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Smart priced to zero because visitors hit the back button?
Petra Kaiser

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3559097 posted 3:47 pm on Jan 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

Checking adsense this morning one hour after the break, for today adsense shows 3 page views and 5 clicks on one url-channel but earnings and ecpm are 0.00. The url-channel is used for this single page only.
In fact this looks a little suspicious and itís Sunday morning so I tried to figure out what happened.

Facts and assumptions:
The page contains a 468x60 cpc unit above the fold, a 728x15 link unit below the fold and a 728x90 cpc unit also below the fold. Ads are always related to the content of the page.

According to the server stats
There were only 2 visitors but with different parameters. The only thing in common is IE7 and the country, everything else is different.
Both visitors arrived by a typical key phrase for this page from 2 different google tldís.

The server stats for the visitors look like this:

Visitor 1 arrived: 00:11:12
Visitor 1 came back: 00:15:07
(I assume the visitor clicked an add but returned to the page trough the back button)
no further stats for this visitor,
I assume the visitor clicked a second time and did not return to the page.

Visitor 2 arrived: 00:17:04
Visitor 2 came back: 00:36:31
(I assume the visitor clicked an add but returned to the page trough the back button)
Visitor 2 went to an other page 00:44:17
Visitor 2 went to an other page 00:44:28
e.t.c.

These are in my opinion 3 valid clicks of 5.
For 2 clicks I canít see any explanation.

Short time later adsense shows a small ecpm amount for this page, which may indicate, we received less than 0.00Ö $ for at least 3 valid clicks. Not sure about this, the small ecpm amount could also be because of cpm ads but at least there were no clicks on cpm ads for this page after that.

7 hours later earnings for the 5 clicks are still 0.00, no more clicks on this page.

My conclusion:
This may be smart pricing to zero for clicks that indicate no conversion is made because a visitor hit the back button. If this is true in some cases the CPC pricing system acts like CPA.

Most important question:
Are there any other possible scenarios or conclusions I left out?

 

coachm

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3559097 posted 4:03 pm on Jan 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

Are there any other possible scenarios or conclusions I left out?

Yes.

First, CPM site targeted ads can give you that pattern.

Second, Google does not pay for clicks it deems as invalid, which is almost certainly the case here.

Third. It's not smart pricing.

Fourth, things like page impressions and click stats are not synchronized. So, you don't know if your page impressions and click stats refer to exactly the same time periods.

HuskyPup



 
Msg#: 3559097 posted 4:46 pm on Jan 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

Are there any other possible scenarios or conclusions I left out?

I hope that someone can come up with the answer to this since I am seeing exactly the same with increasing frequency and it is especially noticeable on my less frequented sites and pages.

I can identify at least 20 similar click scenarios this week alone.

If it is CPM targeting then I am going to be waiting for ever and a day for some sites to derive any earnings.

Second, Google does not pay for clicks it deems as invalid, which is almost certainly the case here.

What reason makes you feel these clicks are invalid? I can't see any.

Petra Kaiser

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3559097 posted 5:00 pm on Jan 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

>> First, CPM site targeted ads can give you that pattern.

I guess I covert that.

>> Second, Google does not pay for clicks it deems as invalid, which is almost certainly the case here.

Thatís my point I question what google deems as invalid! particularly in this case.

>> Third. It's not smart pricing.

As long I donít know the exact definition of invalid clicks and smart pricing there is still the possibility invalid clicks are the same as smart pricing to zero.

>> Fourth, things like page impressions and click stats are not synchronized. So, you don't know if your page impressions and click stats refer to exactly the same time periods.

I guess this is narrowed down by the url-channel for a single page and server logs, specially after the break when adsense click stats are zero and there is little movement on a site.

zett

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3559097 posted 5:23 pm on Jan 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

Second, Google does not pay for clicks it deems as invalid, which is almost certainly the case here.

The visitor was off-site for almost four minutes. We don't know what he did during that time on the advertisers site. I do not see any reason why this visitors' click should be seen as invalid.

I would be very interested to understand your opinion. Care to explain in more detail?

ken_b

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



 
Msg#: 3559097 posted 5:37 pm on Jan 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

Checking adsense this morning one hour after the break, for today adsense shows ...

"after the break..."? Are you talking about todays stats or yesterdays stats?

Hobbs

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



 
Msg#: 3559097 posted 5:42 pm on Jan 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

3 page views and 5 clicks

That's nano managing.
Put some zero's after those numbers if you want to make sense of anything related to AdSense, you could get paid for those tomorrow or even the day after that is if they were not CPM or invalid as said already.

Petra, the best advice anyone can give you is to put down AdSense and pick up working on content and traffic, it will work out much better for you long term.

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 3559097 posted 5:43 pm on Jan 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

today adsense shows 3 page views and 5 clicks on one url-channel but earnings and ecpm are 0.00. The url-channel is used for this single page only.

What's happening in the forest as a whole (not just with this single, tiny tree)?

coachm

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3559097 posted 6:20 pm on Jan 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

What reason makes you feel these clicks are invalid? I can't see any.

High click through rate, low page impressions. Actually, Husky, I wanted to write you a note because in a recent message you kind of hinted at an extremely high ctr. When I say "invalid" I'm actually saying that the algorithm reads certain patterns as invalid, and then doesn't charge the advertiser, and doesn't pay on ANY of them. So the actually clicks may be valid objectively, but invalid according to the algo.

I'm willing to bet almost anything that your problems, what you call a "glitch" and why you are losing income while others aren't is a direct result of things about your site(s).

Of course, I don't know what your sites are or look like, but the little information you have posted points very very strongly at issues that you DO have control over.

Have you had reputable veterans review your sites for you? People who really know the adsense world?

Petra Kaiser

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3559097 posted 6:23 pm on Jan 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

>> you could get paid for those tomorrow or even the day after that

Thatís why I disabled the ads immediately, I wait and see.

Petra Kaiser

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3559097 posted 6:46 pm on Jan 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

>> What's happening in the forest as a whole (not just with this single, tiny tree)?

Yes some see a forest and some see trees very few even recognize leaves.

HuskyPup



 
Msg#: 3559097 posted 6:50 pm on Jan 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

Have you had reputable veterans review your sites for you? People who really know the adsense world?

Excellent:-)...I just love a good joke on a Sunday afternoon:-))

I wanted to write you a note because in a recent message you kind of hinted at an extremely high ctr.

And if you read that thread you would see myself Atomic and icedowl had seen precisely the same strange aberration of clicks:

The extras only appeared on the overview and monthly reports. They were nowhere to be found on reports by channels or by URLs.

I'm willing to bet almost anything that your problems, what you call a "glitch" and why you are losing income while others aren't is a direct result of things about your site(s).

Very brave person coachm, now just how much are you prepared to lay down? :-))

ceestand

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3559097 posted 7:01 pm on Jan 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

High click through rate, low page impressions.

Wouldn't this mean that a new toilet site would pay better than a new excellent site? A site may have naturally low impressions (being new, for instance) and if it performed well from an advertising perspective, the ideal result, it would be penalized.

I'm not saying G is necessarily wrong, but wouldn't they be logically pessimistic?

zett

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3559097 posted 7:07 pm on Jan 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

When I say "invalid" I'm actually saying that the algorithm reads certain patterns as invalid, and then doesn't charge the advertiser, and doesn't pay on ANY of them. So the actually clicks may be valid objectively, but invalid according to the algo.

You sound very confident.

Are you working for Google per chance?

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 3559097 posted 9:02 pm on Jan 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

Question about this thread's title:

How can a click be "smart priced to zero"? Smart pricing is a discount for advertisers based on the anticipated likelihood of conversion. Is Google now offering 100% discounts?

coachm

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3559097 posted 9:37 pm on Jan 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

You sound very confident.

Yes, I am. I'm also not prepared to argue with people about this issue. If someone's sites aren't doing fine, AND, they aren't interested in explanations that might help them dig out, that's up to them.

If someone gets a clue from what I posted, more's the better.

If not, heck, it's not my money.

HuskyPup



 
Msg#: 3559097 posted 1:29 pm on Jan 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Is Google now offering 100% discounts?

Looking at some of the incredibly low value EPCs, especially from AdLinks and over night, 99% seems to be nearer the mark:-)

AND, they aren't interested in explanations that might help them dig out, that's up to them.

Suggestions are always welcomed however outright assertions when someone has no familiarity with the posters' site(s) and/or issues is reckless and, yes, I know you wrote "might".

flashyflashy

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3559097 posted 2:06 pm on Jan 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

It may be because the ads you got were of low CPC/CPM . But how less can it be than 0.01$ if not apeearing in your earnings. I have had this situation many times, I guess most of the adsense users too

Green_Grass

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3559097 posted 2:44 pm on Jan 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

I tend to agree with coachm. I have seen multiple clicks and high CTR being discounted to zero. I think the algo has been tightened to discount many clicks which (may) be legitimate but are being discounted currently. G seems to have really tightened up the 'definition' of valid clicks detected by the algo.

On the other hand the EPC of 'valid' clicks for me is really going up, so I am overall, not really worried.

jomaxx

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



 
Msg#: 3559097 posted 5:33 pm on Jan 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

You really need to develop a thicker skin and not obsess over your stats in this way. It's only five clicks. You don't think Google sees surfers clicking multiple ads every minute of every day? I hope you're saying you only disabled ads to that page, but even that would be an extreme overreaction.

HuskyPup



 
Msg#: 3559097 posted 6:57 pm on Jan 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

It's only five clicks.

Five clicks of which Petra Kaiser is aware, extrapolated one could say 1,800+ clicks p.a. at say USD 0.25 per click = USD 450.00.

What if there were even more clicks?

Ok, the above may seem a little extreme however only by looking at the possible overall picture can one realise the implications of seemingly minute changes and especially so if a site has high page view numbers etc.

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 3559097 posted 7:05 pm on Jan 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Ok, the above may seem a little extreme however only by looking at the possible overall picture can one realise the implications of seemingly minute changes and especially so if a site has high page view numbers etc.

Look at it from another point of view: Let's say those clicks are invalid according to Google's definition of validity. If Google doesn't ignore clicks that fit that "invalid click" profile, then advertisers collectively could be paying for millions of invalid clicks. And let's face it: Whether Petra is unhappy or unhappy with Google's click-counting technique is less important, in the overall scheme of things, than whether advertisers are satisfied with the clicks they're paying for.

coachm

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3559097 posted 8:09 pm on Jan 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Suggestions are always welcomed however outright assertions when someone has no familiarity with the posters' site(s) and/or issues is reckless and, yes, I know you wrote "might".

It's not clear to me what you are hoping for. In another thread today you said google verified to you that you receiving invalid clicks (have I got that right?), but in that message you claim you "aren't buying it".

I said the same thing yesterday about your site, and the original poster's situation (as a possibility), and you aren't buying that.

I'd like to know whether there's a point in responding to your concerns for any of us out here, and whether you want some help, or just want to put forth your glitch hypothesis.

In case you do want help, other than getting others to curse google and it's glitch, here's a thought: Consider what the next step will be for you if it goes like this:

high CTR --> smartpricing --> even higher CTR --> google says invalid clicks --> google terminates the agreement with you for putting advertisers at risk.

Even given the infinitesimally small information I have about your sites, I'd be REAL concerned about a potential serious problem with your business model and your numbers.

I'm not trying to hassle you here, or argue, but you might want to get others with indepth knowledge and fresh eyes, to take a look.

Hobbs

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



 
Msg#: 3559097 posted 8:25 pm on Jan 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

get others with indepth knowledge and fresh eyes

If that's the question, I can vouch for HP's sites and business model, also that he is no newb, I'm not saying I agree with all he says, just getting that bit out of the way.

Petra Kaiser

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3559097 posted 11:25 pm on Jan 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Today we traced one visitor, the IP appears several times in our server logs as well in mail headers.
Her profile:
A returning visitor, searches for city + business, arrives on our site where she has a paid business listing, visits the page of the business listing and (but this is our guess) she might check competing listings and competing ads. No unusual behavior at all.

B.t.w. yesterday earnings for the 5 clicks are still $0,00 (ads were disabled for the remaining hours of the 24 hours phase, hope this makes sense)

Remaining questions

Are these clicks valid? (benefit for the advertisers?, yes they got a view and we get ďmay beĒ nothing)

Why do we see 5 clicks of $0,00? (because together they have a value less than .005? the highest possible rate of smart pricing! And Or because the advertiser is charged at least for the real cost of an invalid click?)

A nature of business is taking risk, where is the advertisers risk in this case?

Is this an issue? (may be, because we donít have total figures)

Jane_Doe

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



 
Msg#: 3559097 posted 12:06 am on Jan 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

I agree with the others that it is better to spend your time trying to focus on getting hundreds or thousands of clicks in a day. I get some weird pages like that every now and then. As long as my overall EPC is at a good rate I don't worry about it.

HuskyPup



 
Msg#: 3559097 posted 12:06 am on Jan 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

Thanks Hobbs, the least said the better eh:-)

In another thread today you said google verified to you that you receiving invalid clicks (have I got that right?), but in that message you claim you "aren't buying it".

Yes, they have confirm invalid clicks and interestingly they are now showing on the account in various channels.

Heavens knows what's going on but someone/something seems to be attacking some of my satellite sites with 40 clicks, all of them 40 clicks except for one with 39 so far.

Clearly AdSense is picking up on these since this type of behaviour is not "normal" for any type of site. The worst thing about it is that AdSense do not "knock off" these clicks therefore my CTR for the past few days looks great yet my EPC, at first sight, looks awful!

In case you do want help, other than getting others to curse google and it's glitch,

Well, I'll say no more other than you were obviously not around here at the end of the third week of October when more than myself was affected in a massive way and if you were to see my metrics I feel sure you would be quite shocked.

Interestingly my earnings in 2008 are steadily rising, not quite back to pre-Glitch levels yet but certainly much more satisfactory than during end October and thru November and enough for me to keep my own advertising program on the back burner.

Even given the infinitesimally small information I have about your sites, I'd be REAL concerned about a potential serious problem with your business model and your numbers.

Yep, that's the problem with these boards, one never knows precisely what someone else is doing!

Don't worry about my business model, it's been around for quite some time:-))

jomaxx

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



 
Msg#: 3559097 posted 12:07 am on Jan 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

Petra: Google don't pay for all clicks. That's it. If you can't accept that, don't use AdSense. What happens is, if their algorithm detects signs of unusual behaviour associated with false clicking or self clicking, they are likely to not pay.

For example, maybe ONE visitor clicked five times quickly. Maybe it's a person or IP address previously associated with suspicious behaviour. Maybe they clicked the same ad over and over. You have no way of knowing whether any of these is the case, so my advice to you, again, is to not sweat such a small-time incident.

drall

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3559097 posted 12:18 am on Jan 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

Petra as others have said it could be for millions of reasons your clicks were not counted, focus on traffic and your website and let Google focus on fraud filtering.

We get thousands of clicks a day, if we bothered checking into each and every click we wouldnt have time to get thousands of clicks per day:)

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