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Time to leave Adsense maybe approaching
sutrostyle




msg:3543742
 4:52 am on Jan 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

We have RMX network in 5% of our site, to monitor their ecpm.
Adsense's ecpm has been dropping ever since Oct 20 smartpricing algorithm change. RMX ecpm has been constant. By extrapolation, Adsense ecpm will cross RMX's ecpm in about 45 days, at which point we will switch all our medium-size site to RMX.

Is anybody else in this situation?

 

europeforvisitors




msg:3552623
 7:09 pm on Jan 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

Amen! I wish that there was legislation so that businesses couldn't operate like this.

Absolutely. Why not have a law that requires Google to publicly reveal the names, URLs, earnings, "smart pricing" discount, etc. for every publisher in the AdSense network? For that matter, why not have a law against anonymity on the Internet? Both laws might go a long way toward encouraging accountability and personal responsibility at all levels.

loudspeaker




msg:3552656
 9:27 pm on Jan 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

I understand your sarcasm, EFV, but there *is* such a thing as the uniform commercial code and I believe things of similar nature (albeit for "off-line" businesses) are included there. In real life, companies are expected to adhere to very strict rules of conducting business and it's not a "free for all".

Google is definitely pushing the envelope with the "black box" concept and so far they've been getting away with it - in my opinion, only because the whole Internet commerce thing is so new and also because they are effectively a monopoly in the contextual advertising market. Whether or not this is going to continue indefinitely is a big question.

BigDave




msg:3552669
 9:50 pm on Jan 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

there *is* such a thing as the uniform commercial code and I believe things of similar nature (albeit for "off-line" businesses) are included there.

You can believe it if you want, but there is absolutely nothing like that in the UCC. In fact, the way that Google operates is the rule rather than the exception.

If you get a contract job through a headhunter, you sign an NDA that you will not tell the company that you are working for how much you are getting paid. The company also signs an NDA that they will not tell you how much they are paying.

When you go to a store to buy an MP3 player, are they requied to tell you the store's markup?

There are certainly contract situations where percentages and such can be negotiated. For example, Intel negotiates a set markup for their contract workers, in exchange for an exclusive contract with that one shop. But I would love to hear some examples of where such disclosure is commonplace.

FattyB




msg:3552807
 6:22 am on Jan 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

BigDave, I don't think you are right in the context of the online ad market.

Every company I have dealt with from Advertising.com, ADpepper, Tribal Fusion, Gorilla Nation etc all tell you exactly what % you are getting and what campaigns are paying.

On Friday I got my Quigo contract, one of the few companies who can maybe work on an Adsense spot for the sites I own, and sure enough in black and white is the exact % I will be getting plus any info on reductions for servicing etc.

So in the context of this market I think they are the exception rather than the rule.

It is not about making that info public, per europeforvisitors's wit, but rather sharing it with their business partners (publishers).

[edited by: FattyB at 6:25 am (utc) on Jan. 20, 2008]

fearlessrick




msg:3552942
 3:05 pm on Jan 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

It is not about making that info public, per europeforvisitors's wit, but rather sharing it with their business partners (publishers).

Exactly, just make the numbers known to individual publishers. I am in the same situation with the CPM networks I use. They tell me exactly what campaigns pay and what my percentage is.

Since Google wants to continue to shroud themselves in secrecy, I believe it's perfectly acceptable to question everything they do, and, believe me, they're far from "saintly."

ann




msg:3552947
 3:25 pm on Jan 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

BtoC (business to customers) Never are nor have a need to know any of those things. They come in buy or not and bebop on out.

BtoB (business to business)
We are sole proprietors or otherwise owners of a business who seeks to do business with another business, Google on a contract basis.
In this case complete disclosure should be the rule between the two parties.

Google does not do that.


Ann

coachm




msg:3552966
 3:59 pm on Jan 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

Exactly, just make the numbers known to individual publishers. I am in the same situation with the CPM networks I use. They tell me exactly what campaigns pay and what my percentage is.

Since Google wants to continue to shroud themselves in secrecy, I believe it's perfectly acceptable to question everything they do, and, believe me, they're far from "saintly."

I kind of find these discussions really funny to read.

First, the numbers you want have no "business use" in terms of making decisions. What google makes is irrelevant to my decisions. What I make, however is. IF I was negotiating directly with google, the information might be useful to give me an advantage (we don't negotiate, though). IF I wanted to assess market conditions then I shouldn't expect to piggyback on Google's data to do so.

Second, and here's the biggest chuckle. The people who want this information usually express huge MISTRUST of google, and are willing to trust what google says about income.

It's bizarre. If you mistrust google, nothing google can say is going to change that, since it's in YOUR head.

europeforvisitors




msg:3552973
 4:21 pm on Jan 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

Second, and here's the biggest chuckle. The people who want this information usually express huge MISTRUST of google, and are willing to trust what google says about income.

That's a great point. We've already got plenty of people here who don't believe the numbers in their Google stats and think Google is lying in its quarterly earnins reports.

Another point that has been made many times (but which is worth reiterating) is the fact that everyone using AdSense accepted the contract terms when he or she joined the network. What's more, anyone with buyer's remorse has the freedom to quit or suspend participation at any time.

If you're genuinely bothered by the idea that Google is "secretive," why not find an advertising network that will tell you everything you want to know? And if you can't find an advertising network that will tell you what you want to know, will pay as well as AdSense, and will accept you, then Google's unwillingness to share its trade secrets is the least of your problems.

FattyB




msg:3552978
 4:30 pm on Jan 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

usually express huge MISTRUST of google

Well perish the thought we should over-generalise.

Pressure by publishers for more information is just the sort of thing to then open up further publisher control and making it more of a market. So I think we are entitled to make some demands and hope they are heard.

Others would seem to want everyone to thank their lucky stars and toddle off quietly if not happy, not a route to change.

We might well get % bartering for fixed term contract...something they mentioned to me last year as a possible longer term idea. Also told me all online publishers get the same %.

I want to be able to set a base CPC and know what targeted campaigns are offering, I can already reject site targeted ads as they come in but without knowing what they are paying it is hard to make a decision.

[edited by: FattyB at 4:30 pm (utc) on Jan. 20, 2008]

BillyS




msg:3552980
 4:38 pm on Jan 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

To me, the biggst complaint I have with Google is lack of transparency. I want to know how much I make and they make on each click, period, and that's why I haven't switched to YPN. They're the same way.

Yikes! I cannot believe someone that truly feels this way would even be a part of Google's network. If you can't trust a business partner, then you need to get out.

Of course most of us participate as publishers because of the market forces of supply and demand. Google offers us the best advertising deal we can find, so we're quite happy with that arrangement. In fact, we don't need to understand what they get paid at all as long as we're happy with our share. As publishers we've got very little skin in this game - we can just put up a static page at the extreme. Google has to worry about:

- Finding advertisers
- Delivering targeted ads
- Click fraud
- Getting paid

So what is the meaning of the price they are paid for a click? Do you want to pick up a share of these costs too? I prefer to let Google run their business and I will focus on mine - and that includes evaluating my opportunities as a publisher.

[edited by: BillyS at 4:39 pm (utc) on Jan. 20, 2008]

coachm




msg:3552988
 4:42 pm on Jan 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

We might well get % bartering for fixed term contract...something they mentioned to me last year as a possible longer term idea. Also told me all online publishers get the same %.

I want to be able to set a base CPC and know what targeted campaigns are offering, I can already reject site targeted ads as they come in but without knowing what they are paying it is hard to make a decision.

I want a lot of things in life, but I'm not ENTITLED to them.

First, what you describe above regarding bartering is part of becoming a premium partner. Since such a thing is offered by google, rather than applied for, we have no control over it, except to accept or reject.

I don't have a problem with people what want more from google (since I would love some features, just as you would). I just find spending all this time complaining is a waste.

The truth is that financially and practically, adsense is still the best game in town. If it's not, then leave, and deal with the quirks and crazinesses of doing something else. Most people don't leave, or stay gone, but would prefer to stay, take the money and STILL complain.

What's additionally funny is finding out that the same people who complained about adsense, left for yahoo, then started complaining about yahoo on that board.

Some people are never going to be happy. And there's NO method of generating revenue on the web that is free of pain in *ss problems, cpm networks, affiliate nets, direct sales.

FattyB




msg:3552991
 4:47 pm on Jan 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

Well you don't ask you don't get.

To say complaining is a waste of time does not hold in most aspectsof life, in my opinion. A bit of luck and someone from the company reads a bunch of them and mentions it etc...

On the bartering I was describing something outside the strategic account stuff that someone at Google mentioned to me.

[edited by: FattyB at 4:55 pm (utc) on Jan. 20, 2008]

coachm




msg:3553005
 5:11 pm on Jan 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

Well you don't ask you don't get.
To say complaining is a waste of time does not hold in most aspectsof life, in my opinion. A bit of luck and someone from the company reads a bunch of them and mentions it etc...

On the bartering I was describing something outside the strategic account stuff that someone at Google mentioned to me.

I think there's a difference between asking, and demanding, and complaining.

I'm not speaking of anyone specific (or you), but from reading here over the last years, I thank the stars that I don't have many customers like the people who demand and complain about adsense.

In the rare situations where I DO encounter such people, I "fire" the customer, or the partner entity. Some people (again, I'm not referring to you specifically) are such high maintenance, and have such inferior business experience and expectations that the cost of doing business with them is too high.

And, as a business that's been going since before the web, I can tell you that if a customer or partner ever wants my proprietary financial or business information, they are GONE from my life. AND, to boot, I don't ask for it from others.

FattyB




msg:3553015
 5:51 pm on Jan 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

Thing is it is just basic information and regards setting a base CPC something that would balance the market a little I think.

In terms of financial information I personally am not interested in how much they make in profit from a click, just what % I am getting.

But regardless of Google, sharing important/sensitive information between businesses happens all the time...that is what NDAs are for.

europeforvisitors




msg:3553019
 6:07 pm on Jan 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

In terms of financial information I personally am not interested in how much they make in profit from a click, just what % I am getting.

Yes, but they're not interested in providing that information. Why? Because they'd be foolish to make it easy for competitors to cherry-pick their most desirable publishers by saying "Google is giving you X percent? We'll give you Y percent."

Also, they never guaranteed you a specific percentage. They offered to help you earn income from your site. The metrics that matter are eCPM and total earnings. Those are the only numbers you need to know when deciding whether to continue with AdSense.

But regardless of Google, sharing important/sensitive information between businesses happens all the time...that is what NDAs are for.

If you look at the number of people who post their Google statistics on this forum, in violation of their contracts with Google, it should become obvious that NDAS would be of little value in guarding proprietary information.

tim222




msg:3553031
 6:38 pm on Jan 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

Thing is it is just basic information and regards setting a base CPC something that would balance the market a little I think.

I think that's reasonable. It would be nice to have a setting that where if an advertiser doesn't bid at least a maximum of x cents per click, then don't display the ad on my site. That wouldn't guarantee that all clicks would be above x cents, due to Smart Pricing. However it would allow us to set a baseline to exclude advertisers who will never contribute at least x cents per click.

But as for knowing the % I receive, I could care less. The bottom line is the revenue and that's more important than the %. For example, I don't want 100% of a 2 cent click. I don't even want 200% of a 2 cent click.

FattyB




msg:3553036
 6:56 pm on Jan 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

Tim, well I agree on the click min. I just would not want to give a click for some of the numbers they pay. I would rather not have the cash and keep the visitor. It would also let us find a 'natural' level. Too high and no-one books.

But if you could set a min then knowing your % becomes important precisley for the reason europeforvistors gives, if you are looking at alternatives it helps to know and helps negotiate.

The other area where more info is need is on the Ad Review Centre. Like at the moment I have a set of ads for some movies, graphical ones waiting on me to decide whether to accept or not. But I have no idea how much they are worth or offering.

Now the other movie campaigns I get are via an ad broker and I know exactly the gross amount (and my %). The lack of information is actually costing Google money as I will reject the ads rather than undermine the other route the advertiser can come where I know what they are paying. If they want to move into this area, which I think they do, then they are going to have to open it right up...imho.

[edited by: FattyB at 7:01 pm (utc) on Jan. 20, 2008]

coachm




msg:3553062
 7:28 pm on Jan 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

In terms of financial information I personally am not interested in how much they make in profit from a click, just what % I am getting.

Why?

Seriously.

I, too am curious. I don't see that information as having ANY value to my business, or helpful in making business decisions.

So, how would you use that information?

jomaxx




msg:3553065
 7:33 pm on Jan 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

I agree. Not that I'm not curious about such things, but it wouldn't have any effect on what I earn through AdSense or any other revenue stream, so what's the big deal?

coachm




msg:3553066
 7:33 pm on Jan 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

But if you could set a min then knowing your % becomes important precisley for the reason europeforvistors gives, if you are looking at alternatives it helps to know and helps negotiate.

This makes sense on the surface, until you think about it and then realize how useless this is, and how much it represents bad and stupid business practice.

If you are negotiating on the basis of percentage, across companies, systems, etc, then you're fool.

eg. I get 70% from an ad serving network. The fact that I might get plus or minus 70% from adsense means nothing to me, and nothing to any party I'm negotiating with. 40% from adsense may result in 10x more income for the same traffic. Or the reverse.

The bottom line is the bottom line, and percentage is absolutely irrelevant when negotiating with anyone else.

FattyB




msg:3553068
 7:42 pm on Jan 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

If all other things are more or less equal then % is what impact revenue.

Also you might have say one with a higher % same CPC but lower inventory. You might then want to default them to the lower % with high inventory.

Also often with ad companies you do not know exactly what you will earn once in their network. So you want as much info as possible so you can force as high a % as you can before you commit to some tie in for X months. Especially when you get into high volumes of traffic and small % can make a big difference.

Going back to the question in the title of the post...the answer for me is yes on one of my sites we are off to Quigo (signed my contract this weekend), for a few months at least starting in a fortnight. See how it goes. Will we back, yes if Quigo makes less. Will I still be pushing for more transparency and control in Adsense...yes.

[edited by: FattyB at 8:09 pm (utc) on Jan. 20, 2008]

europeforvisitors




msg:3553109
 9:36 pm on Jan 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

Will I still be pushing for more transparency and control in Adsense...yes.

I suspect that you'll be wasting your breath, because Google doesn't stand to benefit from making life easier for its competitors or for publishers who want to micromanage the system. They've achieved an overwhelming market share in CPC text ads by offering a scalable, mostly automated, set-and-forget advertising product. Given the fact that revenues continue to grow each quarter and there's no evidence of publishers deserting en masse, why would they want to change a successful formula?

FattyB




msg:3553113
 9:43 pm on Jan 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

Well they are pushing micro-management. Ad review center is exactly that and I hear they want to allow advertiser to book ahead on your site...further micro-management.

That direction requires more info in order for publishers to make sensible decisions. For instance, as I have said before, with image ads competing against text adsense they can auto optimise. But as soon as they look to compete with trad ad brokers in the graphic (which they appear to be doing) then the publisher needs to know how much. Lots of publishers use Adsense in text only spots. I

So going back to the movie ad sitting in review just now. I will not run it as I don't put graphicals in my adsense spot. It would have to beat campaigns by my direct broker. If it did then I would run it. But they would have tell me how much it is paying. To make it efficient they would need to let me set min CPM or CPC and filter out various subjects automatically.

It is a more intensive area for everyone concerned. I agree they will not be keen on it for their non-targeted but if they give publishers price setting on targeted they will want it on the non-targeted I would imagine.

Why woudl they want to bother with all this more expensive micro-management. Well I would thin because big targeted campaigns can rake in high CPM and all sort of bonuses for roadblocking etc. Maybe they will set up a team for certain publishers where it is worth doing and so compete with existing ad brokers in that market. Also with these campaigns the advertisers don;t just want the ads...they often want co-branding, widgets...a whole tiein. You cannot automate that.

[edited by: FattyB at 10:03 pm (utc) on Jan. 20, 2008]

coachm




msg:3553167
 11:19 pm on Jan 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

If all other things are more or less equal then % is what impact revenue.
Also you might have say one with a higher % same CPC but lower inventory. You might then want to default them to the lower % with high inventory.

Also often with ad companies you do not know exactly what you will earn once in their network. So you want as much info as possible so you can force as high a % as you can before you commit to some tie in for X months. Especially when you get into high volumes of traffic and small % can make a big difference.

Going back to the question in the title of the post...the answer for me is yes on one of my sites we are off to Quigo (signed my contract this weekend), for a few months at least starting in a fortnight. See how it goes. Will we back, yes if Quigo makes less. Will I still be pushing for more transparency and control in Adsense...yes.

I quoted the whole thing for a reason, and I need to say I'm assuming you a) understand business in general, and b) understand Internet revenue models, and have real world experience with all of the various models, and their history.

You said "all things being equal", and that smacks to me of someone lacking in experience, because in this domain you will NEVER find "all things being equal". So the information is useless.

I'm betting you will find that if Quigo was to quote you a percentage (let's say 70%) and you knew google was giving you 50% that your google take would be way superior, and as a business person, you'd be irresponsible to go with Quigo, because all things aren't equal.

The info you want is absolutely useless EVEN when comparing two identical models (let's say CPC/CPM company A, and CPC/CPM company B).

A gives me 50% but sells advertising directly on my behalf. B gives me 70%. A's ads are superior and more professional, while B's have smiley epileptic seizure ads. Also different are payout terms, capping, tendency to reverse or refuse impressions/clicks, ability to manage defaults, and on and on.

The percentage is absolutely meaningless. And it's the same if you compare Yahoo and Adsense. In one sense I'd love for Yahoo to announce it pays 80%, and google announce it pays 70%, because all the idiot internet owners (apart from the smart ones) will jump. Bad business for them. Great for those that remain.

FattyB




msg:3553367
 8:02 am on Jan 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

Well some, especially CPM networks, are almost identical (the straw man example you give is not)in terms of CPM and campaigns. But often one will pay more % but have lower inventory. So it makes sense to put them first even though the other will pay out more revenue overall. You total revenue will be higher than if you pay it all out to the one with large inventory. You cannot make that decision unless you know the % and even what you are being paid period for certain campaigns.

Trial and error is very expensive.

Also if they change the percentage, Google only says all online publishers get the same (so my ad rep said last year in answer to a query I made about publishers getting different %). you would never know. Now if times are tough and the business I am working with decide to change from 50% to 40%, I want to know. If I don't know it in the first place then I won't know it has changed.

But more important, per my other post, is the ability to set some minimums and have some pricing details on the targeted ads.

[edited by: FattyB at 8:11 am (utc) on Jan. 21, 2008]

europeforvisitors




msg:3553567
 3:08 pm on Jan 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

Also if they change the percentage, Google only says all online publishers get the same (so my ad rep said last year

Even assuming that the account rep knew the inner workings of Google's compensation scheme, last year was an eon ago in Internet time. People here keep talking about an "October glitch" that affected some publishers dramatically (while leaving others unscathed or better off). It seems to me that, if "something" did indeed happen that can't be explained by market forces, that "something" could well have involved smart pricing and/or a refinement of the compensation formula to favor some types of content or publishers at the expense of others.

BigDave




msg:3553605
 4:17 pm on Jan 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

So it makes sense to put them first even though the other will pay out more revenue overall.

That doesn't even make sense in a CPM network. I don't care what percentage I'm getting from the ad, I care what the ad is paying ME.

The only reason to care how much the the other guy is making is so you can feel cheated if it's higher than you think fair. The question is, are you satisfied with the amount of money that you are taking home, and can you do better. It's the only number that matters.

coachm




msg:3553629
 4:38 pm on Jan 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

Well some, especially CPM networks, are almost identical (the straw man example you give is not)in terms of CPM and campaigns

Uh, no. I'm not sure how you can say this, unless you aren't really looking very closely. I actually have specific companies in mind with whom I've worked with. The differences may sometimes be subtle, but for someone such as yourself, where small differences can mean signficiant money, shouldn't you like pay attention to them? Or hire someone for a few bucks to point them out to you?

Anyway, I suspect from your posts that you are leaving a lot of many on the table for yourself, and it also sounds like you may be over-estimating the knowledge you have about the overall industry, just a touch.

So, as the Dragon's say...I'm out.

FattyB




msg:3553847
 7:24 pm on Jan 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

Dave,

It does make sense in terms of not looking at them in isolation. As in if I went with A I would get a higher % but less revenue all in than if I went with B. But if I go with A till they run out and then switch to B I make more than just going with one or the other. That is what I meant. I don;t see what is difficult about that. Similar CPM I chain according to % I get.

Coach, I'll leave you to your CAPS.

Europeforvisitors, all the more reason to have your % in a contract. Then you would know if they had changed it and not waste time scratching your head trying to work out what has happened and you could take issue with it. I am not against Adsense, I have done well out of it, but it is a two way street.

BigDave




msg:3553860
 7:46 pm on Jan 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

No it doesn't make sense. If A pays you a higher percentage, but you make less per impression than you do with B, you still make less for those impressions. The percentage doesn't matter, it is what they pay you that matters.

Let's suppose that you have a forum that deals with tax questions, and you go with CPM advertising.

Program A pays 85% to you, but there is only on tax player bidding things up. If they are paying $3 per 1000 impressions, you get $255

Program B pays 50% and has H&R Block, turbotax and a dozen others bidding up the price. They bid it up to $7, so you are getting $3.50.

You can run program A till they run out of inventory before switching to B, but you will still be losing money.

Sure, if the advertisers are paying the same, the program that pays the higher percentage will pay you more. But the bottom line number tells you far more than the percentage ever could, and the percentage doesn't tell you anything of value that you don't get from that bottom line number. The percentage is useless extraneous data.

fearlessrick




msg:3553863
 7:52 pm on Jan 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

coach, you keep saying that percentages are meaningless, and they may well be so, if you either don't know them or view them in a void.

Let's say ad network told you that you get:

70% of .01-.10 clicks
50% of .11-.25
40% of .25-.50
30% of .51-.99
20% of 1.00 and up.

Now, tell me having that information would be meaningless.

Now, ad network tells you that the percentages change based on traffic. More traffic (average over 60 days, say), better %, and they give you info on caps and fill rates.

Now, tell me again having that information would be meaningless.

I daresay some people might begin doing some analysis, adjust sites and ad placements to mazimize revenue. Or, some might be upset at that 20% over 1.00 and look elsewhere.

Sorry you think of yourself as such a giant business genius, but saying anything is meaningless smacks of ignorance and arogance. The percentages at least offer a perspective for the publisher and a bit of understanding on how the system works and pays.

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