Google Begins To Open Up Its AdSense Black Box

Google (NSDQ: GOOG), which has faced criticism from publishers that its AdSense program is not transparent enough, has finally provided a break-down of the percentages of AdSense revenue it shares. In a blog post, Google says that, in general, publishers who put AdSense ads adjacent to their content keep 68 percent of the revenue the ads bring in, while publishers who add a custom Google search engine to their site keep 51 percent of the revenue from those search ads. (Google has different splits for major publishers.)

No word yet on the percentages it shares with users of its AdSense products for feeds, games or mobile. Google says it won’t provide those breakdowns because the products are “quickly evolving, and we’re still learning about the costs associated with supporting them.”

As for the data it is providing, Google says it is doing so “in the spirit of greater transparency.” Worth noting that Google has also been under recent pressure by Italian antitrust authorities to release the data.

The disclosures may now open the doors for other ad networks to claim that they provide publishers with a greater percentage of overall revenue. However, Google counters that by saying that “the vast number of advertisers who compete to appear on AdSense sites helps to ensure that you