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New smartpricing "algo"?
starting on monday 13.02.06

 9:59 am on Feb 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have a big site so I can see imediatelly clear&brutal variations in payment.

They are so brutal that cannot be realised by 1-2-3 advertisers.

More, I saw those brutal changes each 2 weeks! (last one on 2 feb).

I dont know why, but after a very good week-end it was a bad Monday. Today is not looking good eighter.

More, I saw that my traffic was up after 1 jan by 40 000 unique visitors/day, but my Adsense earnings where lower than december (much lower). This continued for one month.

After the last Bigdaddy datacenter update (2 feb) my traffic was back to normal values & my earnings where better than december.

So it seemns that G has a limit for sites!
If you try to get by this limit, your earning will go down until you are back where G thinks is your place.

This works both ways.

If your trafic goes down, your eCPM will go up and will give you a relativelly constant revenue for a small period of time.



 10:21 am on Feb 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

I agree with you. The last two weeks Google have been very tight with my account. Things picked up a little this week.


 11:32 am on Feb 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

Are you sure you guys aren't experiencing the usual fluctuations in ad pricing?

indias next no1

 11:52 am on Feb 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

i agree with you , and a bad start for this week


 12:27 pm on Feb 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

Interesting theory. However, business as usual for me today. I had a very bad start this year. Earnings dropping every day as of the first week of january.
About a week ago the decline stopped. Earnings were at about 25% of my end december level.
About a week ago my earnings started to grow again slowly. All the time I had about the same CTR and page impressions. Only ECPM was moving all the time.
That's what I experienced for the past 6 weeks.
I don't have this bad monday thing cause until one week ago, all days were lousy for me...


 12:32 pm on Feb 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

Maybe some technical glitch?


 12:48 pm on Feb 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

My earnings were quite high for the first two weeks of February compared to a severe downturn over the previous two months but today (specifically today) they have crashed again.

John Carpenter

 12:53 pm on Feb 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

Google is constantly experimenting, but I think that there are "natural" explanations for lower eCPM when traffic goes up. For instance, AFAIK, advertisers have the ability to limit their daily expenditures on AdWords ads. A traffic spike reaches their limit sooner than usual and ads with lower CPC get to your site. Look at the ads displayed in the morning and evening. Are they different? (Geo and time-based targetting could also play a major role).

Another explanation is that the visitors within the traffic spike are less targetted (not willing to click on ads). Look at your CTR to confirm this. However, it is certainly possible that the more visitors you have, the more Google takes from your earnings (i.e. commission). Obviously, the situation is rather complex, and it is very difficult to determine reliably what the real causes are. The fact that your site is big does not help much (rather on the contrary).


 12:59 pm on Feb 14, 2006 (gmt 0)


How does the 'shape' of your earnings graph for, say, the last 4 months compare with previous years.

I ask because our earnings have rollercoastered recently. But though earnings are higher this year, the shape of the roller coaster appears to be the same as last year. This implies that the variations in EPC are driven more by seasonal fluctuations in the market than a random-smartprice per se.

(And currently we are on an upward curve.)


 2:43 pm on Feb 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

So it seemns that G has a limit for sites!
If you try to get by this limit, your earning will go down until you are back where G thinks is your place.

Hmm. How would Google determine the limit for sites? Manually? Algorithmically? How would they know that it's a "good" limit? What would they base it on? How would they deal with the fact that one account might start out with AdSense code on only 10% of their pages, and gradually build from there, while another account with a similar site or sites might start out by putting up the code on every page, in an optimal position? Would Google somehow figure in that the first account had more room to grow than the second?

Your theory may fit with your experience, but it doesn't fit with mine. I started with AdSense over 2 years ago, basically by slapping the code on my existing site. I immediately earned X. That amount declined after Smart Pricing was introduced to less than 1/2 X. I was then able to tweak it back to X. But X wasn't the "limit." Last summer, I made some changes that brought my earnings up to 2X. And with more tweaking, and more content, I'm now close to 3X. So what is the "limit" on my account?

As others have noted, there are other possible, but more complicated, reasons for what you are experiencing. Don't fall into the trap of blaming Google for a change that you may (or may not) be able to do something about if you look at it differently.


 4:43 pm on Feb 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

21_blue I cannot compare by years becouse my traffic is rising by ~80% each year.
I have now 40 ppl employed and they are working on content.

As I said, this is my theory.
It seems that Google knows that some increase in traffic, even for one month is perisable.
That idicates me that there are some links between Adsense and Google Search Traffic.

In January my traffic was high becouse of Google, but my earnings where down. When my traffic was back, my earnings are normal, even higher, and now my traffic going down by the hour and my payment also.

Also, my targeting is poor since monday.


 5:44 pm on Feb 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

I cannot compare by years becouse my traffic is rising by ~80% each year.

Ours is rising by ~50%, but whether 50 or 80 you can still do some useful comparisons. If you plot your various metrics (EPC, Earnings, CTR, Earnings per visitor etc.) in Excel using a moving average trend line of 7, 14 or 21 days, that trend line may (or may not) show some insightful seasonal 'shape', visually perceptible even with such growth.

If it does, it may help explain some of your apparent data oddities, and more importantly make more accurate forecasts (which is all the more important if you employ lots of people).

The key is to get the trend lines drawn so you can visually compare the year-by-year shape, even when they are at different heights on the y-axis.


 5:51 pm on Feb 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

my earnings have been phenomenal for the last few days - if it keeps up I'll soon be able to afford to go into rehab.


 6:01 pm on Feb 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

Did your Google page impressions get anywhere close to what your log file says?

You may be surprised how much of your "traffic" is really not actual visitors.

A good rule of thumb is to use Google Analytics because it uses javascript just like AdSense so if AdSense and Analytics are close, then you know that's about all the page impressions actual visitors see with AdSemse ads on them. That means the rest of the traffic is visitors with javascript disabled or bots crawling your site and the quantity of bots hitting your server on a daily basis can be huge.


 7:24 pm on Feb 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

Sure that ther're 'limits'.

When I started, I had 100 users (users not bots) on the site, 10 of them clicked on ads and I earned 3 $.
Now I have 7.000 users on the site, 450 of them are clicking and I earn 60 $ .

Same experience with an account of a friend: He started with 20 users, 2 clicks and 0,50 $, now 4 monthes later he has 150 users, 15 clicks and 1,10 $ ...


 9:20 pm on Feb 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

extranjero, where are the "limits" in your experience? You now are making 20 times what you made when you started out! Google has not put a ceiling on your earnings, as far as I can tell from the information you provided.

You may not be making as much per click but there are could be a number of reasons for that other than some limit that Google imposes on your earnings.

"Limit" as originally posted meant that there was a total amount that Google would not let you exceed.


 12:08 am on Feb 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

I also saw huge changes starting February 13th. My average PPC for that day was about 25% less than usual. Then, on February 14th, my average PPC was about 25% higher than usual. Google is constantly updating its alghorithms and smart pricing is kicking in. Some publishers are being punished, other rewarded.


 1:01 am on Feb 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

toldan, those variations are probably just natural statistical variation - see my Golden Gate post [webmasterworld.com] to test whether this is the case. Note it is to be expected to have "unusual results" sometimes.

Or it might have been a clickdump of high EPC clicks.


 11:06 am on Feb 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

Feb 14 is poor, income -50% than the average. Feb 15 is expected to be the same or worse.

Maybe someday in the year, I will remove AS codes from my site as that seems its value keeps declined under the new AS algo.... :)


 11:41 am on Feb 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

Much as I dislike RandomPricing(tm), Adsense is subject to a huge variation in earnings, epc, ecpm etc on a daily basis. It may well be that some of the factors (or a combination of them) that cause normal variations are causing this current blip, as opposed to a change in the RandomPricing(tm) algo.


 12:03 pm on Feb 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

Low since monday, hoping for a recovery....


 1:26 pm on Feb 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

Low since monday, hoping for a recovery....

Good luck.
We are all hopping this, but today s not better than yesterday...


 9:48 am on Feb 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hmm go, go, adsense.
Yesterday I had a very good day (no traffic change, only increase in eCPM) and today it seems to be like yesterday.

The wheel is turning?


 4:39 pm on Feb 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

I've had this happen two months in a row now.

50,000 impressions
85 Clicks
$23.00 earnings

Then after the 15th of the month:
55,000 impressions
89 clicks
$14.00 earnings.

It seems to go this way for about 10 days around the middle of the month.


 6:40 pm on Feb 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

It seems to go this way for about 10 days around the middle of the month.

With numbers that small, a single advertiser can skew your results.

I recently just shut down a non-essential, long-running AdWords campaign simply because I'm anticipating a significant tax bill on April 15 and want to have a little extra cash on hand. Somewhere, there's a publisher saying "See, I was making this steady money for a whole year and as soon as my traffic hit a certain level Google cut me off!"

And then, when I restart the campaign later, that same publisher will have a new wacky theory about why "Google" was doing that to them :-).


 7:26 pm on Feb 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

50,000 impressions - 85 Clicks - $23.00 earnings

I would suggest you slap up some content pages that relate to your forums and leverage the traffic to drive visitors to content pages where clicking ads is more likely. You might get a 6% CTR or some such and generate about $600 or more off of 50,000 impressions.

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