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Google AdSense Forum

    
Adsense percentage payout
and reporting concerns
loanuniverse




msg:1383458
 2:11 pm on Jun 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

While I understand that one of the reasons that the percentage paid out to publishers was not divulged was so that Google could tweak it in a way that would make it as profitable as possible for them, I seriously hope that as a matter of fairness they do not cut the payout to a level that mirrors what publishers could get from regular ad agencies.

After all the current adsense system makes it impossible to insert the code in as a default in the regular “chains” from advertisers such as Tribalfusion, Burst or Fastclick. Therefore, the publisher ends up giving adsense exclusive rights to a piece of its virtual real estate.

I am bringing this up because today the clicks are bringing in 50% on average than they were bringing yesterday. I hope that in a couple of months the reporting improves to the point that the publisher can know the pages that are producing clicks. I also hope that once the payout tweaking is done, the percentage is published. It will go a long way towards building a more trusting {cue touchy feely music} caring relationship with publishers.

 

olias




msg:1383459
 2:19 pm on Jun 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

today the clicks are bringing in 50% on average than they were bringing yesterday

Yeah I saw almost exactly the same thing for my first two days, the third day dropped off a little bit further and it seems to have stabilised now. Although I did notice one of the advertisers that was showing the first day pulled out by the second.

brotherhood of LAN




msg:1383460
 2:20 pm on Jun 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>I am bringing this up because today the clicks are bringing in 50% on average than they were bringing yesterday.

Same here, the numbers are going up and are not staying still. I think this mostly is to do with Google spidering your site and pages it's not sure about -> so the page gets indexed and the ads are more on target -> so hopefully CTR increases.

europeforvisitors




msg:1383461
 4:00 pm on Jun 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing a slight drop in the effective CPM and revenue per click since the weekend, but it's only a 10-15% drop, so it may not be enough to be statistically significant. The change could be purely random or could reflect the fact that my weekday audience is slightly different from my weekend audience (i.e., weekday users are more likely to be surfing from work or school).

I doubt if Google is modifying the payout percentages. If they were planning to cut the payout after making Webmasters dependent on AdSense, they'd wait until the program was established. (Right now, most Webmasters haven't even heard of AdSense, let alone enrolled in the program.)

figment88




msg:1383462
 10:38 pm on Jun 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

It seems pretty clear to me that as more publishers sign up for adsense, payouts per click will drop.

While a few people are buried so deep in Google's pockets that they refuse to acknowledge content ads have a lower ROI than search ones, my best guesstimate is that they are only about 40% as effective.

Consequently, with more publishers the ratio of content ads to search ads will go up, ROI will fall, advertisers will say what the f*$k!, they will investigate and find Google defaulted them in to this lower ROI program, they will opt-out of content ads or lower their bids, publisher's will make less per CPC.

I really don't understand all of the Google apologists out-there when they have such an abusive policy of intertwining the two ad markets.

europeforvisitors




msg:1383463
 10:56 pm on Jun 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

While a few people are buried so deep in Google's pockets that they refuse to acknowledge content ads have a lower ROI than search ones, my best guesstimate is that they are only about 40% as effective.

1) Insulting other members is a waste of bandwidth, and it doesn't contribute to informed discussion.

2) AdSense has been live for only a few days, so it's a bit early to make sweeping, unsupported generalizations about the ROI of ads on participating content sites. Even if AdSense had been around for a year or two, such sweeping generalizations would be meaningless because the ROI would vary so much from content site to content site.

Suffice it to say that, in the offline world, ads in niche media are the lifeblood of many businesses. (The mail-order ads in the back of magazines like POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHY are a good example of niche advertising that works.) There's no reason to assume that the same won't be true online now that AdSense makes it possible to reach prospects on special-interest content sites.

I really don't understand all of the Google apologists out-there when they have such an abusive policy of intertwining the two ad markets.

How is their policy abusive? No one requires advertisers to buy ads from Google.

In any case, AdSense is a new program, and I wouldn't be surprised to see it offer more options for the advertiser over time. One suggestion I've made is that advertisers be allowed to buy ads on specific sites (with or without ads on Google Search and/or the entire AdSense network). I expect this will happen at some point because it would be the "killer app" of Internet advertising--for advertisers, content sites, and Google.

danny




msg:1383464
 11:53 pm on Jun 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

Can't advertisers run two campaigns, one for Google search results and one for content sites, and set their prices appropriately for each?

figment88




msg:1383465
 12:52 am on Jun 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

1) I didn't realize I was insulting anyone

2) kow towing to a Google idol is hardly informed discussion

3) Google content ads have been around for several months

4) I thought I was pretty clear on why I feel Google's policy is abusive. I'm guessing many advertisers have no idea their ads are shown in non-search contexts. For large advertisers who use a third party, the situation is even worse since traffic is easier to measure than ROI per click. All Google has to do to not be abusive is make content ads opt-in.

5) Thought it was pretty clear I was giving a theoretical (as opposed to empirical) analysis of why CPC's will fall. Just trying to answer the initial post on this board.

dnbjason




msg:1383466
 2:58 am on Jun 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

I can hardly beleave the pay per click Google is giving publishers. Don't get me wrong I'm happy, but I don't see how it can last (I'm averaging $.30/click). The Ads along can cover my big server bill. My site is mainly a informational website so this is like a gift from the heavens for me. I've tried other programs like this and it never turned out. I just don't see how it can last, lets just all pray it does.

I think the way it functions makes it the best on the net.

europeforvisitors




msg:1383467
 3:19 am on Jun 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

1) I didn't realize I was insulting anyone
2) kow towing to a Google idol is hardly informed discussion

I think you've just proven my point. Accusing people of "kowtowing to Google" or calling them "Google apologists" just because you don't share their views is little better than name-calling. It just detracts from the discussions and increases the chances that the moderator will delete the thread.

3) Google content ads have been around for several months

But AdSense ads haven't. A few quick observations:

1) The AdWords banners that I've been getting from my ad network haven't been nearly as targeted as the banners that I've been getting from AdSense. On my European travel site, I've seen pre-AdSense banners for "Venice hotels" on pages that have nothing to do with Venice, presumably because Venice is one of my site's topics and there's a "Venice" link in my navigation bar. With AdSense, most of the ads that I'm seeing are related to the contents of the individual pages. That's a big improvement--and one that should prove very beneficial to advertisers.

2) On another forum, I saw sites like HowStuffWorks.com and Weather Underground listed as Google "content ad" partners. Those aren't ideal venues for targeted content ads. As I mentioned elsewhere, an AdSense ad for digital cameras on Steve's Digicams or DPReview is likely to be far more effective in reaching serious prospects than an AdWord on a "how digital cameras work" page at HowStuffWorks.com. It's too bad that Google used general-interest media sites and ad networks to debut AdWord "content ads." They would have been better off demonstrating the effectiveness of such ads on niche sites. After all, a person who's visiting Steve's Digicams or DPReview is much more likely to be in the market for a digital camera than a HowStuffWorks reader is--just as a person who's visiting a Hawaiian travel-planning site is much more likely to be in the market for a Hawaiian vacation that somebody looking up the weather in Honolul is.

I'm guessing many advertisers have no idea their ads are shown in non-search contexts. For large advertisers who use a third party, the situation is even worse since traffic is easier to measure than ROI per click.

Isn't it the duty of advertisers and their agencies or media-buying services to know what they're buying?

All Google has to do to not be abusive is make content ads opt-in.

My guess is that they want to ensure that content ads (e.g., Adsense ads) get a proper trial in the marketplace. They know that many people don't like change--or that many people are too slow to learn about their options to try something new--so they're showing leadership instead of letting a great idea die from advertisers' fears, misconceptions, or lack of interest. Now, some people may think that content ads (whether AdSense ads or less targeted "content ads") are less effective than search ads. If that's the case, then Google will have to offer more options (such as letting advertisers pick the sites they want their ads to run on), or the market will set AdWord bids at levels that are in keeping with the diminished ROI.

figment88




msg:1383468
 4:27 pm on Jun 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

Isn't it the duty of advertisers and their agencies or media-buying services to know what they're buying?

That is the key. I am a strong adherent of caveat emptor, but the seller still needs to act responsibly. I'm sure everyone would agree that if you bought a food product that contained a non-labled ingredient you were allergic to, the seller and not the buyer would be responsible.

So, it becomes a matter of where you draw the line. IMHO Google is way over it. 1) They added in this "feature" after many accounts were already established; 2) Opt-ing out takes several clicks and it is not very intuitive where the opt-out is located (why no global opt-out?); 3) third party buyers have loads of incentive to not be fully forthcoming - google's system reduces their oversight.

My main point is that as the AdSense network grows, ROI will fall and more advertisers will have incentive to overcome the burdeons and opt-out.

europeforvisitors




msg:1383469
 5:37 pm on Jun 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

My main point is that as the AdSense network grows, ROI will fall and more advertisers will have incentive to overcome the burdeons and opt-out.

That remains to be seen. In a Webmaster World discussion of Sprinks at [webmasterworld.com...] one member commented:

It is very hard to determine ROI on any of the PPC programs. I like Sprinks because the clickers are mostly pre-qualified. If you try PPC on Overture or Google, you get a lot of clickers who were just searching for "purple-widgets" without any intent of buying some. With Sprinks a lot of times you get someone who was searching for "purple-widgets," found About and the affiliated sites and then saw your link for people serious about "purple-widgets" and looking to buy.

Another member wrote:

I've found that my content Sprinks ads run a conversion rate slightly higher than my highly targeted traffic on GG/OV, and Sprinks conversion is about the same.

Of course, not all "content ad" buyers have equally positive experiences, but I think the comments above deserve attention from WW members who assume that ads on content sites are inherently less productive than ads on SERPs.

A few other random thoughts:

1) Like it or not, Google will move forward with the AdSense program not only to generate new revenues, but also to minimize the risk of having all of its eggs in one basket. What if Yahoo or AOL were to replace Google search results with results from Inktomi, AltaVista, or another search engine? With AdWords appearing on thousands of large and small sites all over the Web, the effects of such a change on Google would be reduced.

2) Advertisers should be wary of keeping all their eggs in one basket, too. With AdSense, AdWords buyers are less dependent on how many people search for "widgets" or "whatsits" on Google. Their AdWords will get adequate exposure (via AdSense partner sites) even if Google search traffic drops.

3) The AdSense program will surely grow--and evolve--as time goes on, so making constructive suggestions may be more productive than dismissing the program out of hand.

4) This may be most important:

Google clearly has a long-term growth strategy, and it may not view the role of advertising in the same way that many small Web entrepreneurs do. I think it's fair to say that many WW members (both SEOs and advertisers) focus on short-term results, as exemplified by "disposable domain" affiliate sites or looking for quick ROI from AdWords on SERPs.

Google may feel that the real potential for AdWords is in helping advertisers acquire customers, not just orders. Affiliate sites and merchants who fulfill orders from their basements may find themselves priced out of the market in competitive subject categories, but companies that view AdWords as a tool for customer acquisition (not just for making a quick one-time sale) will think less about immediate ROI than turning that new customer into a source of repeat business.

(And BTW, I'm not just talking about large companies. An established mail-vendor of amateur radio equipment or quilting supplies is just as likely to think long-term as a big corporation like L.L. Bean or Best Buy.)

In short: Google, e-commerce, and Web advertising are all maturing, and AdSense (even in its current rudimentary form) is a reflection of that process.

universetoday




msg:1383470
 6:47 pm on Jun 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm amazed that people are dismissing this program out of hand too.

As an experienced Adwords buyer, advertising on Google was well worth the $.88 - $1.00 we were spending per click. We were happy to spend as much as Google would let us.

As a web surfer, the Adsense choices that show up in the Google Ads are often on target, and regularly worth clicking. Imagine that Google is helping to heal our 3rd degree banner burnout. I don't things will ever be as targeted as search-results, but it's still pretty good.

As a webmaster, I feel proud to run the Adsense on my site. I've browsed through countless pages on the site and the ads showing up are really closely matched to the content. Once Google can demonstrate that this is going to work, I'm perfectly happy to drop any other kind of advertising on my site - nothing has the payoff for the minimum amount of effort (well, other than creating content, but that's my job).

Google has created a virtuous circle which will play out beautifully over time. The increased volume of pageviews will bring down the per-click prices for Adwords (I hope), which will bring more advertisers into the picture, which will bring more websites on board to generate more content, etc.

Eventually, 5+ years in the future we'll probably reach some steady state where webmasters have steady revenue flows and know what they can spend on content. Anyone advertising will be using Adwords as a major component of their marketing strategy, and there'll be money to go around for people who can deliver targeted eyeballs.

I can't wait to see how it all plays out, but my instincts tell me this is a revolutionary change in advertising. And that Google's going to get filthy rich.

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