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How to Deal With AdSense Income Dropping
Swebbie




msg:1371281
 4:22 pm on Oct 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

Well, the month I dreaded finally came - the month when the AdSense empire would crumble. OK, "empire" is just a joke, but hey, it was paying my bills and letting me enjoy some leisure time with the wife and all my kids (20 dogs). Alas, all good things must come to an end, and end they have in "Black October." Like a faucet being turned off, my AS income dried up. Interestingly, traffic did not dry up. Just a big drop in CTR and EPC. I think about all those long long days and hours in front of this slave box (er, computer) writing articles and getting links, and yeah, I'm pretty sad right about now. Not sure what I'll do, but I'm educated and can probably find a job that isn't too tedious. Hate the thought of going back into the rat race, but that's life. Anyone need a good writer? OK, I'm done crying over spilt milk. Just needed to vent. Moderators, I'll understand if you delete this thread. :-)

 

bose




msg:1371311
 9:54 pm on Oct 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

User sees ad on your site, user clicks on ad, user clicks back button and user sees new add again. Total time taken 3 seconds. Google will then correctly assume that your site is low converting.

Markus, you are right, this is probably what they may have been using as a part of their Smart Pricing algo. However, I think the above logic is inherently flawed.

If the visitor clicks on an Ad and then lands on one of those made-for-adsense scraper sites that lists only a few short snippets lifted from elsewhere (if at all), the visitor is probably going to hit the "back button" as soon as he can, and return to the site he was originally on. Similarly, if the landing page has a copy that is not well-written, the visitor is more than likely to quickly go back to the site that he came from.

AFAIK, if a visitor bolts from the destination site in a matter of seconds, it is a guilty (or a thumbs down) verdict for the destination page/site -certainly not the content site that did the pre-selling and sent pre-qualified traffic to it.

Just a thought...

MyGen




msg:1371312
 10:01 pm on Oct 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

October was only my third month of Adsense, but was my highest at ~$74,000, however the last 3 days have been ~50% down on the rest of the month, which was strange....

NoLimits




msg:1371313
 10:10 pm on Oct 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

Deleted... rambling non-sense.

Sorry - NL

Dpeper




msg:1371314
 10:29 pm on Oct 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

Monster.com? j/k

incrediBILL




msg:1371315
 10:39 pm on Oct 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

It could be worse, at least you still have your traffic.

Something happened about 2 weeks ago in Google that I'm still trying to sort out as my traffic seems to have stepped off the cliff yet my ranking program shows most of everything right where it's supposed to be with only a few exceptions for I'm still scratching my head.

The good news / bad news in my case is I suddenly returned strong in MSN serps but nobody uses it, so it's a why bother situation.

Heck, as long as you have traffic you can monetize it so I wouldn't despair.

Besides, with 20 dogs around at least you have plenty of meat if things get tough ;)

ann




msg:1371316
 11:22 pm on Oct 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

One thing about Yahoo and MSN, If they ever get popular I will be in hog heaven! I get most of my traffic for the smaller sites from them but like you said, few people use them..:(

brokenbricks




msg:1371317
 11:43 pm on Oct 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

October is my strongest month yet. With the exception of today. Halloween has been my lowest day in months. I expected a little less but not that much. I guess everyones busy with the kids.

ann




msg:1371318
 12:34 am on Nov 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

One thing I find it hard to understand. Some days I get a couple of thousand less in traffic and lower clicks but my earnings are higher than the days when the traffic is higher than usual and I get more clicks..?

markus007




msg:1371319
 1:00 am on Nov 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Markus, you are right, this is probably what they may have been using as a part of their Smart Pricing algo. However, I think the above logic is inherently flawed.

I know i'm right as i used the premium options to test it as well as my own internal tracking system. When the visitors to the site came from search engines and my content wasn't exactly what they were looking for they would click on the ads right away, and then come back and leave. Each time the earnings would tank for the effected pages. My solution was to just not show ads for people who came from off beat search engine queries. My earnings went up.

roadhazard




msg:1371320
 1:00 am on Nov 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

I formerly had the AS at the top just under the navigation. Last week, I decided to put the AS underneath my main products list. Guess what? A big improvement in CTR for that channel. I think the thing is that now the visitors perceive the AS ads as a continuation of the main products they are seeking. I was afraid to do this actually. But now I see it is working very well. I am still new at this. Only making a couple hundred a month so far. Hoping for $74,000 a month... lol... my dogs started barking when they heard about the guy making $74,000 monthly...

[edited by: roadhazard at 1:08 am (utc) on Nov. 1, 2005]

sailorjwd




msg:1371321
 1:04 am on Nov 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

at ~$74,000....

You married?

astro_miner




msg:1371322
 1:15 am on Nov 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

I saw a thread in another forum asking "when have you "made it" with adsense?"... The answer is.... $74,000. :O

androidtech




msg:1371323
 2:21 am on Nov 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Targeting tags, what targeting tags?

ken_b




msg:1371324
 2:45 am on Nov 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Androidtech

Section Targeting For Adsense Publishers [google.com]

NickCoons




msg:1371325
 6:22 am on Nov 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

The type of traffic definitely matters. I have a small forum on one of my sites (small as in < 1000 posts so far), and I'll notice that either I will have a good Adsense day or there will be high activity on the forums. If I'm having a good Adsense day, the forums might not see a single bit of activity on the forums. On the other hand, I can look at my Adsense statistics for the day and if they're awful I can usually correctly assume that people have been posting to the forums.

One or the other is often good, but never both.

oddsod




msg:1371326
 10:19 am on Nov 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Sweebie, you're on the frontpage! Cheer up :)

Boogie_Jack




msg:1371327
 11:18 am on Nov 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Try changing your ad placement and rotating colors. Could be much of your traffic is repeat visitors that have seen it all before and have become blind to your Google Ads. Mixing things up a bit may shake things up a bit.

By the way, I'm a writer too. I would have visited your web site...if you had it listed in your profile. You're losing visitors by not adding it to your webmasterworld.com forum profile.

Dennis

[edited by: engine at 12:21 pm (utc) on Nov. 1, 2005]

icedowl




msg:1371328
 11:28 am on Nov 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Dennis, let me be the first to welcome you to Webmaster World.

I've enjoyed your work for quite a few years. Nice to see you here. :)

androidtech




msg:1371329
 11:54 am on Nov 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Ken_b,

Thanks!

elfred




msg:1371330
 12:43 pm on Nov 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Just like TheDonster, dzcap and incrediBILL I was having a great month until 17th and then it started dropping. Visitors coming from search engines are no more than 10% on my web site. What I think is that together with the Jagger update, AdSense changed its routines to attribute topics to pages, thus causing different advertisers or ads from lower paying campaigns to appear. Or it might be that Google is trying to attract more advertisers by lowering CPC. Dumping basically doesn't exist in this field, but we might still name this as dumping :-)

caran1




msg:1371331
 2:58 pm on Nov 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Adding new websites seems to keep income constant or increase it in my case. Adding new pages to an existing website does not seem to help for me.

Swebbie




msg:1371332
 3:33 pm on Nov 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Sweebie, you're on the frontpage! Cheer up :)

Hi Odd, I tried to sticky you but you're a popular fellow. Can you sticky me with where you saw that (which engine) and with what search term, if you remember now? Thanks!

oddsod




msg:1371333
 3:40 pm on Nov 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

<snip>

I meant you are on the homepage of Webmasterworld.

[edited by: Jenstar at 8:11 pm (utc) on Nov. 3, 2005]
[edit reason] No promotional [/edit]

Johan007




msg:1371334
 3:54 pm on Nov 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Over what period are you basing this on? How is your website doing today?

Swebbie




msg:1371335
 4:00 pm on Nov 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Over what period are you basing this on? How is your website doing today?

My OP was based on the average for Jan.-Sept. 2005, which had been remarkably consistent. Today is November 1 and it's early yet, but all indications are that the new "norm" set in October is continuing. I didn't really expect an improvement, but we all hope, don't we?

drall




msg:1371336
 5:07 pm on Nov 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hiya Swebbie, sorry to hear your situation has gone so far downhill. I can say you are not alone though if that offers any comfort.

Our network which has had stable/improving ctr for 2 plus years now with adsense has suffered a huge hit in ctr since the change up in the adwords system on or around August 20th.

Same situation as you, no change in the network or traffic at all but ctr has tanked around 40% down now across most sites. Matter a fact our traffic is at all new 7 year record levels.

I hope it all works out for you and most definatly feel your pain.

docluv




msg:1371337
 6:46 pm on Nov 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Swebbie, I checked out your site and there is only 1 ad about dog related items, the others are mortgage broker sites. I think your targeting is off for both Google and Yahoo.

Can you run ads from both on the same page? I thought that was a TOU problem.

roycerus




msg:1371338
 7:05 pm on Nov 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hi Swebbie,
Here are some of my suggestions. The YPN targeting seemed fine most of the times but it showed mortgage ads a few times. I have found that many a times the drop in earnings can also be related to the way users interact with your website - as in more and more users getting used to better user interfaces. I myself have to keep working to improve the interface often.

If I were you I would do the following:

* I would first try to improve the site code.
-Remove all unwanted whitespace - make the code more
structured.
-Use stylesheet instead of font tags.
~This will hopefuly improve your serps even more and
bring in more visitors.

* I didn't notice your dog related articles from the home page on the first go - I think you really need to improve on the accessibility of the pages. Improve the site navigation by adding relevant links to sections.

* I am not sure if having a bordered ad at the bottom of the page is a good idea - I would probably try to see how they perform without the border.

* Perhaps even add a search engine to the website - you can use the adsense search or maybe some software and display ads on the search results page. It'll be easier for users to find information on your site.

Unless the revenue drop was very significant I would suggest you try and optimize your adsense and see how it goes - give it a week or so and try different things.

Hope this helps.

Regards,
R

Swebbie




msg:1371339
 7:57 pm on Nov 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Oops, didn't mean to show any of my sites in the profile... removed that in a hurry.

I appreciate the advice all, but I have a dozen sites and the October plummet was across the board. I was getting 25%+ CTR, which I suspect is much higher than most of you all get with your sites, so I don't believe any site code or nav issues are the culprit - especially since I haven't changed any of that. I test ad placements and colors constantly and was very sure that I had them in the correct #'s and places and colors on my pages. Can't really argue much with 25-35% CTR, right? Hadn't had to monkey with that stuff in months. No, something fundamental happened on exactly Oct. 1 across virtually all my sites. Huge drops in EPC and CTR. It continues into Nov.

internetheaven




msg:1371340
 8:19 pm on Nov 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have found that the sites that have the lowest earnings for the numbers that visit the site get their traffic primarily from Google. This is because the Google algorithm is no longer about relevant results.

The sites in question have started to receive "related traffic" as opposed to targetted traffic. e.g. our holidays site now gets more visitors looking for travel insurance, travel accessories and so on as opposed to actual "holidays". Because Google is ranking us for related terms as opposed to actual terms (a by-product of too much semantic emphasis) the ads we show because our content is about holidays are not relevant to the people visiting the site which are looking for something else.

Therefore the best course may be to push for more traffic from other major search engines rather than thinking your own site is wrong. Can you confirm if you get the majority of your traffic from Google?

Swebbie




msg:1371341
 9:53 pm on Nov 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Can you confirm if you get the majority of your traffic from Google?

Nope, it's mostly from MSN and Yahoo. Just a trickle from Google. You made a good point about traffic coming in that's close but not quite right. I don't know why that would have happened to every one of my sites on exactly Oct. 1, but it's in the realm of possibilities I suppose. Maybe some kind of system-wide semantics algo shift or weighting issue. So I might have been getting visitors where my landing page was dead-on until Oct. 1. Then suddenly I was getting similar traffic #'s, but they were looking for something only tangentially related. That's an interesting idea that I'll have to pursue.

I do know that AdSense ad targeting got really screwy on Oct. 1, so that is definitely the biggest part of my own particular woes. It could explain it all, but it's just so weird that it happened literally on or around midnight Oct. 1 and that it hit all my sites that were running AdSense. The sites are not in related fields at all, not even remotely.

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