|Very bad two days|
Anyone else noticing a decline in earnings and poor targeting?
AdWords Related thread: [webmasterworld.com...]
Just wondering if Anyone else noticing a sharp decline in overhaul Adsense performance.
Jan was my record month with earnings well into three figures per day.
I am notice a sharp decline on all fronts since the beginning of Feb.
Page impressions are right on daily average target (+-5%) while CTR is down by approx 1.2% and “effective CPM” is down by almost 40%.
I have a network of sites (7 sites) on a wide range of topics. The traffic on the sites hasn’t changed much since the begining of Feb +- same number of daily viewers across the network , while earnings continue to slide daily (adsense alone, other aff products i have linked continue to sell well).
I did notice very poor ad targeting on a few pages recently. Pages which used to display very good targeted ads and this may explain the bad CTR and “effective CPM”.
Is there any major adsense update going on?….anyone else noticing this happening since the start of Feb?
I did not update any of my content recently to warrent such update.
The title of this thread really should be changed to "very bad month" at this point.
|I wonder if Google is experimenting with different SERPs to find which pay the best. |
There are already several threads on that theme in the Google Conspiracy Theory Forum at:
>BUT am happy to report that everything is back to normal the past 3 days
Still not seeing it here. Same steady impressions as always, somewhat higher CTR (up about 15% over avg), but lower than EVER PPC and CPM. In fact Friday was our lowest CPM since the beginning of December, which was while we were still tweeking and adding new ads!
I'm noticing a couple new, well known, LARGE VOLUME, generic advertisers (similar to the well known, low PPC, big-E and big-Y :-) who probably are paying only .05, creeping onto our pages. In the past I'd concentrated most on filtering and optimizing our higher traffic volume channels, but these seem to be appearing on a large number of the REST of our channels consistently, so they're harder to spot, but taking their toll in the overall total. I've decided to test-filter them to see if the CPM jumps back up. You all might want to check for the same.
Well, who knows? This increasingly resembles the batch of blind persons trying to describe an elephant. Trying for a new perspective, I loaded the code from a different contextual ad network a few days ago and found their ads to be great -- much better targeting, fewer generic space fillers, humans holding my hand (a real live account executive!), etc.
I am delighted with this alternative (not Quigo/AdSonar) and everything about it is great. Except for two things
-- the CTR is about half that for AdSense, even in AdSense's current weakened state;
-- the net payout to the publisher is not what the raw figures (clicks averaging in the 90-cent range) would lead one to expect. For some reason, Network X seems to count a much smaller percentage of impressions than Google. (I haven't yet gotten a good explanation for this).
More testing is needed but for now, I'm switching most of my pages back to Google. I'll set up a subset of my site and rotate other ad networks in a more systematic manner.
Long ago we set up a series of PHP includes that make it very easy to change ads sitewide. I highly recommend this. It makes it much easier to switch around and ssee which lay-out, graphic style and ad network works best for you.
|...BUT am happy to report that everything is back to normal the past 3 days... |
Really? Wish it was true for everyone!
My stats look basically the same as far as the low EPC downturn goes, which started on Jan 28, with a few very minor indications of a potential uptrend.
All in all, i'm glad I moved to alcohol-plentiful Germany before Google decided to do all this because it sure does help forget my bills! :(
I'm unhappy to report that my earnings took yet another nose dive - for the last week or so I had my earnings down maybe 40%, and the past two days they've been down another 30%(from the average)!...it could be because of valentine's day weekend, but I don't know...
Well, guys, it lasted for 4 days.
Today... earnings dropped like a brick... right on the big toe :(
Strange news on my part.
After #*$!ing long & loud at big G for days on end about serious declines in revenue per visitor (RPV in my book) and revenue per click (RPC), something astounding happened.
Friday and Saturday set all-time records for their particular day of the week for both AdSense RPV and RPC.
RPC soared to heights unseen since the glory days of last spring and of course, that dragged RPV with it.
Seeing similarly high numbers today (Sunday here) as well.
This is on eleven sites with clicks totalling 10k+ per day.
My suggestion is to be the squeaky wheel. It seems to be working here.
I don't see any other explanation for a sudden spike of 38% in RPC from Thursday to Friday and continuing through the weekend.
10,000 clicks a day?..that must be a %$#^ of money...
what kind of CTR do you get on your traffic?
|All in all, i'm glad I moved to alcohol-plentiful Germany before Google decided to do all this because it sure does help forget my bills! |
Ha ha ha ha ha ha - It's Europe's century, trust me!
earnings still suck for this month, down 80% from last month :(((( each click is worth less than 5 cents on average, grrrrr.
Getting the same. My daily earnings for the last three days is down by 75% (yes 75%!) comparing to average earnings per day for last month.
I also Noticed lots of empty ad units and low number of reported impressions (probably as a result). CTR and ECPM seams to be holding OK.
Something major is off. I have no doubt. My earnings which used to be well into 3 figures per day have been reduced to something that would buy a couple of pizzas and a drink now. Don’t know if to cry or to laugh. Two more days like that and I’m going to start pulling off all the ads and replace by aff program links.
Stuff it, it wouldn’t even display alt ads, just empty place holders. I wounder What the hell is going on up there.
|Ha ha ha ha ha ha - It's Europe's century, trust me! |
Actually, in terms of economic growth, it is Asia's century by a wide margin.
There is an old Jewish curse that goes something like this:
"May he be rich and then poor."
It would have been better if it was the other way around.
or be rich for 90 years and then poor for the last 10 minutes...
I'm starting to get worried about my adsense earnings now. I've had these occasional downturns in the past but they've always picked up. At the moment it looks as though what I'm getting per click has dropped ridiculously low.
I don't suppose anyone's heard anything from google? I'm getting record high (for me anyway) clicks, but the money just isn't there.
Well, time for my periodic report into this thread.
For a while now we have rotated ads on a cross section of our pages between Adsense and AdS0n@r. As of last evening (Sunday) the earnings on the later actually exceeded the former for the first time since we started tracking both! I don't know what G has done but we're seeing channels with steady clickthrus in the dozens and daily PPC AVERAGES below .04 where they used to be 5 times that! Traffic is the same, CTR has not increased drastically to perhaps signal bunches of fraudulent clicks, even the ads are substantially the same, just the PPC and earnings have plummeted over 40%. And I was the one excited we made it to the UPS club last month! Obviously won't be happening again this month.
The other guys have a much smaller selection of ads in our category so the CTR is about 1/4 of G's but the substantially higher PPC, especially with G in this current mode, offsets the earnings decline, PLUS you can configure them to open in a new window and customize the ad blocks more precisely and get no "ads by google" links. Today will be the deciding factor if we switch totally although we've already started moving a lot of our lowest PPC and high traffic pages as of yesterday.
My EPC has dropped from about $1.25 to $0.12.
I have emailed G about it and this is what they said.
"We're constantly analyzing data across our network against a variety of
factors. If our data shows that a click is less likely to turn into
business results (e.g. online sale, registration, phone call, or
newsletter sign up), we reduce the price that an advertiser will pay
We take into account many factors such as what keywords or concepts
triggered the ad as well as the type of site on which the ad was
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
next to a review of digital cameras.
Please also understand that your earnings will depend on a significant
number of factors, such as your users' clickthrough selections,
spending campaign trends, and the types of ads being served to your
Therefore, you should expect to notice occasional fluctuations in your
This is a load of crap. I expect some fucuations but not a 90% drop.
Fluctuations means up and down.
As far as I have seen it is just going down down down......
At this rate it is not even worth fooling with. I will be switching to adsonar or some other progam this week.
I do wonder if there is common ground between the sites that have been hit hard like mine. It would help if we knew what sector/type of site everyone was in. You don't have to be to descriptive and give any secrets away. I'll even go first.
My site has to do with making money in an online game. Most ads are for making real money so they are some what relevant. Anyway I have the get rich now ads showing on my site.
Anyone else care to show and tell?
Given the current situation, I've also started looking (and been accepted) into adsonar. Integration into my existing site(s) will follow suite.
Is this what G wants us to do?... then so be it.
If you have the ability, rfung, I'd recommend starting out by alternating ads on each page between each impression, between the two services. Then comparing each channel/page to the same channel/page on each service. That's what I've been doing. Within a week you'll see some obvious discrepancies where one is doing far better than the other. Compare total earnings or CPM since CTR is far different. Also you have to consider you're not sending people totally off your site if you tell it to open in a new window with Sonar.
BTW, Joebob, we're 80% in the Travel industry.
My overall earnings are still awful.
Whats interesting is the the main term I bid on with Adwords has got more competive over the last 4 weeks. Min bid 0.04pence now gets a position in the low 40s, whereas for the last year the min bid has got a position in the low 30's.
This is not an industry where there is a definitive purchase as such, so driving traffic is the goal.
Why I am earning less from my Adsense ads with sites for this term than I was amonth ago, is just plain bizarre.
The only explantion to me is Google is keeping a larger chunk.
I am also looking closer at my Adsonr options.
February EPC, as of mid-month: Same as January's (within two-tenths of a cent).
February CPM, as of mid-month: 94% of January's.
The 6% CPM drop appears to be the result of a fractionally lower clickthrough rate (not enough to register in the stats report).
URL channel figures show more variations than the overall averages do, which suggests that editorial diversity has a smoothing effect (like having an indexed stock fund that's based on the Standard & Poor 500 instead of shares in a handful of volatile companies).
"If our data shows that a click is less likely to turn into business results (e.g. online sale, registration, phone call, or newsletter sign up), we reduce the price that an advertiser will pay for that click."
So any idea HOW they determine this, if they're not getting feedback from the advertisers? If they ARE getting feedback what makes them think the advertisers wouldn't say they're NOT converting, just so they can get more cheap clicks? ("Naw the traffic sucks, but keep giving us more, more! Oh, and don't charge us anything...")
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.
Um, Duh! It's not US who SELECT the ads, give us better ads! So why then does GAd bother SERVING such ads on those pages, if they 'KNOW' they aren't worth anything when people click? This sounds SOOO BOGUS to me like G KNOWS they've suddenly started being much more liberal about experimenting with what kinds of ads they serve, where, instead of say PSAs or even better ads, and thus charge the advertisers less, while as a result increasing the CTR and decreasing the PPC to publishers just to increase overall traffic flow and look better to shareholders. This is more acceptable if the PPC drops in unison with the CTR going up to maintain the same CPM, but in this case the PPC is dropping much quicker than the CTR is going up! This is all the more justification for allowing publishers to specify a minimum PPC that they are willing to accept. If GAd decides they'd rather post ads that even THEY have decided are silly and useless and charge only .05 for digital cameras on my photography page, I'd rather put up an Alternate Ad from AdSonar. Along this theory, anyone noticing less PSAs than they used to? Personally, I've noticed a lot of blocks which used to be blank are ALWAYS full now (however most of those pages are still doing well in the CPM/PPC)
...such as your users' clickthrough selections,
Huh? What's that mean? Another term for fraudulent clicks?
I do wonder if there is common ground between the sites that have been hit hard like mine. It would help if we knew what sector/type of site everyone was in.
Calling all conspiracy theorists... :-)
I was just wondering too, if anyone else in this boat was recently (as in a few days before or after they started noticing the down trend) contacted by phone or e-mail by their GAd rep to try and talk them into trying a new 'feature' or 'option' that they weren't currently using?
One thing - the digital camera shop example is dated April 2004 on the Google site. So it's not something new.
I totally agree though, that something changed on Feb 1st to cause chaotic price per click and thus CPM.
It looks more to me that they changed something on Friday January 28th as I first noticed the nosedive down 75% on January 29th. My traffic has at least held steady and has even gotten better through all of this.
Personally, I've managed to pull myself up by my bootstraps with a total site redesign and using different adblocks (rectangles) in more obvious locations. I'm now doing better than I was prior to whatever happened. Still, I can't help but think I'd be faring even better than I currently am if nothing had been tinkered with on G's side of things.
Sometimes you just have to fight fire with fire. Or so the saying goes.
|So why then does GAd bother SERVING such ads on those pages, if they 'KNOW' they aren't worth anything when people click? |
When they introduced the policy for the first time I sent them a note trying to refute such a nonsense.
If a user browsing ANYTHING becomes interested in an ad saying "BUY BLUE WIDGETS" and he does a click on it, what is the chance the he will buy some widgets?
IMHO, by all reasoning, the same as for someone who clicked from "blue widget info" site.
He knew precisely where he was heading to and what to expect there.
Now, the relevancy of ads on publisher's site has nothing to do with advertisers' conversion, but much more with CTR on the publisher's site or HIS conversion.
How many people on "lawn movers" site would be interested in "blue widgets" ads?
Only the ones that by pure accident need it. But again, it still does not make them less possible to convert on advertiser's site.
It is difficult to say if this discriminatory logic (someone's dollar is less worth) is typical for Google, they really have had a lot of "do no evil" behavior. But their another side: favoring (democratically elected) VIP's, is very strong too.
I would not be surprised if their EPC individual policy is determined by a publisher's page PR too, as an additional factor.
[edited by: activeco at 1:41 am (utc) on Feb. 15, 2005]
The one explanation (possibly given in numerous earlier posts/threads already) why the EPCs for certain areas/keywords/publishers seems to have changed overnight could be a Smart Pricing update by using historical conversion data from Google's conversion tracking system (that has been available since October 2003).
If a major analysis of the historical data (leading to an update) is done only periodically that would explain the sudden change. It would also explain why not all areas/keywords/publishers are affected.
That wouldn't, however, explain why some are seeing a rebound to normal levels. Maybe the lower Smart Prices (for advertizers) increase demand for some keywords so much that the increased bidding + number of new advertizers leads to the old EPC levels for some (or does the Smart Pricing effectively cap the price advertizers need to pay, regardless of competitive bidding?).
|So why then does GAd bother SERVING such ads on those pages, if they 'KNOW' they aren't worth anything when people click? |
They aren't saying the ads "aren't worth anything," they're merely saying the ads are less likely to convert. And they're probably basing that assumption on a statistical analysis of ads from different types of pages, using data from their conversion-tracking tool.
Let's assume, just for the sake of discussion, that ads for digital cameras on a "photo tips" page convert at 1/10 the rate of ads on a review page at a site like Steve's Digicams or DPReview. The ads on the "photo tips" page may be worth only 1/10 as much as the others, but that doesn't mean they're worthless to the advertiser. They just aren't worth as much to the advertiser (or to Google). Whether they're worthwhile for the publisher is something that only the publisher can decide.
If it is true that GAd is lowering the PPC across the board because of less value, we would need to determine if those on the adwords side are actually seeing correspondingly lower PPCs to match. Anyone confirm?
As far as the Feb 1 date, it appears, and is quite likely, that whatever it was, was done, perhaps MANUALLY, to different categories/publishers/keywords/whatever in waves over a period of days from about Jan 28 - Feb 3. Our CPM/PPC peaked at an all time high on Dec 31-Feb 1, only to begin it's obvious, definite decline on Feb 2. Others seem to report a few days one way or the other. Since data is only reported in 24 hr groupings, it's difficult to pin-point precisely since it may have changed in the middle of a 24 hour period.
|And they're probably basing that assumption on a statistical analysis of ads from different types of pages, using data from their conversion-tracking tool. |
Conversion Tracking Tool is a feature for internal use by Adwords advertisers. I have no doubt that it was tracked by Google, but should not make any influence on CPC/EPC as it is very easy for it to be manipulated, as MikeNoLastName already noted.