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Very bad two days
Anyone else noticing a decline in earnings and poor targeting?
max_mm




msg:1402093
 7:40 am on Feb 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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?

P.S.
I did not update any of my content recently to warrent such update.

 

activeco




msg:1402393
 1:58 am on Feb 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

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.

zjacob




msg:1402394
 2:23 am on Feb 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

activeco, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the Smart Pricing based solely on the data from Google conversion tracking tool?

As for manipulation of the tracking tool, I have been under the impression that the Smart Prices are based on averages, so no individual advertiser can game the system.

The tool is basically a JavaScript code on advertisers conversion confirmation pages, so its also automated.

In fact, I can't imagine that any individual company with Adwords campaign would want to intentionally distort their conversion data (given that Smart Prices are based on averages), as this can be very, very valuable information for an advertiser.

Freedom




msg:1402395
 5:32 am on Feb 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

My CTR and CPM are actually higher this month then they were in January, but overall earnings are down due to some algo changes.

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).

The important word in that statement is "...certain areas/keywords/publishers..."

Based on the evidence I am reading here and the 10 websites i have using AS across a wide range of topics, I think there is strong evidence to support this statement.

Some categories of my websites have gone untouched while others have been affected by the Smart Pricing change. Meanwhile, other publishers here have noticed a 90 percent drop in their CPM.

I think it would be beneficial to all of here if those who have seen a DRASTIC DROP in their CPM posted the general subject of their websites. ie. = Travel, Wedding Planners, Finance, etc.

night707




msg:1402396
 5:38 am on Feb 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

Revenues still keep on shrinking further despite constant traffic ... right now only at 30% of what Jan has brought. Support is also useless by now and perhaps best to consider adsense only when having a 5million + website.

icedowl




msg:1402397
 8:03 am on Feb 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

For what it's worth, targeting today was really bad. Like having ads for tricycles on a site selling diesel trucks. They both have wheels in common but little else.

(No, my site has nothing to do with either.)

activeco




msg:1402398
 8:49 am on Feb 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

activeco, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the Smart Pricing based solely on the data from Google conversion tracking tool?

Probably. Which makes the system prone to manipulation.


In fact, I can't imagine that any individual company with Adwords campaign would want to intentionally distort their conversion data (given that Smart Prices are based on averages), as this can be very, very valuable information for an advertiser.

There are many Ad/ROI Management software programs around, which have been used long before Adwords existed.
Any serious business would not disclose its ROI to the advertising company he works with as this would be call to..."smarter pricing".
On the contrary, with "conversion tracking tool" the advertiser has been given a way to artificially deflate its ROI in order to get better CPC price.
It is not important if his input counts towards average only, his vote is still a part of it and most advertisers are very well aware of that.

valley




msg:1402399
 11:01 am on Feb 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

About conversion, the way I see it, we send traffic, it s up to the advertizer to get the visitor buying. If the ads take you to an unrelated page with a useless offer site why should our click value be reduced.
Maybe the advertizers should be the ones that create a better landing page of value for the traffic we send. We send traffic, that's the bottom line.
The advertizers should make the best out of it and be more selective and honest in their ads description.

jhood




msg:1402400
 11:20 am on Feb 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

My site is 10,000 pages of consumer news, reviews, complaints, resources, recall notices, etc., constantly updated, 140,000 page views most weekdays. Major areas covered include automotive, travel, finance, health and home improvements (everything, in other words). Beginning the afternoon of Friday, Feb. 4, AdSense revenue plunged and ad selection turned to mush. Page after page got ads for competing sites and the legendary "Great Buys on Consumer Complaints at Ebay."

We have always had ups and downs but this is like the difference between stepping off a curb and falling off a cliff. We were getting both fewer ads and less appropriate ads. Earnings literally fell 90%.

It's embarrassing to Google, I would think, as our site was used as an example in a techno publication of a new feature not yet released to all the AdSense sites. Those who follow the link see a site that, today at least, is using a different text ad service.

Being somewhat long in the tooth, I have been in advertising-related businesses a long time and find it quite rare for a rep firm (which is what AdSense is in ad industry parlance) to be quite as aloof and insulated as the AdSense operation. It's odd behavior, frankly.

Freedom




msg:1402401
 11:21 am on Feb 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

Maybe the advertizers should be the ones that create a better landing page of value for the traffic we send. We send traffic, that's the bottom line.
The advertizers should make the best out of it.

Absolutely agree.

It's true that not all traffic is created equal, but the other side (AW advertisers) does tend to place all the blame on publishers without accepting any responsibility for their low conversions.

At least that's how it appears to me after reading their posts on the matter.

Hopefully with the new AW url filter, the Anti-AdSense camp will have fewer reasons to complain.

jhood




msg:1402402
 11:56 am on Feb 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

And another thing ... Google is, perhaps unwittingly, getting itself into the position of passing judgment on the editorial content of the sites it represents to advertisers. When done by government units, this is called censorship.

In the advertising world, ad rates are based primarily on circulation and general media categories (daily newspaper, major metro tv, etc.) It's anathema for advertisers or the agencies and rep firms that broker deals between media outlets and advertisers to get into judging whether The Daily Warthog is friendlier to, say, car dealers than The Daily Beast.

Is Google penalizing our site because we carry comments critical of our advertisers? If so, the ethical thing is to decline to represent us, not to strangle us slowly. It borders on doing evil to discriminate in this manner -- to pay some sites more for the same commodity than others.

It would be highly unethical for us to temper our news and consumer reviews just to keep advertisers happy. It's just as unethical -- OK, evil -- for Google to venture into setting itself up as ultimate arbiter of which sites should be rewarded and which should be punished.

Google needs to give some serious thought to the swamp it is blindly wandering into.

hitsusa




msg:1402403
 11:57 am on Feb 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

10,000 clicks a day?..that must be a %$#^ of money...

what kind of CTR do you get on your traffic?

It is a lot of money. ;-)

But then again, my sites are worth it!

Consistently get 25%+ of visitors hitting the ads (not per impression).

Regarding those experiencing the dramatic drop in earnings, yes it affected me too, but I didn't sit still and take it.

I believe there is an earnings filter being unfairly applied to some sites in a misguided attempt by G to "improve" the advertiser experience.

I complained long and loud, several times a day, providing detailed statistics to back up my claims.

Eventually, I was able to blast my way to a higher response level at G. Responses were no longer canned replies with a one sentence comment tacked on. Now, they responded with questions and comments like an actual human would (I about fell out of my chair!).

After this communication breakthrough, the sudden sharp return of great revenue per click (my RPC went up 38% on Friday to year ago levels and has stayed there) indicates to me that a filter was turned off for my sites.

There is no other logical explanation. The data does not compute otherwise.

My suggestion is to arm yourself with detailed facts - things like historical revenue per click numbers & weekly trends in revenue per visitor - and try to move beyond entry level AdSense "support".

If you're not persisitent and don't provide supporting documentation, then they'll keep ignoring you and giving you canned responses.

If your earnings tanked, fight for what you believe in. It's your program too!

HTH

rfung




msg:1402404
 12:15 pm on Feb 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

probably having 10k clicks a day helps on the leverage front too :)...

again out of curiosity, this total is for how many sites?

hitsusa




msg:1402405
 3:07 pm on Feb 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

probably having 10k clicks a day helps on the leverage front too :)...
again out of curiosity, this total is for how many sites?

Eleven sites.

Some are 3 to 4 years old.

Others are 3 months old.

Most are multi-hundred page content sites that don't sell anything.

One sells an ebook I wrote, but makes 100 times the ebook sales by advertising the topic on the article pages (go figure!).

Back story - Book sales slow. Wrote the articles to place on other sites to get traffic to help sell the book. Book sales still slow. Added the articles (50+ by that point) to the site. Added AdSense. Site started making $5k a month. Book sales still slow. Added third party articles. Site started making $10k a month. Book sales stay flat. Took book content and made it into hundreds of content pages. Site makes $30k a month. No longer care if book sells.

europeforvisitors




msg:1402406
 3:37 pm on Feb 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

And another thing ... Google is, perhaps unwittingly, getting itself into the position of passing judgment on the editorial content of the sites it represents to advertisers....In the advertising world, ad rates are based primarily on circulation and general media categories (daily newspaper, major metro tv, etc.).

Circulation is just one measure. Audience quality (i.e., demographics and other research data) is another. That's why different newspapers, magazines, TV shows, etc. charge different CPMs.

Is Google penalizing our site because we carry comments critical of our advertisers?

No.

amznVibe




msg:1402407
 4:12 pm on Feb 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

Site makes $30k a month. No longer care if book sells.

Don't take this the wrong way but if I was making $30k a month I would not be sitting around on my computer posting to WebmasterWorld (unless that was on an international flight to some exotic country via $5/minute satalitte wireless ;) ).

dvduval




msg:1402408
 4:39 pm on Feb 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

No offense to the author, but I think the title of this thread says it all. You just can't look at Two Days and make any sort of judgement. We have all had strange changes in data of short periods of time that are hard to explain. It better to track your monthly number, as well as your average earnings per day.

trader




msg:1402409
 4:58 pm on Feb 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

HITUSA: One sells an ebook I wrote, but makes 100 times the ebook sales by advertising the topic on the article pages (go figure!). Back story - Book sales slow. Wrote the articles to place on other sites to get traffic to help sell the book. Book sales still slow. Added the articles (50+ by that point) to the site. Added AdSense. Site started making $5k a month. Book sales still slow. Added third party articles. Site started making $10k a month. Book sales stay flat. Took book content and made it into hundreds of content pages. Site makes $30k a month. No longer care if book sells.

Amazing, both the incredible income without product sales, and also the fact you talk about it openly here.

If I was making 30K month without product/service sales from Adsense and no work other than maintaining the website I would not be posting about it here!

Instead I would be sitting on the beach all day or something like that, and spending time relaxing at my various vacation homes I would own, waiting for my overnite mail check from G each month.

Perhaps you should clone the entire website and make 10 sites with 10 new domains and start making $300,000 month. How about making one for me and selling me the website? Please let me know via sticky mail if possible and the price.

P.S. How do you get such heavy traffic?

[edited by: trader at 5:02 pm (utc) on Feb. 15, 2005]

howiejs




msg:1402410
 5:00 pm on Feb 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

hitusa - It is great to hear feedback from publishers doing well w/ the system!

Zygoot




msg:1402411
 5:42 pm on Feb 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

hitsusa, thanks for posting your story , very interesting!

Do you get a lot of traffic on your e-book site? (hundreds, thousands or ten thousands a day?)
Can you give us any idea about the theme of your book? (no need to be specific)

(P.S. : I can understand if you do not wish to share these details ;-) )

trader




msg:1402412
 6:21 pm on Feb 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

Interesting, wish I knew how HITUSA gets all that traffic to get a staggering 10,000 clicks/day? I have tried to get traffic to my several sites selling ebooks for ages without success.

In fact, I have found my ebook sites by far the most difficult to get traffic going to vs other products. Most people it seems are weary of seeing so many ebooks advertised on so many websites that they tend to cast a blind eye to them, similar to how they also ignore banner ads.

What is your secret hitusa? Thanks for sharing.

webpublisher




msg:1402413
 6:29 pm on Feb 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

"Added third party articles. Site started making $10k a month."

(not sure how to get the extract in a box!)

- So should we all be adding third pary articles to our articles and not be worry about the external links and the fact we are duplicating content? Seems to work well in this case

rfung




msg:1402414
 6:52 pm on Feb 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hit:

Are you concerned that a lot of your revenue is from one single site? unless of course, it isnt?:)

asianguy




msg:1402415
 7:12 pm on Feb 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

hitsusa is full of BS! The fact that the matter is, there's nobody in here gets 10,000 clicks a day and making $30K a month with the kind of contents he's been saying. Unless you are a major company with people working with you, a huge directory, shopping , or search engine portal contents, that i will consider.

AZEvil




msg:1402416
 7:46 pm on Feb 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

there's nobody in here gets 10,000 clicks a day and making $30K

If I could get 10,000 clicks in a day, I'd make $30K a week at the rate that my sites go...With 10,000 clicks a day, he only has to average $.10/click.

fearlessrick




msg:1402417
 7:47 pm on Feb 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

Just thought I'd throw in my comments as I was doing well through Sunday, but Monday, CPM fell off, along with earnings, and so far today, I'm down to an all-time low.

This is after hitting new highs in CTR, CPM and earnings.

Having been a newspaper publisher in a previous career, I have to maintain that Google needs to quit fiddling with whatever filtering they are doing.

From reading some of the previous posts about conversion, I have to agree with anyone who's ever been in the publishing business prior to the internet boom - this is unlike anything we've ever seen.

The fact that Google won't disclose even what percentage of the revenue we receive makes it even worse. I'd love to trust these people, but judging by what's been happening, it's apparent that one cannot Once these companies go public, everything changes. I went through that with eBay, so here we go again.

As a newspaper publisher, if I had based the cost of my ads on what people would buy, I'd have been out of business, as would many others. In fact, I would not have gone into the business in the first place.

My hunch is that small publishers are being squeezed. Surely advertisers, given a choice would prefer CNN, or a major site over my small niche publication.

Sad. I was just beginning to make real money with Adsense. Back to the old drwing board, I suppose.

Freedom




msg:1402418
 8:44 pm on Feb 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

Sad. I was just beginning to make real money with Adsense. Back to the old drwing board, I suppose.

Look, as it's been stated many, many times - AS earnings are like the weather - it changes all the time. Many long time AS publishers might remember the first such catastrophe to their earnings when Smart Pricing was introduced.

Be patient. Your earnings could return to normal eventually.

On the Bright Side of Town: Online advertising is set to grow 20 percent this year in the USA alone while actual space (SERPs) to advertise is decreasing as more and more advertisers fight it out for the top slots. (Check out ecommercetimes for that story).

The fact that Google won't disclose even what percentage of the revenue we receive makes it even worse.

They did let us know when the filed their SEC/IPO papers.

As a newspaper publisher, if I had based the cost of my ads on what people would buy, I'd have been out of business, as would many others. In fact, I would not have gone into the business in the first place.

I was in the newspaper business myself. One thing you have to realize is this is a whole new business model. You are trying to compare an orange to an apple here.

By the end of January, I was ttttthhhhhhiiiiissssss close to being in the "club." But by now, my earnings have rolled back 1/3 due to an algo change.

Those are the breaks and I don't worry about this kind of stuff like I used to. For a few days this month, my CTR/CPM/EPC were WAY DOWN. I posted back then at the beginning of this thread my overall lack of concern to this fact and things are already back to normal.

What I am trying to get across to some of the new users/AS publishers here is to not get too worked up over what's going on right now. Just go back to doing what you do best and to hell with the conspiracy theories.

One Final Note: asianguy, with all due respect for you, that kind of language is too antagonistic for this forum.

fearlessrick




msg:1402419
 8:55 pm on Feb 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

Freedom, you're right on a number of points (probably all of them... I'm stressing over a couple of other things and this just happened to be a convenient place to vent).

AS is different from traditional publishing, and we did agree to those terms, but I WISH they were better. It's just getting old to have huge corporations hanging over and dictating your existence. Maybe that's just me...

Anyhow, my CPM just jumped back up a bit since I checked. Maybe posting here has some other, magical income-producing power.

Back to work...

europeforvisitors




msg:1402420
 9:38 pm on Feb 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

The fact that Google won't disclose even what percentage of the revenue we receive makes it even worse.

Are you kidding? Google is paying you 100% of the amount that you're contractually entitled to. What more could you want? :-)

Seriously, read Google's pitch for AdSense. It states: "When relevant ads appear on your web pages, people click on them—and Google pays you." It doesn't talk about percentages or commissions. The correct metric isn't what percentage you're getting; it's your effective CPM and total revenues. To Google's credit, the contract is non-exclusive and can be cancelled at any time, so you aren't bound to AdSense if you find your revenues unsatisfactory.

As a newspaper publisher, if I had based the cost of my ads on what people would buy, I'd have been out of business, as would many others. In fact, I would not have gone into the business in the first place.

As another member said, why compare apples to oranges? AdSense is more like direct marketing than newspaper advertising.

My hunch is that small publishers are being squeezed. Surely advertisers, given a choice would prefer CNN, or a major site over my small niche publication.

In the AdWords forum, some advertisers have complained about low-quality traffic from large "premium partners" sites. (I remember several posts about premium-partner traffic that had conversion rates of zero, as in zilch.)

Fact is, AdSense performs best on special-interest sites where audiences are likely to be prospects for whatever's being advertised. There's nothing new about this concept: Targeted advertising normally attracts higher CPMs than run-of-network advertising, and in the magazine world, "endemic" advertising (ads in enthusiast or trade publications) can cost more, on a CPM basis, than advertising in general-interest magazines. Why? Because the person who reads product reviews in POPULAR WIDGET is likely to be in the market for widgets (if not today, then maybe tomorrow), and a visitor to fuzzy-widgets.com is likely to be more interested in widgets that look like caterpillars than is the average reader of CNN.com.

Bobby Soprano




msg:1402421
 9:40 pm on Feb 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

For what it's worth ... I've seen my CPM tank with other networks as well this month.

hitsusa




msg:1402422
 11:00 pm on Feb 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

"Added third party articles. Site started making $10k a month."
(not sure how to get the extract in a box!)

- So should we all be adding third pary articles to our articles and not be worry about the external links and the fact we are duplicating content? Seems to work well in this case

You avoid duplicate content problem by adding a two-paragraph keyword rich description of the article and how it will help the reader with "xyz" problem.

There are at least a hundred article sources like goarticles.com and TPW (thephantomwriters.com). Just do a search for free content or free articles.

Create an articles subdirectory or subdomain.

Create an AdSense channel for your article directory and include it in your article template.

Add 50-100 articles with your quick intro. Easy to do 5-10 a day.

If you're crafty, you'll add an RSS feed to each article with news about that topic. You'll use code which places the RSS feed into the page as html and not javascript.

Track your results.

I've added article directories that get 3,000 new visitors a day to a single site.

Of course, you can find your own recipe for success, but I like writing 50-100 articles of my own and adding twice that many third party ones. Keep adding new content and incoming links each week.

YMMV

Oh yeah - to all the naysayers, quit whining and try it.

Content WILL get you traffic.

2,000 inbound links with varied anchor text and descriptions will get you top 10 SERPs for a lot of different phrases.

It takes work, but it's a proven recipe for success. I just repeat the same process over and over.

Now I just pay for a lot of the manual labor of finding and trading links, finding articles, copying, pasting, etc. and focus on the big picture stuff.

It's actually fairly inexpensive plus the fruits of that paid labor will keep paying me for a very long time.

Again YMMV, but it sure works for me.

icedowl




msg:1402423
 11:48 pm on Feb 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

hitsusa -->> Thank you for a great post!

I just might look into something like that.

This 434 message thread spans 15 pages: < < 434 ( 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 [11] 12 13 14 15 > >
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