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PPC dropping.. dropping.. dropping..
I can't be the only one

 10:10 am on Nov 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hi all

A similar moan to this was raised a few weeks ago but I'd like to see if anyone is still having problems:

The revenue I am earning per click has dropped dramatically since the beginning of November. My traffic has doubled in the same timespan and I'm getting several hundred clicks a day (Clickthrough % remains the same)

However, the average earning per click has dropped from a consistent average of between 10 and 15 cents to an average of 3-5 cents. It has now been like this for nearly 3 weeks and everyday gets worse.

I have two sites contributing to this - both with totally different subject matter.

Obviously this is a concern, as I've worked very hard to win large increases in traffic.

Any ideas? Please tell me this is a (big, long) blip that will end soon!



 12:20 pm on Nov 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

Me too.
My traffic is way up, CTR steady, but CPM's have fallen through the floor. Yet others on this board are seeing new highs. It (the problem) has to be on the advertising side.


 1:59 pm on Nov 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

Funny thing is that this was posted today, titled

'Big Increase in Adsense Earnings'


 2:07 pm on Nov 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

Same here. My average used to be from 12 to 18 cents PPC consistent since I joined last May but starting November 1 it had gone down to 3 to 5 cents. I've got 3 sites with different contents.


 2:36 pm on Nov 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

I strongly suggest using channels to track the value of clicks. For example, adding content that draws in visitors may not generate much revenue - some content won't generate any appreciable revenue. Also, depending on how you generate traffic, your visitors may actually be more interested in your site content than your ads. (Horror of horrors. ;-)

Also, keep in mind that when many publishers target a "high value" keyword, the number of impressions goes up, so the value of each impression to the advertiser will usually go down. (Google now shows more than six million hits for "mesothelioma", a rare disease which claims about two thousand new victims in the U.S. per year. Do the math.)

Across the board, I've been "stable" for the past few months, but there have been some significant swings when I look at the channel data for particular subjects.


 3:44 pm on Nov 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

I removed second largest channel a month ago and am seeing much better EPC overall and thus even better earnings than before. If you remove the worst CTR.EPC channel, you may see a boost in overall earnings.


 3:52 pm on Nov 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

The drop could be seasonal, your site (or type of content) may have fared poorly after an adjustment to the AdSense "smart pricing" algorithm, or a major advertiser may have stopped bidding for a while.

The problem isn't universal, though--in fact, I've been surprised by how well my CPM has been holding up at a time of year when I'd expect a major slump.


 4:58 pm on Nov 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

I joined adsense in Jan. I've seen increase in trafic, CTR and EPC. my sites cover 30 different topics. If I look at individual channel. some of them are up and down.


 5:16 pm on Nov 24, 2004 (gmt 0)


You said....

I removed second largest channel a month ago and am seeing much better EPC overall and thus even better earnings than before. If you remove the worst CTR.EPC channel, you may see a boost in overall earnings.

This is what confuses me. I always thought that EPC was standard for an ad. Are you saying that EPC changes with how many times an ad is shown?



 5:24 pm on Nov 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

Be sure to ck your pages to be sure they are showing appropriate, on topic ads. I originally noticed a steady decline about first of Nov. , exactly as original poster stated. I have about 7 sites on different topics.

Then three days ago, my earnings and traffic shot up, way up, I saw that all of a sudden many pages that had ranked on 2nd or 3 rd page were now in #2 or #3 position in SERPs.

Then yesterday dropped back to 'normal' BUT, funny thing, just now I was doing some searches for a remodeling project I am involved in, I was suprised to see my own pages in top positions. After ck'ing out some of the other sites for the info I was seeking, I backed up and clicked my own links, just to let Google see that someone had chosen my pages worthy of clicks--and surprize-surprize, the adsence ads on my pages were so totally off topic it was amazing. This off: swiming pool surround surfaces pages with ads for cameras and driver software.

Previously they have had very ON TOPIC ads--I have seen them many times.

So now my task is to figure out what words might be triggering these off topic ads, and make changes. Point here is: ck your pages to be sure the ads are relevant. If not, that could easily explain your noticible drop in revenue.

One other interesting Google thing this morning. While searching for swim pool surround surface info, I noticed all the SERPS were Australian sites. I am using a computer with a Deep South, USA IP. So I added -australia to my search terms string, what does Google do, but show me all ads from UK sites!
Go figure!

Sally Stitts

 5:31 pm on Nov 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

"I removed second largest channel a month ago and am seeing much better EPC overall and thus even better earnings than before. If you remove the worst CTR.EPC channel, you may see a boost in overall earnings."

By "remove a channel", do you mean removing the adsense ads from those pages that are IN THE channel?

Or do you mean simply removing the "channel code" from the Adsense ads?

I'm sure that Google compares all the pages that you are running Adsense on. Why would switching channels around affect earnings in any way?

Does Google reward high CTR pages by paying more money to them? Sure.

Or, does Google only reward only high CTR pages that are IN PARTICULAR channels? Doesn't seem logical.


 6:52 pm on Nov 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

Does Google reward high CTR pages by paying more money to them? Sure.

Could you mean pages with high conversion rates (as opposed to high clickthrough rates), as determined by the AdWords/AdSense conversion-tracking tool?


 6:56 pm on Nov 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

Ok, ok.

I tried to say too much with too little content.

What I mean by that is :

1. If you know (through channel) that one of your sites or channel has very low CTR and EPC, you can have higher overall earnings by removing the adsense from the channel or site. From another discussion, there were speculation about how the EPCs were decided. One of the ideas was that Google will have an overall evaluation of EPC LEVEL "PER ACCOUNT".

So I said I would test the idea a month ago and removed the code from the worst performing site and it sent my sites overall EPC up by 30% (back to six month ago). I was seeing overall decrease in CPC for this year little by little.

I belive removing the code from the worst site helped boost the overall EPCs and TOTAL earnings. (The site had about 20% of my total impressions and less than 5% of clicks with less than 5% of earnings). If the experiment is the reason, I am happy to lose 20% of my impressions and 5% of clicks for 30% higher EPC.(and more total earnings due to higher EPCs)

Well, of course, there might be something else as you would argue. FYI, I haven't changed much of my sites for the last 6 months. So I am assuming Google Adsense changed for my other sites.


 6:58 pm on Nov 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

If you greatly increase traffic in the same subject area you are almost surely going to decrease CPC.

The high paying ads will hit their budget and not be displayed.

You also might have finally made it worthwhile for advertisers to permanently decrease bids or stop content ads completely.


 7:03 pm on Nov 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

for europeforvisitors's statement, I don't believe that Google use CONVERSION INFO to determine the overall EPC level for an account. I manage a BIG Adwords account for our company and have a Google Accout manager for us. He said that NO ONE out of top ten spenders in our industry use Google's tracking tool, since all of them have their own tracking system (including our company.) The top ten companies spend a few million dollars a year with Google alone. If they don't use Google's tool, there is no way Google can tell which publisher's sites have better conversting traffic.


 8:19 pm on Nov 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

I don't know if Google uses conversion tracking to adjust EPC for specific publisher accounts; neither does anyone else who doesn't work for Google.

However, it does seem likely that Google's "smart pricing" algorithm is based, in part, on data gathered through conversion tracking, since:

1) Smart pricing is intended to "automatically adjust the price of clicks across the Google Network based on their expected value to the advertiser" and...

2) It's hard to imagine Google using guesswork to determine that "expected value" when conversion-tracking data is available.

I'm going to assume, therefore, that--at the very least--Google uses conversion-tracking data to make broad assumptions about expected value to the advertiser (e.g., "clicks from forums tend to convert poorly," "clicks from product reviews tend to convert fairly well," or "clicks from highly targeted ads tend to convert better than clicks from less targeted ads."). That was the implication of what Google said last April, when publishers were told: "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."

It's also possible that, where available, conversion-tracking data is used to adjust "smart pricing" discounts for specific publishers up or down from the baseline numbers. (Note that I say "possible," not "true" or even "likely.")


 9:19 pm on Nov 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

The industry I am in is one of the top 5 largest in e-commerce in the US. Only small companies in this industry would use Google's tracking tool. I know Google said they would use the conversion info for smart pricing but because of the limitations in adoption, I think they have to GUESSWORK the value of the clicks from the publishers. Top 10 industry leaders do not use Google's tracking tool according to the Google account manager and there are dozens of larger stores spend more than 10s of millions dollars for this industry in Google. I bet they don't use Google's tracking tool either since they have huge budget. Why would you use Google's proprietary tracking tool if you have to track other online programs, too?

I do not know how Google guestimate the value of the clicks from a specific publisher, it is not based on the conversion tracking tool (At least for this industry). Google may use it for smart pricing with data from smaller advetisers. I don't believe it is a good representitive pool for the industry. If Google uses the data anyway because they cannot get it otherwise, the Smart Pricing is not "Smart". Maybe that's why webmasters here are crying about the fluctuation(decrease) of EPCs...


 9:43 pm on Nov 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

aftet more than a year with adsense my earnings dropped 70% starting the 10th of november.

They seems to have set a maximum of 7 cent per click on my site.

if a click converts or not doesn't seems to matter.


 1:14 am on Nov 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

After the last posting on this I went back and studied my data . Noticed that after "april smart pricing" that CPM flattened out. Would tend to explain the higher clicks lower epc many have noted. Anyone else with sufficient data seeing this trend?


 1:30 am on Nov 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

I hate holiday, especially a holiday in US.


 6:04 am on Nov 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Since 24 October my earnings per click has decreased with about 80 %. I'm now questioning if I should stop using Adsense.


 6:04 am on Nov 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Since 24 October my earnings per click have decreased with about 80 %. I'm now questioning if I should stop using Adsense.


 9:25 am on Nov 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

I also see drop in Effective CPM and PPC but I think it will increase. It's the end of month and it's normal that large advertisers are waiting for new December advertising budgets.

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