Has anyone else noticed the fact that all of this started almost right after Adsense posted their "Read the latest on new forms of advertising and image updates" message on the Adsense homepage "?
I usually check Adsense about 3 or 4 times a day ... I had checked early Wednesday morning, no message, and everything was normal for a Wednesday ... Later, I checked again and the message was there, and I started noticing what is going on now ... I am thinking about something myself ...
The message clearly states that Adsense is currently "testing" the new CPM style advertising, as well as other new forms of image advertising ... The theory that I am looking at is that Adsense is currently doing some kind of "rotation" on these tests ... Why do I say this?
Early this morning, I started a 3 phase test, which lasted until approx. 5 pm EST:
1. Checked website traffic every 5 minutes
2. Checked Adsense impressions and clickthrus via my own methods every 5 minutes.
3. Checked Adsense reports every 5 minutes.
Some interesting things came out of this "experiment”...
- My website traffic remained almost completely normal for a Friday...
- There were time periods (between 45 min and 1 hour in length), in which my Adsense impressions and clickthrus were at normal levels. The rest of the time, all statistics are down between 40% - 50% (this was verified by my own tracking methods, and were almost identical to official Adsense reports) ... Note as well that these were very "defined" time periods (eg. almost like opening a water faucet, then closing it)
- In all cases, there were no PSA ads; instead, completely irrelevant ads were showing...
In the case where irrelevant ads were being shown, my own tracking methods (normally around 98% accurate) didn't even pick these ads up, even as I viewed them on my website!
Taking the aforementioned into account, I believe that what we are seeing now may actually be Adsense testing the following:
- Statistics on clickthrus via CPM advertising versus normal CPC advertising
- Mechanisms to track clickthrus via CPM advertising versus CPC advertising
- Methods to combine the two forms of advertising (in terms of tracking), while being able to accurately discern between the two
While it may be a good idea for Adsense to give advertisers the option of CPM advertising, anyone involved in any sort of online business knows that CPM is the least expensive (compared against CPC), so in their "auction" process, Adsense must be trying to figure out how to keep both CPM and CPC revenue generation levels on a somewhat even level...
What does everyone else think?