#21 | My switch from Adthrive to Ezoic – Results!


A couple of months ago, I decided to switch one of my sites from Adthive to Ezoic.

In this update, I’ll share what happened – the good, the bad and the ugly.

I was perfectly happy with Adthrive before I switched. I loved them.

So you may be wondering why I switched!

Am I crazy?

After all, most people see Ezoic as a stop-gap until they reach the elusive 50k sessions per month to apply for Mediavine and then the 100k sessions per month to apply for Adthrive.

And that’s exactly what I’d done in the past too.

I’d used Ezoic for a few months at a time to bring in some extra income before a ‘better’ ad network would have me.

The last time I used Ezoic was in 2020 and my experience was pretty bad.

The site was slow, it kept crashing with a white screen, the ads were ugly and the team weren’t really willing to help.

But, I heard that Ezoic got better.

And I didn’t think it was fair for me to continue tweeting about how bad Ezoic was, without having some current data to base my opinion on.

I had a few smaller sites that I could have tested Ezoic with, but honestly, I couldn’t be bothered setting it up.

I’m busy.

But, I heard that if you have a larger site, they will do it all for you.

I heard they would offer the same white-glove service that you get with Mediavine or Adthrive.

So, I gave it a shot.

Now I know that some other publishers (like @nichedown on Twitter) have a special deal where they get free premium, a cash bonus or other perks.

But I didn’t want any of that.

My purpose with this experiment wasn’t to make as much money as possible…

It was to see what happens when you switch a larger site from Mediavine or Adthrive and how the two compare.

Could Ezoic offer the same hands-off experience as Adthrive, while also increasing revenue, without harming user experience?

They said that they could.

So, I made the switch and left it for 6 weeks before sharing this with you…

Let’s take a look at:

  • The customer experience (for me)
  • The user experience (for my readers)
  • The revenue (did I make more $?)

The Customer Experience:

If you’re with Adthrive or Mediavine, you’ll be familiar with how uber-nice they are over email.

You deal with a different person every time, but that doesn’t matter because they’re super efficient and have the perfect answer for everything.

They email you back within a few hours, no matter what timezone you’re in or if it’s the weekend.

They take everything off your plate, work on your site and communicate the essentials.

The dashboard is super-minimal, but if you ever need any stats, they will pull them for you.

My experience with Adthrive and Mediavine has been the same – they’re a production line of superstars.

In my experience, Ezoic is way different.

I was paired with one team member who was to look after everything for me.

She was lovely. She set Ezoic up and then we had regular email threads and Zoom calls between the two of us.

But, I suddenly had a lot on my plate.

The Ezoic dashboard is huge with a zillion settings.

She was ready to show me how they all worked.

I didn’t want to know.

I just wanted it to work, without my input.

My to-do list grew.

I felt like whenever I looked at the site, I’d find something else that needed attention – so I’d have to email her to fix it.

And because of the 8-hour time difference, I wouldn’t get a reply until I finished work for the day.

I found myself being the go-between, forwarding emails between Ezoic and my host as we tried to fix the dreaded ‘origin errors’.

If you like tinkering and want control over everything, Ezoic is great.

But I didn’t.

I want an expert to do it for me without my involvement.

Winner – Adthrive

The User Experience:

For a fair test, I tried the match the ad layout as closely as possible.

This wasn’t straightforward as Adthrive and Ezoic measure ad density in different ways, but we got it as close as possible.

One thing I noticed was that many of Ezoic’s ads were downright ugly.

They were ads that looked like buttons saying ‘Start’. If you clicked it you’d be signed up to some spammy text message service.

There were ads that looked like buttons that say ‘Turn Off Ads’ for an ad blocking service.

I would have to find the URL in the source code and block them in the Ezoic dashboard – but they would still come back.

Ads would keep appearing in places where I said I didn’t want them.

Ezoic’s strategy seemed to be – put ads all over and wait for me to remove the worst ones.

Eventually, a solution was offered that would pre-screen the ads. But only after a lot of whining from me.

I don’t know why this isn’t the default.

Again, if you like tinkering, no problem.

You have 100% control over the ads.

But, I didn’t want the control.

Winner – Adthrive

The Revenue:

According to Ezoic, the revenue per 1000 visits increased by 35%, which is huge!

The graph below shows the uplift after the black link which is when Ezoic was added.

It’s hard to measure uplifts like this exactly, as RPMs change naturally with factors we cannot control.

But I couldn’t deny – the site was earning way more with Ezoic.

In October, it made $11,976.58.

Winner – Ezoic

So, this put me in something of a quandary.

Do I stick with Ezoic and make an extra $40k+ per year in revenue?

Or do I go back to Adthrive and leave it with them to manage for me?

Surely, spending some time working on this is worth the extra cash, right?

The Verdict:

Now you might think I’m bonkers, but I’ve gone back to Adthrive.


Well, I’m at the stage where money isn’t my biggest driver.

Yes, I’ve become one of those dickheads.

I have enough income, so adding more doesn’t actually make me any happier.

But being able to take a job that I don’t enjoy off of my plate and handing it over to Adthrive – that makes me happy.

So, while this may not be the smartest business decision,

I’ll admit that I’m not the smartest business person.

I just follow my gut and do what makes me happy.

In my experience, Ezoic wasn’t able to provide the 100% hands-off experience that I had become accustomed to, at least not within the first six weeks.

Maybe they would have gotten there eventually.

If you don’t mind spending a few hours per week working on your ads in return for a whole lot more money, then a switch to Ezoic could definitely be worth it.

In fact, if your site has at least 10k visits per month and is making over $50 per month with any other provider, Ezoic guarantees you’ll earn 25% more.

And there’s no minimum traffic level, so anyone can apply.

So, whether you want to earn more from a larger site,

Or, you haven’t yet monetised your site because you were waiting for Mediavine,

I do recommend that you give Ezoic a shot.

You’ve got nothing to lose, and potentially a lot to gain.

I’m glad that I tried it, even though it wasn’t for me.