Google Adsense for South African Publishers and Payment Options

If you have a website or blog and want to earn some money online, then Google Adsense is probably one of the simplest options to get started. The system is easy to implement, offers a fairly good return and contains diverse advertisers for a wide range of industries. It may not make you an online millionaire but if you have a website or blog with decent traffic you could easily pay the costs of running a digital property and then some more.


Do not quit your day job just yet. As easy as it may seem to start a website or blog in the hope of earning a living through Google Adsense. It takes years to develop a website with consistent high volume traffic required to make a decent living. Often publishers do not rely on a single website but several small to medium-sized websites to earn a mediocre income.

How does it work?

Google Adsense is the publisher platform of the entire Google advertising service. Advertisers, both big and small, buy ad space through the Google Adwords system. This means that Google will publish their ads on its search engine (usually at the top and to the right of search engine results), on Google applications like GMail and on independent website or blogs run by publishers who are part of the Adsense program.

If you have a website or blog and qualify for the Adsense program, then you can join the millions of publishers around the world who earn an income from Google’s vast database of advertisers. Google will bill the advertisers, serve the ads on your website and pay you your portion of the ad income every month, provided that you earned more then R1,000. Earnings mainly depends on the number of times your website/blog visitors click on an ad.

What ads are displayed?

Google controls what ads are displayed on your website although publishers have some degree of control. Firstly a publisher can decide whether the ads that are served by the Adsense system is either on a contextual basis or personalised basis.

Contextual ads are those ads which are relevant to the content on your website or blog. For example, if you have a blog about dogs then the contextual ads should be related to dogs, dog products or pets in general.

Personalised ads are determined by the user’s online behaviour and location. For example, if you blog visitor has been searching for cars recently then he/she may see car ads on your blog about dogs.

In addition, publishers who have gone the route of contextual ads can also help select appropriate industry ads by publishing content relevant to the industry. Write an article about car insurance and you should see mainly car insurance ads on that page provided that you selected contextual advertising. However, Google still retains the right to display other ads if it so wishes.

Publishers can choose to block the ads from certain industries or individual websites. Google takes a number of different factors into consideration when deciding upon which ad to serve at any point in time. In fact two people in the same city viewing the same page on a website may see entirely different Google ads.

It has been much await for years and now it is finally here. Google Adsense will be paying South African publishers via EFT. Some beta testing was done in May 2014 and by June all South African Adsense publishers that we know have confirmed that the EFT option is available for them. It is long overdue but warmly welcomed. The days of hassling over cheque payments for earnings is over and there is no need to fork out R190 in courier fees for secure cheque payments.

How Does Google Pay Adsense Earnings?

The problem in the past was that the only form of payment for South African Adsense publishers was by check (or cheque as we say it here in South Africa). For years South African webmasters and bloggers have been appealing to Google through online forums to switch over to EFT for payments, or even consider Western Union. Their cries went largely unheard despite the EFT option being made available for other African countries.

Adwords is still one of the most popular online advertising methods for South African businesses. Understandably South African publishers were keen to churn out local content in order to capitalise on South African traffic, and grab a piece of the media spend by local businesses. But it was frustrating waiting for cheques by post which could sometimes take as long as 3 weeks. Of course, cheques may get lost and sometimes a publisher may receive the wrong cheque (meant for another publisher).

EFT into any South African Bank Account

Google Adsense earnings to South African publishers are now paid by EFT. It was a momentous occasion for seasoned Adsense publishers in South Africa. After years or waiting and appealing to the Google Adsense team, the EFT option was finally made available in 2014. Payment is usually done by the 25th, if not a day or two earlier. However, the cheque option is still available for the more daring publisher who is willing to trust the local postal system.

Some tips for enabling EFT

  • Adsense does not ask for the bank name. Your branch code identifies which South African bank your account is held at.
  • Try to use the universal branch code, like 250655 for FNB. Using the code of the branch where you bank can result in errors.
  • There is no test deposit once you switch to EFT payments. This is done in some countries but not for the EFT option to South African Adsense publishers.
  • Expect payment somewhere between¬† the 25th and the last day of the month. Check up on the payment status to spot any errors.

Additional Reading:

1. Does Google Adsense Work?

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