I have the exact same ads, increased CTR, and EPC down around 78%.
Did Google get greedy? Is this because of the looming IPO?
Before everyone completely freaks out, a couple of things to keep in mind.
First off, the ads you see aren't necessarily the same ads that your visitors see, due to geo-location. When you visit your site, you might still see the same ads, but perhaps a significant section of your visitors are seeing something different, something with a lower EPC.
Statements like "Most publishers are seing a decline" can not be supported. The best that can be said is that most publishers posting in this thread have reported a decline. Surely we don't believe that the participants in the thread encompass the entire Adsense publisher population, and that all publishers have reported in.
Thirdly, these changes went into effect on April 1st, the beginning of a month and the beginning of a quarter, two factors that could have a significant impact on advertiser spending. In other words, revenue changes and epc changes might have nothing to do with this change.
Fourthly, there isn't enough information being shared by publishers to enable us to draw any significant conclusions. Are the folks seeing a drop in revenue running Adsense on 1 site, 10, 300? Are they using channels or other tracking scripts to identify revenue and ctr on a per domain basis? What are the traffic levels? Is the variation in epc and epm within the normal range for the site?
Fifthly, the time period has been too short to extrapolate much of anything.
I run Adsense on six sites. The majority of the clicks and revenue come from one of those sites. I use both channels and a private tracking script.
On April 1st and 2nd, the distribution of clicks and impressions among my sites was normal. Revenue was kinda low on April 1st, and on the high end on April 2nd. Both days were well within normal the normal earnings per day range for me (neither was unusually high or low). EPM on the 2nd was phenominal, but I can't really draw any conclusions from that as it was only one day.
I don't see how I could be able to identify any real trends in less than a month, and frankly, real comparison is impossible since I can't compare to the same time period last year. Since this is the first year, I'm really just collecting baseline data. Only in the second year will I be able to draw any meaningful conclusions about what is "normal" for any given time period.
While you are correct saying that 2 days isn't a statisticaly relevant timeframe, I beg to differ on a couple points.
First, waiting for a year of data to make a business decision appears real slow to me. But maybe it's just me.
Second, if lots of people suddenly report earning slashes of up to 70%, I highly doubt this has nothing to do with the letter Adsense sent us all about the changes.
EPC and/or EPM dropping because of advertiser pool fluctuations is all fine and dandy, but as far as I can judge, this has definitely little to do with it.
As far as I'm concerned, Adsense is still the best ad network out there for sites that don't have 50M+ daily impressions, but the profitability of Adsense to me is getting very close to a point where I start actively looking for a regular banner ad alternative.
Massive publisher layoff at AdSense!
The folks talking about 'too early' to identify trends sound like yer classic number crunchers. Trend is, that most of the publishers here are some of the more knowledgable and experienced.. and many are reporting a 70-80% decline in EPC with the same amount of traffic and CTR..
I have a year of data to compare today and yesterday too.. it's very clear what's happening.
I use a clicktracker as well, approx the same number of clicks, same ads.. only thing different is the payout!
Where's dogboy!? :)
|I have a year of data to compare today and yesterday too.. it's very clear what's happening. |
Just out of curiosity, where did you get your data for April, May, and early June of last year, before AdSense launched? :-)
I was at the bottom of the barrel before, and I'm still there. I haven't really seen any change in revenue. Maybe it's a little higher.
I didn't say you couldn't make decisions without a year's worth of data.
I said that there is no way to know whether or not fluctuations beginning April 1st are normal for this quarter and season without being able to compare to the same time period last year or the year before.
[edited by: varya at 6:34 pm (utc) on April 3, 2004]
|Just out of curiosity, where did you get your data for April, May, and early June of last year, before AdSense launched? :-) |
You're assuming there weren't people using the AdSense program before it was released to public.
I'm very close to a year.. besides the point, my conclusion has been reached. AdSense is becoming an affiliate program.
50% reduction in EPC for April 1 and 2. Today looks no different.
Of my 3 sites,
30% drop in revenue on 2 sites
50% drop in revenue on 1 site
All 3 sites are in niche categories and I have been with Adsense for about 9 months now. I can definitely say that the new pricing structure is decreasing significant amount of revenues.
I just hope that the lost revenues represents the amount saved by each advertiser, rather than just additional $$ gone directly in Google's pocket.
I feel if the advertisers are benefiting from this program, then more and more advertisers will actually sign up for Content sites, and even increase their budget if they are seeing more quality clicks (I am not saying that they already weren't).
Lets wait for a month and see the results, but yes, it would be definitely better for all publishers if Google reverts back to the old revenue structure.
Are there any Happy Stories from Adwords advertisers?
|besides the point, my conclusion has been reached. AdSense is becoming an affiliate program. |
It's always been an affiliate program, in the sense that publishers have been paid only when Google has made a sale (i.e., a click that the advertiser has paid for).
In any case, labels don't matter. The bottom line is what counts. For some publishers, AdSense may become more attractive; for others, it won't.
I don't plan on drawing any firm conclusions until more time has gone by. On April 1, I saw no changes in EPC or revenues; on April 2, EPC and revenues were down by a third; today, April 3, I'm seeing EPC and revenues that are within 10% of my March averages, even though ad targeting is screwed up on some pages. It's too early to tell what the long-term trend will be...or even what the 7-day trend will be!
"I feel if the advertisers are benefiting from this program, then more and more advertisers will actually sign up for Content sites, and even increase their budget..."
It doesn't matter. Google killed the market driven bid system without notice. They say they have replaced it with a secret computer formula.
The CPM banner/pop under combo I was running this time last year would produce twice the revenue I'll bring in today with Adsense, so I'll have to switch back soon rather than continue to subsidise Google. Then I'll start contacting the Adwords advertisers who used to show up on my site about selling them space myself.
I don't have an AdWords account.. but someone should do this.
Find a page on your site that serves an ad, that other pages on your site don't. Setup a channel for that page. Create an AdWords campaign with the exact same terms and words as the unique ad that appears. Edit campaign settings to only show the ad on content network.
Next see how much you're getting charged for that content click, and then check your channel and see how much you're getting paid. Report to us! :)
Imaster asked a very important question:
|Are there any Happy Stories from Adwords advertisers? |
maybe we should post this on the Adwords Forum?...
I think Google was a little too optimistic about publishers dependence on Adsense. When publishers can make more with banner/pop under combination than they can with adsense... well we know what those publishers will do.
Anyone who is making more with the recent changes, let me ask you this: Do you think the extra money you are making is coming out of Googles pocket? Do you think the advertisers are paying more?
If you don't, then that leaves the publishers posting on this board that are being hurt by these changes. What do you think will happen when the guys hurt by these changes leave the adsense program? Who is going to provide the bargin to the advertisers then? Google? Or you?
This thread reminds me of the "related search" thread in August last year: [webmasterworld.com...]
Google dropped that "feature" after numerous complaints on this very forum, so maybe there's hope ;-)
|Google killed the market driven bid system without notice. |
The system was flawed, and it had to be fixed. It just doesn't make sense to have a "one bid fits all" approach for media that range from SERPs to editorial pages to parked-domain pages to Google's new gmail.
Whether Google chose the best solution is open to question; I personally think advertisers would be better off if they could control where their ads appeared instead of relying on an algorithm to determine the value of leads from different sources. Still, the fundamental concept of "different rates for different advertising venues" is sound.
|The CPM banner/pop under combo I was running this time last year would produce twice the revenue I'll bring in today with Adsense, so I'll have to switch back soon rather than continue to subsidise Google. |
To each his own. I wouldn't dream of using popunders for any reason; unobtrusive contextual text ads are less annoying than popunders and can be genuinely useful to the reader. (OTOH, I might juggle my layout by moving affiliate links higher and placing the "Ads by Google" box below the fold if AdSense ads became less valuable than they've been in the past.)
Also, on an editorially diverse site like mine, AdSense monetizes pages about subtopics that don't generate direct or even indirect affiliate sales.
|Then I'll start contacting the Adwords advertisers who used to show up on my site about selling them space myself. |
That may be practical if you have vast quantities of traffic on just a handful of topics. It isn't practical if you've got a site about baked goods with just 10 pages about doughnuts and you're hoping to land a doughnut advertiser.
"I think Google was a little too optimistic about publishers dependence on Adsense. When publishers can make more with banner/pop under combination than they can with adsense... well we know what those publishers will do."
I wonder how many webmasters this will drive back to MarketBanker? Pud should pay Adsense a finders fee.
|If you don't, then that leaves the publishers posting on this board that are being hurt by these changes. What do you think will happen when the guys hurt by these changes leave the adsense program? |
Not much, because the publishers who stay will be those who are generating the most revenues and profits for Google.
Here's how my April stats (so far) differ from March:
CTR: Up 24%
EPC: Down 14%
CPM: Up 7%
So far, the changes are having very little impact for me.
Now, to address a couple of other issues that have come up in this thread:
I don't really think Google is trying to get rid of any publishers, no matter how poorly they perform. Google seems to be desperately trying to find more places to stick ads. Trying to get rid of publishers now would be a complete reversal of their recent strategy.
As for running popunders as an alternative, I don't see how popups and popunders could possibly help but be a long-term money-loser for the publisher. They tend to give you a more or less fixed increase in CPM rates, but the traffic you lose from visitors who don't come back will increase towards infinity as the length of time you've run pops lengthens. It's not hard to add two and two and see what happens when you take on a fixed gain and an ever-increasing loss. Any site that plans on being around for more than a few months should expect to see a net loss on any pops they run. I sincerely wish I had never run them myself.
Banners, of course, are a different story and I run graphical banners as well as AdSense ads. The graphical banners are making a nice comeback for me, although they're still nowhere near what they once produced.
I was just looking at my AdSense control panel for evidence of changes on my site and I can't make any sense of it. On April 1 I had 20 clicks and made 30%*less* than previous date wherein I made the same number of clicks. On April 2nd I had 30 clicks and made 200% *more* than a previous day with the same number of clicks.
Has AdSense always paid out a different amount per ad in the past or is this new?
EPC down 60 %
I'm glad google is making changes. I've decided to get back to work and stop checking this thread so often...
To be honest I would be really happy to see most of the adsense publishers go. Of course this doesn't apply to anyone on THIS site ;), but a good majority of the adsense sites I find online are pretty much dog-**** AFAIC.
Many of these look like they were made FOR google, or FOR adsense, instead of being a product of the webmaster's interests. I really hope those sites just go-away and die because they pollute the internet.
After two days, EPC is down 400% and the promised clickthrough improvement hasn't materialized at all.
I've started shopping around a bit to see what Ad Sonar, Kanoodle and Bid Clix can do for me and my 1 million page views per month. Kanoodle's program isn't ready yet though, still a few weeks out.
My experience with BC, who is my default ad provider, is that they are very friendly and helpful people though their EPC aren't any better than what I am current getting from Ad Sense. I haven't tried Ad Sonar but I read something less than promising on the Affiliate programs board. Kanoodle seems like the best possible alternative.
You would be interested to know that this is actually having the opposite effect of what you desire.
The only site negatively effected by this is my big site, which is my interest and the one I have labored on for 3 years well before AdSense existed.
I made a few small directory sites for certain industries after AdSense came out. Those ones seem to be benefiting slightly from this, though the scale is much smaller.
Anyway, I thought you would find that fact interesting.
So far, my EPC is down 30% since this update..
|The only site negatively effected by this is my big site, which is my interest and the one I have labored on for 3 years well before AdSense existed. |
I AM interested in that data, thank you. Many of the posts I've seen have not mentioned any backround about their sites, page rank or otherwise.
Your site sounds straight up, and you must have hundreds of inbound links by now. I'm sure you'll have no problems finding ways to recover that income, and hopefully adsense's changes will smooth themselves out with regards for your big site.
My main beef has been with the Google exploitation sites which I view as a parasitic.
|Not much, because the publishers who stay will be those who are generating the most revenues and profits for Google. |
Do you think this new 'formula' is sound? Is it silly as sites containing 'review' getting higher rates? Or is it someone from Google looking at sample AdWords campaign conversion rates and marking the account into the click welfare program?
When a user goes to Google and types in 'my site subject' and then clicks on AdWords ad, does that advertiser pay less since the user wasn't looking for 'my site subject <reviews>'?
I was surfing through my site today to get a sense of what ad changes may have occured due to the recent Adsense algo update. The ads do seem much better targeted than they were before.
There are some pages within my site that used to never get well targeted ads that do so now. Also, pages within the site that had been difficult to categorize in the past now seem to default to ads that are of general interest based on my site's theme.
While it is too early to draw any conclusions in terms of revenue, the changes do seem to have brought about greatly improved targeting across the site. This should hopefully be a good thing.
|I AM interested in that data, thank you. Many of the posts I've seen have not mentioned any backround about their sites, page rank or otherwise. |
I have 3 websites myself. The oldest is near or over 500 pages and has been online since 3/2000; PR is 5/10. My next newest has been online since 11/2000, has ~20 pages and is PR 7/10. My third has been online since 2/2002, has ~12 pages and is PR 3/10. All are growing with more content added as time allows.
The largest and oldest gets the most traffic and the most clicks.
I'm not sure if mentioning their topics is allowed so I'll omit that information.