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OK, so.. Whay can't we, publishers set the minimum click price?

 12:24 pm on Apr 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hi guys,

Whay can't we, AdSense publishers set the minimum click price?
Since last weeks I'm seeing more "below 0.05 limit" clicks as 0.03 or lower, and I really want to cancel those.

If we look at this from another view, assuming:
Advertiser 1 - click price:0.05 - CTR 1%
Advertiser 2 - click price:0.02 - CTR 3%

then the ad with 2 cent price generates more earning throughout the whole day but I again would cancel it as I believe there must be an "industry low" even this banner has a high CTR or not, or even if it generates a return or not. I would cancel it..

Look at the case from another view:
As a publisher, I'm serving advertisements of "COMPANY A" 300,000 times / month. The problem is that Company A is in a such market that people better buy their products through their shops, not online but they well get all the information on Company A website, reaching there via my website. What I mean here is, is there such a software on earth that can rank my website links' performance? Smart pricing? <snip> Let me explain why:

Today I have bought a $1,200 worth digital camera from an electronics shop, after reaching them first on the internet by clicking a link. Because I didn't say: "Hello, I would like to buy this $1,200 camera but I clicked on a link yesterday", no one knows if my click yesterday generated a sale or not. Anyway, that's not something which is new so I will tell something another (that's why I will not accept clicks below a line)

Again, let's take Company A.
I have generated 500,000 views for them. But no one clicked. Even the name of the pricing is "Click Pricing", there must be a price, paid to me cause I have made their "online presence" 500,000 times even someone didn't click on their ads. How a thing which companies paid THOUSANDS of Dollars can worth ZERO in just a few years by just a name change? Yes, this is the CPC system but I still make impressions and help the company on their online precence but that doesn't worth anything. Same thing applies to affiliate marketing, the simplest way of making "zero cost" advertising.

For me, the CPC system is not CPC in fact. It's:


system... which means the impressions are "COSTLESS" to the advertiser. Because of all these:

A 0.02 click price is not 0.02 in fact, it's much lower than that cause I have made a thousand impression FREE to generate that click.

That's why I don't like to let below 0.10 or 0.05 clicks..

Don't forget: A CPC system would only be a pure CPC if we knew that the visitor will click on the link or not, and serve the ad only to those who will click. Otherwise, the CPC system is:

"Buy one, get one free"

system, which allows advertisers to make their CPM advertisings without a cost. The CPM advertising isn't dead. It lives just in front of your eyes, the only difference is you were not getting paid for it. That's why I will not accept cheap clicks.

[edited by: Jenstar at 12:59 pm (utc) on April 22, 2005]
[edit reason] language, as per TOS [/edit]



 12:47 pm on Apr 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

In the banner networks, one of the common beef publishers have about the CPC model is that it provides basically free impressions to the advertiser. Worse, some advertisers use CPC as a branding mechanism - where the advertisers create ads not really meant to be clicked on but only wants their name to be very visible.

With the banner networks, there is a finite set of advertisers for the week or month that can easily provide publishers with a menu of advertisers to choose from (assuming of course that the ad network allows publishers to select the ads that will run in their sites). Fromt that menu, publishers can choose to run only those advertisements that fits their requirements (e.g. minimum CPM or CPC, quality of the site, etc.)

The nature of Adsense makes this feature inherently difficult to provide. For one, advertisers are not required to advertise for a set period of time. They are not required to sign contracts for one month or one week. They can also change their campaigns including the price in the middle of the day. They can even pull out their campaigns altogether in a day if they so chooses.

Also, allowing publishers to set the minimum click price would go against the grain of the contextual network program. Remember, advertisers are even enticed to use the publishers' network with promises of lower prices compared to the search engine. Hence, you have smart pricing. Hence, advertisers can set higher prices for Google search and lower their prices for the network. Aside from its reach of the niche market, Adsense is being marketed to the advertisers as the cheaper alternative to the SERPs.

As publishers of course, we would like to earn big. We can only hope that we can choose to run only those campaigns with CPC of $1 and higher. Alas, this is an advertiser-centric program. So we can only complain and gripe and hope that the G god ultimately has a change of heart.


 12:49 pm on Apr 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Completely agree.

2 and even 1 cents clicks ARE ANNOYING!
This is waste of my time, money, investments,
as well as time of my visitors and clients.

I would like just have possibility to cancel
ADS lower than 5 cents for instance.


And do YOU KNOW why CTR of low pricing CPC is higher?

Example :

2 companies - one makes GOOD product - higher price
and of corse makes higher bid as advertiser
(let's say 1 USD per click).

and second one - lousy cheap FREE crab.
In ads it is also LOOKS like the first one
But gives only 5 cents per click (which
actually for us means 2-3 cents in revenue)

Guess, where and which ads visitors will click?

[edited by: Jenstar at 12:58 pm (utc) on April 22, 2005]
[edit reason] language, as per TOS [/edit]


 3:26 pm on Apr 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Obviously Google aren't going to allow you to selectively disallow ads you consider to be low-paying and show more lucrative ones in their place.

I guess they might conceivably allow you to set a minimum and then serve your default code if the matched ads don't meet that threshhold. I doubt most people would be able to use that to improve their bottom line, though.


 3:37 pm on Apr 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

I don't buy the scenario that's been put forth. From what I understand of it, AdSense tries to serve the ad that will produce the most income, taking into account both CPC and CTR.

Compare two ads. One costs 5 cents, but it's got a 10% CTR on a particular site. For 100 impressions, the advertiser has to pay 50 cents--the cost of 10 clicks. The other ad costs 50 cents, and has only a 4% CTR. For 100 impressions, the advertiser pays $1--the cost of 2 clicks.

Other things being equal, I believe AdSense will serve up the 50 cent ad, because the higher CPC more than equals out the lower CTR.

In other situations, of course, you'll get the lower-cost ad. The point is that AdSense is programmed for overall income. Why would Google set it up any other way? They want to maximize THEIR income, don't they?

So I think that if we could specify a minimum click price, it would only reduce our income, just as being able to exclude advertisers reduces our income.


 3:39 pm on Apr 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

I don't understand this whole mindset. If someone clicks a 5-cent ad, there's two possibilities:

Google showed X number of ads on your page, some were over 5 cents and at least one was 5 cents. If the 5 cent ads weren't shown, you'd get 0 cents per click. If they weren't interested in the higher CPC ads, they're not going to click them now.

Google had nothing to show except 5-cent ads. If none were shown, you'd have a blank box or all PSA ads and you'd get 0 cents per click.

What's the alternative? If you can't get any ads below a certain CPC, then they'd serve you off-topic ads that are worth more? That would be another reason for advertisers to opt out of the content network.


 4:04 pm on Apr 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

There is another factor influencing my desire for minimum CPC.

I don't want a visitor leave for a 3 cent click. My average visitor visits several pages and I would therefore rather not show ads and hope they find something of interest on another page where the CPC might be 25 cents. So, it isn't a cut and dry as 3 cents or 0 cents. Also, if they stay then there's a greater chance they'll buy something from me.

I've removed Adsense from groups of pages with 5 cent clicks recently and coincidently my revenues have increased. Of course, if all you have is 5 cent ads then you don't have much wiggle room.


 4:31 pm on Apr 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

I don't think you're considering that AS automatically serves up the best performing ads on your site. When you make money, they make money, it's in their best interest to do so. If they're serving up ads that only pay you a few pennies, it's because a) you're in a low paying niche or b) smart pricing has determined that your clicks are worth a few pennies.

If you're concerned that your site doesn't work well with adsense, go to a network where you'll earn a more solid CPM.

[edited by: ncreegan at 4:47 pm (utc) on April 22, 2005]


 4:34 pm on Apr 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

"Whay can't we, AdSense publishers set the minimum click price?"

I will get to that quote in a second, but here is something to ponder.

An advertiser does not determine how much they are going to pay per click, they only determine the maximum they are willing to pay.

Since we do not know Googles' algo for determining the amount the advertiser pays or the publisher gets we try and guess. What if the cpc is not pre-determined but, post determined. That's right, the cpc is determined after the click.

I have a campaign that I pay a max cpc .50. I routinely get charged as little as .10 cpc and sometimes .05, who knows why, Google and only Google. I have continuosly ran the same AdWords campaign for over 3 years and I still can't figure out why I am charged what.

Now back to the original question. "Whay can't we, AdSense publishers set the minimum click price?"

Answer: Because the price is not determined until after the click, so you can not pre-determine something that has not been determined.

Of course this is just a theory caused by my wild imagination, and I am extremely bored.


 5:45 pm on Apr 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think this is a great idea, since it would make large amounts of my advertising space available for me to sell in other ways. Since there's no low end, I have to just make it all freely available to Google.

I suspect this could be good for both us and Google, since if we could set a $.10 minimum or something, it would dry up the glut of really low-priced clicks for advertisers. I know what my traffic is worth, and at a certain point, it's not even worth selling it through Adsense. Advertisers wouldn't have as much of the low click prices available.


 5:49 pm on Apr 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

I suspect this could be good for both us and Google, since if we could set a $.10 minimum or something, it would dry up the glut of really low-priced clicks for advertisers. I know what my traffic is worth, and at a certain point, it's not even worth selling it through Adsense. Advertisers wouldn't have as much of the low click prices available.

Google makes money from low-bidding advertisers, just as it does from those who bid higher amounts. Letting publishers skim off the cream wouldn't be helpful to Google or its advertisers.


 6:16 pm on Apr 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

"I suspect this could be good for both us and Google, since if we could set a $.10 minimum or something, it would dry up the glut of really low-priced clicks for advertisers. I know what my traffic is worth, and at a certain point, it's not even worth selling it through Adsense. Advertisers wouldn't have as much of the low click prices available."

So you're saying you would like to force Advertisers to pay more? And when $0.10 per click becomes too little payment for you, you would like Advertisers to be forced to pay more again.

Does it occur to you that Advertisers only use Adwords in the first place if it makes them money. By forcing Advertisers to pay more, and thus diminishing their profits, maybe to the point of zero profit, Google will lose Advertisers. Then Google and Publishers will lose money, not vice versa.

I hear people say that it's not worth letting traffic leave their site for $0.05. Simple solution - disable Adsense. I've done this myself because I make a lot more money thorugh Affiliate Ads. And I pay for traffic to my website so it's pretty important I make my money.

There are lots of other people that enjoy positions in free search results, where they don't pay a penny to get traffic to their pages. In this case, surely any amount of money is good money, because it's all profit.

I know it's hard to see that ever decreasing CPC, I've been there, but forcing Advertisers to pay more is not the answer.


 7:03 pm on Apr 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

This is where ad blocking works wonders. I used to get dozens of price comparison sites that don't pay squat per click, i added them to my filter list and voila, much better ads :)


 8:15 pm on Apr 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Why does it have to be all or nothing? That's like saying if you're not willing to sell stuff in your store for whatever people offer you, you should just close your store.

Adsense doesn't let me, as a merchant, decide the minimum amount my ad space is worth. If I can choose the minimum amount I'll sell for, I could easily have plenty of competitors that will undercut me, and that's fine. Obviously I'm setting the minimum because I have other places I can sell the banner space to.

So, this wouldn't force advertisers to pay more, it would only open my site up to people willing to pay a certain minimum amount.


 8:37 pm on Apr 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

So, this wouldn't force advertisers to pay more, it would only open my site up to people willing to pay a certain minimum amount.

How does this benefit Google and advertisers?

If Google were to distribute ads selectively, it would make more sense for the higher-paying ads to be distributed to publishers with higher anticipated conversion rates--not just to publishers who want to set a minimum price.


 9:02 pm on Apr 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

The conversion rates are what's killing small publishers, IMO. Who knows what converts and what doesn't? Who knows who clicks on a link, goes to a site, bookmarks it and goes back later and spends $500. For this, publishers are punished, because the link didn't "convert."

Until G can prove that their smart pricing does anything but lower what's paid to advertisers (because that's the whole point of smart pricing, to lower the cost to the advertiser), I remain opposed to anything that changes the basic dynamic of advertising - you pay X per click, period.

The wild swings in CPC, CTR, and overall earnings are caused primarily by smart pricing, a mechanism that has not been proven to work effectively.

I make that statement because I don't see any adwords clients singing the praises of smart pricing. In fact, I don't see adwords clients talk about it at all. They're apparently getting a good deal, but the only people complaining are publishers. I'd like to see advertisers complain a little.

The CPC is too low. Try telling your local gas station operator that you don't want to pay as much for gas because you didn't get that job which you drove to interview for with his gas. Or that your trip wasn't as pleasant as you would have liked, so you want to pay less for the gas that got you there.

The world doesn't work that way. Publishers NEED more assurances that their work will be rewarded and that they don't have to keep working their butts off just to make what they made last month. It seems to me, once you hit a certain level, with a certain number of pages, you should be able to earn more by adding more, similar pages.

The reality is that you earn more when you add new pages - for a while - and then it goes down again and you have to start working on new pages all over again. It just seems like an endless cycle and race to some bottomless bottom, where advertsiers will eventually pay a fraction of a penny per click.

There needs to be a floor and a nickel isn't it.


 9:51 pm on Apr 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

As hunderdown said,

"From what I understand of it, AdSense tries to serve the ad that will produce the most income"

Of course they do, it's in THEIR interest. But I am convinced they try to pay you as little % of what they earn from that click, as you can stand. Well, otherwise they would be charity not busines.

Why I think Smart Pricing is not limited to probable value of click calculated by technical means, i.e. quality of page, site, time spent on pages, visitor's country etc. etc.. Some of my pages are #1 on Google for "red widgedts" for more than 2 years, the "red widgets" is logical search phrase and produces 6-7 figure results on Google. 50% of visitors to these pages come from Google search. About 6 months ago have I put adsense on these pages. From the beginning up until now the targeting of ads served is excellent, right for "red widgets", many advertisers and ads are always the same. Nevertheless EPC dropped 10-15 times during 6 months period.

Thus, I would like the feature proposed by original poster, that would allow me to set minimum click price, say no ads that would earn me $0.50 per click - no business for you Google too, please show my defaults, leave this visitor on my site.

But I doubt they will implement this or revert to old "no evil" google. We really need good serious competition in contextual advertising field, c'mon Y! & MSN ;)



 9:54 pm on Apr 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm spending about $6000 a month on AdWords. I have campaigns where I spend 5 cents per click and campaigns where I spend as much as a dollar per click. For any of my campaigns where I spend over 10 cents a click, I opt out of the content network. Why? For a variety of reasons:

1) Content ROI is less than search network ROI. Why? I think the following items are all part of the picture.

2) The content network is more susceptible to click fraud. Too many webmasters can't resist padding their numbers, or having friends do it for them.

3) AdSense publishers think they have a god-given right to my ads. The attitudes I see all over the AdSense forum convince me this is true. Too many webmasters are concerned about getting higher paying ads on their site. To do this, they add keywords and try to alter their site in some way to attract these ads. As an advertiser, I have no problem spending my CPC to attract the right customers. But I don't want my ads running on an irrelevant site just because someone has modified their page just to attract them.

Now I'm a little fish in the big pond of AdWords advertisers. Imagine how the big fish feel. I'd love to share what I spend on ads with other webmasters than just fill Google's pockets with it. It's yet to be proven to me that it's worth my while to do that. If my ads are to run on the content network, I want them on sites that will attract quality customers, not click happy people or web surfers that can't find any other way out of a scraper or other low quality site.


 10:15 pm on Apr 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

wrgvt, wouldn't you like to spend your ad dollars on sites where you know the publisher is simply building pages that are relevant?

It's all the little game we have to play to get relevant ads on our sites, because G's algo isn't that great, that causes you to shy away from the content network.

If G would reward good, honest publishers and punish and BAN the ones who are only in it for the money, we'd all be happier.


 10:30 pm on Apr 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

It's all the little game we have to play to get relevant ads on our sites, because G's algo isn't that great, that causes you to shy away from the content network.

I haven't noticed any serious problems with Google's ad-matching algorithm. Even the occasional mismatches have become much less frequent than they were six months ago. Certainly I've never felt any need to play any games to get revelant ads.

There are many good reasons why some advertisers shy away from the content network, but I don't think poor ad targeting is one of them.


 10:49 pm on Apr 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Study: Consumers Delete Cookies at Surprising Rate
ClickZ News
By Rob McGann March 14, 2005

Nearly 40 percent of Internet users delete cookies from their primary computers on at least a monthly basis, according to a study by JupiterResearch. The finding has big implications for advertising and marketing firms that depend on cookies for tracking and targeting.

Based on a survey of 2,337 U.S. respondents, the study finds that 17 percent of Internet users delete cookies on a weekly basis. Approximately 12 percent do so on a monthly basis, and 10 percent make it a daily habit.

That's why cookies, then smart pricing -if it has a part that depends on a cookie- may not be meaningful.

Look at the CPM rates today. $0.05 for a THOUSAND impressions. The electricity you use for serving those ads is more than that, beleive me.

The point here is, there must be 2 legs in a trade, or when making business. There is always a BID price, but there's an ASK price on the other hand. You buy it from that price or not, that's your choice, but this price HAS to BE. What's wrong here is that we publishers have to say OK to every price. Why? None of my visitors is worth 0.01 Dollars and I don't want them to leave my website for that price, or don't want to make a company's online presence at that price.


 11:05 pm on Apr 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Oh, sorry.. As an addition to the report above:

..The report found 28 percent of Internet users are selectively rejecting third party cookies, such as those placed by online ad networks.

read full article here [clickz.com]

I see it as this:

1) close to 1/3 of internet users percent never accept cookies
2) 10% of the remaining delete cookies on a daily basis
3) the other 30% delete them on a weekly or monthly basis

so how can you learn if my click generated an action or not?

OK, as the starter of this thread I will tell you the real situation now. I, -as an AdSense publisher- am seriously thinking of making my own web presence through AdSense. I DON'T have a company, DON'T SELL anything on my website but I think I can advertise with that prices. Isn't this weird? I wasn't talking like that just 3 months ago but now I can with that prices.

Sitting at my home, without having a company... Now, are these prices high or low?


 11:21 pm on Apr 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

IMO those figures are exaggerated, but it doesn't really matter. Google doesn't know the absolute conversion rate of any merchant, nor do they need to. It's actually more of an issue for affiliate programs.

Some advertisers will have a 10% rate, depending on how they define "conversion", others may have a 0.01% rate. All Google can do is measure the performance of different publishers relative to other publishers and to clicks from Google's own listings.

In the long run it works out the same whether the tracking is perfect or imperfect.


 12:16 am on Apr 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Boy, I agree with just about everyone on this topic. The thought that we make less because somebody's algo "thinks" we don't convert well is arguably unfair, as is the publisher's lack of voice on a floor, or bottom price for ads.

I said before that a nickel wasn't nearly enough per click in today's market. It's not 1933, it's 2005. As I said in another forum, brick and mortar advertisers would give their eyeteeth for visitors at a nickel a pop, whether they buy anything or not... the idea that they would be seen as "busy" alone would be worth the money.

Publishers are sending customers to websites for a one-time nickel, actually 2 or 3 cents is what we make. We may never see that clicker again, yet the website we send it to may have a customer for life. Is that fair in any way, shape or form?

If we're being judged on our conversions, then how about a share of that revenue? Adsense is NOT an affiliate program, it's a one-click, one-payment network. G has distorted the relationship with smart pricing and it doesn't seem to be getting any better for publishers, only worse.

My point is that publishers MUST use these effects because that's what G's algo reads AND the scraper sites do all these things, so even the average publisher has to do some of these things in order to compete. The algo isn't so "smart" that it can analyze a page of text and determine meaning and/or intent, just as smart pricing cannot determine whether my ads convert well or not over time.

Publishers should be judged on the relevance and quality of content, not on a purely mechanical, economic metric. If literature were judged on it's dollar-generating value, we'd have Spider-Man rather than Shakespeare. (well, that's what we have these days anyhow, so maybe I need to lower my standards?)

[edited by: Woz at 3:31 am (utc) on April 23, 2005]
[edit reason] TOS#4 [/edit]


 1:27 am on Apr 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

OK, worrying about CPC is meaningless, it's your overall CPM rate in the long run that determines how much your traffic is worth and the days of high priced CPM are long gone in most product categories.

I've been selling my traffic direct for years with an all time high of $15/CPM which over the years dwindled to $4/CPM and less for some deals. With AdSense I'm actually earning between $6-$8 CPM in Page Impressions which could result from multiple ads being clicked per page.

For example you COULD get 3 clicks from one visitor just off one page view meaning he didn't just earn you $0.03 on one click, he earned you $0.09 on 3 clicks.

Does the individual CPC rate stink? YES!

Does the overall CPM rate stink? NO! (well, I don't think mine does)

Regarding cookie discarding, that's more hurtful to the affiliate programs than AdSense IMO.

If you don't like AdSense and want to set your own prices can you say AdBrite?

<edit: added some math>

Quick bit of math.

Lots of sites get 2%-3% CTR which has been about the CTR on my site forever even before AdSense. This means to meet my old $15/CPM rate I'd have to get at least 30 clicks for $.50 each which based on Googles cut would mean advertisers would be paying about $1 per click.

Riiiiiiiiiiiight, like thats gonna happen these days.

I'm actually shocked I'm averaging about $0.20/CPC which generates the $6-$8 Page CPM.


 4:26 am on Apr 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

some affiliate sites like adbrite lets u setup a minimum price for any ads that are shown on ur site.
afterall its your site and webspace and you don't want someone to use it daily for just $0.03/click (if someone clicks at all).

and if that cheap ad appears on home page everyday, that adds more to frustration.

when advertisers can bid, why can't publishers fix?


 4:57 am on Apr 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

The reason you are getting low paying ads is because most people, like me, will not pay very much for content advertising in the first place. We have several campaigns where we pay a bunch of money per click on Google, but there is no way we could afford to pay that amount on content sites because of poor conversions. The days of advertisers throwing a bunch of money at content sites, without results is over. The best way to increase your revenue is to help Google get rid of sorry sites that contain Adsense ads so more advertisers will bid high money for content advertising. At present, content is worth only .05 per click to us and even at that it doesn't break even most of the time.


 5:18 am on Apr 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Imagine this:

Adwords advertisers see a list of sites that appear in their keyword ranges...they select the sites they would like to appear on..then bid to get top placemnents on those sites.

Adsense users can review advertisers and keep or ban as needed.

Two very happy outcomes,higher quality content placements for Adsense advertisers, higher income for those sites with quality content!

Didn't think through the legistics of it all...just popped in during brain storm, solution mode :)


 8:48 am on Apr 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

I too would like to lose ads that pay below a certain value. Sure, I'd be content to show low-paying but high-clickthrough AdSense ads, but $0.03 or $0.02 is absolutely 100% pointless to anyone but the advertiser.

Maybe they should have smart pricing only work on anything above a certain minimum value. Google's not in the charity business, and neither am I...


 9:22 am on Apr 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Until the advertisers start opting in to content network, any demand for more than minimum bid will pointless.

Google should get rid of those junk sites otherwise there will be many opting out of content network and those that optin will be bidding real low.

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