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This 70 message thread spans 3 pages: 70 ( [1] 2 3 > >     
Repeatable, undeniable AdSense trend
The greater your number of clicks, the lower your EPC goes
NoLimits




msg:1406503
 10:12 pm on Jan 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

For the first year or so that I was with AdSense, I wasn't a dedicated webmaster. My site had a fair amount of traffic (1,yyy unique daily) but very little SERP activity.

My EPC for Adsense was the HIGHEST it's ever been during that time period.

I noticed a great opportunity to make money, and began to research SEO and continue the developement of my site. I managed to attain fairly good rankings in Google right off the bat, assumingly due to having a 4+ year old domain that has an active forum with lots of IBL's.

Suddenly, I had reached what I thought was eCommerce nirvana - with thousands of Google referrals coming in daily. It was a steady rise from 1,yyy to 1y,yyy uniques daily. My EPC fell, as my traffic rose - eventually hitting rock bottom at about 1/5th of what it was with less traffic.

I lived with this until YPN came out, and I quickly applied and was accepted early on. I gave Y! a good deal of my ad space because it was doing a little better for me on the bottom line. I cut adsense impressions down to the amount of views it was at prior to my search engine success - and magically over the span of a week or so EPC climbed back to where it was the last time my traffic (as far as AdSense can tell) was that low.

Then came Jagger -
NO search activity - none, virtually zero (from google)
I switched all my inventory space back to Google, because with the LOW CTR of YPN for me, it wasn't worth waiting for 100+ pages for that magical big dollar click - eeeking out 2,yyy uniques a day on good days, EPC remained fantastic with AdSense.

Then I met Google Images - traffic started to trickle in again, this time from images.google.com - I left AdSense with 95% of my ad inventory and watched the EPC fall day by day as my traffic increased.

This brings me to this week. Google images has been sending me tens of thousands of referrals - destroying any prior records by mid-morning. My EPC continues to fall...

The last 2 times I saw this happen - I dismissed it, after some complaining, as the result of depleted inventory due to my extra clicks - or smart pricing.

I will not dismiss it again. When I look at an EPC graph for my site from the time I started with AS to today, it looks normal... ups and downs. The magic happens when I make a graph with both clicks by day and epc. My EPC is right in synch with my Clicks per day... the higher my clicks go - the lower EPC goes... time and time again.

I don't know what to make of all this other than, it has led me to believe that there is a sliding scale at which we are paid, based on the number of CLICKS your site receives.

Why do I say based on Clicks?

- I noticed that if I improve my CTR, my EPC will adjust itself accordingly to make it so that I end up back where I was at before. I consider this an affect of Smart Pricing - and I ACCEPT IT AS SUCH.

The problem is have is when I simply increase my amount of traffic - FROM THE SAME SOURCE - and my CTR remains the same :::: and the EPC STILL falls off. The more clicks I get in a given day - the lower my EPC will be, almost guaranteed - this day, that day - every damn day.

Some things that I should note, as I know my post is disorganized... perhaps I can fill in some blanks.

+ I am not depleting my ad inventory. The ads are the same - ALL DAY, almost every day. There are several very large industry players in my niche that get the exact same adverts I get on my site... ver batim.

+ I believe that Smart Pricing is the reason I see my earnings "normalize" when I make a change to up the CTR - but not when traffic from the same source increases and EPC still drops.

+ SmartPricing is supposedly updated weekly... I notice that if Google SERPS shuffle, and my traffic goes through the roof like the flip of a switch - my EPC IMMEDIATELY falls off when the traffic starts coming in - and I mean immediately as in, within one hour the EPC is waaaaaaay lower than it was before the traffic flood started. It most certainly does not take them anywhere near a week to cut your EPC by 80% or more, it can happen over the course of 10 minutes - and then it sticks for about a week.

+ On the other end of the stick, if all of that traffic goes away as quick as it came, my site will continue to have a crap EPC (from high traffic levels) for a few more days. So the week theory checks out here.

So what is the deal really? Why do I always magically see this dramatic decrease in EPC (80-85% less than on days where my number of clicks remains relatively low is where it seems to bottom out)

I have switched 90% of my inventory to Overture, because I'm tired of games and theorizing about the internal workings of adsense. I want what is best for the advertisers too - so if there is something Smart Pricing doesn't like about more traffic from the same source - then it needs to be more transparent for me to do anything about it. I see no reason for such a sharp decrease in EPC... especially considering it can happen at the drop of a hat, and takes nearly a week to correct itself when traffic returns to "normal" in my experience.

At this point, even if Yahoo's CTR is garbage for me - I know what I am making per click, and it does not change based on weather or not I got 100 or 1000 clicks on a day to day basis.

Here is how I view adsense clicks in terms of value - please note these are made up numbers:

40 Clicks over the course of a day = .2 per click
40 Clicks over the course of an hour = .05 per click

100 Clicks over the course of a day = .15 per click
100 Clicks over the course of an hour = .03 per click

You get the point...

My final conclusion (more speculation) - is that AdSense discounts clicks based on the amount you are receiving over a given unit of time. I don't know if it is a static scale for all sites, or if they base it off of your site click history or even indivual page click history.

My big question is... Had my site STARTED OUT - with the level of traffic and clicks that I am getting right now - Would I be seeing such a low EPC? ... or is my low EPC the affect of having a staggeringly lower number of daily clicks on average over my entire time with adsense? All of the time I invest in finding out why my AdSense revenue does what is time wasted. I should be adding content RIGHT NOW - but the amount of monetary difference the EPC makes forces me to investigate.

I am going to give Google just enough traffic to keep them busy (just enough that my EPC stays high) - and Yahoo will get the rest until I can figure this mess out.

Any opinions, advice, or similar/opposite experiences welcome. I'm just trying to learn why this is repeatedly happening to me so that I can correct it.

[edited by: Brett_Tabke at 7:44 pm (utc) on Jan. 11, 2006]
[edit reason] fixed typo upon request [/edit]

 

Visi




msg:1406504
 12:36 am on Jan 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have seen this effect but related it to a flattning of the EPM over a series of months. As out CTR moved we saw a direct inverse to EPC. We have attempted to see this corelation with other adsense publishers but previous posts by others indicate this is not the trend they are seeing. We would see 25% swings in the amount of clicks and epm remain constant. (lowering of epc resut)

Have always considered that smart pricing was nothing more than a model to cap the effective epm, however others cannot verify this tremd from their data.

camper




msg:1406505
 12:42 am on Jan 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

My experience has been pretty much the opposite. Higher traffic days have slightly better EPC. And on the few times when I have had very steep traffic spikes, EPC goes way up because the site gets populated with better, more interesting ads by national advertisers (for me it's been image ads and flash ads, one for a new hybrid SUV and one with a cute animated reptile), and both CTR and EPC go through the roof on those days.

team




msg:1406506
 12:48 am on Jan 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

yyy

SERP

EPC

SEO

IBL

YPN

Jagger

CTR

AS

EPM

WebmasterWorld is certainly not for newbies! Too bad.

ogletree




msg:1406507
 12:49 am on Jan 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

There are way too many factors that can affect EPC. Google hides how things really work for us so you don't know if the old traffic is still getting the same EPC. When you get more traffic is it all quality traffic? Does your new traffic come from repeat visitors or only first time visitors? Does your new traffic come from new pages or the same old pages? Also I am wondering if google gives better to non google traffic. Another item we have no idea about is smart pricing. It is near impossible to find out how adsense does things. All we can do is do whatever gives us more money at the end of the day.

jatar_k




msg:1406508
 12:52 am on Jan 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

<OT>
yyy = no clue
SERP = search engine results page
EPC = earnings per click
SEO = search engine optimization
IBL = no clue
YPN = yahoo publishers network
Jagger = the name of the last google update
CTR = click through rate
AS = adsense
EPM = earnings per thousand

some of those I am not totally sure of
ref: glossary [webmasterworld.com]
</OT>

Leosghost




msg:1406509
 12:53 am on Jan 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

@team read this [webmasterworld.com]..it will help ..

and if no-one said it yet ..Welcome to WebmasterWorld :)
beat me to it jatar_k :)

creepychris




msg:1406510
 1:03 am on Jan 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

yyy= some unspecified number. He's merely indicated he went from 1000 plus to 10000 plus uniques.

IBL=in bound links

NoLimits




msg:1406511
 1:41 am on Jan 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

Sorry for all the acronyms guys :)

I used yyy instead of x.x.x because it filters x.x.x and makes it four characters instead... >>> #*$!

::: Brett - any way we can get that filter changed to three misc chars for numerical representation purposes?:::

As folks have pointed out already... there is way to much to take into consideration to know what is causing these decreases in EPC I am seeing. Some have opposite results - which makes me hopeful for the future.

Perhaps it will just take a solid month of maintaining this level of traffic/clicks to allow SmartPricing to give me back my EPC...

I haven't got any crappy traffic coming (unless you consider Google Images crappy... which it kinda is I guess) But the thing that blows me away is that even if my traffic from the SAME source picks up... EPC still tanks.

Could it be that my repeat visitors provide a higher EPC. That is a study I would be interested in for sure.

hunderdown




msg:1406512
 2:12 am on Jan 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

May also depend on your area, the size of your site, and so on.

My EPC, if graphed over two years, gradually declines, then gradually rises to higher than it started. Over the same period of time, clicks have increased by a factor of at least five, but not smoothly--there are a few jumps up on the line.

No correlation that I can see.

eyezshine




msg:1406513
 6:58 am on Jan 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

My theory is the fact that adwords lets advertisers have a daily budget. When the daily budget is met for the highest bid advertisers then lower bidding ad's are shown causing your EPC to gradually lower as the top bidders have spent their daily budget.

This would cause your EPC to lower when your traffic goes up because by the end of the day you are capping the advertisers daily budget which causes lower bidded listings to show.

europeforvisitors




msg:1406514
 8:17 am on Jan 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

My theory is the fact that adwords lets advertisers have a daily budget. When the daily budget is met for the highest bid advertisers then lower bidding ad's are shown

Advertisers set their own daily budgets.

OTOH, it's possible (even likely) that Google spreads high-paying ads around, partly to give every publisher a fair shake but mostly to make the ads more effective by exposing them to more unique users. (Traditional banner-ad networks do the same thing.) Whether this limits the number of high-paying ads available to a given publisher will depend on how many other publishers are competing for the ads' keywords.

jahfingers




msg:1406515
 8:38 am on Jan 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

You said this week you are getting tens of thousands of visitors from g-images... it could be that your epc is falling because of completely untargeted ads showing on the framed g-image pages.

I've noticed that when viewing my pages from the g-images frame, most ads are entirely untargeted.

My bet is that this traffic, seeing poorly targeted ads, lowers your epc and ctr. And on top of that smart pricing kills your epc the more clicks you receive, because your click throughs aren't converting.

This could be easily fixed if your visitors saw targeted ads.

This could be easily tracked/tested by setting up a url channel for "images.google.com" but of course they don't allow you to do that. And I wonder why...

I suggest sticking with YPN and use the "ad targeting" feature to keep ads a bit more targeted. You should see higher ctr and epc.

jomaxx




msg:1406516
 8:56 am on Jan 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

I thought this about the Google images traffic as well. Not very likely to click or to convert for any advertiser.

Nonetheless I believe this is a real phenomenon. When your impressions/clicks are higher than average your eCPm tends to be depressed. I have seen this many times, in fact it's borne out almost every day. But the flip side of this is that when your impressions/clicks are LOWER than average your eCPM will be HIGHER.

In the end, all you can do is look at the bottom line: your net earnings. If Google works better over the long haul, use them; if YPN works better, use that instead. There's no sense in using any other criterion.

GoldenHammer




msg:1406517
 1:24 pm on Jan 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

[...My final conclusion (more speculation) - is that AdSense discounts clicks based on the amount you are receiving over a given unit of time. I don't know if it is a static scale for all sites, or if they base it off of your site click history or even indivual page click history.....]

That is very likely, I see a very similar pattern. It doesn't matter you got targetted traffic or not, the "time between clicks" seems a factor in the Google ad pricing algorthm. It also seems quite a pattern that Google has a "value label for each site" (if not each AS account?) that is paying a "relatively worth amount" regardless of the traffic the site received.

carjocky




msg:1406518
 1:40 pm on Jan 11, 2006 (gmt 0)


It is near impossible to find out how adsense does things. All we can do is do whatever gives us more money at the end of the day.

This is why this is happening. They take advantage of us by keeping us in the dark, smart pricing us to death and we accept it. As soon as there is a worthwhile alternative adsense is in for a rude awakeing.

GoldenHammer




msg:1406519
 2:07 pm on Jan 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

[This is why this is happening. They take advantage of us by keeping us in the dark, smart pricing us to death and we accept it. As soon as there is a worthwhile alternative adsense is in for a rude awakeing. ]

That is a matter of time.... :)

caran1




msg:1406520
 2:51 pm on Jan 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

Once the advertisers realise that you will provide X clicks to them, they just reduce the CPC. Most of my sites are on one category and the CPC has reduced drastically for all the sites. only one hobby site is totally different and the eCPM is very constant and high for this site

hunderdown




msg:1406521
 2:59 pm on Jan 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

As soon as there is a worthwhile alternative adsense is in for a rude awakeing.

When is that going to happen? Over the past year, people pinned their hopes on Chitika and Yahoo, only to be disappointed.

AdSense is far from a perfect system, but as the examples that I and a few others posted show, it's not necessarily the case that it works in the way NoLimits theorized.

The big problem about getting caught up in theories about the way AdSense limits our earnings is that you take away responsibility for doing better (or worse) from yourself and give it to Google. I prefer to believe that what I do can make a difference. Maybe that's a fantasy, but if so, it's a useful fantasy, because my AdSense trend, with some ups and downs, is one of steady growth in earnings, which is what matters.

I joined AdSense before smart pricing. Smart pricing reduced my earnings. But they are now up to double what they were before the smart pricing system was introduced. If there is a ceiling, I haven't hit it yet.

GoldenHammer




msg:1406522
 3:02 pm on Jan 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

[....Once the advertisers realise that you will provide X clicks to them, they just reduce the CPC. Most of my sites are on one category and the CPC has reduced drastically for all the sites. only one hobby site is totally different and the eCPM is very constant and high for this site ...]

So don't let any advertiser directly targetted your site, hidden yourself is better.

trader




msg:1406523
 3:27 pm on Jan 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

For a long time we have also seen this effect, with the harder we work (and the more traffic and clicks we get) resulting in tougher and tougher going.

There have been rumors in the past that G rewards smaller publishers with better EPC but as they become more successful they start lowering it.

Is that scenario as far-fetched as some have stated it must be, or could it be true?

GoldenHammer




msg:1406524
 3:32 pm on Jan 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

[....The big problem about getting caught up in theories about the way AdSense limits our earnings is that you take away responsibility for doing better (or worse) from yourself and give it to Google. I prefer to believe that what I do can make a difference. Maybe that's a fantasy, but if so, it's a useful fantasy, because my AdSense trend, with some ups and downs, is one of steady growth in earnings, which is what matters.....]

There is always a difference when you make change, but that is not necessarily significant, and I prefer to believe AS hold the key factors that makes a significant difference.... :)

In the case with Adsense, the problem is AS doesn't not release suffice statistics information for the publisher to further optimize their ads slots, there is also a lack of flexsibility to select the "matching" advertisers. The choice is always on the advertisers and Google sides, well, ok, that is all, just follow the game, because that is you accepted the AS TOS ... :)

hunderdown




msg:1406525
 3:42 pm on Jan 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

GH--I think you just proved my point.

hdpt00




msg:1406526
 3:43 pm on Jan 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

I experienced the exact same thing. Needless to say YPN gets a lot more traffic now.

Howardtd




msg:1406527
 3:53 pm on Jan 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

If you have a website that generates given a amount of adsense traffic for a given set of keywords and you look at this traffic from googles pov, you can draw a graph like this (x=time,y=money leaving advertiser to you and google) the "-" are just padding!


------gggggggg
---gggttttttttgggg
gggttttttttttttttgggg

Where the t's are what you earns and the g's are what google earns

If you then triple the amount of traffic then your graph would look like this if google did not alter that parameters, and just let you use the adwords advertises budget


---gggggggg
---gttttttt
---gttttttt
---gggttttt
gggtttttttt

Or google could lower the advertises cost per click and show the ad's all day long giving you this:


------ggggggg
---gggtttttttgggg
gggttttttttttttttgggg

The same as the originally graph, since the same amount of money are leaving the advertiser, and google are earning the same (the most ;)

But what if some advertisers are ready to pay a gazzilion dollars per day - most of the time, there are not 4 or 8 advertisers willing to do this, and then you'll get poorly targeted ads when the high paying are leaving, and google are earning less.

The key factor as far as i want to speculate is that Google is doing all it can to put as many little G's as possible into the graph above - would'nt you?

europeforvisitors




msg:1406528
 4:48 pm on Jan 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

When your impressions/clicks are higher than average your eCPm tends to be depressed. I have seen this many times, in fact it's borne out almost every day. But the flip side of this is that when your impressions/clicks are LOWER than average your eCPM will be HIGHER.

That hasn't been my experience. This month, for example, my daily impressions are up about 30% and my CTR is up slightly compared to last month, but eCPM is running 34% higher.

I joined AdSense before smart pricing. Smart pricing reduced my earnings. But they are now up to double what they were before the smart pricing system was introduced. If there is a ceiling, I haven't hit it yet.

My post-Smart Pricing eCPM is higher than my pre-Smart Pricing eCPM by several percentage points, and total revenues should hit a record this month. So I agree that Smart Pricing doesn't have to hurt publishers. Publishers who are being hurt by Smart Pricing (or by other, unknown factors) need to think about the reasons why that might be happening. One possibility is over-optimization that increases clickthroughs at the expense of conversions.

They take advantage of us by keeping us in the dark, smart pricing us to death and we accept it. As soon as there is a worthwhile alternative adsense is in for a rude awakeing.

If unhappy publishers leave AdSense for greener pastures, that could actually help Google by increasing the overall quality of referral traffic to advertisers (thereby encouraging higher bids). Why? Because publishers who are being "smartpriced to death" (to borrow a term that we've seen on this forum) probably aren't delivering clicks that convert for advertisers.

hyperkik




msg:1406529
 4:48 pm on Jan 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

I suspect Google imposes a smartpricing "credit limit" - sites are trusted to a point, based upon traditional traffic patterns, but if their traffic suddenly surges past their "pre-approved smartpricing limit" then smartpricing kicks in until the limit is increased (either automatically when Google finishes crunching its data, or manually by an AdSense employee).

david_uk




msg:1406530
 5:06 pm on Jan 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'd agree with the OP - it's an undeniable trend.

I have a graph of clicks, earnings and epc that run over two years. I have scaled the graph lines to run as closely together as possible, and the trend noted is absolutely what happens to me every single time I get an increase in site traffic.

The latest incident what where I got a promotion thanks to Jagger from #3 to #1. Loads of extra traffic mostly from Google. CTR unchanged. Loads of extra clicks. However, epc went down. Goole then decided to put me at 2/3 and the clicks go back down again. CTR still unchanged. Guess what? Epc rises.

Coincidence? Hmmmmm.................

Publisher




msg:1406531
 5:16 pm on Jan 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm pretty new to this stuff but is it possible that Google rotates all ads to be sure that all ads get some exposure? It would make sense that if 10% of the ads pay the most, the likelihood that the remaining 90% would get shown more often. This likelihood would show up as decreases in earnings because you're showing the lower bidded ads more often.

Just my 2 cents

europeforvisitors




msg:1406532
 5:25 pm on Jan 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'd agree with the OP - it's an undeniable trend.

What about those of us who are seeing the opposite "undeniable trend"?

This 70 message thread spans 3 pages: 70 ( [1] 2 3 > >
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