What No One Is Telling You About Ezoic

If you’re like me, then you’ve signed up for the mailing list of several SEO bloggers and you listen to podcasts on SEO, etc. Also like me, you’ll probably noticed the trend of everyone and their brother trying to get you to sign up for Ezoic.

You truly cannot escape it.

I’ve been watching this recent trend with some humor as Ezoic first came onto my radar well over a year ago….when no gurus were trying to convince you to sign up for it. I assume Ezoic did some sort of influencer campaign for all these gurus to be so sweet on them.

And I’ve been using Ezoic on one of my sites before all the gurus jumped on the bandwagon. So, I want to give you my honest opinion on it and share my experience.

This post contains some affiliate links to products that I use. If you click through and make a purchase, I’ll earn a commission, at no additional cost to you. Read my full disclosure here.

What Is Ezoic & Why You Might Want To Sign Up

If you’re not familiar with it yet, Ezoic is just an ad platform that lets you arrange and split test ads from online advertisers on your site.

I think they’re probably gaining some popularity because their requirements are not as strict as Mediavine and AdThrive.

Ezoic requirements:
  • Google AdSense approved site
  • 10,000 monthly sessions to the site in Google Analytics

Learn more about Ezoic here.

When they first contacted me back in 2015 via one of my niche sites, it was because they noticed that I was running AdSense ads on my site.

The ad rep told me that they could significantly boost my ad income. I was a bit skeptical at the time, especially since when I did a search for reviews there weren’t many people singing their praises (like there is now).

So, I totally blew them off.

Fast forward to 2017 and they contacted me again, via a different site of mine, and I exchanged some emails and ultimately declined to use their service. The rep gave me serious attitude, and I almost didn’t respond when a different rep contacted me in 2018 (via yet a different site of mine).

But I did respond because the traffic on this particular site of mine was at 300K+ visits per month and I’d been declined by Mediavine. Also, because my AdSense income for this amount of traffic was just tragic.

my last full month of AdSense ads

I’d been working super hard on growing the traffic to get into Mediavine or AdThrive, so when I got rejected by the first one I just assumed the second result would be a waste of time as well.

Enter Ezoic.

When you sign up for Ezoic, it takes a bit of time for their system to optimize the ads on your site. So, the income fluctuates a bit from day to day before it finally settles into a decent EPMV (that’s their version of RPM).

For me, I was able to see a noticeable improvement in ad income pretty much immediately for my site.

And this was despite the fact that I slipped a spot for my top keyword, so my traffic dipped a teensy bit.

My first month at Ezoic wasn’t even for the full month. My ads went live about 10 days into the month, and the results blew AdSense out of the water.

20 days of traffic and Ezoic earnings

The percentage income increase that I’ve seen since using Ezoic on my site has been pretty consistent.

Even when my site got hit by one of the algo updates…and then another….and finally the most recent one….to where my traffic is now only around 40K per month…my ad income is STILL higher than when I was getting 300K+ monthly with AdSense ads.

Potential Pitfalls & Things I Don’t Like About Ezoic

Obviously when you put any ads on your site, it slows them down. And Ezoic is no different.

They say that your site speed will be better if you use their DNS integration instead of their WordPress plugin.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t really want my site linked to any service at the DNS level.

So, yeah, the shit is slow. My most popular post on my Ezoic site is image heavy, so without any speed optimization that sucker was taking over 25 seconds to load with Ezoic ads enabled.

What’s weird is that it didn’t start with a jump to 25 seconds…it was more of a slow creep to that time over a few months. No idea why because nothing else changed.

On a side note here, my site experienced a significant drop in traffic/rankings after a few months using Ezoic – complete with warnings in Google Search Console about slow site speed. The site had been holding steady for more than a year, so I kinda wonder if Ezoic was the cause of that…since there were no updates at the time. Maybe, maybe not – who’s to know for sure!

Needless to say, I’ve since invested in WP Rocket + Stackpath CDN to control my site speed issues.

But wait! Ezoic is all set to ride in on a white horse like your fucking knight in shining armor!

A knight there to slay those page speed issues…or something sorta like that, maybe?

The Speed Money Grab

They have a new speed optimization plugin you can find in your Ezoic apps dashboard as of December 2019. No, silly, it’s not the same as the one you’ve been using for months now.

It’s different!

It’s got new features!

I mean, it looks the same, except now there’s note that you have to pay for new features.

But it’s different!

paid speed accelerator ezoic

Let that sink in — You have to pay to use it now.

What the actual fuck? This is some some pay to play bullshit* (*don’t worry, there’s more about this pay to play stuff later).

I know the Ezoic social media team are everywhere online, so before I get a comment here, yes, I know that you can still use the old features at no charge and it’s only the “new features” that have a subscription fee.

Though, I have to wonder if that’s really true for new users signing up with Ezoic. Cause the pricing page makes it look like you have to pay for the site speed accelerator. (and what even are the new features?)

Ezoic pricing page Jan 2020
Ezoic pricing page Jan 2020

I only see the site speed accelerator listed by itself…not as a core feature or ad-supported feature. So, not sure if new people are required to pay for the features that used to be free (and still are for me) or not.

You’ll notice in that image that it says that the cost of the site speed accelerator is based on traffic. I’ll show you the prices that I see in my dashboard.

Ezoic speed accelerator prices
Ezoic speed accelerator prices

You’ll notice that my rates show that a 30% “Premium” discount is applied. We’ll get to what this “Premium” stuff is all about in a moment.

Anyways, as you can see the prices aren’t all that cheap. In fact, if you wanted to pay for a setup like I currently use for page speed optimization, you’re looking at:

  • $49/year for a one-site license for WP Rocket
  • $10/month for Stackpath CDN
I also tested Nitropack in December and compared it to my WP Rocket + Stackpath combo. I ended up getting a refund on Nitropack. While it did improve my page speed times, it did so by making the initial above the fold stuff look all funky for the initial few load seconds….and the ads loaded way after everything else compared to my current setup.

I don’t ever really see myself paying for the speed accelerator new features from Ezoic. My current setup is working just fine.

Ads Look A Bit Spammy Sometimes

Sometimes you land on a webpage and the ads that are on it are truly enough to make you leave the site. At least I experience that sometimes.

Maybe you don’t.

Or maybe you’d go on a tech site (mine) and see the ad below and bolt.

gross ad earwax

Yup, I just took that screenshot on my site – from an incognito window, so no, I’ve haven’t been looking up earwax.

That same page has a few other ads showing that look a bit junky. Here’s a collage of the spammiest ones I saw today (still from an incognito window).

dumb ezoic ads

That being said, not all of the ads look spammy. Otherwise, I wouldn’t still be using Ezoic on my site.

In fact, when I look at the same page on my site when I’m not in an incognito window, all of the ads are relevant to me and for things like Semrush, Hulu, Thalys trains and a Pinterest course.

Since most of my traffic to the site comes from organic search first-time visitors, I have no idea how many of them are seeing the spammy ads versus things that are relevant to them.

Anyways, I have a site that meets the qualifications for Ezoic but hasn’t yet reached the requirements for Mediavine. I really care about the quality of this particular site, so I’m not using Ezoic on it purely because of the sometimes spammy ads.

The Premium Ads Money Grab

This is probably my biggest gripe about Ezoic. A couple of months ago, I got an email from my account manager at Ezoic letting me know that I’m invited to join a special invite-only program.

Ezoic Premium Program Invitation
click to enlarge photo

Let’s take a moment to applaud them for those psychology tactics that they’re employing here.

Scarcity marketing, making you feel like part of an exclusive group – really rolling out the red carpet for psychological manipulation here.

Back on topic …

A few days later, I got another email reminding me how limited this program is and how limited the window is for me to eagerly sign up.

At least they give you a 14-day free trial, though, right?

So, here’s the thing with Ezoic Premium. You have to pay for access to the higher paying ads. That’s fucked, right?

How much do you have to pay? That seems to depend on your traffic. You do get told up front how much it will cost you – because there are three levels to Ezoic premium and you have to pick a level.

I wish I’d thought to take a screenshot of it, but alas here we are and all I can I find mentioning the different levels is the conversation below from Reddit:

Here’s what I can tell you about my experience with Ezoic premium. I’ve been part of it for just over two months now, including the two-week trial period.

My monthly cost is $58 for the plan that I selected. I have to pay that via credit card on the same date each month before the ads run for the next 30 days. They don’t let you pay for it from the earnings you have accrued, which is lame.

So, basically you pay in advance for the privilege of getting higher paying ads on your site.

Oh, and if you opt for the yearly payment plan, then you get a 20% discount. But, if you want to break the commitment before your year is up, there may be a penalty fee and stuff…or so the story goes.

For the first month that I paid for premium, I actually did okay. I paid $58 to profit an additional $17.01.

ezoic premium month 1

When that second payment hit my credit card, I still wasn’t happy with the fact that I was paying for access to the higher paying ads.

And does that mean that when you’re not paying that Ezoic is just pocketing more money? I just don’t know, but this just doesn’t feel right, y’know.

And yeah, I get that they are providing a service that isn’t free…but all this money grab nonsense is tiring.

My second full month on Ezoic premium doesn’t end for another week. Based on what I’m seeing right now when I calculate my daily RPM, my premium earnings will just be around $61.

Giving me a profit of $2.00.

But wait…if I wasn’t in the premium program those ad spots would still be filled with regular ads…. so I’m either breaking even or, more realistically, experiencing a profit loss this month.

Obviously, we’re now in Q1 when ad revenue is at its lowest of the year, so some drop is expected.

But here’s where I’m concerned….

What if my site traffic drops to the point where the monthly premium fee costs me more than the premium ads bring in?

My site already has seem some rollercoaster ups and downs with the core algo update that has been rolling out this week.

Supposedly my fee will adjust itself. But I assume that means I won’t get a credit for the month and that it will just change going forward….assuming it works as designed, but reviews I’ve seen leads me to not expect that.

As I mentioned earlier, it’s hard to find out what other people really think about this sort of thing.

Though the post wasn’t live when I was doing my initial research for myself, the FatStacks blog now has a review of the premium ads. He seems mostly positive on it, but you should read it if you’re considering going premium.

There are some interesting user comments on the other Ezoic review on FatStacks that I think are worth highlighting here.

click here to read the rest of this review at FatStacks
ezoic premium review
click here to read full comment at FatStacks

As I mentioned, I’m only a week away from completing my second month in Ezoic premium, so the verdict on it is still out from me.

But I can tell you that I don’t like having to pay to play, so to speak, to have access to the premium advertisers.

My Takeaway

It took me a really, really long time to decide to sign up with Ezoic for one of my sites. As I mentioned earlier, they first contacted me back in 2015 and I didn’t sign up with them until 2019.

Part of the reason that it took me so long to test them out is because as an affiliate marketer, I could tell that all of the reviews that I was reading about the service were bullshit. And no wonder, their affiliate program gives you a percentage of LIFETIME earnings of the people who sign up under you.

So, hey, if you wanna sign up with Ezoic –> here’s my affiliate link.

So, a few thoughts on that real quick –

  • this is why all the gurus are promoting Ezoic so hard
  • I’d prefer higher ad revenue without paying for it instead of an affiliate program

Anyways, it seems that I’m not the only person who’s noticed how difficult it is to find even a slightly critical review of Ezoic. The screenshot below is from Reddit

ezoic review reddit

In all fairness, I should note that Anne at yeys.com uses Ezoic on her sites and has no complaints. I even asked her why she wasn’t using Mediavine for her higher traffic sites.

All things considered, there is really only one thing that matters in the end when it comes to Ezoic.

Did Ezoic increase my ad revenue? Yes, yes it did.

And here’s the thing, even with my site loosing a fuckton of traffic since signing up with them, I’m still making more with Ezoic right now than I was when my site was seeing 200K+ visits per month with AdSense.

In the Ezoic vs AdSense war, Ezoic is clearly the winner.

At this point, there’s no reason for me to leave Ezoic until their ads earn me less than AdSense did….unless I can qualify for Mediavine (but I already told you they rejected me once).

So, even though the money grabs make my blood boil, it’s all about that money so I’m still using them…unless this review/rant burns that bridge.

If you’re considering adding Ezoic to your site, then I hope my honest review here of my experience with them helps you decide if they’re right for you. And if you have used Ezoic, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

And since I’m really just an affiliate marketer with no shame, here’s my affiliate link.

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17 thoughts on “What No One Is Telling You About Ezoic”

  1. Cheers Shawna

    I have Ezoic for a couple of months on 3 of my sites. I share your opinions entirely.

    This move with the site speed I felt like a jerk move. I prefer to pay a monthly subscription to use all their features. Actually it is exactly that, a monthly subscription with a wrong naming and structure. They should work more on those plans.

    On Reddit is full of complains from people using Ezoic saying that it slowed their side speed. I know that all the other ads is slowing the website but still.

    I started a new website in January and I don’t plan to install Ezoic on it. I will wait for Mediavine or maybe AdThrive.

    PS: I will also post this on https://www.reddit.com/r/NicheWebsites

    Reply
    • Hey George,

      Thanks for sharing your experience and thoughts. I didn’t know about that subreddit and it didn’t surface when I was doing my research for this post. Some interesting stuff on shared on Ezoic in one of the older posts there!

      And thanks for the Reddit share!

      Shawna

      Reply
  2. Nicely done!
    Imo not everyone cares about sitespeed.
    Lets say you have a site that gives 100$ a month from adsense and you can get approved for mediavine,adthrive and other better networks but ezoic approves you.
    Hey you now making 500$ month pretty much passively.
    Its plus side.
    Who gives a shit about sitespeed unless you are note extremely slow. Trust me alot less people care about user experience than making money.

    Anyway i love teh call out to other influencers about ezoic. I feel niche pursuits guy had made the niche site just so he could advertise all those services and his ney venture.

    thing is they;re the only option who take sites with 10k views. Other take atleast 25k to 50k minimum.

    Reply
    • Exactly! Ezoic having the lowest traffic requirements is something that I saw a lot of people talking about on Reddit and other forums – more than one person mentioned that Ezoic seems to accept everyone and that they’ve never heard of a site being denied by Ezoic. Meanwhile, tons of people get denied by Mediavine and AdThrive.

      And yeah, my site is making more with Ezoic than without it. I do love that fact cause extra money for no extra work is awesome, but I’m still trying to work on my site so that it qualifies for one of the better networks!

      Reply
      • This is usually what people do
        When they hit 10k views
        they put ezoic on sites
        when they hit 25k views
        they replace it with media vine
        when they hit 100 k views
        they go for adthrive.

        Reply
  3. Thanks for the mention here, Shawna.
    This is a really good post! I haven’t made up my mind yet re the money grabs, to be honest.

    I don’t buy the speed accelerator myself because I optimize speed in-house (it’s much cheaper than their solution). I talked to my rep about this and their stance is that it’s simply a paid service that they offer web publishers, regardless of whether they are even using Ezoic for ads. Some people struggle with speed issues, so Ezoic developed a speed accelerator which basically does what web publishers should be doing in-house anyway.
    I use a good host and a great server admin, and my sites are super fast without Ezoic on them, so no need for the accelerator.

    They let me test it and it did zilch to improve my speed, which is actually a good sign for me. It means that they’re not somehow slowing down sites with their ads on purpose to sell you the accelerator. I have seen people complain along the lines of “you’re slowing down my site and then charging me to fix your slow ads issues”, but in my experience, that’s not the case. The ads are as fast as they can get them to be (which isn’t very fast) – the accelerator deals with other site stuff. It could be a solution for people who don’t know how to optimize their site, I guess. IMHO, it’s too expensive for that.

    As for premium, they offered that to me years ago and I said no, but recently my rep convinced me to give it a go. The bottom line is that I make more money that way but yeah, I totally agree that it doesn’t look good. Then again, it’s their business and their business model, and I can respect that. They’re probably well aware of the fact that people complain about it and it doesn’t look good, but hey, maybe that’s still a better solution for them.

    So, it’s not that I have no complaints about Ezoic. I do. But I also have complaints about every affiliate program that I’m with 😉 I have yet to find perfection. Right now, Ezoic is the best solution I could find. And it does help that I have a good contact there who can help me out when things don’t work out with my direct reps. IMHO, communication is key and I know that Ezoic doesn’t work well for many publishers on that front – but it does for me.

    (And no Adthrive for me, apparently. No idea why. I did try – they rejected my beautiful 100% whitehat, informational website without even saying why and refused any further discussion on the matter. So, in my book, they suck compared to Ezoic where I have someone I can actually talk to).

    Reply
    • Ah, see my rep isn’t great about responding to my emails. So, maybe I’d be less salty about it if the rep was better!

      I’m still on the fence about keeping premium. I’ve giving it another month, but right now I’m leaning towards cancelling it. The “extra” it’s making just isn’t extra enough for me.

      Reply
    • “the accelerator deals with other site stuff. It could be a solution for people who don’t know how to optimize their site, I guess. IMHO, it’s too expensive for that.”

      Not true. I’ve tested Site Accelerator ONLY AD Delay enabled and the other options disabled because those are already handled by WP-Rocket. Guess what. Mobile Google Pagespeed Insight 85+.

      So they should deliver ezoic optimized code for ADs in the first place.

      Reply
  4. Hi Shawna! Clicked over here from Reddit. Great rundown on Ezoic! Definitely one of the most honest reviews I’ve seen on it. Question: How does Ezoic compare with Monumetric?

    Thanks again!

    Reply
    • Hi David,

      Thanks for the kind words! Unfortunately I cannot compare Ezoic to Monumetric because I’ve never used them. I feel like the FatStacks blog is the only place I’ve ever seen them reviewed.

      Reply
  5. Hey Shawn,

    Sarah here from Ezoic’s marketing team, (as you predicted!) but I’m not here to intrude on your review, instead it sounds like we have done a poor job in handling communication with you which is by no means the integrity we instill in our team here. I’d like to apologize for that reason and ask if you would be open to allowing us to mend that communicative relationship and assure that you are fully satisfied with Ezoic products- if you’re not, there are many efforts we will take to guarantee you’re getting more than what you need out of our platform.

    I think Ann hit the nail on the head with a lot of the things she said, The Site Speed Accelerator was created sites on the internet beyond those that monetize with ads. Also, if sites use other ad partners they can still access the Site Speed Accelerator because we understand that any site with ads, despite which platform you use, along with any third-party script on a page or plugin feature you want to use has the ability to slow down your site. Regardless- thank you for continuing to use Ezoic although it seems we haven’t served your needs you to the best of our abilities quite yet, I’ll be working to make sure that changes.

    Reply
    • haha, I knew I’d see one of you 🙂 You know, honestly, at the end of the day my need is making more ad income than AdSense offers and that need is met. But I still think that some of Ezoic’s practices, like requiring payment for higher paying ads, is less than awesome. And I get that increasing revenue though things like premium ads and the speed accelerator is part of the Ezoic business model, but it doesn’t really do much in the way of creating evangelists for a brand. That being said, I haven’t used the other premium ad networks, so it’s possible my opinion will change once I have something else to compare it to to.

      Reply
  6. Thank you for this in-depth post. I was considering Ezoic, but I didn’t have a good feeling about them. I mean, why would I have to change my DNS? Why would I need to pay THEM to show higher paying ads? Why would I need to pay for better site speed? I mean, red flags just keep popping up. Plus, the ads are really spammy. Most people recommend Ezoic **just** because they have a high paying affiliate program (just like HostGator, which sucks beyond words).

    Reply
  7. I use generatepress and I reduced the number of plugins to 5 (GP Premium, WP Rocket, Ads.txt, All in one WP security and Slim SEO)

    I already cleaned the database, pictures are optimized and everything but my GTMetrix is more 13 seconds with Ezoic.

    My site without ads is between 1 to 2 seconds.

    Making more money with Ezoic but totally sad about my site speed.

    Thanks for your honest review

    Reply

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