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Huge Drop In EPC Weds 23rd July 2008
Yo-yoing since maintenance Saturday
HuskyPup




msg:3706235
 1:23 pm on Jul 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

I've had very consistent AdSense metrics for quite a while until maintenance Saturday since when they have fluctuated quite dramatically even though my logs show remarkable consistency.

Yesterday was a completely normal day for me with traffic, clicks etc however my EPC dropped by an alarming 35.3%!

So far today it appears to have returned to normal levels, fingers crossed.

Has anyone else see such anomallies since the maintenance?

 

coachm




msg:3708135
 2:44 pm on Jul 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

We all know stats are delayed sometimes however there are specific facts we can all easily analyse.

So we don't confuse less experiences folks, it's not just that the stats are delayed. It's that the columns are not updated in a synchronized way. We KNOW that, for example, your impressions may be updated at a different time than your clicks. Or you clicks may be updated at a different time from your revenue.

Given that, for any specific day, any sub-section of that day's data is useless. Of course there's more reasons why this is the case, too. Some of my best days have started out badly, while some of my worst have started out gangbusters.

The irony is that we all have the data to analyse PROPERLY, figure out what is chance variation and what is not, statistically, but I guess many people don't have that knowledge or would rather extrapolate from bad data.

In short, a few hours of data, regardless of traffic means nothing. In most cases you can't interpret a single DAY of traffic either. Heck, it's your time, so go for it if you want. But it's not the way to increase your revenue. Might as well throw dice, and decide that way.

zett




msg:3708136
 2:47 pm on Jul 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

Let's face it - Google's Adsense program has probably passed its peak. (Wasn't there something in the recent quarterly earnings report?)

They have created a great program, but Google's incredible secrecy and intransparency (and that includes those ugly "stats stuck" and "click dump" issues, the extreme volatility of metrics, plus the unwillingness to respond to even the most basic feature requests) makes the program less and less attractive for quality publishers. These are increasingly looking for alternatives (and apparently they are finding these alternatives).

Time for an alternative player to show up.

coachm




msg:3708145
 3:07 pm on Jul 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

zett
Let's face it - Google's Adsense program has probably passed its peak.

People have been saying that for years here, often hijacking threads on other topics to get the same 2 cents in. You, yourself, have been dooming and glooming, and in some ways I agree if you are saying that the rate of growth is finite, and we're getting close to the top end.

But this isn't the thread to discuss that, methinks.

Let's face it - Webmaster Worlds' discussion of adsens has passed its peak. There's almost no good information anymore, most veterans have given up on it, and now what we're left with is more beginners (welcome all), and the bitter enders who are...well...bitter.

signor_john




msg:3708151
 3:12 pm on Jul 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

Let's face it - Google's Adsense program has probably passed its peak.

No, but it's evolving. As Google and advertisers become more capable of tying cost per lead to actual value per lead, the spread between publishers who can deliver valuable audiences and those who can't will continue to increase (and will become more like the spread in other media, where--for example--PC MAGAZINE attracts higher ad rates than BUBBA'S PC 'ZINE does).

The days when anybody could slap AdSense ads on a page and make decent money may be gone, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing: AdSense is a business, not an entitlement program.

johnnie




msg:3708154
 3:19 pm on Jul 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

My revenue is really bouncing in every direction.

cornwall




msg:3708301
 8:58 pm on Jul 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

Let's face it - Webmaster Worlds' discussion of adsense has passed its peak. There's almost no good information anymore, most veterans have given up on it, and now what we're left with is more beginners (welcome all), and the bitter enders who are...well...bitter.

I would go along with that !

andrewshim




msg:3708432
 1:58 am on Jul 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

My revenue is really bouncing in every direction.

ditto.

signor_john




msg:3708454
 3:06 am on Jul 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

My revenue is really bouncing in every direction.

I see the usual day-to-day variation (traffic and revenues are normally down on weekends, for example), but otherwise July is looking pretty much like June.

Diversity may help: If you have a few thousand pages on a variety of topics, you're less vulnerable to changes in demand than you are if you've got 50 pages that are only about red widgets.

Play_Bach




msg:3708473
 5:30 am on Jul 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

Another variable to consider is how many pages of your site is actually in Google. From what I can tell, I'm only getting around half (1000 pages = 500 indexed).

kamikaze Optimizer




msg:3708492
 6:48 am on Jul 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

Could we blame the reduced eCPM on the economy? CPM is going down accross all ad networks this quarter, not just Google.

andrewshim




msg:3708578
 12:35 pm on Jul 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

CPM is going down accross all ad networks this quarter, not just Google.

am seeing that too. I'm even getting half penny clicks or less on certain pages (for other ad networks) where the minimum used to be 8 cents!

HuskyPup




msg:3708641
 4:07 pm on Jul 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

One one comment from me today - FUBAR!

Mess, it's a total mess for those who do not know what FUBAR means!

Now I'm off to a wedding, get a load of beer and forget about the mess:-)

frakilk




msg:3708755
 8:35 pm on Jul 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'm glad to hear that there seems to be a depression across other ad networks as the numbers over the last week have been quite troubling. Let's hope August is better.

kamikaze Optimizer




msg:3708796
 9:42 pm on Jul 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

Let's hope August is better.

This is doubtful as all of Europe is on Vacation. Look for a turn around come September.

Atomic




msg:3708821
 10:43 pm on Jul 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

My July 2008 earnings are 130% of last year's. I'm not alone. There are plenty of success stories here if you care to listen. How FUBAR is that?

I think that instead of hastily pointing fingers every which way, some of you need to at least consider the possibility that what's going on is your own fault.

I'm not saying it is your fault or what you might have done or not done that's impacted your earnings. It just sounds to me like some webmasters believe they're entitled to earnings and that when they go down, you've been cheated.

Or earnings are down because of the economy. Or Google's got a glitch. Or something else is causing earnings to decline that's beyond your control. I'd close up shop and try something else immediately if that's how I thought things were.

realmaverick




msg:3708866
 12:02 am on Jul 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

I think that instead of hastily pointing fingers every which way, some of you need to at least consider the possibility that what's going on is your own fault.

#*$! like that just really #*$!ing honks me off. Coming from webmasters who for whatever reason, haven't been hit.

Just consider yourself lucky. Your attitude would be so different, had you been hit as hard as some of these poor #*$!s.

Luckily, I've not been hit hard, but I know too well, that it could be coming. I doubt very much many of the horror stories I read from vetrans, are their own fault.

Truth is, none of us really know why. Some just use this forum to vent, share experiences and find some level of comfort that they're not alone.

Google are constantly doing everything they can, to make things better for the advertiser and almost every time, it has a negative impact on the publisher.

signor_john




msg:3708882
 1:02 am on Jul 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Google are constantly doing everything they can, to make things better for the advertiser and almost every time, it has a negative impact on the publisher.

I think that's a very shortsighted attitude. If AdSense isn't attractive and profitable for advertisers, they won't buy ads (or they'll bid less for ads), and publishers ultimately will make less money.

For what it's worth, I've seen my average EPC go up by 35% in the last year. That suggests to me that Google is on the right track in tightening up its definition of a "valid click," purging click arbitrageurs, using smart pricing to make ad costs reflect value to the advertiser, etc.

coachm




msg:3708890
 1:29 am on Jul 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

#*$! like that just really #*$!ing honks me off. Coming from webmasters who for whatever reason, haven't been hit.

Just consider yourself lucky. Your attitude would be so different, had you been hit as hard as some of these poor #*$!s.

Luckily, I've not been hit hard, but I know too well, that it could be coming. I doubt very much many of the horror stories I read from vetrans, are their own fault.

Truth is, none of us really know why. Some just use this forum to vent, share experiences and find some level of comfort that they're not alone.

I'm with atomic. Here's the thing. My adsense income is about 40% off from its peak monthly earnings, with, of course higher traffic over the years. Not to mention that because I'm outside of the U.S., I'm losing another 40% give or take from exchange rate loss, PLUS losses on US money I had banked.

So, faced with this, or bouncing incomes, or whatever, what do you think rational, professional businesspeople actually do?

Do they spend their time speculating with others who have no idea of cause? Do they look to be "comforted"? Do they check there stats every hour and make bad decisions based on bad, incomplete, random data?

Well, no. As a businessman, I don't need to be "comforted". I need to run a business, and if I need this "comfort" or need to "vent" continuously, then maybe I should be in another business, or get a job.

I don't speculate anymore about google. I need to SOLVE MY BUSINESS PROBLEMS, and bleating everyday here doesn't solve them.

So, the result is that while some of you folks are here gabbing about your glitches and your hitches in your giddyup, my overall web revenue is UP despite the adsense drops. WHile some people are doing this little tweak or that one with colors and channels, and trying random fixes, I'm running a business.

Give it a shot. Maybe the glitches aren't with google but with google publishers, yes?

kidder




msg:3708919
 2:01 am on Jul 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

I run adsesne on a forum, I'm sending at least 30% more traffic than this time last year - earnings are down. I think it is the economy as my traffic is US in the main. I think the advertisers are pulling back but it also may be the popular topics on my forum are slightly different from one month to the next, this must have an impact. My off topic section gets busy and this can effect ECPM becasue my members are talking about Obama or Tom Cruise... Then a finance or insurance thread gets busy and presto earnings go up... Something for those with forums to consider.

Atomic




msg:3708944
 3:29 am on Jul 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Your attitude would be so different, had you been hit as hard as some of these poor #*$!s.

How do you know this? I consider myself more tenacious than that. I always say, "When the going gets tough, the tough get going." That doesn't mean I give up and hit the road. This means I buckle down, work harder to figure things out, and try new things. Thinking my attitude would be different is assumption #1.

Luckily, I've not been hit hard, but I know too well, that it could be coming. I doubt very much many of the horror stories I read from vetrans, are their own fault.

Assumption #2. 'Nuff said.

Truth is, none of us really know why. Some just use this forum to vent, share experiences and find some level of comfort that they're not alone.

And how is that working out for you?

Google are constantly doing everything they can, to make things better for the advertiser and almost every time, it has a negative impact on the publisher.

Assumption #3. Personally, I think that making things better for advertisers can only help publishers in the end. Sure, there's collateral damage but when Google changes you need to change with it or move on to something else.

I figured that I would ruffle some feathers with my post but you need to ask yourself if you are in business or on welfare.

[edited by: Atomic at 4:20 am (utc) on July 28, 2008]

zett




msg:3708970
 5:36 am on Jul 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

While I tend to agree with coachm (along the lines of "if Google is not providing the income levels needed to successfully run a web publishing business, then change the business tactics") I would like to point out that the big complaint about the Google Adsense program is that it is ALMOST the perfect program. You see, most people are not saying "ah, Adsense is crap, and I am earning just pennies" - no, they are complaining that they are deprived of the tools to change that. They feel they could do better by knowing more. They could make better business decisions by finetuning their site based on genuine data, like: which ads were clicked, and what did these clicks earn. It's the lack of data to make decisions that makes some publishers angry and frustrated.

Look at the "feature request thread" (hopefully ASA will open another thread and listen to us soon, for the month of August) - why is it that a company like Google with virtually unlimited resources can ignore persistent requests for even the most basic features like "bigger, better filter" for so long? Why do they treat publishers like dirt (by not listening, and by not giving out any information to improve our business)?

As I have said many times, the Adsense program per se is a brillant idea, and it almost works for me. I just don't get why Google is not going the last mile to make it the best program out there? Why? Why? Why? (I know that Google is very bad about "why" questions.)

I guess that those who complain here are still silently hoping for a change in climate at Google to finally reflect that publishers ARE part of the business, too. Google's general attitude towards publishers is bad, so bad that once a serious competitor comes along, many publishers will leave Adsense JUST to show Google their limits.

I certainly will.

But to pick up the opening statement, I agree that if Google is not providing the income levels needed to successfully run a web publishing business, then we need to change the business tactics.

HuskyPup




msg:3709160
 1:19 pm on Jul 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Many of these problems, for some of us, seem to occur immediately just after so-called maintenances.

For example,let's take my average earnings for Jan to June 30 as 100%, and I can tell you that it has been pretty consistent all year with, as signor_john has mentioned, a rising EPC.

July 1 to 18 earnings -1.06%, hey, only a few Dollars.

July 19 to 27 earnings -16.00%, now that's quite a few Dollars I can tell you.

For Sunday 27th July I had completely normal traffic and CTR however it was my 3rd worst day of the year after January 1st and June 8th when there was an almighty hiccup with G, for some of us.

I honestly do not want to remove AdSense, as zett said:

the Adsense program per se is a brillant idea, and it almost works for me.

and therein lies the frustration for some of us after we have spent a lot of time and effort running our businesses, G has an almighty burp and sends loads of sites into a downward earnings' spiral for which we have no redress.

The only one we have is the facility to come here and compare notes and ascertain who else has seen it happen and if they detect any improvement.

I've seen it happens several times with AdSense, 05.05.05 was my worst with an overnight 50% slashing for heaven's knows what followed by October 2007.

If you have never been affected by any of these updates/maintenances, you are very lucky, however do not overtly criticise those who have been affected as bad webmasters/business people etc.

The next time it may just be you suffering.

coachm




msg:3709186
 1:56 pm on Jul 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

I would like to point out that the big complaint about the Google Adsense program is that it is ALMOST the perfect program.

Zett, I think that's an excellent point. I'm actually in a similar position with another company that has the potential to easily out earn what I get from adsense and that's substantial, except they always do "something wrong". They supply new tools but they forget the essential features I need. and on. Huge money on the table.

So, I work with them as best I can, making suggestions, knowing it's beyond my control, pretty much. i do NOT get on forums bad mouthing them. I go about my business. As I do with google.

coachm




msg:3709205
 2:06 pm on Jul 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Many of these problems, for some of us, seem to occur immediately just after so-called maintenances.

If you worked for google, you'd want to know that. You don't I don't. Who cares? What use is this?

and therein lies the frustration for some of us after we have spent a lot of time and effort running our businesses, G has an almighty burp and sends loads of sites into a downward earnings' spiral for which we have no redress.

The only one we have is the facility to come here and compare notes and ascertain who else has seen it happen and if they detect any improvement.

Ah, there's your problem you THINK that spending your time staring at your stats each hour is redress. You think that finding out there are others not doing well is redress. Well, does it put more money in your pocket?

I'm trying to be helpful here, but how can you expect to improve your revenues when you use bad data, incomplete data, misleading data, and then misinterpret it, then spend time talking a bout your glitches and hitches and burps? Seriously.

Your TIME, and your DATA, and your THINKING AND ANALYSIS are the tools you use to make money in business, as is your ability to worry about what you can CONTROL.

If you have never been affected by any of these updates/maintenances, you are very lucky, however do not overtly criticise those who have been affected as bad webmasters/business people etc.

The next time it may just be you suffering.

Except I have been hit and hit hard. It used to be I'd spend a lot of time on adsense, tweaking and trying to improve it. Now I run a business in a smart business like way.

...speaking of which, I don't have more time for this, and I'm guesssing the next time your income drops or goes up for the first twenty minutes of the day, we'll hear from you saying the same things.

What does it mean to you when someone, over a long period, says essentiall the same things about the same problems?

Does that indicate sound business actions?

Hobbs




msg:3709267
 3:03 pm on Jul 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

One must take into account that advertiser growth has to be limited compared to the explosion in the number of publishers as well as the total pages by each publisher.

I'm giving Google today more than twice the number of ad impressions I did last year, factor in competition and you'll conclude that the good old days are never coming back, comparing to historic averages is futile, the gap can only widen between star performers and the rest.

The writing was on the wall ever since Google started taking down some MFA, being more picky about blending, and now retiring whole programs like referral ads.. It's an advertisers and star performers market, if one can't ride this wave, good luck with the tsunami.

(HP, it could be that some account smart pricing updates coincides with maintenances and others happen other dates)

signor_john




msg:3709268
 3:04 pm on Jul 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Look at the "feature request thread" (hopefully ASA will open another thread and listen to us soon, for the month of August) - why is it that a company like Google with virtually unlimited resources can ignore persistent requests for even the most basic features like "bigger, better filter" for so long?

My guess is that they want AdSense publishers to think more like publishers and less like AdSense entrepreneurs, and they have no interest in having their network micromanaged by outsiders who don't see the bigger picture and who may not share Google's objectives.

The "bigger, better filter" request is a case in point: Google's AdSense domain filter is called a "competitive ad filter" for a reason. AdSense needs inventory for all ads, not just the ones that pay best, so why would it be in Google's interest to let individual publishers--or, worse yet, groups of publishers who get together and create blacklists--to influence which ads are served (beyond blocking competitors' ads)? Such a filter might benefit AdSense entrepreneurs (the AdSense equivalent of SEOs or daytraders), but it would undercut Google's own method of allocating ads, and ultimately it would harm publishers who use AdSense as it was meant to be used: as a "set and forget" ad network where publishers supply space and Google supplies ads.

It seems to me that AdSense is working pretty well: Revenues were $1.66 billion in the last quarter (up 22% over the same period last year), and the network has left its competitors in the dust. From Google's point of view, or that of any rational business analyst, AdSense is the best program of its kind--even though it may not be the best (and probably shouldn't be the only) revenue source for a given individual publisher.

zett




msg:3709315
 3:37 pm on Jul 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

signor_john:

AdSense needs inventory for all ads, not just the ones that pay best, so why would it be in Google's interest to let individual publishers

This has been discussed here before. I remember long threads over this with EFV (which was probably before your time), and it feels almost like a deja-vu. Your point fails to address the problem that Google's approach poses for publishers: Google do not provide a transparent market place (like, for example, ebay does).

But publishers are usually also entrepreneurs who would like to use tools to actively participate in this market, instead of being assigned a certain set of ads (or a certain amount of revenue) for ads that they have no control over.

I, for example, would like to weed out any MFA/Get-rich-quick/fake-directory ad EVEN IF this might reduce the revenue. How comes? Well, I want to provide my visitors with a quality experience, and quality ads are definitely part of this experience. By giving next-to-no control about the ads, Google is certainly not only harming MY business, but theirs, too. But all this has been discussed endlessly.

If you look up the (ancient by now) feature request lists, you will find that I am not alone with the request for a bigger, better filter. Others demand this as well, and the rationale is - if everyone has the tools, then those who want to micromanage their sites can do so. Those who don't want to (or can't) can stick with the autopilot that Google provides. I am fine with that.

mainspot




msg:3709324
 3:40 pm on Jul 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

IMO, after all this years, 'Set and Forget' is the best attitude to handle Adsense in our site. Forget about filters and all other things about adsense.

After all, it's just a way to monetize page impressions not our site's objective, isn't it?

signor_john




msg:3709334
 3:54 pm on Jul 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

the rationale is - if everyone has the tools, then those who want to micromanage their sites can do so. Those who don't want to (or can't) can stick with the autopilot that Google provides.

You've missed my point about the bigger picture.

Let's say there are 1,000,000 low-bidding ads for "widgets" on any given day, and Google is allocating them across 100,000 sites. Now let's say that AdSense publishers have an unlimited domain filter, and 5,000 of the 100,000 AdSense publishers (let's call them the "AdSense entrepreneurs") block the low-paying ads for widgets. The remaining 95,000 publishers now have more low-paying ads, while the 5,000 AdSense entrepreneurs are sitting pretty. This is bad for several reasons:

1) The real publishers (the ones that focus on serving their users instead of second-guessing Google) are worse off;

2) Google may not be able to allocate all of its ads;

3) The low-bidding "widgets" advertisers may be frustrated and move to greener pastures.

Under such a scenario, only one group or party is satisfied: AdSense entrepreneurs, who--like owners of thin-affiliate sites--are unlikely to be at the top of Google's "people we want to keep happy" list.

Again, it's about the bigger picture, not about what you or I might want.

netmeg




msg:3709336
 3:57 pm on Jul 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

After long years looking at this stuff, it seems to me that the people who succeed most often are the ones that look inward (what can I do to make this better?) when adversity strikes, as opposed to the ones who look outward (look what whomever has done to me and my earnings!)

None of us can control Google.

So why aren't some of you over in the AdWords forum, convincing the advertisers that the Content Network is a good and useful place to put their advertising dollars? That we're not all spammers and scammers and scrapers, but can actually provide good traffic and conversions? There's even a current forum post about it here:

Nothing Wrong with AdWords Content Network [webmasterworld.com] posted by martinibuster (one of the moderators of this forum, I might add) and it was a Featured Home Page discussion last week.

If you can't control how Google acts, you can at least try to promote the network to the advertisers, and help to allay some of their fears that money spent in Content is money down a rat hole - which is a pretty big fear on their part, let me tell you. I know, it's not your job, you just place the code and then it's Google's job to send you perfectly matched, high paying CPC ads every time, and convince the advertisers that you're a good bargain for them. Ok.

(And lest you think I haven't suffered too, the first half of this month was great, but the last half has done much poorer than even my parked domains. But I don't blame Google for that.)

HuskyPup




msg:3709340
 4:03 pm on Jul 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

coachm

Ah, there's your problem you THINK that spending your time staring at your stats each hour is redress.

You make a tremendous amount of assumptions without knowing one single thing about me, my sites and what I actually do!

Wrong, completely and utterly wrong, I usually come here during a coffee break for a few minutes to catch-up and what may or may not be happening.

If you worked for google, you'd want to know that. You don't I don't. Who cares? What use is this?

It's a bit pointless explaining the obvious surely?

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