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My adsense geographic experiment.
Do adsense penalise sites with high Asian traffic?
realmaverick




msg:3740874
 10:18 pm on Sep 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

I've a strong feeling that adsense 'generalises' a websites geographic and uses the info as part of the algorithm to calculate CPC. I'm sure Google will claim each click is calculated individually but I'm not so sure.

I run several sites on similar topics, two of them have Indian traffic as the main geographic but still have a healthy amount of UK and US based traffic. The CPC on these two sites is 4-6 x less than the other sites who's top geographic is American and UK with Indian traffic between 3rd to 6th.

My little experiment is quite simple, on one of the sites with high Indian traffic, I'm going to forward it all to a 404 page and monitor the CPC, eCPM and of course the overall earnings of the site. I'll do this for 3 months, should be long enough to get a decent idea

I have a strong feeling this site will earn more, despite receiving less traffic.

Does anybody know of any adsense TOS that may prevent me from publicly releasing the results?

 

coachm




msg:3740900
 10:49 pm on Sep 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

Given even a simple understanding of how adwords works, why bother? Whatever your results, you can't interpret them with any degree of certainty.

Also, check tos for putting ads on 404 if that's what you intend. It used to not be allowed. Might have changed.

Don't you think introducing a 404 page is going to affect or ruin your ability to draw real life conclusions?

In any event, you will indeed find that the location of traffic affects what is earned. We already know that. It's simply an effect of a bunch of things, mostly having to do with advertiser behavior.

...demographics.

realmaverick




msg:3740912
 11:07 pm on Sep 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

Also, check tos for putting ads on 404 if that's what you intend. It used to not be allowed. Might have changed.

No, I won't be putting ads on the 404 pages. The aim is for adsense to see no Asian traffic coming to this website and see how that effects the revenue of the website.

In any event, you will indeed find that the location of traffic affects what is earned. We already know that. It's simply an effect of a bunch of things, mostly having to do with advertiser behavior.

I don't think you quite understood the object of the experiment. Anybody who's used adsense will be aware that location affects revenue.

What I want to figure out, is whether Google is generalising the ENTIRE traffic stream because India is the main demographic. I'm not convinced Google is treating each visit as an individual.

So I'm going to block Asian traffic entirely for 3 months, to see what impact it has on the websites revenue. I have a strong feeling adsense revenue will increase, because Google will deem the traffic stream as better quality.

StoutFiles




msg:3740914
 11:16 pm on Sep 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

I've a strong feeling that adsense 'generalises' a websites geographic and uses the info as part of the algorithm to calculate CPC.

And you'll do what with these findings? Certain countries are more profitable because their ads pay more per click. This has been known for forever.

Lame_Wolf




msg:3740918
 11:28 pm on Sep 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

you can put adsense on 404 pages, as long as the 404 page contains proper content. Same goes for 403 pages.

martinibuster




msg:3740944
 12:43 am on Sep 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

The CPC on these two sites is 4-6 x less than the other sites who's top geographic is American and UK...

India versus USA AdWords bidding competition. No mystery. Low competition = low earnings.

realmaverick




msg:3741477
 8:33 pm on Sep 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

Well #*$! me..

I'm aware Indian traffic pays poorly. It's no mystery.

What I want to discover is, IS THE INDIAN TRAFFIC ACTUALLY HURTING MY REVENUE!

Will blocking all Indian traffic, increase the websites overall revenue?

Anybody out there, that actually understands where I'm coming from with this?

If anybody has the time to read the posts properly and not assume they know everything, please let me know what you think.

As for what will I do with this information? I'll ask my adsene advisor as to why this is the case. Surely each visitor should be treated as an individual? Not an entire websites traffic stream 'generalised' based of the number 1 geographic. Which seems to be the case across a few of our sites.

If blocking indian traffic increases revenue, some webmasters will be tempted to block Indian traffic on a permanent basis which seems unethical and unfair.

martinibuster




msg:3741507
 9:34 pm on Sep 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

maverick, I routinely block traffic via htaccess from many countries that are responsible for spamming my site, including India, and have not noticed an increase in any of the AdSense data points. About a year ago I removed the htaccess and allowed all IPs back in, with the idea of building up a new range of IPs to block. No earnings difference.

I do notice a lot of fluctuation within all the different sections, with some sections routinely pulling most of the weight, but it's not geographical.

Good luck on your experiment as it may produce different results as the majority of my traffic has never been from third world countries.

swa66




msg:3741537
 10:15 pm on Sep 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

You could also serve your pages dynamically and leave the content there, but serve no adsense if the requestign IP is from a known source in India. (Geo-targeting your willingness to serve ads)

HuskyPup




msg:3741556
 10:48 pm on Sep 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

Will blocking all Indian traffic, increase the websites overall revenue?

Very doubtful, I have English language Indian and Chinese sites targetted at European, Middle East and North American quantity trade widget buyers and their overall EPC averages are considerably lower than my .com/.eu/co.uk sites even though they seem to display the same ads.

Anybody out there, that actually understands where I'm coming from with this?

Yep and I have wondered the same thing myself however this idea was dispelled when I launched a new image gallery and the EPC average for that has been considerably higher than any other section I have!

No idea why whatsoever.

coachm




msg:3741608
 12:55 am on Sep 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

Well #*$! me..

I'm wondering if you are indeed #*$!ing yourself here <grin>

I'm aware Indian traffic pays poorly. It's no mystery.

Do you know WHY it pays poorly? Because advertisers generally perceive the clicks they receive from people there are of lower value, hence they bid accordingly.
I'd imagine the huge proportion of adwords bidders (and I'm one) completely exclude India or have teeny bids, fair or not.


What I want to discover is, IS THE INDIAN TRAFFIC ACTUALLY HURTING MY REVENUE!

If anybody has the time to read the posts properly and not assume they know everything, please let me know what you think.

What I'm hearing from you is you don't like the answers you are getting. Sorry. You're still wasting your time trying to discern something you can't find out. I'm actually wondering why you bothered to ask if you weren't willing to accept the answer.

If you have nothing better to do block the traffic. Or set up a site for each geo area (but there's problems with that.

Short of that what you are doing seems to be worth nothing at all.

You also said earlier:

Anybody who's used adsense will be aware that location affects revenue.

What I want to figure out, is whether Google is generalising the ENTIRE traffic stream because India is the main demographic. I'm not convinced Google is treating each visit as an individual.

Anyone who's used adsense and tried to be professional about it will know how adwords bidding works, which explains the geo discrepencies quite well.

It is "possible" that google aggregates sites (categorizes them, and them uses those categories in their pricing algos, as part of smartpricing. There are some reasons why that might be done, not the least of which it can result in less computing power for the smartpricing task.

But, as with others, I don't think it's likely, or actually that it's likely it's a signficant factor on its own. Waste of time worrying about it.

realmaverick




msg:3741670
 2:40 am on Sep 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

Anyone who's used adsense and tried to be professional about it will know how adwords bidding works, which explains the geo discrepencies quite well.

I understand how adsense bidding works, or at least I understand how it's supposed to work.

It is "possible" that google aggregates sites (categorizes them, and them uses those categories in their pricing algos, as part of smartpricing. There are some reasons why that might be done, not the least of which it can result in less computing power for the smartpricing task.

I just wanted to know for sure, whether or not this was the case.

But, as with others, I don't think it's likely, or actually that it's likely it's a signficant factor on its own. Waste of time worrying about it.

I don't think it's a waste of time. The sites that are getting 6x less per click, have a very healthy amount of US and EU traffic, it just so happens that the number 1 traffic stream for both is Indian. On our other sites Indian traffic is a little lower down.

The topics of these sites are all mobile phone related. We're trying to work out why these 2 sites earn a ridiculously lower amount per click than our other sites. The one thing that stands out like a sore thumb is that these two just happen to have slightly more indian traffic than the others, which puts indian traffic at number 1 on both sites.

realmaverick




msg:3741728
 5:13 am on Sep 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

Reading over the replies, it appears some people clearly do not understand what I am saying. I am going to give it another go, nice and slow this time.

Imagine you serve 30k impressions on one site, and the top traffic regions are as follows:
1. UK
2. USA
3. Australia
4. India
Average CPC: 15-20cents

You have another site, nearly identical topic (almost competition, thank god I own them both); and it serves 200k impressions daily.
1. India
2. UK
3. US
4. Australia
Average CPC 3-5cents

Please do not waste your breath telling me "Asia traffic pays low, we all know this". Believe me, I know this as well. But imagine this: I temporally route India traffic to a server error (not even a 404), while allowing other visitors to access the site normally. This will do a few things:
1. Overall traffic will drop by about 15%
2. US/Uk/Australia traffic will likely remain the same, however their percentages will be artificially inflated since the 15% of India traffic has disappeared.

Now, what I originally asked was if Google was deciding the value of a click based on an individual user; or is it based on more "umbrella" like figures (general demographics). Since my traffic base has changed, would my average CPC change as well. And finally if it did change, is this change large enough to compensate for the missing clicks that would normally be generated by the India users.

I am really looking for someone that has experimented with that I described.....

Green_Grass




msg:3741848
 9:48 am on Sep 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

Do let us know the results of your experiment.

Do remember that your site topic may also be causing this discrepency.

brianng




msg:3741902
 11:52 am on Sep 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

You could be more generous by not displaying ads for Indian traffic when you do the experiment :D I did this kind of experiment before but with a CPM network, not Adsense. I only did the experiment for like a week because my partner recoded the whole site from scratch and started to use the new code. Traffic and earnings were a little lower during the experiment. But the overall CPM and earnings did increased after I did the experiment. I don't know if that was a coincidence or it was actually the result of the experiment. Now with the Asian traffic, it seems like the overall CPM is decreasing again. I didn't have time to modify the new code to continue with the experiment yet but I will try it again very soon.

My situation is very similar to you because the country that I was blocking ads is kinda the same with India :D

HuskyPup




msg:3741922
 12:18 pm on Sep 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

I am really looking for someone that has experimented with that I described.....

Why not open another account with AdSense and then compare how the two do then you'll not lose any earnings whatsoever?

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