Ezoic Review (A Different Take on an Industry Stalwart)

Ezoic

Updated August 28, 2022.

This review update is long overdue. Much has changed in the ad network landscape. I know Ezoic prefers not to be referred to as an ad network, but that’s what it is as far as I’m concerned.

I’m updating this review because Ezoic has evolved for better and for worse since I moved on from them a few years ago.

My Ezoic experience

I was an early Ezoic user and earned well with Ezoic for years.  I started with AdSense but graduated to Ezoic and did well by them for many years.  For this reason alone, I will forever have a soft spot for Ezoic. I got to know many of the folks over there and they are good folks.

With Ezoic I grew my largest site to nearly $50K per month.

I no longer have sites with Ezoic. I went from Ezoic to AdThrive. I was with AdThrive for a few years.  In 2022, I moved all sites over to Mediavine and that is where all my sites are to this day. I have no plans to change this. Mediavine is an outstanding ad network.

But that does not mean Ezoic does not have something to offer the ad space.  They do. Read on for all the details.

TL;DR

Ezoic is a very good ad platform for sites that don’t qualify or aren’t accepted into Mediavine or AdThrive

This is a lot of sites. Ezoic offers a vital service in the ad monetization industry for smaller sites.

If you have smaller sites and want to earn ad revenue, Ezoic is my recommendation.

=> Try Ezoic to make money with your website (it’s free)

Can you earn good ad revenue with Ezoic?

You sure can. Many pubs do.  I was hitting $40K to $45K per month when I left them a few years ago.  I know Ezoic has some huge publishers on its platform earning piles and piles of money.

In other words, Ezoic is a viable ad network for publishers looking to monetize their website(s).

Ezoics pitch: publishers earn more with the ever-optimizing split testing ad placements on every URL on your site.  This is the very foundation of Ezoic.  I think this entire schtick was far more important 5 years ago than it is now.  Back when I used AdSense, I had to manually place each ad unit.  I was constantly testing placements manually for optimal revenue.  It was a nuisance.

Then along came Ezoic with a brilliant solution that handled all the ad placement testing for you hands-free.  I loved the idea. I signed up and never looked back.  It did work. I earned more.  It freed up my time to focus on content.

However, these days ad networks like AdThrive and Mediavine handle placements for publishers.  Not once have I ever questioned whether AdThrive or Mediavine was dropping the ball by not placing enough ads in the right places.  These networks run so many sites and get so many ad impressions, they know with a pretty good level of precision where to put ads.

While I know Ezoic revenue improves over time, all sites eventually hit a diminishing returns point.  It’s the same with AdThrive and Mediavine. Eventually, you cannot earn more.

Moreover, ad placement and ad size isn’t the be-all and end-all for what dictates ad revenue. There are many variables at play including device, country and month.  It’s also important to know that each ad network worth its salt offers publishers it’s direct advertiser ads earning above-average revenue. In other words, the good networks enter into direct deals for higher revenue.  The more deals a network can get for its pubs, the more money it earns. This, I believe, has a bigger impact on overall earnings than some ad placement adjustment on a web page.

Can ad placement and size impact total revenue? Yeah of course but I think at some point, the impact is minimal.

What I like about Ezoic:

  • Serves smaller publishers: Approves and onboards smaller sites serving a vital role in the industry.
  • Self-service platform – makes it possible to onboard smaller pubs and gives pubs total control over ad placements.
  • Best ad reporting platform on the Web (it’s not even close).  If you need granular ad revenue reporting above all, Ezoic is your best option.  You can filter for revenue specifics for pretty much anything.  It’s incredible.  I’m still baffled why Mediavine and AdThrive can’t offer something similar.  I know Ezoic invested big time into its reporting and it paid off.  It’s spectacular. If you buy traffic for ad arbitrage, Ezoic’s reporting is a must-have.  I truly miss this feature.  For example, you can see how much you earn from iPhone visitors in Canada for a specific article.  Not just mobile devices, but iOS specifically.  Not that most of us would care about that metric specifically, but it goes to show you just how much you can drill down for ad revenue insights.  My favorite was being able to check out EPMVs and total revenue for any article on my sites.  So valuable.
    Ezoic ad revenue analytics by device
    Here’s an example of Ezoic revenue reporting back when I was with Ezoic. Very powerful stuff.
    Ezoic ad revenue data by UTM Medium
    If you want to buy traffic you can track revenue earned by UTM urls.
    Ezoic revenue analytics by landing page
    Revenue per URL.
    Ezoic ad revenue by country
    Revenue by country and while this is pretty basic, the fact you can filter by country for specific URLs is very powerful.

    Ezoic ad revenue by traffic source

=> Try Ezoic here to make money with your website (it’s free)

  • Earns reasonably well for its publishers.  Some publishers earn more with Ezoic than Mediavine.
  • Educates new publishers. This is actually a great move and does signal that Ezoic is stepping up to its role as a small to mid-size site ad provider.  I learned an absolute ton as a publisher with Ezoic.
  • Willing to offer publishers excellent terms: this is a double-edged sword but Ezoic is willing to come up with sweetheart deals with publishers who have influence in the space and/or have high-earning sites. I think this is good.  The downside is that these deals often come with contracts. I don’t like the contracts. I’d accept a lesser deal with no contract attached. I might sign a 3-month deal but that would be it unless the money we’re talking about is enough to set me up for life (which is not going to happen).  I only say this because if some ad network was willing to pay me enough to set me up for life up front, then ad performance isn’t as important.
  • Offers a great affiliate program:  I’m an affiliate for Ezoic. I both praise and criticize Ezoic as an affiliate, former user and commentator in this industry.  I like to think this Ezoic review and my comments in the FS forum and on Twitter paint a fairly accurate, non-biased view.  I sure wish Mediavine offered an affiliate program. I’m pretty sure I’ve sent them a ton of business this year when I moved to them from AdThrive.  While I do have a very good rev share with Mediavine, it’s not based on business I’ve referred but instead the fact my sites perform well.  That said, I get why Mediavine doesn’t have an affiliate program… mainly because they don’t need one.
  • The people at Ezoic: From the first day I started talking to Ezoic many years ago to even today, I’ve always liked the folks at Ezoic.  They are approachable, generous with their time and earnest in wanting to do well for publishers. They are nice people. It was the people that made it hardest to leave Ezoic since I had come to know and like several of them over the years.  I don’t think I burned bridges by leaving (hope I didn’t). One never knows… I might end up back there someday.

Where Ezoic can improve

  • Get rid of the premium fees program. Just take a behind-the-scenes revenue cut. Requiring pubs to pay upfront sucks for pubs.
  • Improve site speed. I know some pubs have managed good CWV scores with Ezoic’s LEAP PROGRAM but generally, I hear quite a bit about slow site speed.  Room for improvement here. Ezoic is a tech platform. I’m surprised it’s not faster after all this time.
  • Stop locking unsuspecting publishers into long-term contracts.  Okay, I get that publishers are adults and we are responsible for the deals we make.  However, long contracts in this business often ends up bad for the publishers.  I’ve heard from many pubs over the years that they regret signing two and three contracts with Ezoic.  I think the practice should be stopped because of the knowledge disparity between new pubs and Ezoic.  I remember what it was like being a new pub.  Traffic is starting to build. There’s light at the end of the tunnel. Suddenly a promise of what seems like a vast sum of money wrapped up in a deal too good to be true comes along.  Three years is fine; after all can it get any better than what it is?  Let me tell you what can happen in three years… a lot. You can go from 40,000 monthly page views to 400K or more.  When this happens you do not want to be locked into a contract. You want to be unfettered to earn as much as you can while providing the best UX for visitors.
  • Ad tech: Mediavine has tech where ads display once visitors start scrolling instead of on page load. This results in an ad-free arrival to a site for visitors.  It’s an outstanding UX feature. I’m of the view both Ezoic and AdThrive would be better if they offered the same tech.  This is a hugely important feature for me. I’m proud of my niche sites how it’s ad free in the content area when visitors initially arrive.  That said, with Ezoic and AdThrive you can specify that no ads be placed above the fold for the same effect but I suspect ad revenue would be hurt a fair amount. When I was with Ezoic, the best performing ads were above the fold.

Ezoic serves a very important role in the ad space sector

In other words, Ezoic serves an important role and that is it’s a key player in helping “smaller” sites and new pubs.  Smaller isn’t really small though. Sites with 40K monthly visitors isn’t necesarily a small site (depends on the niche of course).

Ezoic has taken steps to harness this positioning in the industry but I think they could do more.

I also believe they should stop trying to persuade everyone they are best for big pubs. They aren’t. Sure, there might be exceptions especially if it’s a sweetheart deal with favorable revenue arrangements, but on the balance, Ezoic can’t compete with AdThrive and certainly not Mediavine. That’s not a bad thing.  In fact, it’s an opportunity.

There’s a ton of money to be made as THE ad provider for all websites with less than 50,000 visitors (the threshold to get into Mediavine).

My guess is that most websites on the Web don’t get 50,000 monthly page views, which means Ezoic could be monetizing most websites.

Ezoic is supremely situated to dominate smaller sites for the following reason: It is largely a self-serve platform.  This is one of Ezoic’s strengths.  It’s a pretty easy platform to use.  This dramatically reduces overhead and customer support costs.  It’s because of the self-serve aspect that Ezoic can profitably serve smaller sites.  This is not a criticism but instead high praise. In fact, while Ezoic’s tech has room for improvement, it’s overall very good and a feat in itself.

=> Try Ezoic to make money with your website (it’s free)

I publish blogs with a similar strategy Ezoic has in the ad marketplace

My approach to blogging is similar to Ezoic’s position in the ad network marketplace.  You might be scratching your head over that statement but hear me out.

My approach isn’t about trying to rank for massively lucrative keywords.  Instead, I rank for tens of thousands of smaller, less lucrative keywords.  I’m not dependent on a handful of keywords.  If I lose 100 rankings, I won’t notice.  My rankings are dispersed.

Similarly, Ezoic isn’t dependent on a few massive publishers.  That’s a good thing. Instead, they earn a little bit from thousands and thousands of publishers and that’s possible because of the self-serve platform Ezoic built.

Is Ezoic’s customer service good?

I always had excellent customer service but I also probably enjoyed some preferential treatment to an extent.  As with any company this size, there will be people who have had a bad customer experience and those who have had nothing but good experiences.

This I know to be true and that is Ezoic tries and is constantly trying to be better and better. I have no doubt of this. If customer service drops the ball, it’s not for lack of trying.  Based on my owning a forum in this space with thousands of members, being a regular on Twitter and generally having a pretty good knowledge of this space and industry, I’d say on the balance Ezoic’s customer service is good.

Should you use Ezoic’s premium ads program?

Sadly, yes you should. I did. I didn’t like it but I used it anyway because it was profitable.  This program works like this. You get accepted into the premium ads program. You pay upfront for a specific plan which is based on your current revenue.  You then get premium ads on your site which in most cases earns you more than the money you pay.

My distaste for this program is that publishers have to pay upfront.  I’m a cash flow hawk in my business. It’s bad enough we have to wait 45 days to get paid (Mediavine is net 65 which is really long and definitely one of my beefs with Mediavine).  But to then have to pay out money upfront to Ezoic for ads that should be on our sites anyway, rubs me the wrong way.

Most pubs that qualify go into this program because it is profitable.  Who isn’t going to accept more money even if it means paying upfront?  Nobody.  It’s my view that Ezoic should put these premium ads on publishers’ sites as a matter of fact. It should be part of their standard offering.

This much I know is true and that is if Ezoic didn’t charge publishers fees for the premium ads, Ezoic would out-earn other ad networks far more regularly.

Ezoic uses these fees as leverage to lock in publishers into contracts as well.  Usually, the terms waive the premium fees for year one of a multi-year contract. Sounds fantastic in year one but once those fees kick in down the road, it’s not so fun.

While I said I like to believe I’m not biased with this review, I definitely am biased toward the publishers’ perspective.  This premium ads program just might be an absolute revenue windfall for Ezoic that earns them huge profits.  If that’s the case, it’s hard to fault them for it.

Do I recommend Ezoic?

Yes, I do to publishers who can’t get accepted with Mediavine.

I have a close friend who has a niche site. We hang out regularly. I suggested he go with Ezoic. He did. He earns some money with Ezoic he otherwise wouldn’t earn. He’s also learning about ad monetization at the same time.  I would not suggest to a close, personal friend to go with Ezoic unless I believed Ezoic was a good option for him.

If you aren’t accepted in Mediavine, use Ezoic. It’s your best option as far as I know.

=> Try Ezoic to make money with your website (it’s free)

Ezoic FAQ

Will someone at Ezoic set up the ads for you?

Yeah, they will. I’d opt for this. I’ve set up Ezoic ads many times. I would not want to do it again. It’s time-consuming. Let them do it for you and if you want some adjustments, just ask.

How long does optimization and testing take?

With Ezoic full (i.e. the Layout Tester) it can take quite a while (5 to 8 weeks) because there are so many configurations the software runs.

Ezoic Lite (i.e. just the Ad Tester) optimization is much faster because there are far fewer configurations tested (since it uses your site’s design and tests only ads you manually place on your site).  That said, if you choose to let Ezoic test ad placements in addition to your manual placements, optimization takes longer because more variations are tested.

Can you buy traffic to websites using Ezoic?

Yes you can.  I did and do.  The Ezoic team was fully aware that I was.  However, they do require that the traffic sources be high quality.  If you send junk traffic to your site, either Ezoic will intervene or you risk problems with AdSense and perhaps other ad networks.

That said, the founders of Ezoic believe organic traffic is best.  They’ll tell you as much.  However, it’s hard to beat paid traffic if it’s profitable.

Can you use other ad networks separate from Ezoic?  

I’m delighted to answer this with a resounding “yes”.  One of the main reasons I stopped using Ezoic in the Summer of 2015 after 3 to 4 months was I missed Media.net ads which earned a lot of money.

However, with the new Ezoic options, you can now place ads from networks separately and in addition to the 5 Ezoic ads.  This is a game changer for me and I think for many people who decide to use Ezoic.

Is it easy to be accepted into Ezoic?

Yes. Unlike many ad optimization services, Ezoic accepts most sites.

Can you exclude ads on individual pages?

Yes.  You simply input the URLs on which you don’t want ads.

Do you have to sign a contract?

No.  You don’t have to but you might be offered better revenue terms that are attached to a contract. It’s not required. You can (and should) refuse.

=> Try Ezoic to make money with your website (it’s free)

136 thoughts on “Ezoic Review (A Different Take on an Industry Stalwart)”

  1. Hi, thanks for this very in-depth review.

    I’ve been using Ezoic now for a week and it’s a bit early to say whether it’s good or not but the support has been responsive so far.

    Now, the most important problem I’ve been facing is that, at least for me, it’s been slowing down my websites greatly. Ezoic has been installed on 3 of my websites and they’re all super slow (they were really fast before). This is really annoying. Have you had similar experience, or was it slow in the beginning for you as well and got faster over time ?

    Many thanks.

    1. Hey John,

      Yes, Ezoic will slow down the site a bit, but shouldn’t be that drastic. Did you ask Ezoic about your situation? Do you use Cloudflare? Also, if your sites are just text and images (in other words not too much ajax going on), ask Ezoic about getting your site on AMP. They have an AMP widget which is good. I would use it, but I have quite a few of Ajax stuff on my site that currently doesn’t work on AMP (which really sucks).

        1. Ezoic is also rolling out a new feature that could be huge. It’s beta currently, but I’m talking to them about trying the beta this week. It also pertains to mobile. I’ll see how it goes.

          1. Yes, hopefully Jon. For now my website are so slow (desktop, tablets) that I’m considering turning it off. When I tell them about this all they answer is my bounce rate has improved though ! But this doesn’t explain why any page of my sites take seconds to load.
            I’ve used their nameservers and installed the Ezoic cloudflare app but the latter automatically disconnects after a few hours for some unknown reason. Let’s say for example I install the cloudflare app à 4pm, at 8pm it’s gone. I’ve told them but they didn’t give me an answer about it. All this is ashame as the system itself looks promising.

          2. Hey John,

            I contacted Ezoic about the speed issue. When they get back to me, I’ll update this comment thread. I hope they suggest a solution for you. Thanks for letting us know here.

  2. Hi Jon, Installed it on my site. But, my site getting slower than it previously without ezoic. Caching and Cloudflare installed of course. So far, i still cannot calculate my real earning potiential with this. Will go back to ezoic again soon as i am currently switch my Nameserver back to old host.

    1. Hey Faisal,

      I’m waiting to hear from Ezoic about this. A few people mentioned site speed as an issue so I contacted a rep there to suggest a solution. Hopefully I have something useful to report here soon.

      1. Thanks Jon for the heads up. Btw, may i know what kind of integration that you are using? cloudflare or their nameserver. Because i am experiencing difference things on each of them.

        1. Hey Faisal,

          I’m using Ezoic on a very limited basis as I’m testing something else (always testing). My set up with Ezoic is Cloudflare and nameservers.

      2. Thanks Jon, I will read all this with interest. I’m also to talk to one of Ezoic reps in the next few days. Hopefully the speed issue can be resolved, as well as a few other things but I’ve got to say that the early financial results look promising.

  3. Hey Jon,
    Can I use Ezoic without wrapping some Adsense units? 2 link units get most earnings for me, but there is no responsive link ads unit in the Ezoic create link ad section. Wrapping ad units hide my link ad units sometimes.

    1. Hey Dev,

      Yes, just put those AdSense link units on your site directly with no Ezoic code. Yup, Ezoic doesn’t have responsive link units which is a problem.

  4. I’m having trouble getting Ezoic to not stack my ad.

    I’ve created 4 “Top of Page” placeholders. 2 of them go above the title and 2 of them go below. Ezoic is showing all 4.

    I’ve followed you explanation to make sure they don’t stack, but they’re still stacking.

  5. I have had Ezoic for about a month and the EPMV is all over the place. I was kind of expecting to see it take off a little more. How long do you think i should give it?

    1. Hey Wayne,

      I wouldn’t give it too much longer. A month is decent testing duration if you have decent traffic (50,000+ page views per month). If less traffic, it may take longer to test. The thing with ad networks and such is it can take time to find the optimal one(s) for your site. If, for example, AdSense on its own does better for you, use that… but test others here and there. I’ve tested many over they years and continue doing so.

  6. Is it possible to add other network tags so they get 100% of the traffic and use Ezoic tag placements so I am able to diversify my ad revenue? I am deciding between Ezoic and Monumetric for my primary with tags from other ad networks for additional ad revenue.

  7. This is a well written article, you have covered Ezoic in details. I use Ezoic on my site, so far the results are fair, but I would want to get better performance. I know it takes time to optimize the site so I will have to be patient.

  8. Hi Jon,

    That is a great review article ever, but I wonder that right now, do you use the Ezoic Ads anymore or change to Adsense Ads? Because I follow Fatstack income report monthly, it did not include Ezoic income.

    Kevin

  9. I can tell something about monetization when it comes to the Elite Premium account. I pay $440 a month (one year contract). I have this account for 17 days, and it already generated me that amount.

    It shows you different data for Ezoic add partners and Premium add partners. I don’t know how it is calculated, so I never know whether I would earn more from standard Ezoic ads if I didn’t have a Premium account because EPMV fluctuates.

  10. Interesting. I moved from Adsense to Monumetric when you recommended it, and saw great increases. I wonder if I should give Ezoic a try now.

    1. Hi Dan, the big takeaway is you never know. I had one site pretty much break-even and another improve. I continually test things. I continue to use Monumetric on my other sites and it’s very good for me, but Ezoic definitely did really well for one of my sites.

  11. These update posts are great.

    For my main site, Ezoic was giving me low EPMV for the winter months but right now the EPMV is about 38% higher.

  12. There is one (possibly big) potential issue with your test (in 2019)
    You’ve placed Ezoic at the end of the quarter (September 2019)- the last 2 weeks of each quarter tend to have really good performance in general. So comparing this to August is problematic. Ad performance in August is not good as many people are on holiday. So you compare the worst time of the quarter to the best time which is not a good idea.

    Ezoic actually has an ad revenue index chart that shows you an overview of ad performance in each time of the year. I can see that there was a noticeable increase in ad performance on the 4th of September. The performance dropped back at around the end of September. So actually you’ve placed Ezoic at the peak performance time and you compare it to the worst performance time.

    It’s best to do A/B testing (Ezoic vs your other setup). However, it can be quite difficult to set-up this testing.

    Also – just to give you heads up – historically performance is going to ramp up in 2 weeks time. if you repeat your test in other sites and compare it to the results from the month of October then this would be problematic. October and (even the beginning of November) are not great – advertisers are keeping their money to the beginning of the holiday / buying season.

    If you find an easy way to do A/B testing – I’ll be happy to hear about it.

    All the best and keep up the good work!

  13. I switched from Adsense to Mediavine last September and my revenue tripled almost instantly. I heard a lot of positive things about Ezoic so in late June I decided to give them a try and my income dropped drastically compared to Mediavine. I switched back to Mediavine for that particular website (Education niche) and I will be staying with them for the future. After reading this I will be looking into Ezoic when I get up to 10K visitors a month for another site. I’ve read too many positive reviews about Ezoic to not give them another try within a different niche.

  14. No matter how long you write, what counts is today. And Ezoic has sucked a great deal this year. I’ve been one of oldest users and I can say with certainty if you or your site is new, chances are good it will improve the earnings. But I am not so sure when you cross a few years with them. Getting “bug warnings” in Google Search Console about mobile usability for their layouts. This should not be happening and they are just as clueless as I am about this. Getting low (and lower EPMV) as usual….and getting lower and lower traffic probably caused by the “bugs” in GSC. I could go on and on….

    It’s not all sunshine and roses. Far from it. I refrain from sharing other details…

    As most of their users are newbies, go ahead and plug Ezoic in. But don’t be surprised if the performance wanes a few years from now. I don’t think many will be bothered by this though. Their forum is filled with “I want to sell my low quality site” and such is the low standards these days, unfortunately. If sites were of good quality and made with a lot of soul and effort, you will NOT see people selling their sites every. single. day…..

  15. I was with Ezoic for a couple of years. I tried all aspects of the offering. Layout Tester, Ad tester and Premium Program.

    Layout tester worked the best for me at the outset. AD tester showed an increase of approx. 8% in revenue from Adsense alone–not worth the headache or the slowing down of the site. Premium program for me was a rip off. I made about $20 Net more per month after paying them for access to the program–those slots would have had regular ads so it really wasn’t $20 in the end. As soon as my traffic increased, they raised my monthly premium cost, however when my traffic dropped they didn’t reduce my monthly payment until I brought it to their attention–this happened a few times.

    Originally they courted me and my site when they were still in Beta–as soon as they left Beta my revenue went down. Having worked in tech and software-on-demand for years I get what they do and it makes sense–which is why I joined them but was very disappointed by their business practices.

    I asked them what happened to revenue all of a sudden and when exactly did they got out of Beta and they never responded adequately. They never had a press release and big announcement about leaving Beta which is extremely common practice for start ups and some thing highly celebrated. The whole thing left a bad taste in my mouth, I became suspicious of the fact that they recruited a lot of people, paid well those they recruited to get more traction, to subsequently get more funding and so on…. then many people experienced what I did–a drop in revenue.

    I have no doubt Fatstacksblog is doing well with them, as an influencer in the space it makes sense that they would do what they did with those that were recruited.

    Personally for the average blog or website, the nameserver changes are an issue, the site speed slow down is terrible on their servers and bottom line is I don’t trust them. They aren’t the same company (or reps) that recruited me at the start.

    After being with them for over 2 years I moved to adsense for a few months to have a benchmark for revenue–it ended up being pretty close to Ezoic albeit lower–before looking at other alternatives. Ezoic is just not a company I would recommend.

    My two cents….

  16. Although I was accepted by Ezoic, I was not able to take advantage of their program. I had big problems with DNS integration, my site became unusable, error after error. I had to give up working with them. Their support is OK for small problems, but they were not able to help me with this problem.

  17. Do you think it is better to use eZoic to get some extra cash from ads OR do you recommend having it so your content is the center focus without distractions and make more from affiliate income BUT, eZoic also decreases site speed so that’s also something to consider…

    1. Definitely worth using Ezoic. You can tone down the ad aggressiveness as much or as little as you want. Ezoic’s site speed tool can help with speed.

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