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|Adsense Revenue dropped 2/3!|
My adsense revenue dropped 2/3
I have been running adsense for about 1 year now with a revenue stream that made me happy but not thrilled. (it covers my costs).
Adsense is not my only source of revenue by design for the following reason.
I had a record month of my highest revenue in March.
In April a had another record -- my LOWEST ever! It seems to be continuing in May.
I did not change my approach or in March or April on my main site. I have been adding some other smaller sites and direct some traffic to those off of my main site. My sigh is displying simular ads and the topics are somewhat broad across many different topics. Home Automation, Home Theater gear, Anonymous Web Browsing, x10, Gadgets.... (FYI - the Anonymous web browsing area are AdBrite ads not Google - it violates TOS for google).
My question is... How does one go about figuring out what has happend and what has impacted my adsense revenue stream? I have noticed that each click seems to be worth a few cents instead of 10's of cents to a dollar... Is this "Smart Pricing?" Can I send an email to google adsense and ask them about the change? If I am doing something "wrong", I would like to know it and correct the issue.
[edited by: martinibuster at 6:58 pm (utc) on May 2, 2006]
[edit reason] TOS [webmasterworld.com] [/edit]
Welcome to the club :)
It will just do that. It has happened to me several times, up ... down up down.
Last time it happened to me on the down side, it stayed there. Fortunatly I have been increasing traffic, so total revenue is back to what it was before.
If you cannot handle the ups and downs of AdSense, then self-employment is not for you. I suggest get a 9-5 job.
A bit harsh 'greatstart' this is a forum and theclam has asked for help.
theclam it sounds a bit like smart pricing but (thankfully) as of yet I haven't experienced it. Maybe some of the more experienced Adsensers can compare experiences.
Did the March high record coincide with a increase in traffic? From what I've read it seems as people get more traffic and start earning more money the 'smart pricing' kicks in.
Again maybe someone can compare to their experiences.
I think the solution lies in the stats: WHAT has caused the decrease in earnings? Fewer Page Impressions? Lower CPC? Lower CTR? These are the three factors.
1) If PI's have decreased you need to make more SEO, you need more traffic
2) If CTR has decreased, than you should maybe look into the design and placement of your ads
3) If CPC has decreased - then smartpricing has hit you; and there is nothing that you can do.
I wish you good luck!
|3) If CPC has decreased - then smartpricing has hit you; and there is nothing that you can do. |
Actually there ARE things that you can do. Not everyone agrees that they work, and they don't work on all sites. But there are things that you might try. I won't try to recap them here--too complicated. But browse/search for old threads on smart pricing and you will get some good ideas.
Personaly self-employement is a risky area, if things go to crap you'll have to get a job.. that sucks :(
TheClam: You've told my story almost exactly: amazing earnings in March, April down 50%, May looking the same as April. My traffic has actually increased but my CTR is about the same. The big change is the CPM - in the pennies range at the moment.
I'm going to remove ads from low performing pages (based on my CPM, that could be quite a few) and try to improve my CTR.
I know its unsettling but keep adding good content and work on increasing traffic and CTR.
My traffic has been level. My CTR has been Level... My CPM has went down.. So I gues I have some Smart Pricing Research to do...
Thanks for the comments. FYI - Luckly this is all just a hobby for me. I spent hundreds a month for years on my websites. At least adsense w. Adbrite and some affiliate stuff has allowed me to make a small profit on something I would be doing anyway.
Some more info on my main site...
10,000 unique Visitors a month
1.2 million pages view per month
600-750 visitors per day
Average 4 page views per visitor
States have grown to this point over 2 years and have been pretty level for the past 6 months or so...
|10,000 unique Visitors a month |
1.2 million pages view per month
600-750 visitors per day
Average 4 page views per visitor
Our revenue dropped in April/May a lot. You might want to revisit your stats, since they don't appear to tally with each other. One thing to watch for is that if your page views per visitor are high, that can suppress income relative to traffic. If that's the case (can't tell since your numbers don't add up correctly), you might want to look at reducing the number of times visitors see adsense ads by adding in others to the mix.
"Personaly self-employement is a risky area, if things go to crap you'll have to get a job.. that sucks :("
Personally I think working for others is risky, I can't ever have 100% control of what others think, feel and do.
One thing I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, is that Iíll never fire myself.
I also agree the OP might want to see if smartpricing is to blame.
theclam, my suggestion is to make a change to your channels. If you do not have channels, take the time to make up as many channels as you can so that you can get reports on what doesn't seem to be doing so well CPM-wise.
Consider dropping Adsense from the low-CPM pages and replacing it with YPN or other program for at least, say, a month.
I have seen what *appears* (note "appears" -- I have ZERO evidence other than my own observation) to be a sort of resetting of Smart Pricing if you make changes to your pages, the ads/types used, the colors, and/or the channels.
I have also seen my CPM drop, and after I took off the lower-performing sites, not only did it make up for the income lost by those pages but the entire site made even more money.
In my experience with Adsense (since 2003) this sort of "tweakage" is periodically necessary.
This may only be the case for me and my sites, but maybe it will help you as well.
I too have seen a great decrease in AS revenue. Starting about the end of January, it dropped to about 1/2 of what I was making last year (keeping in mind I only started in August), even though my traffic increased. April was the worst month ever, and I thought I must have been hit by smart-pricing.
My one and and only current site, which exists primarily for my original fantasy artwork, will never make a lot of money because of its low-paying niche, but I'm interested in publishing more sites, and I've been trying to figure things out. I added an Amazon.com store to my site with books and other merchandise that I thought might interest my visitors, and although I only occasionally sell something, I immediately noticed that the AS ads on those pages were MUCH higher-paying than on the rest of my site! So I removed the AS ads from all the other pages of my website. The only challenge then was to get people to VISIT my store, and I've been working on that--adding links, an eye-catching slideshow (with store images & links) on my index page, etc. I ended up replacing the ads on my index page, because I was just losing out on too much income from those. It's a bit of a juggling act!
Just remembered I have a question! I can't seem to get rid of the tarot card-related ads on my main store page, even though tarot cards are the LEAST of what I offer. I have pages and pages of books, jewelry, and calendars--and only one page of tarot cards. I've removed ALL references to tarot cards from the document, including the meta tags, except for the one link to that page. Still have nothing but freakin' ads for tarot cards and tarot readings! I'm soooo puzzled.
My music site sometimes gets just ads for paintball.
My revenue is down but so is site traffic which seems to track back to Google dropping several key content pages from the index.
Revenue has also been dropping since January, but April was the worst. April has a lot of holidays, so I put some of the decrease down to that.
For my site, EPC, CTR, and eCPM have all been down sharply since the beginning of the month. My affiliate bookings were also slow to take off this month because of the international May Day weekend, but today looks like a record day for hotel bookings if not for AdSense.
I've noticed bigger swings between high and low AdSense days over the past month or two. In the end, though, averages and total revenues are what count.
Something else to look for is the "advertising pool". I notice a direct connection between lower monthly earnings and the amount of advertisers available to fill a niche area.
Their exists some fancy ways of checking the "Pool", use your creativity.
Since April my EPC and eCPM averages had begun to slide downwards. At that stage my CTR, although volatile on some channels had only dropped about 15% (to 85% strength) or so and would periodically bounce back somewhat. Traffic seems to have change a little since the start of April, however it seems reasonable for my situation.
Today however, everything has hit rock bottom including a crash in ctr which is down to about 25% strength. My earnings are also down to 25%.
Prior to this I had put it down mainly to the change in traffic patterns due seasonal factors, however with this change in ctr I am not so sure. If anything I have been seeing more quality ads and less MFA's Its is all very puzzling as I used to have much higher than average ctr and ecpms.
Dramatic drop in traffic and earnings last couple of months here too. I attribute the drop to the similarly timed placement of Froogle "Product search results for ... " (now showing in the typical top search spot, anybody else notice this?) for siphoning much of the traffic that would have normally come my way via Google search results.
Drop in traffic = drop in $
> anybody else notice this?
For example, here's a search for
canon eos [google.com]
If you're like me, you should see the Froogle results in the top spot - the spot where the top search results used to be!
Not here. I see sponsored links follow by search results.
> Not here. I see sponsored links follow by search results.
That's very interesting. Where are you located? (I'm in SF Bay Area).
p.s. 21_blue - I just sent you (via sticky mail) a link to a screen shot of what I'm seeing. Did you get it?
same for my site, drop of about 25% of income in April, and now in May.
for me at least, the problem is 2-fold.
1. it's related to bigdaddy and pages dropping out of index. I should have at least 250 pages in index, i only have from 60-120, depending on server, hour in the day or days i do a site:mysite.com search. it's an issue with google in general, and i can't say when or if it's going to be fixed. Kind of stumped now, developing one new site and looking to rework some sections of my current site, plus dropping some low-performing pages.
2. i also found that it could relate to smart pricing as well. before oct of '05, i was earning about 30% less than i started earning after that date. The ONLY difference was my ECPM which JUST jumped for no apparent reason about 1/3rd up. same in April, my ECPM dropped about 1/3rd for no good reason. it was about $10-12, now it's about $6-7. Some days, when it's back up to $10, i make what i used to make before April.
for my site, I can just look at ECPM and I can tell how much I'll make that day.
> p.s. 21_blue - I just sent you (via sticky mail) a link to a screen shot of what I'm seeing. Did you get it?
Also, what's particularly relevant as far as traffic goes here, is that on a small screen (say 15"), the real estate that a user sees is occupied (from the top down) first by the sponsored ads in the shaded blue background (typically two, sometimes three), then the Froogle links (typically three) and THEN the top search result - the only one to make it on the screen without scrolling!
Because 21_blue reported not seeing what I am, it looks like Google maybe rolling out the Froogle links in select areas first, but I expect that they will go sitewide in the not too distant future. If your site has anything to do with a product - stay tuned, Froogle is coming.
p.s. Anybody else wanting to see the screen shot I sent to 21_blue, just let me know.
|I just sent you (via sticky mail) a link to a screen shot of what I'm seeing. Did you get it? |
What I see is exactly the same apart from the fact that there are no "product results". I'm based in the UK.
> What I see is exactly the same apart from the fact that there are no "product results". I'm based in the UK.
Right. Looks like Google is testing it out in certain areas first. I've been seeing the Froogle links for the past couple months and noticed them when I started seeing a big drop in visits. I went searching terms from Webalizer logs and that's when I started seeing the Froogle links.
That Google places the small brown shopping bag icon in front of the Froogle links really does not differentiate them near enough from the search results - hopefully when enough Web masters start crying foul they'll change that (maybe put them in a green background - or somewhere else entirely!).
Play_Bach, I was googling for something else today and, hey presto, I got some product results. I then clicked on your link again, but saw no product results. This suggests, perhaps, that the results are tailored to the geographic region of the surfer? I then tried my original search on google.co.uk and google.com. Although I had product results in both lists, the links were different.
What struck me was that product links immediately gave me the information I wanted (price, specifications, etc.) whilst the SERPs were cluttered with a load of comparison sites that were, quite frankly, short on specifications and didn't even contain good comparisons (loads had "be the first to write a review" links).
I think you are right to highlight this feature. It could have massive implications for the revenue stream of Adsense publishers who primarily focus on information about products. And presumably Google won't stop there - they could easily expand Froogle to include lots of other products and services.
Is this the writing on the wall for "easy money"? This seems to up the stakes and it is "game on" as far as online publishing is concerned. Perhaps, in the long run, only the really high-quality, value-added sites will continue making decent amounts of money, but even then only if they have a way of getting their visitors to see their sites other than SERPs. Are online publishers going to have to become much more astute at conventional business practices, such as marking, branding, competitor analysis, etc., etc..
> I think you are right to highlight this feature.
Well considering I'm down about $250 a month ever since the Froogle links started showing up, I think it's fair to say others may be experiencing similar drops in traffic/income.
> It could have massive implications for the revenue stream of Adsense publishers who primarily focus on information about products.
I agree, the implications are quite massive indeed.
> And presumably Google won't stop there - they could easily expand Froogle to include lots of other products and services.
I'm sure sites like eBay, craigslist and even Amazon are certainly interested in what Google is doing with Froogle - if not very concerned.
What was a surprise/shock/ice-pick-in-forehead to me was that Google would place the Froogle links in the spot normally reserved for search results!
Talk about taking advantage of people's conditioning!
In doing so, it became clear to me that Google can do whatever it wants with their layout - whenever it wants. Don't like it? Welcome to the club.
|Don't like it? Welcome to the club. |
I didn't say I didn't like it. I'm glad you pointed it out, but it's no surprise, and I see it as a challenge.
It's a feature of all businesses that markets change, and the businesses that survive are those that change with the markets. "Who moved my cheese" is a rather cheesy (pardon the pun) illustration of the principle. For the Hems and Haws of this world, change in the market may create problems, but for the Sniffs and Scurrys, it's a motivation to move on and do something different.
A better illustration is, perhaps, Wells Fargo whose transcontinent stagecoach was killed off in 1869 with the completion of the transcontinent railroad. But Wells Fargo adapted to the changing market, stuck to the business they know best, and employ far more people now than then.
By contrast a neighbour of mine inherited a thriving shipping business but over the last couple of decades has seen it collapse as the market changed and his company didn't. He's now working for someone else.
The Froogle move by Google has sounded a bugle (pardon the alliteration). Time to get out the SWOT analysis, methinks.
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