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This 103 message thread spans 4 pages: < < 103 ( 1 [2] 3 4 > >     
AdSense Update Moved Me to Take Action
Response to Oct 20th Upheaval
incrediBILL

WebmasterWorld Administrator incredibill us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 3494833 posted 5:45 pm on Nov 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

I've been a massive AdSense supporter and cheerleader for years now but whatever happened on the Oct 20th update was all it took to shake my faith in the system. My site didn't go completely down in flames like I've read that has happened to others, it's still making respectable money, but something changed somewhere on the 20th that put a major dent in my earnings. Worse yet, the lack of response to my support email sent several days ago wasn't helping my mood any so I took action.

Since I didn't get a timely response from support, I decided to try other ad networks and YPN isn't doing too bad. The CTR isn't great because the ad targeting blows but the payout per click appears to be high enough for the few days I've tried it so it's all averaging out in the end.

I'm going to start some expanded A/B testing later today for the 2 networks and see which will pay out the best, but it's really sad that it's come to this.

Did Google crank up smart pricing, chase off advertisers with quality score nonsense (while letting domain parks litter the ads!), or did they just take a bigger pay cut out of the ad sales?

Don't know, don't care, but I'd call it not-so-smart-pricing as they just lost 50% of my pages and maybe 100% based on the results of my testing.

[edited by: incrediBILL at 5:47 pm (utc) on Nov. 2, 2007]

 

Scurramunga

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3494833 posted 11:38 pm on Nov 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

our large advertisers moved completely to PPA campaings recenty...

Well if my advertisers do that this publisher will certainly not be following, given my negative experience with Google PPA.

zjacob



 
Msg#: 3494833 posted 11:52 pm on Nov 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

We're all thinking "what's ahead", right?

Adwords blog has released a graph about last years CPC for advertisers showing median CPC, conversions, and cost per acquisition for the period from 1st November to early January. Here's the chart:

[bp3.blogger.com...]

The plot above shows the median CPC, the median conversion rate, and the median CPA during the 2006 holiday season for those Google AdWords advertisers who use conversion tracking. The series have been normalized so they all start at the same point on November 1.

and the full post:

[adwords.blogspot.com...]

According to Hal Varian's (Google Chief Economist) own analysis based on the above:

Clicks, cost, and conversions all go up during the holidays. As it happens, conversions increase more than clicks, so conversion rates tend to rise. This makes the clicks more valuable, so advertisers raise their bids to reach more consumers.

In other words, we should start seeing strong increases in CPC and supposedly eCPM and total earnings.

sailorjwd

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3494833 posted 12:17 am on Nov 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

Bill,

There is a contrarian in every thread.

My adsense down turn start July 1 and continued until the 20th of October. eCPM recovered by 39-40% and has stayed there.

I also tried ypn during the summer and made even less money compared to adsense.

So, I'm back to what I consider normal ecpm and have been working on SEOing my site - which appears to be starting to payoff.

My recommendation is to hang in there. Maybe block a bunch of advertisers to shake things up.

incrediBILL

WebmasterWorld Administrator incredibill us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 3494833 posted 12:54 am on Nov 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

Maybe block a bunch of advertisers to shake things up.

Did that as I was swamped with domain park garbage, online schools and some ads showing up 3 times per page. This also started on Oct 20th as my ads were pretty good before then.

FWIW, on my limited test YPN is outperforming AdSense with payouts so I expanded the test to a couple of other areas with OK traffic but weak payouts. Way too early to draw any conclusions but I'm definitely seeing improvements at the moment.

OnlyToday

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3494833 posted 2:48 am on Nov 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

Perhaps in addition to testing the publisher's tolerance for pay cuts Google will also cut ad prices to advertisers in order to kill YPN.

Monopolies and corporations do operate at the level of the boa constrictor. Good old competition isn't evil.

incrediBILL

WebmasterWorld Administrator incredibill us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 3494833 posted 3:47 am on Nov 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

Google will also cut ad prices to advertisers in order to kill YPN.

While that makes sense, it can also backfire when it drives publishers like me directly into Yahoo's arms. If you piss off all the publishers then YPN will thrive by default no matter how cheap the ads are for Google advertisers since they won't have anywhere to display those ads.

potentialgeek

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3494833 posted 3:52 am on Nov 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

Did Google crank up smart pricing, chase off advertisers with quality score nonsense (while letting domain parks litter the ads!), or did they just take a bigger pay cut out of the ad sales?

I'm still very doubtful it was smartpricing because smartpricing usually (someone said in this thread) happens gradually, not 30-50% suddenly.

And because it happened at the same time for many people in a diversity of industries with many different companies that don't operate in more than one industry.

If there was a huge Quality Score Algo Update, advertisers would be kicking and screaming in our sister forum (AdWords). I don't see that.

The economy hasn't crashed so I see no big reason for so many advertisers to withdraw and, in fact, I don't see many departures from my sites.

One possibility I've not heard yet is: there was a revenue correction due to an invalid click purge.

Several months ago, one visitor to this forum said Google had notified him that it had determined a huge number of clicks on his site had been invalid.

This determination Google made a long time after the clicks were supposedly invalid, and their total value, if memory serves (maybe someone could dig it up), was over $100,000.

If, for example, Google determined many clicks were invalid by a new discernment algo that is systemwide, it would affect many publishers in many industries all at the same time.

But then you'd see the money returning to the advertisers, wouldn't you? Unless Google decided to keep it for itself.

Sorry to sound like there's a conspiracy, or Google is being sinister, but most of us here are realizing we've almost exhausted all the reasonable explanations for the missing money.

I'm still holding out for the channels data correction due early next week. I'm hoping it will include a revenue correction, too. I don't think the data for channels is too far removed from the income data to be convinced it was impossible for the reporting glitch to affect both stats.

If the income data isn't corrected, Google has some explaining to do.

p/g

inactivist

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3494833 posted 6:32 am on Nov 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

1) Something significant happened concerning a negative revenue push to some publishers on approximately October 19-20.

When did Google unveil their video ad system? It seems to me that this event preceded the reported revenue drops.

If Big G adds a new destination for advertiser $, doesn't that reduce the amount of $ going to the publishers not hosting video content? Unless the video ads are going to be bought by entirely new advertisers and advertiser $, I would expect to see a drop in revenues to publishers running only the previous ad formats.

In other words: if you aren't running video content on your site, you can't get a piece of that action, and, did the new ad format (video) reduce the advertiser spend in the other, older formats?

Hobbs

WebmasterWorld Senior Member hobbs us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3494833 posted 6:54 am on Nov 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

potentialgeek:
there was a revenue correction due to an invalid click purge

You touched the truth there as I and few others reported a small deduction under debits in the payment history, then I saw the same amount later under credits, some people reported never seeing that money come back.

Then you perhaps are over optimistic here:
I'm still holding out for the channels data correction due early next week

a) URL Channels as reported by all were reporting correct total ad impressions & clicks
b) ASA came here are confirmed that there has been no error s in the reported earnings as well.

potentialgeek

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3494833 posted 8:27 am on Nov 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

The latest Adsense glitch and income drop (worsened by a -950 penalty!) moved me to finally set up Google Analytics. There was a glitch with GA last time I was going to set it up, many months ago, and I never got around to installing it once it was fixed.

I wanted to use it for chasing long tails and finding more entry pages. I have a limited amount of Adsense ads on my sites to help EPC/CTR, but try to focus on entry pages--if I can find them.

Google Analytics, I am discovering, is a very robust free program. It provides all the stats for entry pages--which pages are most visited--and how many visits you get.

Of course it also gives every single keyword phrase used to find your site. You can see them all on a page with up to 500 different search strings/page.

This is a ton of valuable data you can never find anywhere else to see how your site is found and what long tails you can target. Overture's Keyword Tool misses a huge amount of search strings.

I think 90% of my income is from long-tail searches.

p/g

P.S. If you're new here, check out the WW Forum for stats to get more info on Google Analytics. It's much better than other stuff I've seen that comes with a price.

JamesR3

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3494833 posted 9:56 am on Nov 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

potentialgeek raises an interesting point that I haven't bothered pondering thus far: Assuming that AdWords people are not reporting any substantial change in CPC/CPM, where is the money going? Maybe it's not enough money, system wide, for them to see a difference? I'm not sure that makes sense because one would think that with site targeting and such it would have to be visible in some circumstances, but with only anecdotal data, perhaps we don't see those rare situations and that, for example, if this is affecting 2% of sites on the publisher side, but averaged across 100% of the advertisers, they don't see the effect.

frakilk

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3494833 posted 1:00 pm on Nov 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm still holding out for the channels data correction due early next week. I'm hoping it will include a revenue correction

I see no chance of this happening whatsoever. Imagine how foolish it would make them look.

iwannano1

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3494833 posted 2:33 pm on Nov 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

I think upcoming feature New Ad Management may be casing this issue. My friend has this new ad management enabled in his account 2-3 days back and according to him everything seems to started to get normal. More info:
New Ad Management Google Help Page [google.com]

My account is not upgraded yet, but let us hope so he his 100% right :)

OnlyToday

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3494833 posted 4:47 pm on Nov 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

Call me crazy but I am seeing some improvement this morning. Add that to the anomalous (for me in this circumstance) improvement on Thursday and I may be seeing some light at the end of the tunnel.

If this is true I still fault AdSense for not keeping us better informed and I present these threads on the subject as proof of this bad judgement. All this speculation and poking in the dark is harmful to everyone involved and just a little more thought on how this "thing"--whatever it is--is handled as a PR issue would engender good will and keep things moving along more smoothly. I doubt that having so many publishers exploring alternatives to AdSense can be good for Google's bottom line.

I have taken the channel deleting as an opportunity to insert all my ads as server side includes which not only makes handling channels more flexible but also makes it much easier to plug-in competing affiliate ads.

But Google certainly can afford to arrogantly step on us and I shouldn't be surprised given the way similar disruptions have been handled on the search side. Perhaps if I were in their situation my behavior would be just as unbusinesslike and juvenile as theirs.

dazzlindonna

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3494833 posted 12:45 pm on Nov 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

I don't have anything to add to the actual topic at hand, however, I think there's one major thing that should be pointed out.

IncrediBill has not only been a Google evangelist for a very long time, but I'd go so far as to say he's been a Google fanatic who couldn't understand why everyone else wasn't also. (No offense intended, Bill, just calls it like I sees it).

To have Google finally do something that even Bill cannot explain away is a telling sign, imo.

nrep

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3494833 posted 12:56 pm on Nov 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

I think upcoming feature New Ad Management may be casing this issue. My friend has this new ad management enabled in his account 2-3 days back and according to him everything seems to started to get normal

Could you explain a little bit more about what happened when this went live for your friend please? I guess this feature will be rolled out fairly soon.

inactivist

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3494833 posted 1:13 am on Nov 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

IncrediBill has not only been a Google evangelist for a very long time, but I'd go so far as to say he's been a Google fanatic who couldn't understand why everyone else wasn't also. (No offense intended, Bill, just calls it like I sees it).

To have Google finally do something that even Bill cannot explain away is a telling sign, imo.

When other well-known AdSense fans chime in, describing an 80% drop in eCPM (yeah, I know, it'll never happen) then we'll know the apocalypse is near! :D

HuskyPup



 
Msg#: 3494833 posted 2:40 am on Nov 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

When other well-known AdSense fans chime in, describing an 80% drop in eCPM (yeah, I know, it'll never happen) then we'll know the apocalypse is near! :D

They're here, albeit under different guises! Why else do you think these threads and complaints are continuing?

Haven't you noticed that many of the stalwart defenders of 10 days ago have stopped posting that there was "nothing" wrong?

This is a very serious issue that the AdSensePros are resolving for themselves and moving off into a new direction. Nuff said:-)

Mr_Fern

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3494833 posted 2:52 am on Nov 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

I did generally the same around the 19th, 20th as I did before, better acttually.

sonny

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3494833 posted 3:14 am on Nov 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm doing fine with mine, so it ain't happening everywhere.

inactivist

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3494833 posted 3:21 am on Nov 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

They're here, albeit under different guises! Why else do you think these threads and complaints are continuing?

Haven't you noticed that many of the stalwart defenders of 10 days ago have stopped posting that there was "nothing" wrong?

Hmm... ya know, I've been wondering where the cheering section has been lately... I just chalked it up to weariness.

Not to take the place of the cheerleaders but I'm not seeing a significant drop in eCPM across my network. I am seeing significant declines in visitor traffic, so I'm seeing less $, but it's not an AdSense thing, at least for me.

But I'll keep watching, because I expect the cows will come home to roost eventually... :)

HuskyPup



 
Msg#: 3494833 posted 4:11 am on Nov 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

because I expect the cows will come home to roost eventually... :)

ROFL...Dilbert's definitely in the building:-))

Green_Grass

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3494833 posted 4:39 am on Nov 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

Well if you guys are looking for a contrarian view..

No problems here. EPC up, CTR stable.. eCPM up apx.. 20% compared to pre Oct 20. I am very very happy currently.

Maybe Google changed the formula and the weights have shifted elsewhere.. Rather than change the ad network..it may make more sense to maybe, experiment with a diffn. type of content?

incrediBILL

WebmasterWorld Administrator incredibill us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 3494833 posted 5:30 am on Nov 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

Rather than change the ad network..it may make more sense to maybe, experiment with a diffn. type of content?

Oh yes, let's just toss out 10 years worth of content on a site.

I think the ad network is easier to toss...

dibbern2

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3494833 posted 5:44 am on Nov 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

They're here, albeit under different guises! Why else do you think these threads and complaints are continuing?

Haven't you noticed that many of the stalwart defenders of 10 days ago have stopped posting that there was "nothing" wrong?

Different guises? Nope.

Stopped posting? Nope.

Stalwart defenders? Defenders of what?

What's the point in posting the same message over and over? Some of us are experiencing "nothing" wrong, and some of us are experiencing real troubles. That's it. No guises, no conspiracy.

jomaxx

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jomaxx us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3494833 posted 6:34 am on Nov 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

Haven't you noticed that many of the stalwart defenders of 10 days ago have stopped posting that there was "nothing" wrong?

There's still nothing wrong. Don't take silence as proof that you were right all along. It's just that there are only so many times one can reiterate that nothing has changed before losing interest in the thread.

sfatih

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3494833 posted 6:51 am on Nov 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

>> No problems here. EPC up, CTR stable..
>> eCPM up apx.. 20% compared to pre Oct 20.
>> I am very very happy currently.

This is also pretty much the case for me. I didn't see any change on October 20th, but November is going 25-30% stronger than October.

HuskyPup



 
Msg#: 3494833 posted 11:57 am on Nov 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

Firstly I said many, not all.

It's just that there are only so many times one can reiterate that nothing has changed before losing interest in the thread.

And "nothing has changed" posts are absolutely and utterly pointless when it is patently clearly that some of have been hammered for completely unknown reasons and without a response from queries to Google.

Please continue not to post if this is all you can contribute!

DamonHD

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3494833 posted 1:51 pm on Nov 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hi HP,

My earnings have been reasonably steady (though lower than I'd like) and I didn't seem to get hit by all the recent channel-related stuff that some people saw.

But a quick reading of my earnings/payments summary until 24 hours ago would suggest that G had lost an entire month's revenue for me.

I wrote to them and it all came back, possibly coincidentally, but my guess is that G has had some monumental internal data screwup/loss (the new intern could be heard saying saying "Um, what does the 'DROP' command do?" B^> )...

Rgds

Damon

Hobbs

WebmasterWorld Senior Member hobbs us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3494833 posted 3:11 pm on Nov 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

eCPM in a flux, but I think I know exactly why.
Abnormally normal.

Good luck to those still trying to figure out what went wrong, we had an old tradition of naming AdSense updates, maybe if we named that one things would have gone smoother.

Wisdom of the day:
Hate the sin not the sinner
(works for thin and thinner too)

maximillianos

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3494833 posted 3:22 pm on Nov 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

No noticeable change on our sites... so as some others have stated, it is not a across the board problem... yet.

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