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This 58 message thread spans 2 pages: 58 ( [1] 2 > >     
June 2006: Start of the Traditional Summer Slump
Will Your AdSense Income Drop by up to 50%?
martinibuster

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 14428 posted 12:06 am on Jun 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Will your site suffer a drastic income drop?
I was researching through past threads relevant to Summer and it seemed there are numerous instances of webmasters complaining of a Summer Slump. While it doesn't affect publishers across the board, it appears that there is a Summer Slump phenomenom. Should you be prepared? Let's discuss what you might be doing today to protect your revenue tomorrow.

Those who forget the past are doomed...
Here are just few threads from past summers. There are many more, but these are representative of similar posts from years past.

July 15, 2003
AdSense revenue going down?
[webmasterworld.com...]

June 12,2004
Anyone else experiencing their Adsense revenue being slashed?
[webmasterworld.com...]

June 15, 2005
Revenue dropping rapidly
[webmasterworld.com...]

Will your revenues drop by up to 50%?
Some digging around through past threads revealed many posts by suffering from the dreaded Summer Slump. Will your site suffer up to a 50% drop in revenue due to the dreaded Summer Slump?

A Doomed Site Checklist
I am interested in your opinions. What are the characteristics of the sites doomed to have their revenues slashed to the bone?

Let's hear your opinion. If we were to put together a checklist, what would you add to it?

  • What are the characteristics of a site likely to suffer a Summer Slump?

  • What can be done to rescue a site destined to have their income slashed to pennies?

  • Are some sites doomed and there's nothing that can save them?

  • What is your proactive strategy for fighting back against the Summer Slump?

 

dollarshort

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 14428 posted 2:31 am on Jun 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

My traffic drops by about 30% but it is usally made up in higher EPC, as advertisers try to make up for the slower months.

turtlehurricane

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 14428 posted 2:52 am on Jun 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

i should have a summer rise actually. it just depends on your subject.

Rosalind

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 14428 posted 2:55 am on Jun 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

What are the characteristics of a site likely to suffer a Summer Slump?

I'd hazard a guess at most sites and topics that are not directly related to summer activities. So if it's not sports, leisure, sunburn advice, holidays, daytrips and so forth, it could be at risk of the slump.


What can be done to rescue a site destined to have their income slashed to pennies?

Add some of the above topics.


Are some sites doomed and there's nothing that can save them?

Yes. Less people will be online when the sun comes out. You can't fight nature.


What is your proactive strategy for fighting back against the Summer Slump?

I just keep building and writing content. I could build another summer-seasonal site, but that's not really my thing. Although income will always ebb and flow to an extent, the summer slump tends to balance the Christmas rush. There's always work to do during quiet periods to get ready for this.

Scurramunga

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 14428 posted 3:01 am on Jun 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

I know this will sound very simplistic, however I believe that maximising ecpm is important if the root causes of the slump is a slowdown in traffic. Speaking from my situation it's imperative (more than ever) to run a lean mean site that runs at an optimal ecpm

Looking at it from my situation; I am seeing fewer impressions and clicks on my site, therefore I want each one to count. One strategy that I use is to totally do away with underperforming ad blocks. With fewer ads on my site, doing away with (obviously) unattractive ad copy is another measure which I take.

[edited by: Scurramunga at 3:07 am (utc) on June 5, 2006]

gpdematteo

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 14428 posted 3:05 am on Jun 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

My revenue will drop by more than 50% this summer. That's the drawback to running an educational site. The only way to balance this decrease in revenue is to build another site that targets a niche that's active year round. This will be my third summer with Adsense so I'm use to it and just figure I'll have to live a peasant's life till September.

Scurramunga

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 14428 posted 3:18 am on Jun 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

. ...build another site that targets a niche that's active year round.

Either that or find an angle for your current site that would enable you to include content related to summer themes.

Eg.
My site is a product site. I've been considering adding other products laterally related to my site's current products. These new products are known to be searched during the N.Hemisphere summer. This change would create a twofold effect on revenue

TheDonster

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 14428 posted 3:38 am on Jun 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

The slowdown has already started on my site, traffic is down about 30% and ad revenues are down accordingly. Started with the Memorial Day weekend. I've been trimming the MFAs on my site and it seems to have helped stabilize eCPM but not as much as I would like. I've got holidays coming up soon so nothing much to do but enjoy the summer! Never thought I would look forward to Labor Day :-)

hunderdown

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 14428 posted 4:19 am on Jun 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

What are the characteristics of a site likely to suffer a Summer Slump?
I'd hazard a guess at most sites and topics that are not directly related to summer activities. So if it's not sports, leisure, sunburn advice, holidays, daytrips and so forth, it could be at risk of the slump.

While certain topics are obviously seasonal, I think the vast majority of sites are not.

But your site's visitors may well change their surfing behavior over the summer. That's what you need to watch out for. As a few others have said, I see somewhat less traffic over the summer, but the visitors I do get some more focused (or something) so earnings do not slump. In fact, August '05 was my best month last year.

greatstart

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 14428 posted 4:24 am on Jun 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

My earnings have already dropped by 50%. It started slowing down in the last week of May, and this month looks bleak so far. I do not expect an increase back towards "normal" until Sept.

martinibuster

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 14428 posted 4:31 am on Jun 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

...maximising ecpm is important if the root causes of the slump is a slowdown in traffic.

That's a good strategy, thanks for bringing that up. :) Now, in short, what are the most common ways for squeezing out more ecpm?

I have to say that on my top sites I have A/B tested my pages to the point I feel satisfied I can't squeeze another nickel of performance out of them. But maybe one should never feel so satisfied?

One way I cover shortcomings is building sites in leisure related topics that are sure to be searched on during the summer.

I guess with student sites it may be feast then famine.

Would it at all be possible to have student reviewed products on a site, like a forum community for students to review stuff like music, clothing, books, electronic gadgets, local restaurants and cafe's; sort of a student-to-student tips community?

For example, I know of a non-profit parent-to-parent community associated with a local university that has provided me scores of tips for myself and my family. Really helpful, and ranks well for parent related queries.

We have purchased everything from strollers to baby carriers based on recommendations from that site, and have patronized dozens of restaurants and stores as well as discovered playgrounds all from that community. Surely a student to student community could leave behind data relevant to their lives whether at school or back home?

Scurramunga

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 14428 posted 4:57 am on Jun 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

I would imagine that a student to student site could certainly work, that is if it has built up the appropriate credibility with it's audience and contained a large percentage of product (goods and services) information and if the info it contains is sufficently backed Adsense inventory. It could be an area with fierce adsense competion, however the advantage could lie in targeting both global online products such as gadgets and local products such as entertainment. Products such as gadets(ie ipods, powerbooks etc) could attract both global and local advertisers. Having local ads could present an advantage if you end up in a situation of relatively low publisher competition

[edited by: Scurramunga at 5:27 am (utc) on June 5, 2006]

david_uk

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 14428 posted 5:19 am on Jun 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Just looking at my annual trends, and I can't say that there is a pattern for me personally. I started Adsense January 2004, and in the summer months adsense earnings were on an upwards curve. In summer 2005 I was again on an upwards curve because late spring is when I started blocking MFA's after a huge slump when they started appearing.

As for this year, Last month was a slump overall. It started OK, but tailed off. I think it's too early to say what is going to happen this summer, and past years clearly don't indicate any trends on my site. I do know that website traffic is pretty normal - no unusual ups or downs.

Hobbs

WebmasterWorld Senior Member hobbs us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 14428 posted 5:48 am on Jun 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

I do not think it's a good idea for too many webmasters to start building sites on season basis, unless you have something exceptional to add to the topic.

As for student & community sites to combat summer slump that would be like curing a seasonal migraine with a year round regime of painful shots, unless you have the ability, desire and talent to run successful community sites, stay away, it's not for everyone.

So my plan for the summer is:
a) Build content
b) Do what my visitors are doing: Stay off the web and on the beaches, or at least try, it's not easy to break one's AdSense monitoring habits.

martinibuster

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 14428 posted 6:23 am on Jun 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

I do not think it's a good idea for too many webmasters to start building sites on season basis, unless you have something exceptional to add to the topic.

I agree.

Anyone experiencing a halving in income due to a summer slump should consider adding something exceptional if they are to overcome it. Sounds reasonable, and if someone is interested in longevity, adding something exceptional almost goes without saying, but I guess it needs saying.

But what is, something exceptional, especially when it comes to a Summer Slump? I imagine it can be difficult if there is a seasonal aspect to the site.

So far we've identified educational sites as being in a position to take a hit. I'm sure there must be others, and others who would like to dig themselves out of taking a seasonal hit.

For instance, let's take a ski destination site. I know of some ski destinations in California and Colorado that are beautiful in the summer. Several years ago I even attended a summer wedding at a Colorado ski destination. There were cabins and we made an outdoor fire at night and had lots of fun. The river and local hiking was a pleasure, too.

So is it possible for a winter destination site to convert itself to also appeal as a spring and summer destination site?

  • Fishing
  • Hunting
  • Hiking
  • Weddings
  • Weekend getaway for couples

What do you think?

[edited by: martinibuster at 6:44 am (utc) on June 5, 2006]

photo200

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 14428 posted 6:44 am on Jun 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

I see slowdown already since may.
September should be back again.

Good time to launch new sites.

Scurramunga

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 14428 posted 6:48 am on Jun 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

But what is, something exceptional, especially when it comes to a Summer Slump? It can be difficult if there is a seasonal aspect to the site.

Rather than looking at it from a specific and seasonal angle, why not consider a topic that is potentially active all year round? Being mindful for the site's potential to endure the summer months rather than aiming content specifically suited to the summer months might produce enduring results.

These is just example straight off the top to illustrate my point: A topic aimed at younger audiences looking for beach-side or summer entertainment might be considered specifically seasonal in theme. However, a site aimed at younger crowds about fashion would have rotating themes for all seasons and would be particularly useful in the summer.

Scurramunga

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 14428 posted 6:54 am on Jun 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

So is it possible for a winter destination site to convert itself to also appeal as a spring and summer destination site?

I don't see why not. The trick would be however, finding a place(or subject) that is the target of high search queries and good adword related ads.

[edited by: Scurramunga at 6:55 am (utc) on June 5, 2006]

indias next no1

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 14428 posted 6:55 am on Jun 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

my ecpm and earnings dropeed by nearly 35% from may 30th , i am from India

humblebeginnings

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 14428 posted 6:57 am on Jun 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Great thread!

Indeed, like some others I have been diversifying my Adsense business to depend less on the seasons. I have now 6 websites, 2 of them being focussed on summer activities.
I had to learn the hard way cause indeed, my earnings dropped significantly during the 2005 summer. So I guess I will find out this summer if my strategy will work!

hasimsg

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 14428 posted 9:33 am on Jun 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

After reading this threads, I've check my web stats and compare them with my adsense revenue.

I notice that, there is a drop in traffic during summer (around 20%), but the revenue is pretty much the same with other months.

I have sign-up with Adsense since August 2003, so there was only 2 summer seasons observed.

My website is an automotive topic focus on one spesific brand.

brokenbricks

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 14428 posted 11:59 am on Jun 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

May was the first month in the past 12 that I've posted less earnings than the previous month.

My traffic is down 50% and earnings were 23% less than April.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised as one of my main sites would be considered 'seasonal' but I didn't think it would drop off as much as it has.

It's troubling to see after reaching a certain point and comforot level and now feeling as if you're starting over.

I've been working on other projects to try and compensate and just sucking up the loss and taking the time to do more 'summer stuff' myself as the nice weather doesn't last forever around here. Nor do the earnings.

yummybanas

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 14428 posted 12:33 pm on Jun 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

@humblebeginnings:

Please let us know if your strategy worked! :)

Publisher

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 14428 posted 12:49 pm on Jun 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

My site traffic (and earnings) follow a sine wave pattern, topping out in the late winter and spring, and bottoming out in the summer and fall. I think it has a lot to do with the subject matter.

Lovejoy

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 14428 posted 2:18 pm on Jun 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hi All,

I've noticed a large drop in sales of my more expensive product line sine the Memorial day weekend, more than usual for this time of year. Sales are up for the cheapy stuff, which makes me think that the consumer is getting tapped out, anyone else seeing this?

Content_ed

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 14428 posted 2:28 pm on Jun 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Maybe summer would be a good time to experiment with Google acceptable affiliate programs that allow us to pick the product being advertised. I can think of a lot of summer oriented products for which an ad probably wouldn't offend our visitors, even if it's not closely related to the page subject. I suppose the only reason I haven't tried this yet on our large inventory of pages without Adsense is that I'm lazy:-)

MrSpeed

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 14428 posted 2:53 pm on Jun 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have watched the summer slump for almost 8 years now. I think almost all topics are affected across the board.

Even in my own house internet usage goes down during the nicer weather and longer days.

In the past the summer slump was the perfect time to crank out some pages and sites to prepare for the Christmas Season. Thanks to the so-called "sandbox" it's difficult build a site now and have it ranking well for the upcoming holidays.

netmeg

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 14428 posted 3:20 pm on Jun 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

My main AdSense site generates pretty much its entire year's revenue during June and July. (A little in May and December, but overwhelmingly June and July) But that's a hobby site that's been up for a while, and it would still be up if there were no AdSense. I've started working on one that should fund the fall months; I have an idea for winter, but I haven't thought up anything good for spring yet.

crick

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 14428 posted 3:24 pm on Jun 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

It would be good if the weather is not soo good all summer. Anyway, since most people go work all summer, I doubt if the traffic falls that much anyway.

WolfLover

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 14428 posted 3:35 pm on Jun 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hello everyone! First I'd like to say that I've been reading your posts for months and have gained some very valuable advice and implemented it on my sites.

I have several sites, the main one being established for 3 years. I tried AdSense a couple of years ago but it did not make more than a dollar a month or so. I started again a couple of months ago and the first day it was at about $10.00 a day to a record day of over $80.00 a day. Then came the Memorial Day weekend which I had assumed would be a low money making weekend per your posts. It was, then it came back on Tuesday after Memorial Day with a record breaking day, then has slowed down since then. The epc is down and visits are a little down, my keywords in the serps are still very good.

I sell many items that are used year round and some that are more for the colder seasons. Am I to assume I am in this Summer Slump? I have no other summer seasons to compare it to, so not sure. At the time this slump happened, I had not changed my ad placement, colors, etc. I have done so since this occurred, but really to no avail.

Any recommendations?

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