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Google AdSense Forum

This 533 message thread spans 18 pages: < < 533 ( 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 ... 18 > >     
Major changes to AdSense
Pricing structure and ad relevance

 8:04 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

Unless adsense is sending out a april fools joke, what do people think of the changes? Every site has a unique pricing model?

For example, a click on an ad for digital cameras on a web page about photography tips may be worth less than a click on the same ad appearing next to a review of digital cameras.

[edited by: markus007 at 8:08 pm (utc) on April 1, 2004]



 5:19 am on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

As of this morning I'm now getting 3 out of 4 irrelevent ads on the leaderboard. My daily $ is 1/3 of what it normally is. These changes are not good for me...


 5:34 am on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

>As of this morning I'm now getting 3 out of 4 irrelevent ads on the leaderboard. My daily $ is 1/3 of what it normally is. These changes are not good for me...

Just when you think Google has screwed just about everyone possible (all the commercial phrase filtering and site blocking), they come up with something totally new. lol

I think even the hard core 'Google is God' cheerleaders are getting a little tired of the non-sense. Google is on it's last legs I think. I give them one more year, then I will offer them $10 for the Google domain name and whever else is left.


 5:59 am on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

Seems very obvious to me that they are throttling us on a per click basis (or maybe total revenue) based on how well our sites convert. Even the example in their marketing supports this. They have conversion tracking on Adwords and they know how well our sites convert.


 6:33 am on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

Being on both sides, I can see what is going on.

People searching for clicks on the search engine are truley targeted and 'actively' looking for something.

People surfing web sites are 'interested' in the site topic, but are not actively looking for something specific.


In my AdWORDS campaigns, some of them I turned OFF content matching- wanting searched-for, 'active' leads only.

Other campaigns I left content matching ON, because It was ok for those campaigns to have only 'interested' traffic. (I felt I could convert them)

As an advertiser, I was paying the same price for both kinds of leads. But the first kind is more valuable than the second one.

It appears the Google God is making content matching more attractive to advertisers, by making it cost less.

If it costs less, then publishers profits are less.

But, if the quantity (usage) increases, then publishers profits come back.

I think it will all balance out.


 6:43 am on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

My daily earnings have increased substantially over the last 2 days.

I kinda like these changes.


 7:12 am on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

I don't quite get it. It seems Google tried to ditch affil. sites from top rankings, but now they are paying more for sites that are selling a product or providing direct links to a product to be sold. Review sites thrive on affiliate linking to sell the product being reviewed. Not all of course, but a lot of them. So hey, lets pay them more for ads because they are trying to sell something, while information and education deserves less money.

Is this a way to promote the use of Froogle is some way?

Adsense was marketed to people who had "hobby sites" and the like who could put ads on and make money "Anyone can make money with Adsense". Now these same informational hobby sites that google once marketed to get a drop in earnings because they want to change the "pricing structure" of ads?

Hey, while we are at segregating ads for various sites, lets segregate everything. We can bring back racial inequality, it is the same thing as saying the same ad on this site is worth more than that site.

Im furious. When is MSFT coming out with a their kickass search engine again? Where do i sign up for publishing ads?


 7:37 am on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

As is always the case, anything from Google i.e. official statements, posts from Google Guy etc. is treated with a fair degree of scepticism i.e. algorithm is broke, Google has lost the plot etc. I guess this stems from people's inherent distrust of authority/corporations and the X-Files factor (i.e. everything is a conspiracy, there must be more to it than they're letting on).

However, I think AdSense subscribers should take Google's changes at face value, namely that they'll give a better deal to AdWords customers (through better targeting/relevance and higher conversion rates) whilst not unduly affecting AdSense publishers.

As always though, good quality content is the key. For example, whilst there are thousands of hotel affiliate sites out there, few offer decent content about the cities they cover i.e. how to get there, sightseeing, eating out, shopping etc. Therefore, publishers who take the time (and money) to add such content, not only provide added value to their customers, but tend to rate more highly in Google SERPS (through on page factors) on a wider number of categories, generate more traffic and consequently receive more revenue from AdSense.

So I see this as simply a technical improvement to provide improved relevance which should, if anything, deliver increased AdSense revenue to any publisher with a decent content-driven (and well-optimised) website.


 7:49 am on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

If you look at Adsense in the light that anything that is good for the advertisers, in the long run, is good for the publishers, then, anything that Google does that makes adverts happier is good for us.

This program is very cool, though I worry that it would dwindle to a trickle of what it has been, obviously, making it NOT a good thing for publishers, that could happen anyway if adverts became disenchanted with the program..

So.. if this keeps this going longer.. GREAT!

My day today basically wound up being, sort of, average.. not better, not really worse. Obviously, reading the stats from "moment to moment" there are some clicks that pay much higher than others.. Two or three additional between checks brought me up from dismal to average..

Here's to high paying clicks ey!




 8:04 am on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

At least we're clear who's the rider and who's the horse now.


 8:10 am on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

At least we're clear who's the rider and who's the horse now.

<best Mr. Ed voice> Willlbur.....!



 8:12 am on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

I hope that the changes are like this:

"Ad for Digital Camera Canon"

Site1: Has the keyw "digital camera". Receive X

Site2: Has keyw "digital camera" & "Canon". Receive Y

That makes a bit more sense. Even so, this will be tricky to implement. The advertiser has to specify too much their product, with several different ads.


 9:02 am on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

Well, although Thursday's numbers aren't totally finalized and it's hard to base anything on one day...

CTR: 20% lower than March avg. (31% lower than overall avg.)
EPC: 9% lower than March avg. (6% lower than overall avg.)
CPM: 26% lower than March avg. (34% lower than overall avg.)

I am now convinced that Google ran a test run of the new matching system on March 19th, as the abnormally low CTR and CPM rates recorded for that day mimic yesterday.

A 20% lower CTR does NOT indicate that their "new, improved" content targeting system is working as advertised. EPC seems fine, low but within reason. So what's the deal?

Incidentally, the earnings I recorded yesterday were the ABSOLUTE LOWEST I've seen since November, when I put Google where it is now.


 9:10 am on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

Is it possible that our sites are going into the same category as the new gmail? I sure hope not.


 9:20 am on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

Oh boy. Many of my pages are now showing better ads. But some of them...

My "favourite" so far is a pure information page on a natural history topic. Ads used to be on target. Today, presumably because of keywords such as "camouflage", it's showing ads for cosmetics and women's lingerie.

I wonder if adsense is now using the hypothetical "semantic algorithm" that some people believe was responsible for the Austin update fiasco? If so then it's gong to be a bumpy ride.


 10:52 am on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

I think many people are looking at things in the wrong light. Currently online advertising is getting about 3% of ad revenue and not too far in the distance the internet is projected to have over 30% of consumer level sales.

The ad dollars will contine to rise to support the growth in ecommerce. The problem with AdSense as it was is that it does not have the same level of active engagement as search does. Many large marketers have stated that AdSense ads have had about 20-30% of the sales value of the equivalent AdWords ads. (source:

Google eventually had to separate the bid prices to make the creation of bunk content less profitable and to protect the value of the non bunk.

In addition Google needs to keep the prices of these content ads in line with their true market value if they want the program to grow in line with the rest of the market.

If advertisers are not happy then there is no Google, and there is no AdSense. My general opinion is that Google needs me more as an advertiser than as a publisher...but maybe thats just me.


 11:09 am on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

My EPC is through the roof today!

We all knew that adsense was going to have to change and that the change would be geared towards advertiser ROI, not publisher. It simply does not make any sense for an advertiser to pay the same rate for a click from an ad next to a free newspaper article as that from search.

That being said, many here are giving up valuable real estate on their site for adsense and the fact that EPC fluctuates so wildly is unsettling along with the fact that Google gives NO warning to any upcoming changes. On the few sites we run adsense on, the payout we receive from other links or affiliate programs are very close to adsense. Any drop in revenue at this point and they are gone.


 11:48 am on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

We all knew that adsense was going to have to change and that the change would be geared towards advertiser ROI, not publisher.

A few of us have said this all along :-)

When AdSense first came out it had all the markings of a pure tech solution to see if it could be done. That is the easy part. There's no magic there. The hard part was to make it work and Google is finally growing up and realizing it really is about the advertiser and not the publisher.

It's just not good enough to point to a site and say to the advertiser - see...your ad is relevant there so our matching software works...just keep paying us.



 12:04 pm on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

I suppose it had to be done from the point of view of the advertiser otherwise we would've seen a forever dwindling number of advertisers prepared to put up with the lower ROI associated with adsense.

Still it sucks to be a publisher today. Maybe in a few weeks it will have been worth it.


 12:19 pm on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

My CTR is lower than ever on April 1 but the EPC seems to be pretty much same.

CTR is currently about the half of my usual CTR, but I know just one day isnt enought to see the long term effects on this new AdSense algo.

I hope it will be better.


 12:21 pm on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

In the course of the past couple of days I have realized a slight increase of irrelevant ads (approx. 10% up) but whenever content is met its much closer to the content theme of the particular page even if content density is somewhat imperfect (which it often is for many content areas where additional info is given).

Only time can tell if things improve from here, right now it balances.


 12:22 pm on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

I think some of you are wrong thinking give it couple of weeks , It may be up to 3 months before advertisers who opted out of content relook at option and this may only be the first stage for google re: content , it could be they may implement a second stage allowing advertisers to pay xx for search and xx for content adds

I suspect many will see significant drop in income over the next 3 months and as the advertisers see the system is geared towards them and not publishers and decide to come on line more income will increase

My own worry is if Google combines email and Content sites as content advertisers will bid very low so we may not do as well


 12:31 pm on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

<<combines email and Content sites >>

That would basically be the end of the program for publishers.


 12:52 pm on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

Maybe Adwords Advisor could advise if under the currrent changes and future changes as well as gmail
could all content be lumped together in which case many publishers will move to other forms of income and i suspect advertisers will base cost per click on lowest form for roi i.e. email


 12:53 pm on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

Its an interesting conflict. Half looking to current revenue and half looking ahead to 5 years online advertising growth and thinking 'will the Adwords advertisers still be there, with growing budgets, so that I continue to get a share of the growth'.

I hope Google is looking at satisfying the latter more than the former, because ultimately that's what publishers earnings stability will depend on.


 12:59 pm on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

Steve40 wrote:

My own worry is if Google combines email and Content sites as content advertisers will bid very low so we may not do as well


Maybe Adwords Advisor could advise if under the currrent changes and future changes as well as gmail could all content be lumped together in which case many publishers will move to other forms of income and i suspect advertisers will base cost per click on lowest form for roi i.e. email

You bring up an interesting point. With "gmail" being another content venue for AdWords/AdSense advertising, there's all the more need to create a variable pricing structure. As some of us have argued all along, there's even more disparity between lead quality on various types of content sites or pages than there is between search ads and content ads per se. Gmail is a good example of this:

1) If I search Google on "London hotels," I'm probably somewhat interested in booking a hotel in London.

2) If I read a travel article on London or, better yet, a travel article about hotels in London, there's a good chance that I might be interested in booking a hotel in London (if not today, then later).

3) If I get a gmail from a friend who writes, "I'll be staying at the Hotel Whatsit in London from April 5-10," there's almost no chance that I'm looking for a hotel room in London--and if I click on an AdWord in the gmail for the Hotel Whatsit, it's just probably because I'm curious to see where my friend is staying.

So, when gmail comes to market and results in zillions of AdWord "content ad" impressions per day, ad rates have to take lead quality into account or advertisers will bail from content ads altogether when overpriced gmail clicks suck money from their accounts faster than you can say "good-bye, content ads."

I don't think quality niche publishers will necessarily be hurt by the AdSense pricing changes, because "search vs. content" is likely to be only one factor in determining what a click is worth. Just as Google's search algorithm reportedly takes more than 100 factors into account, the AdSense algorithm may consider many different factors such as a page's degree of relevance to the ad keyword or keyphrase, the overall theme or targeting of the site, the page or site's PageRank and search ranking(s) in Google, past ROI as measured by conversion tracking (where such data is available), the site's ratio of legitimate clicks to invalid/discarded clicks, the nature of the page content (editorial vs. forum vs. gmail), and so on. In the long run, this should go a long way toward reassuring advertisers that content ads represent money well spent, and that should benefit publishers who can deliver high-quality audiences and leads.


 1:10 pm on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

Well gmail is google's property so presumably they can afford to cut their share of earnings down to accommodate the advertisers. I just hope adsense and gmail aren't lumped together in the same content ads bracket. If so, we're probably doomed.


 1:24 pm on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

I just hope adsense and gmail aren't lumped together in the same content ads bracket. If so, we're probably doomed.

They may fall under the same general heading as "content ads," but that doesn't mean a click from a gmail and a click from an editorial page will result in the same cost to the advertiser.

IMHO, Google's variable pricing is similar to what has existed in traditional online advertising (and offline advertising, for that matter) for a long, long time. Back in 1997 or 1998, AOL's rate card showed CPMs of $15 or so for chat rooms and $65 for targeted search results, and at one point About.com (then called The Mining Company) was claiming CPMs in excess of $100 for ads on some of its medical guidesites at the same time that it was selling general chat ads for $10 per thousand. Similarly, if an advertiser wants to buy space in the NEW YORK TIMES Travel Section, it will pay a different amount than it would for a general untargeted newspaper ad. With variable PPC, Google is just doing what other media have done all along.


 1:32 pm on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

As an adwords advertiser if I do not have the option of opting out from advertising on spam mail, I have now and will in future turn off all content advertising ,
I HATE MY EMAIL being effectivly useless as a tool and will not support SPAM EMAIL with my advertising dollars


 1:35 pm on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

I don't see how Google's gmail encourages spam. The ad revenues go to Google, not to the people who send mail. (If Google let publishers run AdSense ads in e-mail, that would be a different story.)


 1:57 pm on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'm sorry to disagree with you EFV but newsletters and any mail sent via to and from GMAIL will include adsense advertising, this could be genuine mail i.e friend or family to friend or family or opt in newsletters from genuine lists but also every form of other spam C### I do not want my advert showing on something i and many users have no control over

When a visitor visits a web site he / she chooses to visit iether through SERPS or favourites and makes decision to visit site , he/she is then shown advertising as part of the cost of reading content( similar to newspapers )
When he/she opens their inbox as often as not the email in their inbox was delivered to them without their permission or knowledge for no cost on behalf of sender

Lets take an example
A large cruise line uses adwords to promote their company ( they are very ethical in approach and feel that content providers send genuine traffic to them so use choose content on adwords )
Meanwhile spammer with adsense account decides to send mass mailing and calls it a newsletter out re cruises ( just buys list off the net ) and includes adsense code , now poor old joe public gets this unsolliceted email and sees cruise line advert so over period of time associates the cruise line with spam so has negative view of cruise line and any other adds seen on net for cruise line


 2:16 pm on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

Well, I looked at the numbers again this morning. The irrelevant ads have (mostly) been replaced with the correct ads again, and though yesterday's number of clicks was less than half the usual, my EPC -doubled-. This morning's figures show it has trippled! Now that the correct ads are back, with tripple the EPC... this could be a wonderful change.

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