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Distressing decline in earnings with Oct 2006 worst month in 1-1/2 yrs!
trader




msg:3140744
 7:52 am on Oct 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

My networks big decline started near the end of Sept and ongoing thru today. It has been dismal day after day for going on 5-weeks, with only 1 good day vs our average stats over the 3 plus yrs with Adsense.

In fact, our bottom line revenue has hit rock bottom where Oct is the worst month since April 2005. However, the number of websites we have running Adsense is up considerably over the past 1-1/2 years.

This is extremely depressing and we do not look forward to the considerable work involving moving many of the sites to YPN to see if things improve there, or other monetization techniques to replace Adsense on many of our sites.

Things are so negative we are seriously thinking about closing down many (if not most) of our smaller websites (maybe even a few larger ones too) and moving the domains to PPC Parking Pages where the results may be better (unlikely they could be any worse).

Asking support about our big decline is futile as all we get is the usual automated sounding response saying we should try different colors and ad positions, etc., which has already been heavily optimized during all the good times from May 2005 thru Sept 2006, and seriously doubt that can be improved.

Have many other members seen this distressing decline since the end of Sept thru now?

 

ken_b




msg:3142556
 6:45 pm on Nov 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

>> arbitrage....

Good point. My traffic is all from organic (free) serps or inbound links from other sites. All "free".

Pengi




msg:3142648
 7:50 pm on Nov 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

I guess my stats support Genuine1's view.

Nearly all my traffic is from AdWords.

My average daily visitors doubled between the beginning and end of October (now about 2,500) - despite only adding half a dozen new content pages (about 1% of my site). I reduced some of my AdWords bids and increased others - but on average it cost me about 15% less per visitor.

My earnings per click have progressively dropped throughout the month and are now about 35% down on what they were at the beginning of October.

Is this a question of the pie not growing fast enough? (more traffic for my site, more websites generally (see todays headline post about 100m sites) and presumable more sites showing adsense.

Or could this be part of a Google move against the MFA lowlifes or click arbitrage in general?

If the latter, then it could be effective if it's hitting MFAs the same way. The QS initiative stopped their traffic but let them make a profit from the traffic they did succeed in getting. What I'm seeing is dramatically increasing advertising spend but a steadily reducing profit margin - if it carries on for a week or two more, I'll have to stop advertising.

[edited by: Pengi at 7:51 pm (utc) on Nov. 1, 2006]

rebelde




msg:3142733
 9:06 pm on Nov 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm in the same boat as the rest of you, though my huge drop (-50% over a week) occurred a few months ago.

Being further along emotionally, I would recommend to learn to live with it, and to work to increase your traffic to compensate for the lower eCPM/CPC. I wish I had a brighter story to tell.

sailorjwd




msg:3142786
 9:42 pm on Nov 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

Pengi,

My situation is very similar to yours.

Except my visitors have dropped by 40% during the month since it is getting too expensive to advertise on the search network.

Visitors are about 7,000 per day (unique). This is even with adding a new section to the website. With the new section I would probably have been at 15000 visitors a day if adwords was still working. I get a significant amount of organic search visitors.

CPM has dropped by 1/2, so combined with the drop in visitors there is a tremendous loss of revenue.

I just added adlinks to 1/2 my pages and that brought 'page' cpm up by 15%. But I see even adlinks getting smart priced today - or something.

I used to spend between $500 and $700 per day on adwords. Now it is at about $150.

Pretty soon I'll turnoff the adwords just to see what happens. Overture and MSN visitors have Tremendous CPM but I can only get a handful of them a day. Same page will pay Overture visitors two smackers and adwords visitor will get 25cents - day after day.

Looks like G is specifically targeting adwords traffic and when I turn it off and close my account I bet my CPM will be back to normal in a few months.

YPN ads will pay 80c where G pays 20c but ypn ads only get clicked 1/5 the rate of adsense - you can't win.

ps. i was an adwords advertiser long before adsense arrived.

[edited by: sailorjwd at 9:47 pm (utc) on Nov. 1, 2006]

Pengi




msg:3142790
 9:47 pm on Nov 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

I would recommend to learn to live with it,

I expect I'll try to live with it - but I've been toying with the whinging and ranting and blaming G option popularised by some posting on this site recently. ;)

and to work to increase your traffic to compensate for the lower eCPM/CPC.

This isn't really an option for me - currently nearly 100% of my traffic is from AdWords - although I believe my site provides value to surfers and advertisers, it isn't the sort of site that attracts external links or inclusion in "favourites".
If my current trends continue - my site could be making a loss in a week or two - more traffic = bigger loss! My traffic is already growing - if I can't reduce the costs as fast as the EPC is falling then I'll need to shut down AdWords - traffic will fall to ~ zero.

europeforvisitors




msg:3142902
 11:38 pm on Nov 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

Or could this be part of a Google move against the MFA lowlifes or click arbitrage in general?

Not too long ago, Google's CEO spoke out against click arbitrage in a media session at a search conference. So if click arbitrageurs are getting squeezed, that's likely to be part of Google's plan, not an accident.

trinorthlighting




msg:3142936
 12:10 am on Nov 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

May be more of your competitors are using adsense now and may be the part of your clicking traffic has gone to your competion. We all have seen flux in the natural serps this year. When ever that happens it effects the quality of traffic we all recieve.

This might not be an adsense issue, it could be your site. Look at your traffic, where it came from and how it has changed over time.

superpower




msg:3142975
 12:53 am on Nov 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

Around 2.5 years with Adsense....

My main site was doing terrific but did a major kamikaze early in the year. (a lot of image and affiliate pages sent to supplemental)

Almost immediately I was able to bring my secondary site up to speed. Now, better numbers than ever.

Although I had maybe a 5-10% drop in traffic since my best traffic, in Sept, I dramatically improved both ecpm and ctr so overall adsense revenue in Oct is higher.

My feeling is there is an ebb and flow, but there are still many opportunities out there. Just don't rely on one site or adsense too much...

incrediBILL




msg:3143021
 2:24 am on Nov 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

But no one (declaring a 3 year/500,000 page view per month basis) has reported stable or increased eCPM.

Wrong song, you obviously glossed over my other posts.

I'm pushing 1.5M-2M posts a month with $15/eCPM average.

It's peaked at $18 and goes up and down between $15 and $18 but $15 is the average.

Not like I wouldn't like a higher eCPM but I can work with it, and keep piling on traffic.

No big deal.

Broadway




msg:3143050
 2:46 am on Nov 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

>>It seems that all the best content type sites are up.
All (most - algos dont always get it right! Sorry hunderdown!) the thin, mfa, or dubious content type sites that were created purely for adsense are down.<<

If a site is over 3 years and 4 months old, how can it be a MFA site?

europeforvisitors




msg:3143070
 2:57 am on Nov 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

If a site is over 3 years and 4 months old, how can it be a MFA site?

LOL. You've never heard of precognition?

morpheus83




msg:3143220
 6:11 am on Nov 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

Wow, I find this thread as a stressbuster as I thought only I was the victim. Could not agree with you more Oct was the worst month have been with adsense since the start.

Genuine1




msg:3143360
 9:22 am on Nov 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

Natural traffic? Content you would bookmark and actually read 3 pages or so? THE site in your nich? Sites like this with good traffic I would expect to be up. All the rest seem to be way down. But I could be wrong!

FortySomething




msg:3144226
 10:00 pm on Nov 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

Not too long ago, Google's CEO spoke out against click arbitrage in a media session at a search conference. So if click arbitrageurs are getting squeezed, that's likely to be part of Google's plan, not an accident.

And promptly forgot he'd even mentioned it. Nothing's changed. Spouting good words and sounding irritable is all fine, but I think most people would be happier to see some actual results instead.

europeforvisitors




msg:3144312
 11:02 pm on Nov 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

And promptly forgot he'd even mentioned it. Nothing's changed.

You must have missed Pengi's comments in the previous page of this thread.

Genuine1




msg:3144428
 12:48 am on Nov 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

I am seeing some change!

ArtistMike




msg:3144453
 1:27 am on Nov 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

You guys with declining income should remove AdSense from low paying pages. The low paying pages drag down the high paying pages and the high paying pages become only good to low paying pages also. I have been going through my site and taking AdSense OFF the poor paying and poor click through pages. This has let the high paying and the high click through pages blossom back to what they should be.

It really does work.

Mike

FortySomething




msg:3144671
 7:26 am on Nov 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

And promptly forgot he'd even mentioned it. Nothing's changed.

You must have missed Pengi's comments in the previous page of this thread.

Pengi was talking mainly from the advertisers point orf view. Whilst he may be seeing it costs more to advertise, I'm looking at the ads that show on my pages, the ads I see showing on Google's search pages for my keywords and general quality of ads whilst surfing.

That hasn't changed.

My keywords are still showing 50% - 75% of ads on Google's pages as pure MFA, and I can't say I've seen any improvement in the quality of ads showing whilst surfing.

I accept that changes may take a while to filter through, but QS has been with us a while now in full implementation and there is no major improvement.

The other thing that hasn't changed is that adsense support will STILL not pull landing pages that are so way off the TOS it's untrue.

Both you and I know that the main solution to the problem is to stop ads from showing on landing pages that do not conform to the adsense TOS. We aren't talking necessarily banning publishers - we are talking not showing ads if the site doesn't comply. Perfectly reasonable, and no court is going to find against them for that.

Are they doing that? In a word NO. If they are going to spend millions tinkering with algo's, why not write one that looks for certain aspects of the TOS and stops serving ads for non-compliance? That would probably achieve results, whereas the tinkering they ARE doing has only had a marginal effect on what the stuffed shirt wants to achieve.

mwpclark




msg:3144791
 10:48 am on Nov 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have been publishing adsense for almost 2 years and do about 1M page views per month. This is a deep, informational site with about 250,000 google site: listings.

Aug06 was the best month ever, then Sep took a dive and Oct was down over 30% from the high, but still better than June. Traffic was about the same. I don't pay a lot of attention to ecpm, but rather calculate my own cpc. Yes, there are about 10% site targeted ads. But I still take total dollars and divide by total clicks. Aug was .54. Oct was .39.

Generally, the advertising business is strong in Jan & Feb, after companies put their new year's budget to work. I know specifically that one major advertiser in our niche pulled all online advertising, not just adwords.

Also we may face the possibility that a macro-economic cycle has peaked. I think Jan & Feb 07 will tell the tale.

Genuine1




msg:3144832
 12:04 pm on Nov 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

Then how come all my 12 / 15 sites (all different niches / subject) are up by a third, click through and epc over the last 6 weeks? All real genuine useful one off stuff... EPC and total income rising steadily for 3+ years?

[edited by: Genuine1 at 12:06 pm (utc) on Nov. 3, 2006]

ConfusedButCommitted




msg:3145024
 3:23 pm on Nov 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

since about mid September my earning have increased 39% my eCPM increased 20%

I have 1 site at about 95K page views/month
Most traffic is from organic serps, remaining from links and bookmarks

europeforvisitors




msg:3145045
 3:34 pm on Nov 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

Generally, the advertising business is strong in Jan & Feb, after companies put their new year's budget to work. I know specifically that one major advertiser in our niche pulled all online advertising, not just adwords.

For what it's worth, I've seen a steady increase on the display-advertising side. One difference between display and AdSense advertising (at least in my sector) is that display advertisers tend to be large corporations, while AdSense advertisers are more likely to be small- to medium-sized businesses. I don't know if that difference plays a role in advertiser demand, but it's certainly possible.

Another difference is that display advertising has longer-term objectives than AdSense advertising does; it tends to be "advertising" in the traditional sense of the term (developing brand awareness, attracting inquiries for information, etc.) while AdSense is a direct-marketing tool that's typically--though not always--used to generate transactions. In sectors where transactions aren't too likely to occur in October, November, and December, it's only natural that PPC demand should become seasonally weaker.

A study by one of the big research firms recently indicated that display-ad growth was likely to outstrip PPC text-ad growth over the next few years. I don't know if we're witnessing signs of that change, but it's certainly possible.

Also we may face the possibility that a macro-economic cycle has peaked. I think Jan & Feb 07 will tell the tale.

In my sector, traffic, ad demand, and affiliate bookings traditionally have kicked into high gear in January. (At least in my experience and that of other editorial travel-site owners I've talked to.) One advantage of having multiple revenue streams is that one can get a gut feeling about whether revenue increases or dips are the result of overall user demand or what's happening with a specific program (e.g., AdSense). If AdSense is slower to take off than display ads and affiliate bookings are in early 2007, I'll be inclined to think the problem is with AdSense--but if AdSense remains competitive with those other revenue sources in terms of growth (whether it's good growth, bad growth, or negative growth), I'll be less likely to give the credit--or blame--to Google.

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