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Earnings in decline - temporary, or long-term problem?
Are recent trends a sign of future problems for AdSense?
inactivist




msg:3362072
 1:10 pm on Jun 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

I see a recurring theme in recent months - WebmasterWorld posts from AdSense publishers, talking about steady, long-term declines in revenue, even with steady increases in site traffic over the same period.

I'm wondering if we're experiencing a major shift in supply and demand - the lower revenues many are experiencing may be related to advertisers staying away from the content network in droves, so to speak - with the eBay affiliates, ringtones, and buy.com/shopping networks remaining to fill the gaps - and many publishers block those in their filters as they are viewed as 'spam', 'inappropriate', 'off-topic', 'low-paying', etc.

This may be why many publishers (myself included) have received 'optimization' reports suggesting we clear our filters (even if we have only a few URLs in them) - what if a significant percentage of content network publishers are blocking some or many of AdWords' big-spending clients? Clients who are definitely on the Google radar screen, revenue-wise?

A quick read of the AdWords forum here on WebmasterWorld shows that there are many who are very unhappy with the publisher network (refusing to place ads on our sites) - If a significant portion of advertisers are avoiding the publisher network, this would definitely reduce demand.

Reduced demand (AdWords advertisers) and/or increased supply (more AdSense publishers) could cause greater fluctuations and a steady decline in earnings for at least some publishers.

Might this 'battle' between some AdWords advertisers and AdSense publishers be generating friction in the network, keeping it from working as smoothly as G would like?

Is dissatisfaction spreading? Is this why G is starting to address the quality of the content network? Perhaps G sees the writing on the wall, and the possibility of a mass defection to a current or near-future competitor.

 

Green_Grass




msg:3362139
 2:08 pm on Jun 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

It has been mentioned on the forum that not all webmasters report decline in earnings. It has been suggested that those who show an increase may not really be venting!

I think, over time, with adspend increasing over the net and G grabbing a lion's share, revenues may definitely show an uptrend. It may be mentioned that a proportionate increase in earnings to traffic may not really come true on account of supply constraints and G policies.

zett




msg:3362174
 2:41 pm on Jun 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

inactivist,

let's face it - many Adsense publishers are still with Adsense, because there is no suitable alternative. Reading here and elsewhere leaves the impression that publishers (especially small and medium sized publishers) are sooo fed up with Google and its bizarre demands that this is the only valid reason for them to stay. They do not stay because the product is so good, but because it is the only product around.

Once a suitable alternative is available, Google Adsense will be toast.

A suitable alternative is any company that

- is as simple to use as Adsense
- operates under a big-name brand
- manually verifies advertisers and publishers
- takes quality issues dead serious
- communicates properly and proactively with their partners
- provides useful tools and statistics to both advertisers and publishers
- pays out regularly based on figures that make sense

That company/product will become market leader for the Adsense-clone market over night (well, within very few months). Mind you, I am just talking about the Adsense market (content network), not about Google search network.

Apparently it is very difficult, even for YPN and MSN, to pull the necessary strings together. Though I am quite puzzled about the reasons. What is so damn difficult about Adsense that Yahoo! and Microsoft can't get their act together?

HuskyPup




msg:3362380
 6:00 pm on Jun 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

I have seen a decrease in earnings simply because of a lower CTR, my ads are first class, absolutely spot on and I'm still consistently earning several thousand USD per month, the depreciating Dollar makes the earnings much less though.

Personally I feel that in many widget sectors that ad blindness has crept in, that surfers may be more discriminating on what they click or the novelty of them has worn off.

One thing is for certain that when I first used AdSense, and its 4th birthday is approaching, I was the ONLY publisher in my widget trade to use it, now every informational site in my trade has it therefore if every sector is like this no wonder Google's earnings are up but many publishers' earnings are down.

YMMV...

night707




msg:3362392
 6:09 pm on Jun 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

Our long term and short term decline in adsense revenues is disgusting and it would be great to see new operators starting to compete with them.

It's a joke, that Yahoo and MS are not even able to work with international clients.

Let's pray for smart newcomers..

newsecular




msg:3362761
 9:34 am on Jun 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

I hope the entrepreneurs and venture capitalists of the world read this post and see the tremendous opportunity in building a better AdSense.
They trow billions at all kinds of far off bets, but this thing is just screaming with demand.

I would recommend that the new system be build exactly like an AdWords/AdSense clone to start with so that ads, ad sizes, positions etc could just be easily replicated from AdWords/AdSense into the new system.
Then I would just build more tuning and settings options on top of that, simple! Keep it exactly the same, only with more options.
Such a system would be flooded right away with both advertisers and publishers applying what they have learned on AdWords and AdSense.

As to declining revenue in the content network this will only get worse. On Google Search however it will only get better.

A way to avoid it is to focus on the revenue created not in the content network but within Google Search itself. That is why the content links work well for many, they are tapping into the Google Search mother load avoiding clicks on sites in the Content Network. There are other strategies as well to tap into the mother load, be creative.

Scurramunga




msg:3362774
 10:03 am on Jun 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

it would be great to see new operators starting to compete with them

Yes it would be great for advertisers, not publishers.

newsecular




msg:3362797
 11:28 am on Jun 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

In fact, it will be better for the publishers. Much better.
You will be able to set a minimum price for your clicks.
Something like 10-15-20 cent per click.
No more 1 cent clicks.

Scurramunga




msg:3362798
 12:07 pm on Jun 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

You will be able to set a minimum price for your clicks.
Something like 10-15-20 cent per click.

Sorry if I seem a little underinformed here, but you know this how?

Scurramunga




msg:3362801
 12:16 pm on Jun 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

No more 1 cent clicks

I can't see how a competing network would operate in an enviorment that results in greater payouts to publishers.

If Adsense faced more direct competition, it would seem logical to me that market prices for this type of advertising would fall, hence publishers would see further reductions in their revenues.

newsecular




msg:3362839
 2:18 pm on Jun 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

If you can set a minimum price per click - well, that's it really.
YOU will be in control then. Not the AdWords, AdSense algo.

night707




msg:3363085
 10:02 pm on Jun 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Once adsense revenues become too poor publishers can improve by looking for better advertisers by themselves.

Perhaps Google is shipping all ad revenues to their big partners right now as we see a decline that looks almost big enough to justify dumping adsense completely.

In addition it would be great to see some of these venture billions being shifted into new search services that will be good enough to compete with Google.

Bryn and Page deserve honors for what they have done in the past, but nowadays the Internet requires something more capable than a Matt C. inviting snitches or search results that shove adsense billions to any junk page instead to those quality publishers that make www valuable.

For my feeling, big G is ripe and ready for better competition than poor yahoo or an even poorer MSN Live or whatever Microsoft may call it.

timwestla




msg:3363096
 10:29 pm on Jun 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

If you can set a minimum price per click - well, that's it really. YOU will be in control then. Not the AdWords, AdSense algo.

Not really. The ability to set a minimum would simply be like telling Google, if the ad you are about to send is not worth at least X cents, then don't send it. Google is still in charge of the pricing, but you would have more control over what is displayed in that area of your website.

Scurramunga




msg:3363115
 11:06 pm on Jun 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

If you can set a minimum price per click - well, that's it really.
YOU will be in control then. Not the AdWords, AdSense algo.

I am all for controlling my click acceptance threshold. However in the context of our earlier disscussion I do not believe that increased competition from other networks would have a positive effect for current Adsense publishers, even if we were able to set minimum bid prices. As Adsense publishers, we will benifit first and foremost by increased demand from advertisers for quality publishers and that can only be achieved if the integrity of the content network is vastly improved.

In other words if we were to see an increase in contextual ad network competition from the likes of Yahoo & MSN (without any increase in current advertiser demand) we we all be accepting lower click minimums in order to remain in the market. As each individual publisher would have the ability to remain in the bidding war or opt out by setting bid prices, what happens after that will be determined by the markets.

dollarshort




msg:3367130
 6:08 am on Jun 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Zet
Google has a strangle hold on the internet, MSN and Yahoo were caught sleeping at the wheel, unless there's an incentive to motivate advertisers and webmasters to switch, it ain't happening.

europeforvisitors




msg:3367472
 2:12 pm on Jun 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

If you can set a minimum price per click - well, that's it really. YOU will be in control then. Not the AdWords, AdSense algo.

You can be in control now: Pull the AdSense code from your pages and sell ads direct. Set the minimum price as high as you wish, and watch advertisers compete for the privilege of advertising on your site.

After you've tried that for a while, one of two things should happen:

1) You'll be earning money hand over fist, or...

2) You'll begin to understand that being able to set a price isn't the same as being able to get that price.

Either way, you'll be better off than you are now.

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