If you are running Google ads on your website you can find plenty of valuable information about them in your AdSense account. One of them is how much money you have earned through different bid types. This information should help you to decide where to place particular ads.

Possible bid types are:

  • CPC (cost per click),
  • CPM (cost per 1000 impressions),
  • Active View (cost per 1000 visible impressions),
  • CPE (cost per engagement).

But who exactly bids? And where does it happen?

Advertisers use Google AdWords to deliver ads to your website. They take part in an ad auction through which AdWords determines which ads will appear in what order at a particular ad placement.

Cost per click (CPC)

Cost per click (CPC), or from the publisher’s perspective, revenue per click (RPC), was the first type of bidding. During CPC bidding, advertisers state the maximum price they are willing to pay for clicks on their ads. Publishers will earn some money, only if the visitors click on the ads.

Advertisers use CPC bidding when their goal is to bring the visitors to their website. CPC depends on the advertisers and on how much are they willing to pay for advertising. As a general rule, they will be willing to pay more for more expensive products and services.

CPC bid type

As a publisher you can see how much you have earned through this type of bidding choosing the “Clicks” tab in the Performance reports of your AdSense account. This will automatically set the Bid types filter to CPC bids and apply it to your visitor data.

Cost per 1000 impressions (CPM)

With this type of bidding, the advertisers state the maximum price for 1000 impressions. Contrary to the CPC type of bidding visitors do not have to click on the ads for you to earn some money. It is enough that the ad is technically loaded by visitors. “Technically loaded” means that the ad content is completely loaded on your site. It is not needed that the ad is actually visible on the current position of the browser window. Advertisers use CPM bidding when their goal is to get their name or logo in front of lots of people.

CPM bid type

In your Performance report you can see how much your site earned through this type of bidding if you choose the “Views” tab, which will automatically set the Bid types filter to CPM Bids.

Active View CPM

The newest bid type in AdSense is Active View CPM. Active view is a percentage of the visible impressions. If advertisers chose this type of bidding they will pay only for viewable impressions. An impression is considered to be viewable if it fulfills two conditions:

  1. at least 50% of the ad is visible within the visitor’s browser window
  2. the ad was visible for more than 1 second.
Active View bid type

In order to see how much you have earned through this type of bidding you should choose the tab Active Views, which will automatically set the Bid types filter to Active View CPM.

Cost per engagement (CPE)

Engagement is a particular action which should be performed by the visitor and that is defined by the advertiser. With this type of bidding advertisers pay only when the visitors interact with their ads in this particular way. Examples for interactions are:

  • hovering over the ads for some time in order to expand them
  • taking a poll
  • taking a product tour
  • starting a video ad
  • email sign-up.
CPE bid type

If you want to see how much you have earned through this type of bidding you should choose the tab “Engagements” in your Performance report, which will automatically set your Bid types filter to CPE bids.

Which bid type earns the most?

Currently, CPC bid type is still the most used and therefore earns the most money. By comparison, other bid types earn significantly less. Of these, CPM often is second in earning followed by Active View and CPE. However, since Active View is a fairly new bid type its earning potential will probably increase in the near future.

This observation is based on our websites. What are your experiences? Do your websites behave the same or not? Did you find this article helpful? Leave us a comment below…


  1. Rishil

    I still feel Adsense is the best and easiest way to monetise blogs, there are some alternatives, which can be considered but only as backup streams of revenue. All eggs should not in the same basket.

    1. Thomas Maier

      I do agree that it is easy and you should always check additional sources for income, but I bet there are many who disagree with you about AdSense being the best way to monetize a site.

  2. PNR Status

    No doubt for newbie Adsense is the simplest way to earn from the startup only. Those who are disagree with this; are the big shots who earn more from the affiliate than the adsense. I have also experienced this when my site was on the top, i got few banners from advertiser and for placing that banner they were paying quite good amount.

  3. soeharto


    Can you tell me how to install multiple campaigns on my blog, and if you know a few sites to help me get visitors incent and non incent


    1. Thomas Maier

      Hi, what do you mean with “multiple campaigns”? I am not familiar with this terms related to AdSense.

  4. PNR Status

    Soeharto, here we are discussion about adsense . We are unable to understand what are you trying to say. Please make it clear, so we can help you out.

  5. tim

    the best explanation of the types cpc, cpm and the other two which i have come across internet. great way to explain, clean, simple and easy. thanks for sharing it, i was confused over this for a long time.

  6. Anurag

    Why does my Adsense performance report shows two different click numbers under “Overview” and “Clicks”? For example: Under Overview, it shows 53 clicks, but under “Clicks” it shows only 24. Is this because of the “CPC Bid type” filter applied? And if the answer is yes, then does that mean the rest 29 clicks are invalid? Please help.

    1. Thomas Maier

      These are indeed the clicks for the CPC bid type. The other clicks are not invalid, just happened with the other bid types. Since they don’t matter to the performance there, they are not included in the reports by default. You can also check out the “bid types” report type where you should be able to see how many clicks belong to each type.

  7. Ben

    I have ad Type A near the top of a webpage (Active Views 100% and good earnings) and ad Type B at the bottom (Active Views 30%, but good earnings). However, this makes the Active Views for the page about 65%. If a company wants to place an ad on my webpage, are they going to look at the Active View for each individual ad, or are they just going to look at the Active View for the entire webpage? Thanks.

      1. Ben

        I’ve created custom channels, but it didn’t register with me that their purpose was just for the Advertisers. Makes sense. (I haven’t had time to really dig deep into this stuff.) THANKS for the clarification. Nice article. Cheers!

  8. Deba

    Hi Selena
    Nice to see your post. For the first time, I have learned something about CPC and other bids. Recently my blog started earned the little bit. I am so excited to see this progress. Can I get some advice to learn optimization and earning? I am hereby sending my blog URL for your kind information and suggestion.
    Looking forward to your response
    Deba Kumar Dutta

    1. Selena Smiljanic Article Author

      Hi Deba, it is great to hear that you start earning with your blog. You can find a lot of the optimization tips here on our blog. One of the tips for your blog would be to move your content ads up. We wish you a lot of the success.

    1. Selena Smiljanic Article Author

      Hi, CPE is actually a shortening of cost-per-engagement bidding type.

    1. Selena Smiljanic Article Author

      Hi, DFP is an ad server and AdSense is an ad network. With DFP you can let more ad networks bid for the ad impressions on your website, including AdSense among other ones.

  9. Bradley Sprague

    Hi, I don’t know if this is the place to post this question but I need some help. I’m getting a lot of Invalid Traffic – AdSense for Content on my site. I have working hard change some things on my site to try to lower the invalid traffic but nothing seems to help. Can anyone give me some advice on how to find out where the invalid traffic is coming from and how to fix the problem?

    1. Selena Smiljanic Article Author

      Hi Bradley, I am sorry to hear that you are having this issue. What have you already tried to do in order to solve it?

      1. Bradley Sprague

        Thank you for responding Selena, I have been reading a lot of articles from Google adsense and trying to implement some of the suggestions that they recommend like ad placement and ad style. I have also been trying to read and understand the different terms Google uses on adsense and Analytics. I just don’t understand a lot of it so I’m trying learn more about it but sometime it seems like the more read the more I get lost . I’m just trying to find out where the invalid traffic is coming so I can try to if it.

        1. Selena Smiljanic Article Author

          It can be rather challenging to find out the sources of invalid traffic. I also think that it is almost impossible to prevent invalid traffic and some percentage of earnings will always be deducted. However that percentage should be in some reasonable range. If it is too high than you definitely need to do something about it. Try to segment your traffic using custom and url channels in your AdSense account. If already not, link your AdSense and Analytics accounts. This way you can better understand your traffic and recognize if there is invalid activity.

  10. Aminul Islam

    Hello Selena,
    Your article is very informative. I just recently added adsense to my blog. And your article clarify my many asking needs. Thanks for the sharing. Keep posting this type of articles more.

  11. Jithendar Dharmapuri

    This is the best article to know in depth of Adsense Bid Types. Thanks for sharing. Keep up the good work.

  12. Shout Me Crunch

    Thanks for elaborately discussing the latest Bid types with earning of Adsense. But Afte using the Adsense and DFP ads by Google, Somehow I feel, DFP is giving more revenue than Adsense. Can you please tell which impression DFP use?