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

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5066 posted 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.

 

esllou

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5066 posted 1:42 am on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

my number one item on my adsense wish list would be random hand spot checks on sites, all sites checked before inclusion (not just the first....total lunacy, that policy!) and adsense sites divided into dmoz-type categories for advertisers to check boxes against

shopping >>> education >> subjects >> sciences >> chemistry >> chemistry equipment

ok...so that's three wishes.

MikeNoLastName

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5066 posted 5:04 am on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

>Now, if I had a choice of blocking the offensive site rather than backing out completely, I would gladly do that.
------------------------
Sounds like another GOOGLE problem rather than a publisher problem to me. This would definitely benefit honest publishers.

unreviewed

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5066 posted 5:29 am on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Agree … many more advertisers would be onboard with AS if this feature would be allowed. However, the only way such a system could work with the vast number of existing publishers and the potential thousands joining the AS system daily, would be a complete block, and allow advertisers to “add in” only the publishers they choose. A good feature for such a system would allow an advertiser to allow new publishers automatically, but limit their click through until you have a chance to review the web site.

Of course this would mean we would need to start advertising to the advertisers, and content would be king … again.

Powdork

WebmasterWorld Senior Member powdork us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5066 posted 5:34 am on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Sounds like another GOOGLE problem rather than a publisher problem to me.
It's not really even a problem. It's a feature that is currently not offered to advertisers that if offered, could enlarge the size of the publisher pie.
MikeNoLastName

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5066 posted 7:28 am on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

>a complete block, and allow advertisers to “add in” only the publishers they choose.
-------------------
Sounds excellent to me... as long as publishers get the same option with advertisers.

walrus

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5066 posted 8:47 pm on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

I,d like to retract my previous post and replace it with this...

Doh!

hyperkik

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5066 posted 9:24 pm on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

unreviewed - perhaps, rather than creating such a cumbersome system (given the number of sites involved), Google could let advertisers set up a list of criteria which would trigger a "freeze" on their ads appearing on a given site until they manually approve it. (e.g., a single site consuming a specified dollar amount or percentage of their advertising income, or drawing a specified number of high-value clicks).

MikeNoLastName

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5066 posted 9:30 pm on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

As a complimentary option to that, it would be ideal for publishers to be able to configure a minimum CPC for each ad block or at least each page. And, maybe a listing of the top 3 ads clicked for a block/page.
If G told us the top ads clicked we could better 'qualify' a page for those type advertisers as requested.

unreviewed

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5066 posted 10:28 pm on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

That would work. I wonder how much processing overhead this would add to G’s system … and the pain it would cost publishers, and if an ad had 2 million web sites blocking and 2 million sites allowing, G would need to perform a major query for each ad. My guess is the best we can hope for is to be able to block at least a couple of hundred sites, that would if allowed help bring back some advertisers.

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 5066 posted 10:31 pm on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think a combination of opt-in and opt-out would work best.

jhood

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5066 posted 11:10 pm on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Google is trying to be a media giant through sheer computing power. It takes a little more than that. A publisher's rep has to be at least somewhat discriminating or it winds up selling a commodity, which as we know from sleeping through Econ 101 is not a very attractive business. Personally, I think Google should hire EuropeForVisitors to get this straightened out.

Powdork

WebmasterWorld Senior Member powdork us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5066 posted 12:22 am on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'll second that. Meanwhile, can I have his site?

spharalsia

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5066 posted 2:11 am on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

I seem to recall someone posting a message about a survey Google sent out to advertisers in which Google was asking whether they would be interested in taking out flat-rate ads, or the ability to choose specific publisher sites to advertise on. Anyone else remember that post, or receive the survey? -- or am I totally remembering this wrong? Seems like either of those possibilities would be attractive....

snoremaster

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5066 posted 8:43 am on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Having people choose where to advertise defeats the very matching technology that google has in place.

It's like having a PR company that has tens of thousands of locations for posters worldwide and knows the target details for each ask its clients where they want to display their ads. It's silly and would make google look like they don't trust their own matching technology.

Adwords is google's single most important source of revenue; they hire people from places like MIT and Harvard to live and breathe this stuff so that advertisers can continue to rely on google to make the right decisions for them.

Freedom

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5066 posted 8:58 am on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

so that advertisers can continue to rely on google to make the right decisions for them.

No offense, but there are so many things wrong with that statement I don't even know where to begin.

Amen to jhood's post.

snoremaster

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5066 posted 9:21 am on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

No offense taken, so how about giving me 5 things that are wrong with my statement? Other than that it sounds like good corporate spin :)

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 5066 posted 3:14 pm on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Having people choose where to advertise defeats the very matching technology that google has in place.

No, it doesn't. It merely adds another level of targeting. As for the suggestion that offering more advertiser control would be an admission of failure by Google, let's not forget that:

1) Google doesn't claim to target for anything but keywords. So how would it be an admission of failure to let advertisers refine their media selection by their own criteria?

2) Google already gives publishers the ability to block advertisers, so a precedent has been set for letting third parties override the ad-matching algorithm when they aren't satisfied with the results. (The availability of keyword "hints" to at least some premium partners is another example of such human overrides.)

Also, Google needs to be pragmatic if it wants to expand the market for contextual ads while keeping mainstream advertisers and ad agencies from spending their money with more flexible competitors. Does Google regard the current one-size-fits-all version of AdSense as a finished product, or does it regard it as the platform for an entire family of products that meet different customers' needs? Common sense would suggest the latter--and many potential advertisers would, too. :-)

HughMungus

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5066 posted 4:05 pm on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

efv, did you ever find the part of the TOS that defines what "made for Adsense" means?

howiejs

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5066 posted 4:38 pm on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Wow and this post still lives on :)

There should be a URL filter for advertisers

see a site you don't like - rmove it

(just like on the publisher side)

As I have said before, Google will NEVER EVER disclose their list of publishers for advertisers to pick and choose through

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 5066 posted 5:24 pm on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

efv, did you ever find the part of the TOS that defines what "made for Adsense" means?

HughMungus, if you can't figure out what "made for AdSense" means, why don't you ask AdSense Support? It isn't the job of your fellow publishers to help you understand the TOS or the English language unless they're feeling kind and patient towards you (as I'm not).

Someone who's looking to evade the TOS might use the jailhouse lawyer's argument that Google has no way of knowing a site owner's motives, to which a sensible person would reply "So what?" All Google needs to do is apply the "smell test," a.k.a. the "If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck" test. Google doesn't even have to tell the publisher why his or her account is being disabled ("invalid clicks" is a nice catchall phrase).

Others might say that Google doesn't have the time or resources to enforce the "made for AdSense" clause in its TOS through manual reviews on a large scale. No problem: Google can use algorithms to identify the most obvious "made for AdSense" sites (such as scraper or ersatz directory sites) and apply higher smart-pricing discounts and/or lower publisher payouts.

Indeed, such an approach could be far more useful to Google than simply removing obvious "made for AdSense" sites from the network. As the network evolves and advertisers have a greater choice of options, there could be an advantage to having virtually unlimited low-quality, run-of-network inventory (the equivalent of the weekly shopping flyers that turn up on your doorstep) for advertisers who just want cheap impressions and clicks and aren't picky about where their ads run. In other words, instead of trying to improve the quality of the network, Google may choose to offer multiple quality levels at different price points. And why not, if the Google Search team can figure out how to keep junk pages from scraper and other "made for AdSense" sites from cluttering the first few pages of its SERPs? Let Yahoo and MSN Search drown in a sea of garbage pages while Google and its lowball advertisers profit.

snoremaster

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5066 posted 6:29 pm on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

europeforvisitors: I see the point thats being made, but then for each adwords keyword or campaign or ad I should be able to set what sites I would like to exclude. Which would mean google should be able to give me a list of sites that run adsense and are relevant for that particular keyword. For any reasonably popular keyword that list could easily be thousands of sites long. The only way to effectively use such a list is for an adwords publisher to sort it by traffic and relevancy.

If google ever implements it, well, suddenly everyone with an adwords account can figure out a lot of things about my sites that I really don't want them to know.
Also the scope of the additional domain check would require another db query at google's end for each ad under consideration each time its about to be displayed. That would be costly in terms of processing power required. I don't know how the latter would feature for google but I can imagine it could be enough of a showstopper by itself.

Perhaps google should do the additional thing and see if they can match advertisers to websites directly like affiliate intermediaries do. Imagine you had a google interface where you can 'allow' budget airliner X to advertise on your site, then if they have a special to the czech republic it shows up on relevant pages on your site. That seems like a much simpler way to create great additional business for all of us and meets many the criteria of what we want the block list to do?!

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 5066 posted 6:53 pm on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Snoremaster, the typical advertiser doesn't necessarily require or want a list of every site that its ads run on. A simple domain-blocking filter, like the one that publishers already have, would help advertisers who simply want to keep their ads off sites that are draining their budgets with worthless clicks.

(BTW, worthless referrals don't only come from made-for-AdSense scraper sites; several AdWords Forum members have complained of getting large numbers of clicks with zero conversions from certain "premium partners" of Google.)

Also, advertisers in some narrowly targeted sectors may have a pretty good idea of where they want or don't want their ads to run. For such advertisers, the "value add" of AdSense is the ability to get targeted ads on specific pages with a single media buy.

There are other ways that Google could give more choices to advertisers, e.g.:

1) A tiered network, where advertisers can pay more for hand-vetted sites;

2) The ability to target by sector or category, in addition to targeting by page;

3) The ability to select editorial content only (or e-commerce content only, etc.), as advertisers and their agencies are able to do in the offline media world.

Again, if AdSense is viewed as an advertising platform, not just as an advertising product, it becomes obvious that the AdSense network could be sliced and diced in multiple ways at different price points. And Google doesn't necessarily have to manage or market every option directly to advertisers: all it needs to do is build options and pricing adjustments into its API, so that advertising agencies and other resellers can design AdWords/AdSense media plans that fit their clients' needs.

MikeNoLastName

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5066 posted 7:05 pm on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Once again I agree with EFV, at least partially. The beauty of a publisher should be in the eye-of-the-advertiser. Some advertisers seeking high visibility, strictly for branding, whether they want clickthrus or not, may be interested in any-old-cheap-location while others aren't.
My solution, and I was of the impression this was already being done on adwords because it was the most logical, is that advertisers get a list of ad results by coded location. Impressions, CTR, avg price, etc. and maybe a tracking code in the link corresponding to each ad page location. Then, if the advertiser WANTED to, they could manually check their highest costing or highest # Clickthru locations and see if those are "converting", in whatever way that advertiser considers a conversion. If they aren't then the advertiser could flag that CODE and dis-allow ads at that location in the future. Simple. The advertiser doesn't have to know where they are being displayed; doesn't have to search all over for URLs. If the URL affects them at all it would show up as a code in their report. If it is low traffic, or low clickthrus, the adverstiser probably won't waste his time checking it thoroughly, becuase it isn't costing him much. He could even detect particular ones with high impressions and low CTR and delete them as well. Most of the data tracking is probably already in place since it sounds like this is pretty much how G already tracks things internally.
Any problems with this solution?

BTW, I've noticed lately in the code which is generated (copy shortcut from any ad link) that it appears to already be optional for some adword-ers to get the keyword term used and some additional information passed via the link. (Very helpful to see what keywords your pages are being tagged for).

Finally, for those of you still experiencing the continued low CPM this month like us: Do you have a relatively high amount of URLs filtered? We had close to our limit when this started. On Friday last I took out ALL but about 8 and let it ride over the weekend. I don't know if it's just coincidence, since others indicated their CPM went up over the weekend too, but, by Sunday evening our CPM went bckk up about 30% of what it'd lost. I started filtering a few obvious scrapers again Monday, and it started dropping again. Probably just a coincidence, but I was wondering if G may be using the # of URLs filtered against publishers smart pricing formula. BTW our CPM peaked, up 33% Sunday, and has dropped back about 10% a day since.

HughMungus

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5066 posted 11:08 pm on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

HughMungus, if you can't figure out what "made for AdSense" means, why don't you ask AdSense Support? It isn't the job of your fellow publishers to help you understand the TOS or the English language unless they're feeling kind and patient towards you (as I'm not).

If you don't know what "made for Adsense" means and you can't define it, yourself, why do you keep using that term?

Someone who's looking to evade the TOS might use the jailhouse lawyer's argument that Google has no way of knowing a site owner's motives, to which a sensible person would reply "So what?" All Google needs to do is apply the "smell test," a.k.a. the "If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck" test. Google doesn't even have to tell the publisher why his or her account is being disabled ("invalid clicks" is a nice catchall phrase).

If Google can't divine websmasters' motives in determining whether a website is "made for Adsense" or not, why do you think you can?

My point is that "made for Adsense" is a term that means absolutely nothing.

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 5066 posted 11:37 pm on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

My point is that "made for Adsense" is a term that means absolutely nothing.

Google's Program Policies state that "No Google ad may be placed on pages published specifically for the purpose of showing ads, whether or not the page content is relevant." That's good enough for me.

HughMungus

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5066 posted 11:49 pm on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

"pages published specifically for the purpose of showing ads" is also an intent question which neither you nor Google can possibly know. But I'm tired of trying to convince you of that so nevermind.

walrus

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5066 posted 12:30 am on Feb 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

<Do you have a relatively high amount of URLs filtered?>
I only had a few dozen filtered and when i removed all but a couple, the CPM did go up but dropped again the day after and remained there so i put them back in the filter list.
Looking at last sept-oct i noticed i had a similar decline in earnings and since many have posted increased cpm as well i'm convinced its really just the normal roller coaster ride of this type of program.

On whats made for adsense or not, i will hesitantly chime in.
I think both EFV and Humungous have a point,
it is hard to judge intention, for example some would say my site is, some would say it isnt.I would say it could look like it to some as i whipped up some of the pages and meant to immediately add tons of content but then everyday im disracted by spam or log anomlies, or just working to pay the rent. So there are quite a few pages with a bare minimum of content, but it was by no means intentional.
And on the flip side there are definitely many websites made solely with the intention of making money from Adsense and even the webmasters couldnt deny it so you might kind of both be right.

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 5066 posted 2:42 am on Feb 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

think both EFV and Humungous have a point,
it is hard to judge intention...

An easy way to decide whether to give a thumbs up or a thumbs down would be to ask, "Does this site have intrinsic value? Would it have a reason to exist without AdSense?" If you look at the typical scraper site, the answer is clearly "no and no."

In any case, Google has the advantage of not having to worry about misjudging the publisher's intent, since its decisions won't be reviewed by an appeals court. :-)

HughMungus

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5066 posted 9:30 pm on Feb 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

So why can't Google simply remove the "scraper" sites from the index? They could pretty easily. Why haven't they?

linear

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5066 posted 10:27 pm on Feb 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

EFV spake thusly:
As the network evolves and advertisers have a greater choice of options, there could be an advantage to having virtually unlimited low-quality, run-of-network inventory (the equivalent of the weekly shopping flyers that turn up on your doorstep) for advertisers who just want cheap impressions and clicks and aren't picky about where their ads run. In other words, instead of trying to improve the quality of the network, Google may choose to offer multiple quality levels at different price points.

That's astute. It had never occurred to me that some advertisers would want those impressions. But it is reasonable enough.

I can't help wonder if that idea is further bolstered by the "I seem to get higher-paying ads as my CTR climbs" posts we've seen recently. "[M]ultiple quality levels at different price points" certainly ties that up neatly, conceptually.

Visi

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5066 posted 2:46 am on Feb 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Maybe this helps to explain?

Market Watch notes double digit drop in price of ads this quarter, while downgrading Google and Yahoo stocks.

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