|Is it me, or the general adsense trends?|
Did I shoot myself in the foot by adding valuable content?
So, I have a bunch of individual sites thiswidget.com and thatwidget.com etc. They were all basically one-pagers with a some info about the specific widget, and adsense ads. My traffic was from mostly type-ins and very specific search strings.
I decided to take my most general site widget.com and create more of a resource site including information about all the widgets. I figured that a more content rich place would attract more SE traffic. So, I did this and created a still pretty small site (about 25 pages) with pages about each of the widgets and my SE traffic has increased quite a bit. My clicks are up about 5X what they were, but earnings are the same as when i was getting 1/5 the clicks I get now. Obviously, my CTR has decreased somewhat, because people now often click around to a couple pages on my widget resource site instead of being "stuck" on a one-pager with the only way out being adsense...
So, did I totally shoot myself in the foot? or, is this just coincidental--i know i have read a lot of people saying earnings dove quite a bit sometime in January, so maybe I am just experiencing that change.
Any thoughts, anybody?
I'm curious. Do you now have your individual one-page sites, plus the the big comprehensive site? Or did you take the individual sites down?
If you have all of them still up, did you interlink them? Or is each independent of the others?
[edited by: Vespasian at 9:15 pm (utc) on Feb. 24, 2005]
I think it's still too early to say after the changes at the beginning of February. You may see the effects of your redesign reflected in the March results.
Having given your visitors more pages to navigate through (instead of having ads as the only exit option), a higher percentage of your click-throughs will now - ideally - be qualified prospects for your advertisers.
If Smart Pricing can detect this, you may end up earning more per click. But Smart Pricing doesn't seem to work in realtime... I have an idea I am seeing my PPC rates re-evaluated on a monthly basis.
All speculation of course.
[edited by: ronin at 9:23 pm (utc) on Feb. 24, 2005]
Vespasian, they are still up. Clickthroughs and traffic on them have remained about the same--all of the increases have come from the more comprehensive "resource" site. As far as interlinking, there is a little bit of it, like on bluishgreenishwidgets.com i may have a link at the bottom to greenishbluishwidgets.com. I have no big interlinking structure though, and have just used a few links where they seemed specifically appropriate.
Ronin, I have considered this as a possibility. Also, my niche is fairly small. So, it is possible that the introduction of my sites started driving enough traffic to the advertisers in my sector that by me simply being there they started underbidding each other. Like, if you have your adwords set to $1 a click, but you only get 10 clicks a month, you may not particularly notice or care if the traffic converts or anything. If all the sudden you are getting 300 clicks, you may start tweaking your campaigns more. My traffic is "real" and "qualified", so I would hope it would convert for the advertisers, but...who knows?
suzyvirtual, I have noticed no drop of income in January, but February was something different. I must admit I made quite some changes to my sites, and it looks to me (like an other person is pointing out in this thread) that Google optimizes the ads as follows:
1) They optimize given on the new/current content
2) They re-optimize depending on what sort of ads are clicked.
Usually a few weeks after changing sites my CTR goes up again and so do my overall earnings, but usually just after changing a site significally the income/CTR is down.
>>create more of a resource site including information about all the widgets<<
Even if the click rate doesn't get up to the click through rate of the single item pages the informative page gives your business a base and people may even link to it improving your PR. So no matter how it does with adsense it should be good for your business.
>>Usually a few weeks after changing sites my CTR goes up again<<
Interesting. That would explain what I've experienced with new pages.
Now that you have more of a site for someone to visit, it might be worthwhile to find other ways to get some income from vistors in addition to AdSense. I have pages on my site that do very well for AdSense AND get added income with links to a certain large online bookstore....