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Faster servers can increase Adsense revenue by 25% or more
AdWords has new focus on speed; AdSense may follow
potentialgeek




msg:3603714
 5:40 am on Mar 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'd like to start a discussion on the topic of speed based on a comment from another thread [webmasterworld.com], because it's significant and timely--and rarely mentioned in this forum.

Faster server, faster connection, income up about 25%.

How did you come to the conclusion your site was slow? Visitor complaints?

By the way, recently in the AdWords Blog [adwords.blogspot.com], Google said something which indicates it is finally understanding the significance of slow servers to its profits.

Landing page load time will soon be incorporated into Quality Score... As part of our continuing efforts to improve the user experience, we will soon incorporate an additional factor into Quality Score: landing page load time. Load time is the amount of time it takes for a user to see the landing page after clicking an ad. . . . Why are we doing this? Two reasons: first, users have the best experience when they don't have to wait a long time for landing pages to load. Interstitial pages, multiple redirects, excessively slow servers . . . users are more likely to abandon landing pages that load slowly, which can hurt your conversion rate. . . . In the next few weeks, we will add load time evaluations to the Keyword Analysis page (we'll notify you when they are available). . . After the one month review period, this load time factor will be incorporated into your keywords' Quality Scores. Keywords with landing pages that load very slowly may get lower Quality Scores (and thus higher minimum bids). Conversely, keywords with landing pages that load very quickly may get higher Quality Scores and lower minimum bids.

I have never seen anything from Adsense about making sure pages load fast enough. Google says it's going to punish advertisers whose landing pages are too slow. But what about publishers? How much money is Google losing by poor servers? Millions?

How fast is fast? Are shorter pages the equivalent of a faster server? How much faster are your new servers?

I hate to bother with server changes if it's not going to help. But the 25% income boost is intriguing.

How do you know you couldn't make another 25% with even faster servers?

What are the internet industry standard server performance tests?

p/g

 

norton j radstock




msg:3603751
 7:24 am on Mar 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

It is not just a server issue.

Pages with more content take longer to load. They also (potentially) contain more useful information. Is this a hit on quality websites?

Lame_Wolf




msg:3603754
 7:30 am on Mar 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

MFA sites load very quick due to the lack of content. What is going to happen with that ?

Lexur




msg:3603760
 7:47 am on Mar 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

I could do another 25% if Adsense ads, and thus, the whole page, load quicker.

Hobbs




msg:3603896
 12:03 pm on Mar 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

From a publisher's point of view, it is all about the visitor's experience, the question to ask on this side of the fence is:

From your experience, and if you've optimized pages or changed hosting companies.. Did page load time affect your CTR?

My experience is not very much, and I wouldn't expect it to unless we're talking about shaving off 3 seconds of more on page load time which is astronomical.

So yes, it should affect your overall earnings but on the fringes where pages load too slow or lightning fast, everything in the middle is not worth the effort/money, best optimize for user experience and traffic, AdSense will then follow.

celgins




msg:3603918
 12:20 pm on Mar 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'd be interested in seeing how Google punishes advertisers whose ads redirect users to a site on a "slow" server.

In my opinion, most of your bottleneck issues with page load time have nothing to do with server speed -- but rather bandwidth limitations.

So if Google uses a barometer (not sure what measurement this could be) to test page load speed, are they using a modem, cable, DSL, or T1 connection while clicking on that link?

Using a cable connection, the page will load faster than a modem connection. Using a T1 connection, the page may load faster than when using a DSL connection.

netmeg




msg:3604083
 2:55 pm on Mar 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

The slowest thing for my primary site is loading the AdSense and the Google Analytics code. I have no graphics except for a 806kb background gif and a small bookmarking button. The site is database driven, but it doesn't query until someone actually does a search. I have my own webservers, and connection, and they are very fast. What slows it up every time is Google.

Be interesting to see how much better it might do if GOOGLE sped up their servers...

farmboy




msg:3604099
 3:09 pm on Mar 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

I can understand Google's point and I can also understand that a lot of page loading time issues are out of the advertiser's hands.

But if this results in a decline in people loading up pages with lots of decorative bells and whistles, this may not be a bad thing.

FarmBoy

nrep




msg:3604130
 3:29 pm on Mar 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

"I have no graphics except for a 806kb background gif"

netmeg, I'm not sure if that was a typo? 806kb for a background is HUGE? That's like saying you don't have a pet, apart from that elephant over there.

I've experienced a slight increase in my adsense revenue since upgrading to a faster server. It makes sense that faster load times might inprove revenue, but only because it improves the user experience and means they don't click away before the site loads.

wyweb




msg:3604175
 4:13 pm on Mar 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

I just got off shared hosting and went with a dedicated server about 3 weeks ago. Lightning fast but I've seen no increase in earnings.

Interesting concept though...

netmeg




msg:3604610
 11:31 pm on Mar 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

netmeg, I'm not sure if that was a typo? 806kb for a background is HUGE? That's like saying you don't have a pet, apart from that elephant over there.

Yep, typo. It's 806 bytes.

inactivist




msg:3604811
 2:49 am on Mar 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

I fixed a problem with my server (db query against a large table that wasn't indexed properly) that was causing page load times to be measured in the 1.5 minute range once the visitor count went over a certain threshold..

Since then, we're down to the sub-ten second range, and eCPM has increased along with CPC. I made other changes around that time, so it's hard to know what made the difference, but stats were dropping steadily up till the time I fixed the problem.

Profile your sites, definitely.

maximillianos




msg:3604833
 3:12 am on Mar 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

I recently designed my own in-house page caching system to help speed things up. Now I serve up cached pages for my most commonly requested scripts to anonymous visitors (80% of my traffic).

It has done wonders for the performance of my site, and lightened the load on my single dedicated server. Gave me more time before I need to go to a dual-server setup... and I have no doubt it has helped me achieve better revenue since users seem to be sticking around more/longer (more pageviews per visit).

Clark




msg:3604870
 4:16 am on Mar 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

netmeg, you said my point exactly!
I'm taking analytics off for that reason and the few pages I got adsense, it is the slowest thing on the page. I wish they would bring their response time back to what it used to be.

lammert




msg:3605075
 9:42 am on Mar 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have removed Analytics about six weeks ago and have seen an instant increase of about 8% in visitors in my AwStats statistics since then. There is too much variation in the AdSense revenues to be sure that this also caused higher income, but Analytics caused about 60% of the total page load time.

I would like to remove the other Google javascript code too, because that is now still causing about 75% of the page load time, but unfortunately it is the code to generate the AdSense ads, so I leave it there for now :)

It is a disappointing task to optimize sites, use underloaded dedicated servers on 100 mbit outlets, compress pages on the fly, put expire headers on almost all static content and then conclude that the page load time is mainly determined by an external third party who used to have the fastest internet services in the world, but can't cope with the load today.

As a side note, I don't look at my weekly/monthly stats of AdSense on a regular base anymore because they take too much time to load. It seems Google has some serious performance problems in the AdSense backoffice.

zuko105




msg:3605277
 2:17 pm on Mar 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

That's like saying you don't have a pet, apart from that elephant over there.

LOL! I'm not jumping in on this discussion, but that's pretty funny.

vincevincevince




msg:3605286
 2:31 pm on Mar 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

I want to know:
  • Is Google reducing payments / penalising slow loading publisher pages?
  • What metric is used (time to first content render? time to full render? ...)
  • wyweb




    msg:3605304
     2:39 pm on Mar 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

    Is Google reducing payments / penalising slow loading publisher pages?

    Good question. Maybe some day a high ranking goog tech will defect and violate his confidentiality agreement and spill the beans about all the neat little secrets they have. He'll get assassinated the next day, of course, shot down on a street corner by goog hitmen.

    I think the main penalty in slow pages is that, bluntly stated, it pisses your visitors off and they go elsewhere. Visitors leaving a site means less opportunity to put an ad in front of them that they'll find interesting.

    Whether google has this factored into their prices, again it's anyone's guess but I'm guessing they don't.

    lammert




    msg:3605305
     2:41 pm on Mar 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

    For me the important metric is time to full render. First bytes in browser was a common measurement in dial-up times when people were used to 15 seconds or longer waiting for full render, but nowadays with broadband connections everyone expects a quick response of the whole site.

    dataguy




    msg:3605310
     2:43 pm on Mar 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

    Faster server, faster connection, income up about 25%.

    Hey, that's my comment! I was planning on compiling the data and starting a thread when I got back from vacation. I get back tonight, so I'll post some statistics tomorrow.

    It should be noted that a faster server and a faster connection not only boosts CPM and pageviews, but also rankings. I'll post more tomorrow...

    carguy84




    msg:3605368
     3:28 pm on Mar 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

    I have removed Analytics about six weeks ago and have seen an instant increase of about 8% in visitors in my AwStats statistics since then.

    If you're comparing Analytics against AwStats, there could very well be an 8% difference in the way a unique user is calculated.

    Since we moved to .NET a few years ago, we've implemented their output caching and page loads went from 2-3 seconds to under 1 second. We also enabled gzip, even on our dynamic content, and that helped page load even more, especially for our really long pages.

    However, ad placement changed when we upgraded the site to .NET so it is tough to define exactly what caused the increase in AdSense revenue, but it did increase significantly and I wouldn't say the ad placement changed a ton.

    night707




    msg:3605388
     3:54 pm on Mar 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

    dataguy,

    hope you`ve had a splendid vacation. What would you say is a reasonable size in terms of KB to make Lord Google Engeneers happy after their latest algo modification ?

    lammert




    msg:3605413
     4:10 pm on Mar 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

    If you're comparing Analytics against AwStats, there could very well be an 8% difference in the way a unique user is calculated.

    I have AwStats always running, also in the period Analytics code was on the site. The 8% increase was within AwStats, not between two statistics packages. AwStats doesn't hurt performance so much because it is using the logfiles generated by the webserver and not javascript in the browser (well, as long as you don't use the javascript browser capabilities detector of AwStats).

    trader




    msg:3605422
     4:20 pm on Mar 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

    The Google servers cause slow loading far more than anything else on my sites. That is especially true with Google Checkout (not with Adsense, IMO). The Checkout images in particular are slow loading and sometimes load so s-l-o-w-l-y they actually can make my websites hang and even cause a reboot when they hang forever at times!

    P.S. I have never seen a delay with AWstats.

    CrustyAdmin




    msg:3605447
     4:39 pm on Mar 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

    the sub-ten second range

    I hope it's much much less than 10 seconds.

    [edited by: CrustyAdmin at 4:40 pm (utc) on Mar. 19, 2008]

    vordmeister




    msg:3605683
     7:34 pm on Mar 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

    Site speed is something I believe in. Moved from a rubbish host (the biggest rubbish host in the UK - yeah that one) to a decent one many years ago and did notice the traffic start growing once again. That would easily have given me the 25%.

    Though recently I moved to a dedicated server at vast expense. It's probably the most underused dedicated on the planet. No abnormal increase in traffic after 5 weeks.

    Still, would have had to do it next year anyway and I'm not moving back - a good site speed is a solid base for furure growth. Nothing more annoying to visitors than a slow site.

    tim222




    msg:3605695
     7:45 pm on Mar 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

    Page load times can be affected by the ad itself, as well. Especially now that Google will be serving ads with that set cookies and contain web beacons. Those events are out of the publisher's control, but they're capable of slowing down the display. At least the display of the ad. I'm not sure if it can slow down the whole page.

    Lame_Wolf




    msg:3605846
     10:56 pm on Mar 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

    Faster server, faster connection, income up about 25%

    Not from where I am standing.
    I moved to a dedicated server. The clicks are about 20% more per day, but earnings are down.

    Clark




    msg:3605993
     2:47 am on Mar 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

    FWIW, I spoke to Google today. They claim their Fortune 1000 customers are not affected by any slowness so anything below that traffic level shouldn't be affected...

    moTi




    msg:3606154
     7:44 am on Mar 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

    doesn't it also make sense the other way around?

    as publisher, if you have slow loading pages, you increase the chance that someone clicks on an ad, provided that a) he's already on your website and b) the ads are displaying as long as possible while loading the next page. may be the visitor is less interested in your ads than in your content, but why not take advantage of his impatience. it's about programming technique..

    This 36 message thread spans 2 pages: 36 ( [1] 2 > >
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