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Is anyone seeing a drop in Earning per Click?
Macro




msg:1324667
 6:33 pm on Oct 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

Our EPC tends to be fairly stable with about a 10% variation from day to day. Broadmatching made it go up a bit for a day or two. But over the last 3 days it's dropped by about 50% from the previous norm.

I've checked all my sites and it seems none of them have been down. I've excluded factors like weekend etc as I'm comparing with similar periods in the past. It's not the end of the month, so it can't be budgets. My impressions and CTR are normal so it can't be the IE problem and/or ads not being seen by visitors. But I've "lost" a three digit sum so far as a result of this reduced EPC.

I know it's a small sample and all that but our daily clicks are in the decent three-digits - so not that small a sample.

Anybody else noticed a drop in EPC?

 

Macro




msg:1324697
 2:14 pm on Oct 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

Another possible answer to the "mysterious" drop in EPC is that the big advertisers are perhaps opting out of having their ads shown on content based sites and are instead just showing them with the Google SERP's

From Adwords advertisers in our markets it appears that they are getting better ROI from ads on the content sites. But mileage may vary. So either you are correct in that there is some movement away from content sites or this is the big change in Adsense payouts.

It's possible that Adsense is now widespread enough for Google to start lowering the pay outs to the minimum the market will take. It has been predicted by knowledgeable webmasters here that the intial payout levels wouldn't last forever. Maybe this is the start of that drop.

On a seven day average to end of yesterday CPC is down big time. There are one or two exceptions. I believe these are either sites with smaller real clickthroughs and payouts (daily $0-$20) and whose results may fluctuate more. Or these are sites that have done some recent optimising. From postings here and elsewhere all other sites seem to be showing a lower EPC.

alika




msg:1324698
 2:44 pm on Oct 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

Our CPC is constant; pageviews up, but earnings is way down by 25% compared to same period last month. It would be good to know if the change we're seeing is really a result of the broad matching, or whether Google has changed the payouts. Glad to see that our experience is not an isolated instance.

Macro




msg:1324699
 4:26 pm on Oct 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

Alika, do you mean your CTR is constant but your earnings/CPC has gone down?

europeforvisitors




msg:1324700
 4:41 pm on Oct 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

From Adwords advertisers in our markets it appears that they are getting better ROI from ads on the content sites.

I see many of the same advertisers on my pages week after week, month after month. The one I see most is a fairly big advertiser (the #1 company in its product category), and others are household names in the travel industry. I'd guess that, if any advertisers are dropping out, they're the "little guys" who get into a panic every time their ROI takes a daily dip. After all, "little guy" advertisers are like "little guy" publishers: They're likely to interpret their statistics from a micro rather than a macro point of view.

For what it's worth, my AdSense revenues have dropped less than most of my affiliate revenues now that we're heading into the gloomy months (a.k.a. the off season) for leisure travel in Europe. I'm suprised by how strong my AdSense revenues are for this time of year.

alika




msg:1324701
 5:21 pm on Oct 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

Macro -- yes, the CTR is fairly constant, but my EPC went down by 18.1 percent for the same period last month. The drop was most noticeable after Oct 10 (did anything happen during this time?) The 25% is the decrease of my total earnings.

freitasm




msg:1324702
 7:13 pm on Oct 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

Our CPC is constant; pageviews up, but earnings is way down by 25% compared to same period last month. It would be good to know if the change we're seeing is really a result of the broad matching, or whether Google has changed the payouts. Glad to see that our experience is not an isolated instance.

Same here...

401khelp




msg:1324703
 7:56 pm on Oct 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

Our CPC is constant

We have got to get our terms correct. There is no CPC in Adsense. The correct term is earnings-per-click (EPC).

Cost-per-click: The cost-per-click (CPC) is the amount
an advertiser pays to Google each time a user clicks on the advertisers ad.

Earnings-per-click: The amount Google pays you each time a user clicks on an ad served to your site by Google. It is a percentage of the CPC paid by the advertiser.

alika




msg:1324704
 8:00 pm on Oct 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

See my second post -- without having to explain that this is a clarification of the first post -- I said CTR. Of course I do not mean CPC. I know what it means,

europeforvisitors




msg:1324705
 8:47 pm on Oct 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

As long as we're on the topic of cost-per-whatever, the most useful metric for publishers is the "effective CPM" (effective cost per 1,000 impressions), which can also be expressed as "RPM" (revenue per 1,000 impressions).

The numbers publishers should be worrying about are effective CPM/RPM and bottom-line revenues. CTR and CPC will influence those numbers, but they aren't important in themselves.

cornwall




msg:1324706
 10:01 pm on Oct 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

>> the most useful metric for publishers is the "effective CPM" (effective cost per 1,000 impressions), which can also be expressed as "RPM" (revenue per 1,000 impressions).

Got to agree with that. (well its the best we can do with the information we are given)

And if you do a 7 day moving average, you take out the weekly cycle bumps (tourist sites are way down at weekends, for example)

It enables you to see real long term trends, and stops you worrying about day to day fluctuations

alika




msg:1324707
 12:03 am on Oct 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

As my partner said, he does not care about these little metrics. What he is concerned is the bottomline, and only the bottomline: how much Adsense is adding to our bank account.

Since we joined in June, our income from the program grew at an average of 140% per month. Even if the income for Oct will not grow as much as last month's growth, I am hoping to see a POSITIVE month-on-month gross income growth. Unfortunately, as it is looking right now, I might even see a negative growth rate.

And that is what is troubling me :o( -- more so considering that our traffic has increased tremendously this month (we're finally #1 for our main keyword this month in Google)

chiyo




msg:1324708
 12:20 am on Oct 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>As my partner said, he does not care about these little metrics. What he is concerned is the bottomline, and only the bottomline: how much Adsense is adding to our bank account.<<

Your partner obviously has no responsibility for business strategy! The bottom line tells you if you are going to be able to pay staff this month and how much beer for you. It tells you nothing about WHY that has happened. Thats when these "little metrics" come in useful. As soon as someone announces at a meeting that all they care about is the bottom line, thats when i stop listeing to them.

In the Adsense case, these "little metrics" or the data we have is very limited anyway, and the key is not to overinterpret.

Visi




msg:1324709
 1:16 am on Oct 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

As you have stated Chiyo the information is limited, and sometimes the overall effect is the only way to measure something. I have to agree with the above comments since there definitly seems to be a common thread here recently that the number of impressions are up, in many posts click rates are up, but revenue is down. Seems to me the only conclusion I can draw from this is that the ad rate has dropped. Is this an overall effect (change by google on percentage paid), ad blindness setting in, a over saturation of ads with many major free webhost services being added, or the fact that the ads themselves are dropping in return cannot be determined by the information we have at hand.

It is somewhat evident in reading the posts and dates that something seems to have affected earnings around the same time that "broad" matching was introduced. This is also the time that some other major players were added by google from my memory (need to check on that one). It is also evident that this launch by google has not had the widely anticipated effect (posts in adwords forum).

The high amount of PSA's served and posts about them towards the end of last month indicated google's inventory may be light to demand, which could also contribute to what we are seeing.

The tone of this months posts are different than previous "oh my gawd" I didn't make money yesterday posts of the last couple of months. In reviewing all of the above, I can only draw one overall conclusion....that the changes made recently in adwords/adsense by google have had a negative effect on those running adsense.

Whether this is a long-term effect....or a short-term blip will only be known later in the year.

The macro analysis is revenues are falling....and the micro analysis has so many factors that are unknown that it may be useless to attempt to analyse any farther than how thick the wallet is....or isn't.

We have all seen the fluctuations...but this is the first time on the board where many have concurred over a period of days that an "effect" is being seen. I think perhaps the most telling factor is the earnings per page view or visitor, and reading between the lines, these have decreased recently.

<who knew I could type this much:)>

europeforvisitors




msg:1324710
 1:43 am on Oct 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

The high amount of PSA's served and posts about them towards the end of last month indicated google's inventory may be light to demand, which could also contribute to what we are seeing.

What PSAs? I don't think I've seen any on my site, except when previewing pages locally.

I'd guess that some categories may be showing light demand, while others (such as the one I'm in) haven't changed noticeably. The trouble with averages is that nobody is "average"--the sky can be bright and sunny or the sky can be falling, depending on who you are, where you are, and what you're seeing.

Visi




msg:1324711
 1:54 am on Oct 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

true enough europe:)

Just that we suddenly seem to be moving into the partialy clouded area of the globe recently:) Defintly seeing less than full compliment of ads in our subject. Maybe will have to get myself one of them travel sites:)

Macro




msg:1324712
 9:05 am on Oct 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'll have a travel site as well :-)

They seem immune to this drop in EPC/RPM/bottom line. And they don't suffer the PSAs at the end of the month.

Where can I buy a travel site cheap? Anyone wanna swap? :-)

BwanaZulia




msg:1324713
 9:54 am on Oct 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Ok... more (not) numbers

- Effective CPM up (good number)
- CPC is up
- Average clicks are up
- Traffic is up

BZ

Macro




msg:1324714
 10:15 am on Oct 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Who does not seem to be affected by the drop in EPC:

EuropeforVisitors, Bwanazulia and to a certain extent perhaps Cornwall and Robho.

We know that Europeforvisitors and Cornwall are in the travel/tourism industry. And they have good weekends :-)Bwanazulia and Robho, by any chance are you in the same industry?

If it helps ...our sites are mainly IT/tech sites. And yesterday's earnings were slightly higher than the last few days but the EPC is till waaaay down.

Visi, you have summarised it well. Guessing the possible reasons for the downturn I think it's either
- not enough advertisers/advertiser spend (or too many Adsense accounts)
- big shift of ads from content pages to SERPS
- Google cutting payouts
I'm more inclined to believe it's the latter.

ap_Rhys




msg:1324715
 11:02 am on Oct 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Guessing the possible reasons for the downturn I think it's either
- not enough advertisers/advertiser spend (or too many Adsense accounts)
- big shift of ads from content pages to SERPS
- Google cutting payouts
I'm more inclined to believe it's the latter.

If Google was cutting payments surely that would be across the board.

My main sites are business information. They take off in October.

Compared to the same period in September (similar trend over August and July) my traffic and earnings are up 50%. But the CTR has gone down by about 20% - probably due to a high number of students who are not likely to be interested in most ads (guess).

So my average earnings per click have gone up.

Sharper




msg:1324716
 2:20 pm on Oct 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

More new publishers = lower EPC for existing publishers.

The supply of ads isn't infinite. As more ads are shown and clicked on on someone else's site, the higher-paying ads fall out of the rotation as their budgets are exhausted and the lower paying/lower CTR ads start being shown, with the PSA's being the presumed bottom of the pile and paying no-one.

So Google's constant expansion of adding publishers will continue to drive down EPC across existing publishers, unless they manage to add new advertisers at the same rate (which is unlikely, IMHO).

How many adwords advertisers do you know that just can't manage to actually get their ad budget spent in a month? Not many, anymore....

I've seen about a $0.02/month drop in EPC over the last couple months. This is on statistically significant numbers of impressions over a broad range of ad topics. The only time I've seen a jump upwards in EPC is when the balance of topics gets skewed by more impressions on some topics versus others. If everything stays the same related to topics and other stats, it looks like about -$0.2 EPC/month. (This is where better, at least site-specific Adsense reporting would come in very handy.)

On the upside, EPC should (I hope) pick up for the holidays as more advertisers make big holiday advertising plans and level out long-term as Google stops adding publishers as fast as they have been.

So please, instead of complaining about lower EPC, you really should just drop out of Adsense so that the rest of us get a higher EPC on average. :)

Macro




msg:1324717
 2:50 pm on Oct 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Sharper, well put, and good point. That should explain why some sectors don't seem to be affected. It could be that Google has been acquiring a lot of new advertisers in those sectors.

But it does not explain why so many people had a drop at approximately the same time.

If everything stays the same .....it looks like about -$0.2 EPC/month

A drop of 20 cents in EPC is a BIG drop for most people.

europeforvisitors




msg:1324718
 3:18 pm on Oct 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Sharper wrote:

More new publishers = lower EPC for existing publishers.
The supply of ads isn't infinite. As more ads are shown and clicked on on someone else's site, the higher-paying ads fall out of the rotation as their budgets are exhausted and the lower paying/lower CTR ads start being shown, with the PSA's being the presumed bottom of the pile and paying no-one.

So Google's constant expansion of adding publishers will continue to drive down EPC across existing publishers, unless they manage to add new advertisers at the same rate (which is unlikely, IMHO).

That would be true if AdSense ads weren't targeted. But AdSense ads are targeted, so the statement "More new publishers = lower ECP for existing publishers" is true only for topics that have a large number of publishers who have pages on those topics. Also, the degree to which a publisher will be affected by dilution of inventory will depend on how many pages he or she has on the dilution-prone topic.

Let's say you have a site about travel in the Pacific Northwest. It's possible that, at some point, you'll start making less money on ads for "Seattle hotels" or "Portland hotels" because there are thousands of Seattle and Portland pages with AdSense ads for those keyphrases. If all your eggs are in the "Seattle hotels" and "Portland hotels" basket, you'll be hurt.

But: If your site is comprehensive and includes articles and links pages on many other topics about travel in the Pacific Northwest, you'll be less affected than those Seattle-only and Portland-only guys, because it's less likely that dilution will affect topics like Columbia River cruises, boat rentals in the San Juan Islands, B&Bs along the Oregon Coast, health and beauty spas, etc.

I'd guess that the publishers who are seeing the greatest softening in their earnings per click and overall revenues are publishers who:

1) Have extremely popular topics like computers and Windows software where the number of ads (and sites, for that matter) outstrips demand by advertisers and readers. Or...

2) Have created sites for the express purpose of making money with AdSense, and who have selected what they thought would be the highest-revenue page topics.

IMHO, the key to success with AdSense (or any other page-targeted PPC advertising network) is to have a diverse range of topics or subtopics, and not just to focus your entire site around a few extremely narrow topics that everyone else is targeting.

The easiest way to do this is to focus on the reader experience and let AdSense revenues take care of themselves. That obviously isn't practical for sites that were designed solely with AdSense in mind, but for editorial or "content sites," it requires nothing more than concentrating on the editorial product.

The bigger your site and the more diverse your range of editorial subtopics, the less pain you're going to feel when bids drop on the most popular keyphrases in your category.

BwanaZulia




msg:1324719
 3:31 pm on Oct 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Sorry... I have 5 sites running AdSense and can't see which one is pulling in the hits/$ (COME ON GOOGLE!).

In terms of traffic though:
50% sports car site (name brand)
42% local portal
6% travel
2% beer/bar
1% IT/Computer

Hope this helps.

BZ

markus007




msg:1324720
 3:55 pm on Oct 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

As i said before my EPC is up by about 20% this month. But in the 2 months before that it dropped by 50%. I think google is adjusting payouts on a industry by industry basis.

Visi




msg:1324721
 3:59 pm on Oct 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Some excellent points here, and we are a content site in a highly competative area (broad appeal, ton of them on the net).

In rereading the effect of available ads, generating new lower cost advertisers is most likely. In the leaderboard areas it is not uncommon for only 1 or 2 ads to be seen. In fact when looking at areas within the site (all common theme) it is seldom that all 4 ads are served. It would also explain some of the differences we are seeing noted here. Hoping that if this is the case, Google catches up to demand.

cornwall




msg:1324722
 5:53 pm on Oct 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>I think google is adjusting payouts on a industry by industry basis

Personally I think that is (very) unlikely. Why on earth would they do it on an industry by industry basis.

My preference for what is going on would be that there is a drop in advertisers in some industries and not in others.

Travel is looking solid right now.

And I would remind everyone that whilst CPM is important, the number of impressions you put out is equally important. I have had continually increasing AdSense revenues, not only because CPM is solid, but also because improving indexability of content sites that had languished has improved impressions.

Sharper




msg:1324723
 6:15 pm on Oct 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

I can't seem to "owner-edit" the original post, but there is a fairly major typo.... I meant $0.02 /month, as listed first in the paragraph, as in two, not twenty. Sorry about that. :(

Visi




msg:1324724
 6:51 pm on Oct 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Just sharper getting in his "two cents worth":)

freitasm




msg:1324725
 7:22 pm on Oct 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

And I would remind everyone that whilst CPM is important, the number of impressions you put out is equally important. I have had continually increasing AdSense revenues, not only because CPM is solid, but also because improving indexability of content sites that had languished has improved impressions.

Yesterday I had my 3rd day in a row with growing page impressions. For the first time I entered the 20k pages served in a single day, and it's going to hit this number again today.

My CTR was the same as before, yet my total earning for the day was 75% of the previous three weeks. Putting this in a CPM ("How much am I doing for every 1k impression), the figure was smaller than before.

Simply put, two months ago I thought "Wow, if I manage to get my site to move up to 20k pages a day, from my current 10k I could earn more". My plan to move the site traffic up is working fine, but the second part is not happening - yet.

Now, I like the AdSense program, and it gives me a great deal of income. Of course I'll stick with it. But it would be better for me to be able to plan my strategy. Things like "I know how much I can make, so I can work in something else to increase this traffic now".

What really happens is "I have to calculate averages and medians for six months before I know how much I can make (roughly) now I can work in something else".

EliteWeb




msg:1324726
 7:31 pm on Oct 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

30% drop over the last 3 days.

twiggy




msg:1324727
 7:35 pm on Oct 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

My last 2 days have seen an improvement again.. my revenue is NEVER very good (in september I made almost enough to get a check just from that month, hint hint...), but man were they bad from Sept 29-Oct 14th or so... I won't even get halfway there in October, probably, even with the improvement over the last few days.

My site gets about 700 unique visitors a day and a few hundred thousand pageviews per month, those stats are legal to post, as they have nothing to do with adsense.

I'd discuss the subject matter of my site, but I think that might break the TOS - I'm not sure?

This 102 message thread spans 4 pages: < < 102 ( 1 [2] 3 4 > >
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