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Google AdSense Forum

This 135 message thread spans 5 pages: < < 135 ( 1 2 3 4 [5]     
Complete rundown of the AdSense changes
For April 25, 2005

 6:01 pm on Apr 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Site Targeting

Site targeting is a new way for advertisers to select keywords and sites, and then pick and choose where their ads will appear. From a publisher perspective, if you have a high profile site, or even a quality site within a niche, you could find that advertisers are deciding to target your site specifically. However, those with less-than-quality sites could find themselves with a definite disadvantage.

CPM pricing model

There is a lot of buzz [webmasterworld.com] surrounding the way site-targeting is priced.

With site-targeted advertising, advertisers set a maximum CPM bid - that is, the price they are willing to pay for every thousand impressions and pay on a per-impression basis. This means that, unlike pay-per-click ads, you'll earn revenue each time a CPM ad is displayed on your site.

This means publishers will earn on a CPM basis for these ads. But the obvious concern, especially with a $2 USD CPM minimum bid is that publishers will earn much lower than what they would without this. Here is what AdSense says (emphasis mine):

For every eligible impression, both pay-per-impression ads and pay-per-click ads compete in the same auction. Our technology will automatically display the highest performing ads on your pages.

It is worth noting that all publishers are opted into this.

Expanded text ads

AdSense is testing ads that fill up an entire ad unit, likely to be similar to the way public service ads appear. They haven't updated the ad formats page with the new ad style (hint hint :) ) but an example should hopefully appear here soon:

These ads will currently only be used with site-targeted ads, which will have the added effect of publishers being able to spot advertisers who are site-targeting their sites.

Image ads

Google is adding animated image ads, as well as Flash ads [webmasterworld.com]. I wish there was an option to opt-out of Flash ads, while keeping image ads, so hopefully this will be added in the future.

They have also added the wide skyscraper to their ad units that support image ads. That has been added to the ad formats page, and can be seen here: https://www.google.com/adsense/adformats

They have also now added all the image ad styles into their own "category".

That's all folks :)

[edited by: Jenstar at 6:32 pm (utc) on April 25, 2005]



 8:00 pm on Apr 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'd be surprised if even 10% of advertisers have any idea of sites they'd like to target.


 8:03 pm on Apr 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

"home mortgages or South Dakota tourism on my European travel site"

And if things went awry, I suppose it could be worse than that.

Something just occurred to me (and maybe someone's already covered this). What if some advertisers attempt to abandon context altogther and just target content-network sites that are known for being able to deliver heavy traffic. Drudgereport is able to rake in huge amounts of $$ by hosting cpm banner ads, and none of these ads have anything to do with each other or his site--yet the advertisers clearly feel that they get a good ROI by being on his site due to his huge traffic numbers.

Yes, advertisers could do this already I suppose, but having adsense serve as the middleman makes it very easy to accomplish. It could make it tempting for an advertiser to say "Hey, that's a big site and it carries adsense. I want my ads that have nothing to do with that site to appear on that site simply because the raw traffic numbers will outweigh the advantages of being contextually relevant."


 8:10 pm on Apr 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

"I'd be surprised if even 10% of advertisers have any idea of sites they'd like to target."

But what if you are in a very defined niche with a limited number advertisers ----and they are very aware of which sites are on top for their serps area?

For instance, if you are a law firm trying to get accident client referrals and you are aware of a site that is on top of that niche (possibly because you also have a site that can never rise above the top 500 spaces, which may also be why you use adwords) that also carries adsense, you might wish to target that site.


 8:29 pm on Apr 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

It is my impression that Google will be suggesting possible sites to advertisers by category (perhaps getting some use out of the ODP data, as well as their own "theme" data for websites). It seems likely that they will also periodically suggest additional sites to people using the CPM model. That should make it relatively easy for advertisers to review potential target sites within a particular subject.

The Drudge example is a good counter to the "doom and gloom" posts that CPM ads will destroy revenues. Obviously, Drudge is making more with CPM than he would with CPC, or he would be showing CPC ads. It should ratchet earnings up, not down. (And, it may even force some of the minimum CPC bidders to up their bids.)


 9:11 pm on Apr 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

I hate to be so repeatedly so negative, but CPM pricing had crashed even before I started doing this full-time in 1999. It's such a broken model that I don't understand why Google would want to revive it -- although I notice that they're not offering the CPM option for their own site.

With respect to Drudge, I suspect you would be amazed how little he earns on a CPM basis. Presumably that's why he runs multiple banner placements and supplements that with multiple popups. Drudge is a success story for the traffic he generates and the way he's used his site to turn himself into a semi-celebrity; not for the way he monetizes his website.


 9:17 pm on Apr 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

I notice that they're not offering the CPM option for their own site

I noticed that too. Think there's a message there?


 9:25 pm on Apr 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

< It is my impression that Google will be suggesting possible sites to advertisers by category

I confirmed this with Adsense Phoebe at the Google booth at Adtech this morning. AdWords customers fill in two fields to target their ads towards specific sites - one for "Sites" and one for "Keywords."

The URLS and keywords the advertiser enters "generates a larger list of available Google Network sites".

One interesting caveat - Phoebe was unsure whether suggested sites are displayed in alphabetical order, by PageRank, or by relevance (as determined by their search algo).

This is obviously a big deal, as it would be nice to be showing up towards the top of these available site lists, to let the big advertisers bid up your CPM.

If this order is determined by search algo, effective SEO may suddenly have an added benefit.


 9:38 pm on Apr 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

I notice that they're not offering the CPM option for their own site

I noticed that too. Think there's a message there?

Sure, and they've made that message quite clear: They want to encourage advertising on the content network. A CPM option is a way to do that.

And for what it's worth, they don't offer large rectangles, five-up leaderboards, image ads, and various other AdSense options on their own SERPs, either. :-)


 9:39 pm on Apr 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

What a great idea it would be for G to automatically send pay for impression traffic to us in place of public service ads where PSA ads would normally be displayed! PSA ads could then be eliminated and replaced by impression based banners.

A fabulous and easy way for all of us to benefit, G, the publishers and adwords clients! A win win win situation.

P.S. I hope G reads this!


 9:43 pm on Apr 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think the whole CPM thing is inspired by the BIG agencies from the offline world who are much more interested is visibility rather than clicks. This may bring in the HUGE advertisers.

Why? Partially based on presentations and statements from really big companies/advertisers who literally say they don't want to "our" standards - which they don't understand. Partially based on the succes of Lycos brand advertising. The traditional advertising media are used to measure things like brand awareness and market share. They are not interested in clicks as those types of clicks often don't lead to sales. But they ARE big spenders. So I think it's a good thing.

The smaller do-it-yourself advertisers may not even notice the new options, like they're not aware of the default "content match is on" now.


 9:46 pm on Apr 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

alphabetical order, by PageRank, or by relevance

Very cool. If you dominate your niche, have the most pagerank, and have a domain name that begins with A-D, you could be set.

Hmmm. And this could be interpreted as your site being stamped with the "google seal of approval". --this would make it much easier for sites to potentially move toward cutting out the middleman. I'm surprised google is not more wary of this.


 9:46 pm on Apr 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

by the way, who is adsense phoebe and what is adtech?


 9:55 pm on Apr 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

ad tech is a big interactive marketing trade show that's in san francisco right now.

phoebe is one of the folks who sometimes responds to adsense questions (i think sunny is the other one).

and just to be clear - she didn't tell me how the order of suggested sites was generated. in our conversation, we threw out a couple possibilities (pr, search algo, alphabetical). if i remember correctly, she was pretty sure that it wasn't alphabetical.


 10:28 pm on Apr 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

If I sound negative in my posts, it's only because my earnings have dropped from $1000 per day to about $30. So yeah, I'm not happy with that.

I believed everything Goog told me until they couldn't explain why suddenly my impressions were only 50% of my server pageviews (and AdSense on every page).

For a while, I called it Google NonSense... but now I see it's Google AdSenseToGoogleBankAccounts.

Again, there are better ways to monetize- obviously I can't rely on PPC revenues alone anymore, so I'm developing infoproducts on which our co will keep the lion's share.

Making 10-15% of CPC vs. making 60-90% of an infoproduct cost- hmm...

And as far as CPM and niches go... won't work for me because I'm a portal, not a theme site, and I still make $10 CPM... and was making closer to $40 before.

So yeah, I tend to be negative when a source of riches turns into a joke.


 6:11 am on Apr 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

The more i read about these changes the more optimistic i am about the new system...

1) Google probably doesn't want to reduce revenue too much so the system is probably fairly well tested and will be balanced for advertiser vs. revenue vs. publisher needs.

2) CPM will probably only outclass PPC in image based ads or low bid text links - i for one look forward to displaying quality (hopefully) CPM ads as the banner pool grows... hopefully there is a "quality control" process on these banner ads - not just 50k limit...

don't want to have to keep blocking poor ads... and hopefully publishers will eventually be able to block specific image only ads independently of Text ads...

3) The bigger "use all available space" text ads i'm guessing will appear most on large rectangles in article based positions with strong keyword relevancy and will include high PPC / CPM to outweigh existing ads...

4) natural link / ad competitiveness will still exist and over time will settle in and define "new spend / result levels" - optimistically for the better...

5) "Advertiser choice" - may potentially increase eCPM as andvertisers compete for limited ad space on those sites...

6) i expect the run of the mill advertisers (once they are allowed the new options) will fiddle around a bit with the new features - prehaps upload a banner ad on CPM - though do not see a mass migration to CPM resulting in across the board drop in eCPM

There will be some fluctuations for sure - but will settle in over time as advertisers locate their best bids / mix of ads... this may also bring more advertisers into the AdSense Network / Banner pool...

It seems most of these changes are there to appease larger advertisers and compete with other banner / ad serving companies...

The highly competative keyword advertisers will definitely start "honing" in on quality sites - which will leave some publishers out in the cold...

Though if one has a quality site with quality traffic i don't see much real difference unless you start implimenting image ads / already use image ads...

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