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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.

 

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.

webpublisher




msg:1402424
 12:24 am on Feb 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

hitsusa -->> Well that's the best answer I have had to any question I have ever posted on a forum. I really appreciate it, cheers

Teshka




msg:1402425
 12:57 am on Feb 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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

Lol. Nice.

I love the way Adsense has put the power (and money) into the writer's hands. I was lucky to make $40k a year as a freelance writer. Someone else profited from my work by selling ad space in newspapers and magazines. Now, I research and write the same type of articles, but put them on my own websites, and run my own advertising. I don't make 30k/mo yet, but I make so much more than I did, it continually amazes me.

willybfriendly




msg:1402426
 3:37 am on Feb 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Well I have sat this one out, reading and watching for two weeks. Many factors to consider. Here's what I have found.

1. The biggest bidder on the most common ads to show on my sites appears to have backed out of Adwords completely. The result is that bids have dropped by 30% and more.

2. Site traffic has fallen about 20%, mainly attributable to Allegra

3. Click through up about 1%

4. CPM down 18%

Combine #2 and #4 and I am seeing a 40% drop in revenue. OUCH!

I had taken to heart the admonition not to count on Adsense revenues, I thought. Even though I considered "play money", I have to say, I am disappointed I won't be able to play as much with next months check :(

WBF

howiejs




msg:1402427
 3:50 am on Feb 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks hitusa.

The key is outsourcing.

webpublisher




msg:1402428
 3:59 am on Feb 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

hitsusa -->> When you say:

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

- Do you mean you follow your own paragraphs with the actual third party article and author credit? And because you have in effect lenghtened the article it is received well by the search engines.

Thanks

europeforvisitors




msg:1402429
 4:09 am on Feb 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

1. The biggest bidder on the most common ads to show on my sites appears to have backed out of Adwords completely. The result is that bids have dropped by 30% and more.

That's where having a diverse range of subtopics can be valuable: If one advertiser pulls out and there are 100 or 500 remaining, your CPM may not even register a blip.

Freedom




msg:1402430
 6:31 am on Feb 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

With all due respect for hitusa, the last thing the internet needs is another website with free articles picked up from somewhere else.

MikeNoLastName




msg:1402431
 7:47 am on Feb 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

---------------------------------
>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".
-------------------------------------
Agreed! And Yeah, tried exactly that, with both our personal ad rep and generic support. Got a (uncanned) response from "Sunny" (...if that's her REAL name :-) [paraphrased]: oh, we haven't done anything different, it's just part of the AdSense 'cycle'. We can all only hope things turn upwards soon...

Meanwhile our CTR is the highest it's ever been, impressions are the same or higher and CPM/PPC is in the toilet! PPC is literally <1/2 what it was just 2 weeks ago.

My pure conjecture: they're tweaking to optimize CTR instead of CPM as they had in the past, so it looks like they have more traffic, to provide to more advertisers and more transactions to take a piece of (a higher trade velocity dollar for those into economics). It may actually work in the long term to burn out the budgets of the scrapers (i.e. lower the PPC and there's no longer an advantage to paying .05 to make .04)

Anyway, decided it just wasn't worth fighting over anymore. So I armed myself with an account at the competitor (I mentioned them in a prior post) and as of today Tuesday, we're now serving over 50% of our impressions to them instead of G and making more than we were last week. We plan on increasing that percent proportionately as the PPC drops at G. Don't whine, don't be lazy. Yes it's a bit of work cutting and pasting new javascript, but it's easier than the first time around, and you can easily make it look EXACTLY the same or even better so everything still fits the same! It's YOUR inventory. It's not like you don't have alternatives. Give it to whomever YOU want. Unite. VOTE for the better service with your business like we did. If G wants our inventory, they'll have to pay a fair price for it again. We'll be watching and if they come back with a fairer price, we may ease back to them cautiously as they prove themselves.

Good Luck all weathering the storm.

ownerrim




msg:1402432
 4:43 pm on Feb 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

what the net needs, has little of, and few webmasters are capable of producing is original content.

people like originality. it feels good, even if the content is below stellar. And it feels good because authenticity perpetuates a sense of trust. in an era of rampant spam, popups, hijackers, and bogus adsense sites, those who create original content will be positioned to fly high...which is why we need to form midnight posses to go after content thieves and 302 turds.

walrus




msg:1402433
 5:07 pm on Feb 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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

Thats a good point, surprised no one else replied to that.
I have nothing to compare to but last feb, and i am seeing cpm tank like never before.
Very alarming.
Then i remember the advice ive picked up here and figure i'll stick it out and trust it will normalize as it has several times before.

-Auction driven market
-seasonal variations
-Adsense competition
-Adsense technical difficulties(we all have em)
-Adsense spammers -less high paying ads as thousands of new publishers join the program buliding sites around high paying keys

And the real pickle
-smart pricing abuse( Advertisers who have a low conversion so get cut rates, yet it doesnt matter if they have only two choices when visitors get to there site, sign up and buy or click on an ad!)

There sure are a lot of variables at play here.
Just another reminder.

skunker




msg:1402434
 5:44 pm on Feb 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

OH.my.god. I am seeing a tank in adsense earnings like never before. I went from making #*$!.xx a day to now, gasp, looking like x.xx a day!

I have about 100K pageviews a day....something is seriously wrong.

Back to the bottle...

HughMungus




msg:1402435
 5:45 pm on Feb 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

It also knows that pages which have certain characteristics (e.g., scraper directory pages) convert poorly and are likely to violate the AdSense TOS.

Are you just theorizing here?

howiejs




msg:1402436
 7:12 pm on Feb 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have to say this is the longest thread I have ever seen on this forum :)

Feels like google news :)

trader




msg:1402437
 7:54 pm on Feb 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

mikenolastname: ...got a response from Sunny......and as of today Tuesday, we're now serving over 50% of our impressions to them instead of G and making more than we were last week....

Same with our sites. A similar reply from Sunny and similar situation with EPC so much lower than in the past.

BTW, does G have any real 'competition?" Who is it?

davewray




msg:1402438
 9:06 pm on Feb 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Although my ECPM and CTR were on average much lower for the first 12 days of February, they have in fact rebounded to previous averages since the 12th...and then some. Some strange tweaking going on! Just a few observations looking at hundreds of thousands of page views data.

Dave.

androidtech




msg:1402439
 10:10 pm on Feb 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Who is Sunny?

MikeNoLastName




msg:1402440
 12:11 am on Feb 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

Sunny?: See msg 336.
GAd Competitors?: see my previous post around pg 31 in this thread about AdSon@r

I wanted to get back to a prior comment in this thread, because the more I think about it (I just got an e-mail from one of my PPC services explaining how THEY track conversion) the more I wonder if this could really be a large part of the problem.
If they are tracking only access to 'conversion' pages (i.e. thank you forms, sale complete forms) then what about if the advertiser suddenly moves his conversion form (either accidently, or purposely divert readers to get a better rate) without telling G? Suddenly Zero% conversion! Or for that matter if they simply have more than one identical form for tracking paths through their site and only report one of them? Or if they post a phone number to call and get 90% of their traffic through that since their site leaves so much to question? Or how about scraper sites that really HAVE no conversion page, just pages of GAdsense or affiliate links? We get so many of them we can't filter them all anymore (>200). In one of our worst categories ALL but one of the adsense ads are from affiliates (because there IS only one original provider of the product) who redirect ALL sales to the original provider's site. How are THESE tracked as conversions? Is that what's driving down smartpricing? Even if you eliminate all those, that leaves a relatively small minority sites with votes averaged in. One doofuss, non-converting site could screw up your whole average! Penalize THEM by sending LESS traffic, not cheaper traffic!
I agree, performance responsibility SHOULD be solely on the advertiser side and the facilitator,far more than the publisher. Anything else is sheer idiocy! Otherwise it's like leaving the fox in charge of the hen house ("Them darn chickens just didn't LAY any eggs today.. I swear!"). We once had a client that insisted on banner advertising even though we told him his product was not of interest to our readers. On top of that he created a crappy banner, that only got about .5% CTR and then complained that he got no business from it. Duh! Told you so. Another banner advertiser cancelled his ads claiming he was getting no traffic from us at all. We pointed out to him that they had no way of knowing which traffic was coming from us. But not to argue, we turned them off, and two days later they came back begging because their site traffic had dropped 90%.
In this case the reponsibility is MOST high on G to provide ads in the RIGHT place to convert, THEN upon the seller to convert them or leave 'em (not say you need to charge me less), and only finally on the publisher who really doesn't have any control over either of these other two issues, other than to make reasonably sure that clickthrus simply aren't fraudulent. This is a prime argument for a 'minimum PPC' option for publishers. If the advertiser doesn't want to pay what the publisher feels it's worth, fine, go somewhere else, don't take my traffic, THEN CLAIM it didn't work out.. sorry Bud. Whether it's a photography page or a camera review page, if people weren't interested in a camera, at least slightly, in the first place do you think they would click? It's the advertiser's job to SELL, WE, as publishers, by TOS, aren't even allowed to draw attention to the ads, let alone KNOW what is going to show up and then promote it! Talk about "all the responsibility and punishment without the authority to fix anything". I'm sure a lot of us have QUIT jobs in the past for exactly that reason!
If this is true, it is G penalizing the publishers for everyone elses inadequacies, including their own, which is why we feel little loyalty to them at this point.
BTW, based on hour to hour updates, I'm seeing what MIGHT be an unusual slight (10%) increase in PPC today, (after yesterdays abominable ALL-TIME low CPM/PPC) but it could just simply be a blip.

valley




msg:1402441
 12:52 am on Feb 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

MikeNoLastName , I agree 100% with your post, earlier, my message 307,
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.

Add to it the scenario of advertizers supposedly ability of manipulating the smart pricing convertion rate and publishers could be getting an unfair raw deal. Knowledge is power,but...we do not get to know a thing.

hdpt00




msg:1402442
 1:33 am on Feb 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

I haven't ready this whole thread because it's too long, but I don't think this is effecting everyone. My CPM is way up from January. I server a large amount of ads per day and is usually pretty stable, but glad to see it increasing.

Please do not ask what industry I am in, this is all I am telling.

spharalsia




msg:1402443
 5:19 am on Feb 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

Freedom --

I thought you offered some interesting information in your post (333), namely about increasing demand for online advertising vs. decreasing availability. That can only be good for publishers in the long run.

You also said that Google disclosed the percentage they pay to AS publishers "when they filed their SEC/IPO papers." I'd be interested in seeing that -- is it available online, and if so, where? Better yet, could you tell us what it said -- or is it too complicated?

Finally, a general comment: I think this thread underlines the need for publishers to diversify their revenue streams if they're going to make web publishing a serious long-term financial commitment. A number of publishers have mentioned alternatives to Adsense, and I just received an e-mail advertising another that I hadn't known about. Is it time for WW to set up a separate forum for discussing these alternatives?

Freedom




msg:1402444
 7:02 am on Feb 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

Wow. You got me to dig through some old stuff here and I may have to correct my previous statement, but here goes. According to this calculation, the estimated average payout is 76 percent... That's the overall estimation including payouts to large network partners being higher and skewing the split upwards in the publishers favor.

[webmasterworld.com...]

Read through most of the thread to see better how it works out.

Smart Pricing throws another big variable into the mix with a sliding scale. But keep in mind that Google is probably taking in less money as well.

That thread is all conjecture, albeit pretty good I think. Personally, I think the split is 2/3 for Publishers, 1/3 for Google - in the case of the average webmaster.

Here is another excellent article on Google's SEC IPO filing which reveals Google's dependence on Adsense as well as other juicy tidbits.
[searchenginewatch.com...]

The 20 percent growth in online advertising projection came from an ecommercetimes article.

Disclaimer: Readers can draw their own conclusions from the above links. I am not hear to argue the numbers/percentages with anyone. The earnings are in the SEC filing and available to figure out on your own.

I hope this post doesn't spark a new debate (on payouts) that drives this thread into 100 more posts because it really does need to end soon.

europeforvisitors




msg:1402445
 3:45 pm on Feb 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

Freedom --
I thought you offered some interesting information in your post (333), namely about increasing demand for online advertising vs. decreasing availability. That can only be good for publishers in the long run.

It will be especially good for publishers of quality content, because:

1) The availability of good editorial venues is increasing at a far slower pace than the availability of low-quality venues like scraper sites, gmail, parked domains, etc.; and...

2) The largest untapped portion of the PPC market consists of mainstream corporate advertisers and ad agencies who are likely to take a more jaundiced view of scraper sites, gmail, parked domains, etc. than the traditional PPC advertiser does.

You also said that Google disclosed the percentage they pay to AS publishers "when they filed their SEC/IPO papers." I'd be interested in seeing that -- is it available online, and if so, where? Better yet, could you tell us what it said -- or is it too complicated?

Have you tried a Google search? :-) Seriously--look for "google q4 results" or something similar.

As I recall, 77% of Google revenue from ads on partner sites (including AdSense) went to the publishers.

Finally, a general comment: I think this thread underlines the need for publishers to diversify their revenue streams if they're going to make web publishing a serious long-term financial commitment. A number of publishers have mentioned alternatives to Adsense, and I just received an e-mail advertising another that I hadn't known about. Is it time for WW to set up a separate forum for discussing these alternatives?

It exists, it's called the Advertising Sales and Affiliate Programs forum, and it's at:

[webmasterworld.com...]

trader




msg:1402446
 4:52 pm on Feb 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

There is little doubt G made some big changes what with all the stuff in this thread. One extra bit of evidence is that historically Sat and Sun are by far my poorest traffic and revenue day. Probably because so many of my visitors are using their computer while at work.

Most all the time Monday & Tuesday are my best days during the 7 day week, normally about 50% better than Sunday. However, last Sunday was a much better adsense day than Monday. That is the first time I recall seeing that since I joined the program 1-1/2 yrs ago. The prior week was similar with only slightly better Monday than Sunday instead of the normal 30 to 50% better.

Anyone else see that anomaly?

Of course, if your have the kind of websites which normally get lots of weekend visitors then that may not be an anomaly for you.

spharalsia




msg:1402447
 7:39 pm on Feb 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

Freedom, europeforvisitors -- thanks for the information...quality posts like those are very helpful, and much appreciated. I have to say, I'm surprised publishers are getting the majority of the cut.

doingthistoolong




msg:1402448
 7:54 pm on Feb 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

I've seen nothing but anomolies lately, but for the past 3-4 days, EPC has gone up substantially and very consitently...

HughMungus




msg:1402449
 8:16 pm on Feb 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

77% of Google revenue from ads on partner sites (including AdSense) went to the publishers.

No. 77% of their revenue went to "traffic acquisition costs".

Powdork




msg:1402450
 9:06 pm on Feb 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

The 77% includes many things including the amount paid to some premium publishers who were at one time getting up to 100% of a click's revenue. The best example I see on my sites is that my lowest clicks are 3 cents while the lowest bids are for 5 cents. I have always considered payout to be between 55% and 65%.

HughMungus




msg:1402451
 12:04 am on Feb 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

The 77% includes many things including the amount paid to some premium publishers who were at one time getting up to 100% of a click's revenue.

That was my point, too.

EFV, where did you get the data to backup your statement that scaper sites "convert poorly" and are "likely in violation of the TOS"? Do you have access to data that we don't?

rfung




msg:1402452
 2:47 am on Feb 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

weird thing:

this morning I went ahead and split 50-50 my page impressions between showing adsense and adsonar, and revenue seems to be about the same as if I had had 100% adsense impressions.

An aside, adsonar isn't very targetted at all for my field. Anyone experience that?

europeforvisitors




msg:1402453
 4:01 am on Feb 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

EFV, where did you get the data to backup your statement that scaper sites "convert poorly"

From AdWords advertisers who have complained of poor conversion rates from junk directory sites.

and are "likely in violation of the TOS"?

See the Program Policies clause about made-for-AdSense sites.

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