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Has ad targeting not been as good as it was?
At least two have this problem...
peterdaly




msg:1401065
 8:09 pm on Jul 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Split from: [webmasterworld.com...]
Msgs: 20 & 21

Summary my experience:
Since about June 1st, the targeting of ads to my pages has gone downhill. Ads targeted at one page were obviously showing on others instead. This morning, I noticed ads for the wrong site(!) showing up.

My click-thru rate has gone down right along with the targeting. When I first started, I was actually showing off to people how on target the ads were. Well, not any more. Each of my pages should more or less have a unique set of ads, so it is obvious when ads start hitting the wrong pages. Many times I can even tell which specific page the wrong ads are from.

I can explain away at least one instance of the wrong site ads to a bug I suspect is in the MediaBot regarding virtual hosting, but the rest of the wrong ads on the wrong pages have me totally stumped.

I have emailed Google this afternoon. No response yet, although it is too soon to expect one.

I have a tens of thousands of pages...is Google getting overwhelmed?

I am averaging about 30% of AdSense revenue this month compared to June.

Are other experiencing anything like this? How about "tricks" to improve targeting Google approves of?

-Pete

 

universetoday




msg:1401066
 10:53 pm on Jul 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

If I was Google, I'd be experimenting with decreasing the targeting a bit to see if it gives a larger overall revenue.

Keep in mind that if you have a website about Shakespeare, your website visitors won't necessarily be Shakespeare fans, but actually students looking for ideas for their essay. They probably won't buy another 16th century play in their life, but they'll probably be interested cheap sources of textbooks, or even student credit cards.

So, if the ads are getting less targeted, I'd see that as a sign of Google getting a better sense of how what earns revenue.

totter




msg:1401067
 6:14 am on Jul 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

My experience has been that sometimes adsense will display ads on target with a particular page other times it will display ads that are on target with the home page. No trends that I can figure out.

dmedia




msg:1401068
 6:30 am on Jul 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'd sent an email to G about this issue a few days ago .. and they actually took the time to reply .. (I take that as a good sign that they're both concerned and not totally overwhelmed by "stuff they gotta to get to").

Reply was simply that they're aware of this issue and are working to address it. - Nothing earth-shattering in the reply, but nice to know the big brains at the big G are adapting some solutions to what has become an uncomfortable and (eee .. frightening) situation.

Also noticed that after a really crappy few days of lowered clicks/revenue .. today's adsense stats seem back on track .. crossing fingers and putting faith in the Google engineers and bean counters.

peterdaly




msg:1401069
 12:31 pm on Jul 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have recieved a reply from Google after submiting some examples to them on their request.

No quoting is allowed here, but they thanked me for bringing this issue to their attention, are currently working to resolve it, and will get back to me when they know more.

Maybe they didn't know they had a problem, it looks like I gave them some examples which will help them resolve it.

Let's hope my/our targeting improves. :-)

-Pete

loanuniverse




msg:1401070
 12:40 pm on Jul 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

My experience has been that sometimes adsense will display ads on target with a particular page other times it will display ads that are on target with the home page. No trends that I can figure out.

I have experienced the same. I think it has to do with the amount of internal links that are on my right side navigation bar {this is where the adsense skyscraper is}. These links have the name of the pages and it might be throwing off the spyder, so I took out 1/3 of the links and put them in another place in my website to see if targetting gets more specific.

Having said that, CTR has not really suffered that much and the average for the last week is similar to that of the first week.

Gibble




msg:1401071
 1:18 pm on Jul 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

My experience has been that sometimes adsense will display ads on target with a particular page other times it will display ads that are on target with the home page. No trends that I can figure out.

That's whats happening to me, all my adsense seems to be based off a single phrase on my homepage.

B@H, my site isn't even about the topic the adsense has chosen. And each page on my site should have fairly different ads, but alas, they are so off topic atm, it's awful.

Jane_Doe




msg:1401072
 5:43 pm on Jul 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

I got a laugh out of seeing the PTA, Red Cross and some other charity ads showing up on a gaming site the other day.

chiyo




msg:1401073
 5:55 pm on Jul 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

Jane_Doe, that's pretty good targeting! Gamblers become aware all too painfully in the end that charity has much better ROI than gambling. ;)

Fairla




msg:1401074
 7:35 pm on Jul 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

It's great that Google is aware of this and looking into it -- thanks for bringing it to their attention, Peter.

peterdaly




msg:1401075
 2:23 am on Jul 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

FYI - My click-tru rate has increased since contacting Google, with today having over twice the click-thru rate last Thursday, the day when I reported this.

Too soon to know if this is a fix, or a statistical fluke, but double the click-thru rate seems significant. I have reached yesterday's revenue already today, with 4.5 hours left in the google day. That at least makes me feel much better.

I hope this is a fix and has helped others as well. I'll update this thread when I have a larger sample of data.

-Pete

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