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Traffic from social bookmarking lowering the cpc?
I am getting paid less for more traffic

 12:35 am on Mar 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hello, what do you think about this?

If the medium payment per click form one AdSense account is around $0.17 and I get significant traffic form social bookmarking like StumbleUpon or Digg then it looks to me that payment per click become 3 times lower ($0.04-$0.06), does this make sense?

Would Google pay me less per click by considering this incentivized traffic? Because when a user bookmarks a link it could generate 50 or more times page views and those visitors just bounce from the site.

Edit: payment per click seems to be lower account-wide and not just that one day or two when the traffic increase take place.

Any thoughts?

[edited by: adrianTNT at 12:37 am (utc) on Mar. 14, 2008]



 2:38 am on Mar 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

This is happning to me right now :)

I think there is a glass ceiling on your income, when you run close to it and pass it the price you get paid for each click drops dramatically.

So I have been hit by stumbleupon, have 3X normal visitors, same ctr and only 20% more income.


 3:30 am on Mar 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

Same problem I saw today. I received 800+ unique visitors from a particular site and the eCPM was drastically lower, thus a smaller revenue for the day, despite a 20% gain in traffic!

Next time that happens, I think I'll re-route the traffic elsewhere to a page without AdSense on it!


 4:44 am on Mar 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hey Guys,

I think you will find that this form of traffic is less targeted and will be more difficult to convert from an Adwords user's point of view. Therefore, cost per click is less. Smartpricing?


 6:14 am on Mar 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

"Incentivized" traffic is definitely worth less (worthless), but that's usually different from social networking traffic.

In terms of sites like Stumbleupon and Digg, that traffic won't pay as well for the main reason that it's not very well targeted and is not worth as much to advertisers. But in the long run, more exposure and more return visitors will mean more earnings overall.


 7:05 am on Mar 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

Does that mean that google has an indication as to the origin of traffic hitting your website with Adsense?

Otherwise how can it differentuate between social networking traffic and the usual?


 7:25 am on Mar 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

Yes, the referrer is passed to the iframes displaying the ads and also part of their URL.

(Which makes perfectly sense - visitors from search engines not only get ads related to your page content but also related to their search queries.)


 8:59 am on Mar 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

I was not sure all users are referring to same thing ^
eCPM is normal to be much lower when you receive 100x more traffic(Social Bookmarking) , more visits that click less means less per 1000 impressions.
But what I noticed was that I get paid less overall, less per day and less per click. And when month ends I see less than half the payments for previous months.

Knowing that others have the same issue I will try to remove these "bookmark" buttons and see how it goes after a month or so.


 5:26 pm on Mar 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

yes I quit with that traffic long ago as it was just a bandwith eater and nothing at all but in out in out in out numbers and nothing else.


 7:11 pm on Mar 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

I would tend to agree, but I find there is a signifigent search engine boost for pages that rank well in digg and reddit.

One page which used to be pretty anonymous on the net now ranks as #1 and has done for the last 6 months or so purely because of its success in digg.

So its not the income that makes it worth getting dugg for, but the search engine positioning, and the greater awareness by net users that your site exists.

To me that is more important than dollars, as it has long term effects.


 11:27 am on Mar 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

Code your page not to show ads to visitors from stumbleupon.



 3:15 pm on Mar 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have a logical explaination, google must have a tracker in the ads to check where the traffic is coming from =]


 5:09 pm on Mar 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

It is a well-known phenomenon that a sudden spike in traffic from Slashdot, Digg, etc., will produce lower CTR and EPC, which is why you need a mixture of AdSense and CPM ads (TribalFusion, Advertising.com, etc.).

There are lots of possible reasons why this happens. One might be that Google has a "budget" for each site -- a certain amount of inventory it expects you to offer each day. If you go way over that, it doesn't have enough high-paying ads allocated to fill the inventory.

Another factor is that the traffic from Digg-type sites is more jaded and less likely to click on ads. They're browsers rather than seekers, maybe.


 7:32 pm on Mar 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

One might be that Google has a "budget" for each site -- a certain amount of inventory it expects you to offer each day. If you go way over that, it doesn't have enough high-paying ads allocated to fill the inventory.

My experiences do not coincide with that. I have seen large spikes in traffic from being listed at the top of serps for keywords featured on yahoo's home page. I didn't see anything difference in ctr, epc, etc. Everything was just way higher across the board.

I think this traffic scenario described is less likely to click/convert.


 7:56 pm on Mar 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

This has been happening to me right at this minute.

I have been hit by digg and stumbleupon, and as the traffic peaks the ecpm drops off.

This is a far different scenario to that of long term gains, or high ranking in serps.

In those cases the ecpm is static. In this case over about 5 days, it drops as the page impressions increase.

As the flood dissipates and the impressions decline to 'normal' the ecpm is crawling back up.


 4:22 pm on Mar 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

the same thing here. got a spike from Digg and now my eCPM got 75% off the previous day.


 7:52 am on Mar 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

Well, the important thing for me would be the bottom line. Did anyone see a significant (or maybe even a slight) increase in the amount earned as a result of the increased traffic.


 8:59 pm on May 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

I realised something ...

Traffic from StumbleUpon and Digg are mostly users that view the one page and leave, that would mean that Google ads will have many impressions without clicks.

So while Google will try to show ads that pay well stats will show that those ads do not convert well so Google will start showing other ads too (ads that probably pay less) and that could be the cause for lower payment per click after getting traffic form these sites.

It is the same thing/theory as removing ads that do not convert well in order to get paid more.

So StumbleUpon and Digg generate impressions only, and many impressions without clicks causes smaller payment per clicks.


 8:58 am on May 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

One page which used to be pretty anonymous on the net now ranks as #1 and has done for the last 6 months or so purely because of its success in digg.
Are you sure it's not the link development that ensued the success in digg?

 3:33 pm on May 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

I see this every year; my main has a particular theme that causes it to get very very heavy traffic until a specific date, after which it drops off again. I'm talking about going from 300-500 visits per day to over 70,000 per day. A HUGE jump over maybe three or four months. As my traffic goes up and up (and this is traffic that very definitely is looking for my site, not just 'drive-bys') my ecpm and epc goes down and down. This pattern has been in effect for at least four years.

I suspect there's many reasons for it. For one thing, my site is regional to my state - and usually my ads are too. I suspect that when my traffic grows, some of the advertisers might be excluding me because they think it's not relevant to them, or because my site's growth in traffic (clicks) is outstripping their budgets without commensurate conversions. Google probably has some brakes in place for traffic that grows very quickly as well.

But in general, I assume that as my traffic goes up, I will have to make up for the epc and ecpm in volume.


 4:51 pm on May 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

The problem is related more to the overall "savviness" of the users from such sites... they tend not to click AdSense ads.


 7:44 pm on May 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

Those are cheap users, they don't buy.


 9:59 pm on May 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

Those are cheap users, they don't buy.

That says it all :)


 8:10 am on May 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

I like it, it's free publicity. Maybe 10% of that traffic return to my site for updates later.
The revenues can be affected but for longer term is better

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