window that slides in the frame from the right-hand side.
  • Mobile ad code - automatic display of ads on mobile devices At the time of writing Chitika is one of the only advertising networks in the world (aside from Google) whose standard ad code can sense that the user is on a mobile device and automatically serves a mobile ad at the bottom of the screen specific to the device screen size.

Chitika offers payment by PayPal (with a $10 minimum) or via Check (with a $50 minimum). Click here to visit Chitika's website and sign up today.

Click here to visit Chitika's website and sign up today

3) Skimlinks

Skimlinks' logo is "Unlock the cash in your content" and in this they do well. Skimlinks provides you with a highly automated way to monetize your entire content. They focus on two approaches, the first is the well known approach of monetizing phrases on your site by automatically converting them into affiliate links. The second is somewhat more unique in that Skimlinks can take regular links on your site and redirect them through their affiliate servers. A brief explanation of how this works is as follows:

  1. You add normal product links to your site.
  2. Your site looks normal to your readers with links showing exactly where they are going and it doesn't appear as if it is an advert.
  3. Skimlinks automatically turns this link into an equivalent affiliate link when a user clicks on it by redirecting briefly through the Skimlinks servers.
  4. Everytime a user clicks through a product link that Skimlinks is able to affiliate you earn a commission

The entire process is completely automated. You just add the javascript code and away you go.

Skimlinks allows you to:

  • Add normal links to your content and have them automatically converted to an affiliate link on-click.
  • No affiliate links to create or manage - Skimlinks does the work for you.
  • No more network sign ups and approvals - you get instant access to 17,000 affiliate programs.
  • Centralized reporting makes it easy to see which retailers your readers love.
  • The scale of Skimlinks allows them to negotiate better commission rates for you over what you might be able to get by approaching the retailers directly.

Skimlinks has a very relaxed attitude to the type of content supported and they fully support Blogs and collation sites. Sign up for a no-obligation free account today and try it for yourself.


Granted they might not have the catchiest or easiest to remember URL but are a fairly good alternative to Google Adwords and for those of you who were hit by the debacle of AdBrite going bust might offer a reasonably good alternative there as well. are a complete publishing advertising solution offering Pay Per Click (PPC) and Cost Per Action (CPA) to publishers and advertisers alike. has account managers that regularly review sites making sure that content is high quality. This ultimately translates into better value for money for advertisers and better conversion rates. In the words of B4PSAds 'stop wasting time and money on campaigns that do not convert' and convert your advertising to B4PSAds instead. Specifically they offer include:

  • CPA Bonuses - They pay CPA bonuses for clicks that actually turn into actions for advertisers. This means you can minimize your advertising costs by restricting some costs to those clicks that actually result in actions.
  • ROI Maximization Technology - B4PSAds's technology will help advertisers reach their targeted audiences and increase their ROI.
  • Custom Software - B4PSAds software Rotates, Tests Campaigns & Ads, then Scores Performance at the end of each day. Researching keywords and building massive placement lists are a thing of the past. They make it easy to get your campaigns profitable.
  • Priority Ranking - Campaigns and Ads with higher scores are given Top Priority. This will keep your cost low and profits Higher.
  • No Risk - Request refund anytime for all un-used balance in your account.

B4PSAds's system tests new placements using Pay per Click and Cost Per Action to limit your risks while constantly split testing creative, rotating landing pages and zeroing-in on placements that give you the highest conversions - totally on its own!

B4PSAds system is built to think and act just like us - like normal humans - so it scales up ad campaigns where they make money and equally as important, kills targets that lose money. Using a unique hybrid pay per click advertising and cost per action bidding system, it can intelligently "level-up" ad campaigns whenever conversion rates increase, according to your preset instructions.

You can target your ads by location, by market verticals and demographics. All the while, the system will be searching for the ads, the placements and landing pages that bring you the highest click-thrus and conversions to give your campaigns the best chance of success. So sign up today and get started in under 2 minutes.

5) Infolinks

A relative newcomer to the scene Infolinks specializes in In-Text Advertizing. That is it indexes pages looking for keywords and phrases that are not currently links and converts them into advertizing links. As an advertiser this means that you can use Infolinks to show ads that look like links on a publishers site. When someone clicks on a link the ad is shown and they are redirected to your site. In this way you can attract users to your site without them necessarily realizing they are visiting an ad. This leads to higher click thru rates and higher conversion rates than the traditional banner and skyscraper ads. The nice part is that Infolinks compliments existing advertizing campaigns and many publishers run it alongside other ad providers. This means that as a publisher you can often advertise cheaply on sites that would otherwise be very expensive for traditional banner ads.

Infolinks claims to be leading the industry with the most relevant in-text advertising links guaranteed. I am not sure how they 'guarantee' this but having used them for several months I can attest that their keyword engine is very good and they produce very relevant links compared to other In-Text advertizing options.

The unobtrusiveness of this ad style also makes it more attractive to your audience since they are not continuously annoyed by flashing banners and pop ups and instead visit your site in a more engaged fashion.

Infolinks' features:

  • Quick and easy setup.
  • Ads are tightly integrated with content - no additional space required.
  • Free sign up with no commitments or risk.
  • User triggered, less intrusive advertising that won't distract from site contents and provides more engaged users.
  • Highly relevant In-Text ads for site visitors with record high conversion rates.
  • Related Tags.

Click here to visit Infolink's website and signup for an account to give them a try. As with most alternatives to Google adwords there is no obligation.

6) Intellilinks

Intellilinks is a similar service to infolinks above but well worth trying. Intellilinks specializes in placing organic text links across an ever-growing network of websites in order to build rank and traffic for advertisers and increased revenue for publishers. Intellilinks focuses on providing cutting edge technology, while keeping the network seamless and secure to bring results to their clients and revenue to their publishers.

For advertizers Intellilinks offers the following features:

  • Clean, organic link building with a network of high quality sites.
  • Links within your specific niche for greater effectiveness.
  • Our links are sold for a flat monthly rate - not based on traffic or clicks.

Intellilinks offers clean, organic links on a large network of quality sites. All links are served as static HTML and are spidered by search engines. Links can be purchased in both the layout of the website, or within the context of an article or blog post.

Intellilinks has no obligation and costs nothing to join or use. They offer free links to those signing up through links on this website.

Click here to visit Intellilinks website and signup for an account and give them a try or follow the banner below to get $500 in free links.

7) Kontera

Kontera works in a similar way to Infolinks above, however, they have been around for much longer. Traditionally as a publisher it was hard to get accepted by Kontera but they seem to have relaxed their restrictions of late. This meant as an advertiser your audience was somewhat limited to the very big clients. However, now it looks like Kontera is expanding giving a much broader target audience.

Kontera is extremely easy to use. Publishers simply add a few lines of code to the end of your webpage and within 24 hours additionally links start showing up on their page. These links serve Kontera Ads. When the user hovers over a link ad an shows up and if the user clicks on it the pubisher is paid. From an advertisers perspective this good because you can have complex picture and video ads that get shown to the user but only if they click on it do you get charged. If you look at some sites that use Kontera you will see this to good effect. While this service does not provide you with a complete replacement for all your ad serving need, since they do not provide banner creatives etc., it does provide an additional way to market things in a way that you know will always be relevant, since it is keywords you specify that are highlighted. The links are context sensitive and relevant so conversion ratios can be very high for well designed ads.

Some of the features offered by Kontera:

  • Large, Exclusive In-Text Inventory
  • Engaged, Qualified Audience
  • Exceptional Reach 140 Million Monthly Uniques
  • Superior Semantic Technology

Kontera is nice because it is simply Plug and Play and it provides an alternative advertising stream to the generic banner ads that everybody is now used to subconsciously ignoring. It does not require any additional space or layout considerations since it is integrated directly with the text and so your ad shows up completely uncluttered. In my opinion the inline text ads also look smarter than a lot of other offerings.

In May 2011 Kontera started rolling out additional features designed to improve the advertizing experience for both publishers and advertizers alike. These represent extensions of what Kontera do today and are intended to deliver better value and more targeted exposure for advertizers. The Retargeting offering is part of Kontera's Audience Program and leverages their unique ability to understand and assess user interest via a semantic engine designed to provide more focused and effective advertizing. Kontera's Retargeting presents a unique opportunity for advertizers to gain greater targeted exposure from their Kontera ads. Kontera finds interested consumers on publisher sites and qualifies their interest by leveraging their Synapse technology. When they see these users elsewhere on the web they show them relevant banners and share the revenues with the publisher where the user first expressed interest.

The value add for the advertiser includes:

1) Additional exposure to specifically targeted audiences.
2) No technical requirements
3) No change to user experience
4) Ability to participate in an exciting and novel growth area in advertising

Click here to visit Kontera's website and sign up for a no obligation advertiser account.

8) Exit Junction

Exit Junction is a new affiliate program that was spun off from Revenue Pilot which is now defunct. Exit Junction is not strictly an adsense alternative but instead is an excellent addition to adsense and other context sensitive advertising programs. The key aspect of Exit Junction that makes it a unique new way to advertise and drive traffic to your site is that their approach is capture exit traffic from a site. The way this works is as follows: Suppose a user runs a Google search and a website you are advertising on scores highly for that keyword. To have your link appear as a sponsored link for this keyword on Google would be expensive. However, consider that the user then goes to the first site returned by Google and that site is running the Exit Junction code. At first nothing happens, the page loads and the user sees the page as normal. However say they now found that this site was not what they were looking for and they hit the back button in their browser. This is where Exit Junction cuts in and provides unique advertising opportunities. Instead of returning to the Google search Exit Junction intercepts the back command and instead shows a series of sponsored links that match the original Google search term.

The neat feature of Exit Junction is that at present it is novel and hence the user, who was not expecting the back button to show them an ad instead of their original search page will be more likely to notice the ad and use it to visit your site. Exit Junction is therefore an ideal way to complement your existing advertising efforts and will likely generate some very high conversion rates.

Click here to signup with Exit Junction for a free no obligation account.  - Make Money From Your Exit Traffic!

9) Clicksor

Clicksor is one of the major leaders in the field providing CPC and CPM advertizing solutions that are similar to Adwords but much cheaper and more effective for small businesses. They offer a huge range of advertizing formats including all of the standard Adwords formats as well as some very effective alternatives such as pop under and interstitial ads. Clicksor also lets you sign up for both an advertiser and a publisher account and then freely transfer your publishing income to your advertizing account in order to reduce your advertizing costs.

One of the great things about Clicksor is that they have a large network of high quality publishers while still offering bid prices that are significantly lower than equivalent keywords on Adwords. They are also, in my experience, much more tollerant than Google. Clicksor also supports showing ads as Google public service ad alternatives so you can still access Google Adsense publisher sites and traffic but for significantly less money.

Clicksor also has a big advantage over a number of the lower ranked alternatives on this site in that their ads are truly context sensitive. Thus as an advertiser you can be sure that your ads show only on relevant sites so maximizing your click to customer conversion ratio. This means that visitors to websites showing ads are exposed to ads of the same subject as they were searching for when they reached the site. This means the effectiveness of your ads is maximized.

Clicksor allows you to start advertising from just 0.3c per click. Significantly cheaper than the 5c minimum demanded by Adwords.

The ad creation and campaign control tools provided by Clicksor are not perfect but they are more than enough for you to perfect your ads and keep track of all of your campaigns and expenditure.

Advert wise Clicksor features:

Multiple formats available including text, image and animated ads.

  • Text Links
  • Image Ads
  • Flash Ads
  • Animation Ads
  • Banners
  • Pop unders
  • Interstitial Ads (NEW)
  • Dynamic (DHTML) highlighting

Click here to visit Clicksor's website and sign up for an advertizing account to try it out. There is no obligation and you can cancel whenever you want.

10) Dynamic Oxygen

Dynamic Oxygen are a relative newcomer to the field having really only started at the end of 2010. However, they are growing quickly and offer an excellent alternative to the traditional Adwords route. Dynamic Oxygen encourages advertisers of all sizes to realize their sites' potential! One of the nice things being that they are not focused purely on the high end, very high turnover advertisers as well as publishers but instead cater to sites of all shapes, sizes and popularity. This means that even advertisers with small budgets can still get useful targeted exposure. DynamicOxygen's focus also includes most international sites unlike many ad providers that only cater for US or European traffic, DynamicOxygen supports advertizing for worldwide traffic making it ideal for non-US based advertisers and publishers.

In particular they feature:

  • Benefit from targeted ads with High eCPM for your ENTIRE traffic.
  • Support for international traffic.
  • Enjoy unique ad formats not found elsewhere, such as Interstitials, Layer Ads, Peeler Ads, Anchor Ads, and more...
  • Superb Support

You can sign up for a no obligation, risk free account and give DynamicOxygen a try by following this link. - Enjoy High eCPM Rates!

If you want suggestions on optimizing ad layouts then look here. An unofficial list of high paying keywords is available here. If you are a publisher looking for a comprehensive list of Google Adsense Alternatives then follow this link. Some of the best alternatives to adsense for the small website owner are listed on this site.

Copyright Ross Walker 2013