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EPC dropped 50% Last Three Days
Since January 1st 2007
Raymond




msg:3207714
 7:35 am on Jan 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

I notice my EPC dropped by half since 1st January. CTR is roughly the same and Impression has increased. Is it because advertisers are cutting their holiday campaign in general? Or am I being smartpriced?

 

hunderdown




msg:3207984
 2:51 pm on Jan 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

FWIW my EPC has remained pretty steady.

Could be smartpricing, could be advertisers in your sector only, could be changes in your traffic.....

kozmosis




msg:3209870
 10:14 pm on Jan 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

For some reason everything has gone up for me since two days before christmas.. I don't understand it but I am getting about 40% more per click (10 cents now 14 cents) and it shows no sign of going back down.. I am wondering if Google has for some reason found my site more worthy now or what? I have a dating site that gets like 13K page views per day.

europeforvisitors




msg:3209908
 10:46 pm on Jan 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

I haven't seen much change in EPC since January 1: It's down a bit but not significantly. Other revenue sources and traffic are way up, which is normal for the post-holiday season in the [can't say] sector.

How does your January 1-5 EPC compare to EPC for the same period in 2006? That's probably a more valid comparison.

ronburk




msg:3210241
 7:42 am on Jan 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

What was the standard variance in your daily EPC from July through December of last year? I'll guess it was large enough that this change is not statistically significant.

netchicken1




msg:3210255
 8:20 am on Jan 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

I concur with Raymond. My EPC dropped about 50% as well after christmas.

It has started to climb back, but nothing like the highs of December.

Pengi




msg:3210276
 9:22 am on Jan 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

I've seen a theory that smart pricing can cause increases in traffic to lead to reductions in EPC. I've certainly seen this effect on my data during two periods of significant traffic growth: the first period was during October; the second period has been since Christmas.

I would guess a number of sites are seeing significant traffic increases since the holiday. If the theory is true, then that would certainly explain why people are seeing EPC dropping (although 50% in 3 days seems rather excessive for smartpricing - my EPV has fallen by perhaps 20% over a period of 2 weeks).

Has anyone seen significant periods where EPC increases as traffic increases?

Hobbs




msg:3210279
 9:32 am on Jan 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

EPC down by 20%
CTR up by 19%
Earnings down by 22%

Been like this since end of Dec 2006
Jan 2006 saw a rise in EPC and earnings

I am thinking it is more related to advertisers restricting campaigns to certain times of the day, leading to less competition on my space 16 hours a day, if this is true, this trend will continue.

evgkuz




msg:3210440
 3:25 pm on Jan 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

What is "smart pricing"?

My EPC down by 30% since end of Dec 2006 :(

trinorthlighting




msg:3210458
 3:53 pm on Jan 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hobbs,

We are seeing the same thing in our niche. About 50% of the advertisers are only advertising during the day and they are not advertising on the weekends.

Tropical Island




msg:3210460
 3:56 pm on Jan 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

Jan. 1 - 5, 2007 compared to Jan. 1 - 5, 2006

Impressions down 22.5% (this may be due to changes in how link units were counted or the reduction in my Overture spend)
CTR up 3.7%
eCPM up 27%
EPC up 32%
Income up 4.9%

Dec. 1, 2006 - Jan. 5, 2007 compared to Dec. 1, 2005 - Jan. 5, 2006

Impressions down 20.9% (see above)
CTR down 3.5%
eCPM up 27%
EPC up 32.5%
Income up .005%

Come to your own conclusions however I am really happy with the eCPM & EPC.

europeforvisitors




msg:3210474
 4:10 pm on Jan 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

I've seen a theory that smart pricing can cause increases in traffic to lead to reductions in EPC.

I'm skeptical, because smart pricing is intended to reflect anticipated conversions for advertisers, and an increase in traffic (as opposed to an increase in clickthrough rates) shouldn't have any effect on conversions.

In my opinion, dilution is more likely to be the culprit. Let's say you've had 1,000 impressions per day for a page about Elbonian widgets. Suddenly your traffic for that page jumps to 2,000 impressions per day. Google has only so many clicks to allocate for any given ad about Elbonian widgets, so many of the clicks from additional traffic are coming from lower-paying ads. You're still getting as many high-paying clicks as you were before, but they're a smaller percentage of the total and your overall average EPC drops.

This hypothesis may or may not be correct, but it seems more credible than bigger smart-pricing discounts for advertisers as a site's traffic increases.

rbacal




msg:3210495
 4:50 pm on Jan 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

This hypothesis may or may not be correct, but it seems more credible than bigger smart-pricing discounts for advertisers as a site's traffic increases.

The pattern of lower cpm/epc related to higher impressions, and vice versa has actually been commented on from almost the beginning of adsense, predating smartpricing. I have no idea how and why this happens, but it does seem to happen.

FourDegreez




msg:3210510
 5:02 pm on Jan 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

Here, impressions and CTR are steady but eCPM has gone up quite a bit in the last few days. Some of you are trying to explain a drop in earnings, while I'm trying to explain an increase.

I think the truth is, there is no making sense of it.

europeforvisitors




msg:3210522
 5:21 pm on Jan 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

The pattern of lower cpm/epc related to higher impressions, and vice versa has actually been commented on from almost the beginning of adsense, predating smartpricing. I have no idea how and why this happens, but it does seem to happen.

And why not? There are only so many high-paying ads to go around. It stands to reason that Google would try to allocate them across many sites (instead of letting one or two sites suck up more than their share), simply to protect advertisers and to discourage any attempts to bypass the middleman.

gamiziuk




msg:3210540
 5:37 pm on Jan 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

Mine went UP by 50% since Jan. 1st.

Google must have sent your money to me instead!
;)

trinorthlighting




msg:3210541
 5:39 pm on Jan 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

I tend to agree with EFV here. A good way to put it is there are only so many advertisers for a specific keywords and most advertisers set daily budgets.

Pengi




msg:3210565
 6:13 pm on Jan 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

Google must have sent your money to me instead!

I'm sure your right and that it was an honest mistake - can you send it on to me please.

EFV - I've always felt that dilution is a more credible explanation than smartpricing. However, I'm becoming sceptical as the breadth of my site is such that no specific ad or keyword sees a great deal of traffic. I'm finding it hard to believe that my traffic alone is sufficient to take me nuch further into the "tail".

netchicken1




msg:3210616
 7:11 pm on Jan 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

In the google groups adsence forum the same howl is rising from webmasters.

Ecpm is dopping heavily and people are losing money.

So it must be affecting numerous publishers, instead of being merely a niche issue.

martinibuster




msg:3210617
 7:12 pm on Jan 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

Looks like some people are up and some people are down.
  • Could be something,
  • could be the New Years Day holidays (the OPs EPC dropped on New Years Day after all),
  • could be retail advertisers blew their budget during the holiday season
  • could be January is traditionally slow for certain sectors
  • Could be the unusually warm weather is affecting sales of certain products
  • could be Google is targeting forums
  • could be current events
  • it could be a renewed culling of low quality sites, or
  • could be a whacking of low quality sites plus collateral damage.

Take your pick. Could be any, all or none of the above.

A simple roll call of members whose sites are going up and down doesn't provide information beyond what we already know. Some people are up, some are down. Good, that's the case at any point in time, right?

I'm not discounting that something significant is occurring, but a simple roll call isn't going to provide answers beyond that some are up and some are down. Certainly, it's not going to prove that something happened, if anything has indeed occurred.

Let's try to help out the OP and put a little more analysis into this. Sites are always up and down, but it would be great if we can identify some pattern to this.

For those who feel they have been targeted for a knee whacking, it would make this thread far more helpful if you could describe what you feel it is about your site, niche, or advertisers that would account for a drop. For those who have experienced an uptick, you could perhaps offer a theory for that, even if it's simply that you feel lucky.

Hobbs




msg:3210624
 7:24 pm on Jan 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

I thought that's what I did MB

Told you before, when my earnings are down, it's always good to know I am not alone, that is one of the reasons I visit this place, sympathy, if knowledge and facts come attached, that's an added bonus.

Anyway, I rarely see significant unexpected drops in earnings or epc, last week is one of those rare periods.

martinibuster




msg:3210634
 7:29 pm on Jan 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

I thought that's what I did MB...

You thought right. That's exactly the kind of post that is helpful.

trinorthlighting




msg:3210655
 8:09 pm on Jan 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

Our earnings are up by about 10%

Our traffic has been very steady since October and click through ratio the same. Our traffic is very steady over a 24 hour period. Everything is pretty much constant for our smaller site.

What we have noticed:

1. We make more from 7am-7pm EST!
2. Weekend advertising fell dramastically!

We feel its due to ad scheduling and advertisers trying to save money. We noticed this trend after the article on how the one guy saved money by looking at conversions, time of the day and ad scheduling.

europeforvisitors




msg:3210675
 8:38 pm on Jan 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

For those who feel they have been targeted for a knee whacking, it would make this thread far more helpful if you could describe what you feel it is about your site, niche, or advertisers that would account for a drop. For those who have experienced an uptick, you could perhaps offer a theory for that, even if it's simply that you feel lucky.

I'm in a leisure-travel niche that follows a pretty standard curve from year to year: A big jump in traffic, ads, and affiliate revenues out of the gate in January, building to a peak in spring or early summer and tapering off in the fall with a deep lull in November and December.

I noticed a definite drop in AdSense EPC this winter, and AdSense EPC has been running a bit behind last year's in January (even though traffic and affiliate bookings are way up). At the same time, my traffic held much steadier than normal in November and December, with the December traffic total being equal to my monthly average for the whole year. So the "dilution" factor could easily be at work in my case.

I also think that changes in the AdSense advertiser mix may have had an effect. I used to see a lot of ads for hotel-booking services on the high-traffic [Widgetville] section of my site, but these days I see very few of those. Is it possible that low AdWords landing-page quality scores (and resulting high minimum bids) have forced some of these advertisers out of business or led them to abandon Google PPC ads? If so, I'm not altogether disappointed; those hotel ads just competed with my affiliate partners, and the current advertiser mix on those [Widgetville] pages seems more varied and useful to my readers.

andrewshim




msg:3210858
 1:18 am on Jan 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

I finally have one full year's stats, but the first couple of months in 2006 were low (beginner stats), so not much worth comparing.

In any case, my earnings started declining since October 2006 and hit a low in December 2006. After Christmas was a whole new ball game :

EPC up 25%
CTR up 20%
Impressions up 30%
Traffic up 25%

I put this down to a couple of factors :

- Current advertisers are probably armed with new fat budgets.
- New advertisers jumping into the pool, so my visitors have new ads to click.
- My site is popping up in #1 for my main keyword. I say popping up because it's not consistent. I've been a solid #2 for months but the serps have started moving. On half the datacenters, I seem to be in and out of the serps. Regardless, it seems to be getting more stable which would account for the rise in traffic.

As far a smartpricing goes, I believe I have been smartpriced maybe twice in 2006. First time saw my EPC being sliced in June 2006 from (pretty high) to 30 cents, then again in September 2006 to approx 20 cents.

This is my uninformed guess, but it looks to me like Google places an earnings threshold on a site and if you hit that threshold, their algo kicks in and smartprices you. This threshold probably fluctuates depending on a thousand factors - not to put a cap on our earnings, but to keep things in line. In any case, 2007 seems to be getting better.... fingers and toes crossed!

iwannano1




msg:3210927
 3:09 am on Jan 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

Mine is 150% up. My traffic is also increased since last Dec-06. However I saw same problem in Nov-06 w/o traffic drop. Must be googl algo change.

norbiu




msg:3210938
 3:31 am on Jan 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

My traffic went down 50% starting December 15 ... Now earnings are also down about 45%. I dont know if I will ever recover.

StuntasticAudi




msg:3211024
 6:10 am on Jan 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

Weekends suck for me.

Jordo needs a drink




msg:3211032
 6:28 am on Jan 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

My sites are up this month, which is up from Dec, which was up from Nov...

One thing I haven't seen mentioned, but I may have missed it, is that there are threads on the Adwords forum with advertisers stating they are leaving Adwords due to the quality score. Advertisers may be dropping accounting for decreases in ecpm.

europeforvisitors




msg:3211053
 7:19 am on Jan 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

One thing I haven't seen mentioned, but I may have missed it, is that there are threads on the Adwords forum with advertisers stating they are leaving Adwords due to the quality score.

Sure, and that isn't necessarily a bad thing, just as the purge of direct-to-merchant affiliate advertisers before that (in 2005, if I'm not mistaken) was probably good for the long-term viability of the AdWords/AdSense network. In the long run, stricter quality standards = more mainstream advertisers = higher ad rates.

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