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CTR and eCPM down since September 2008
CTR and eCPM down since September
honestman




msg:3803229
 7:54 am on Dec 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have been an Adsense member for over four years and have seen remarkable consistency in terms of the income and channel data used to track income -- in fact I have never seen such consistent data in all my years of statistical data analysis.

However, beginning in September this year, I have seen CTR go down by 60% and eCPM go down by the same even as traffic grows on one of my pretty large sites (500K to 1 million visitors/month). I have looked at year over year data and spotted this trend to verify. While many websites are seasonal in some ways, this site does not deviate more than 33% in revenue from peak to valley each and every year at the exact same period of time, so this new trend leaves me baffled.

There have been no major changes to this site and the traffic continues to grow, so with the exception of this month, year over year income has increased, so I am not complaining. I am just a bit baffled as to the possible causes (which I do not doubt could be many).

Meanwhile, the website interface has stayed largely the same, with no language, file extension, domain name, or markup changes requiring redirects or the like.

Has anyone experienced this trend and what are the possible causes? Is the recession hitting others as well in this area?

Thank you for any input.

 

zett




msg:3811119
 9:41 am on Dec 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

i am also seeing some unrelated ads.

I am also seeing (some) unrelated ads.

Now I am beginning to wonder for the real reasons for visitors not clicking. It certainly is related to the economy, but which way the CTR went down?

a) Advertisers dropping out --> Unrelated ads show --> Users click less

-or-

b) Users click less --> Advertisers dropping out --> Unrelated ads show

This question is important, because it will affect the credibility of the Adsense program. B would be straight forward, while A would be mostly related to the ads that show up.

In any case, it seems to be a downward spiral. I just hope that people find their confidence again in January.

signor_john




msg:3811311
 3:17 pm on Dec 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

I believe that online advertising will one area that is hardest hit in the recession - it is very easy to stop, and there are no obligations to continue on even a day to day basis, and due to the algorithms Google uses if one big advertiser pulls out - pricing for the remaining advertisers is automatically lowered.

Not exactly. If a major advertiser of secondhand run-flat truck tires pulls out, sites that attract ads for secondhand run-flat truck tires will be affected, but sites that never get such ads won't be affected.

For what it's worth, I've seen a significant increase in AdSense earnings per click in recent months. Clickthrough rate is down (probably for economic reasons), but in my sector at least, advertisers seem to be bidding even more for whatever clicks they can get.

diddlydazz




msg:3811790
 8:35 am on Dec 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

I've seen a significant increase in AdSense earnings per click in recent months

EF.., errr.. sorry, signor_john ;o) we have seen the same increase over the travel sector (CTR down, eCPM up), but most of the other sectors we are involved in have seen dire earnings.

we are pulling adsense in the new year, time to try other networks on some of our sites. I have been wanting to do it for a while now, but eCPM has been too good!

over the last 2 months, CTR and eCPM has been the lowest for more than 3 years!

ganeshcp




msg:3811811
 10:07 am on Dec 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

other networks like?

diddlydazz




msg:3811813
 10:30 am on Dec 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

other networks like?

depends on niche, but even kontera's ecpm has been higher for some sectors over the last month

Richie0x




msg:3811822
 10:45 am on Dec 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

a) Advertisers dropping out --> Unrelated ads show --> Users click less

-or-

b) Users click less --> Advertisers dropping out --> Unrelated ads show

But neither of those would explain why I'm getting 13% CTR one day and 0.94% the next.

LoveWarrior




msg:3811874
 3:19 pm on Dec 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

A while back, we started to test a variety of PPC programs and other affiliate programs. The only other program we found to be half way decent is Chitika.

So, we replaced AdSense with Chitika on a couple of our sites and have also been using Chitika for an alternate to AdSense ads (and Amazon for an alternate to Chitika).

Now, for the first time in our history, Chitika income is outpacing AdSense income. So, now we're scratching our heads and trying to figure out what to do.

I think the most telling thing for us is looking at our AdWords numbers. With many search terms, we can now buy placement on the first page of search results for .02 per click, whereas a month ago the same placement would have cost .20 to .30

This one fact is very telling to us. Obviously, advertisers have either reduced what they are willing to pay per click or there is simply less advertisers. Either way, it affects the other side of the business (AdSense).

That all said, I don't think anyone fully understands what is going on with the fluctuations in Google right now. We agree with the aformentioned mindset of studying Googles 4th quarter results. We're holding tight until January before we make any more changes.

[edited by: LoveWarrior at 3:48 pm (utc) on Dec. 20, 2008]

coachm




msg:3811924
 5:30 pm on Dec 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

b) probably, but it's too simple a question.

Keep in mind that if advertisers are making a profit from their ads, the economy itself has little influence, and in fact in tough times, it's a good business idea to increase ads provided you have money.

In any event, I could probably come up with 10 explanations on either side of your answers, which we can't confirm because we don't have the data.

We don't know if epc is going up or down, or differently across sectors, or what.

honestman




msg:3811932
 6:20 pm on Dec 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

"I think the most telling thing for us is looking at our AdWords numbers. With many search terms, we can now buy placement on the first page of search results for .02 per click, whereas a month ago the same placement would have cost .20 to .30 "

That is pretty scary anecdotal evidence which points to the overall effect of the economy on either Google's strategy or the cash available to advertisers taken on the whole, or other reasons...

Either way, there has never been a bigger wake-up call for diversification (which has always been part of my strategy across sites)--even if it involves much more time-consuming marketing and admin.

coachm




msg:3811936
 6:49 pm on Dec 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

"I think the most telling thing for us is looking at our AdWords numbers. With many search terms, we can now buy placement on the first page of search results for .02 per click, whereas a month ago the same placement would have cost .20 to .30 "
That is pretty scary anecdotal evidence which points to the overall effect of the economy on either Google's strategy or the cash available to advertisers taken on the whole, or other reasons...

Are you making the mistake of thinking that front page placement is based only on your bid?

LoveWarrior




msg:3811946
 7:12 pm on Dec 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

[Are you making the mistake of thinking that front page placement is based only on your bid?]

Of course not. We've been doing this long enough to understand that the value of the landing page, the ad and how it all relates to the user's search term, blah, blah, blah help determine placement.

However, anyone who has been doing this more than a few months and pays attention to marketing metrics will tell you, without pause, that the amount we're willing to pay per click is heads and shoulders of more value than anything else.

[edited by: LoveWarrior at 7:28 pm (utc) on Dec. 20, 2008]

gethan




msg:3813460
 5:16 pm on Dec 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

I am very interested in seeing Google's Q4 profits reports :)

> a) Advertisers dropping out --> Unrelated ads show --> Users click less
> b) Users click less --> Advertisers dropping out --> Unrelated ads show

I think it will be a combination - a consumer is less likely to click ads for products they can no longer justify or afford - at the same time advertisers will drop out for varied reasons - lower response or tightening belts due to less demand from other sources. The net effect will be the same gradual decrease in earnings for publishers.

@signor_john: > If a major advertiser of secondhand run-flat truck tires pulls out ...

I should have put the word sector in the original statement; if a major advertiser within a sector pulls out then other advertisers within that sector benefit from lower prices.

coachm




msg:3813473
 5:38 pm on Dec 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

Of course not. We've been doing this long enough to understand that the value of the landing page, the ad and how it all relates to the user's search term, blah, blah, blah help determine placement.

However, anyone who has been doing this more than a few months and pays attention to marketing metrics will tell you, without pause, that the amount we're willing to pay per click is heads and shoulders of more value than anything else.

Well your last statement suggests to me that your interpretation is too limited, since it's clearly disprovable. I've been at this for several years, and I disagree with you about click prices on the ad size, and on your general conclusions.

I can see how one can come to false conclusions given limited data available, though. There's as much indication that some advertisers are paying more as is the opposite.

..and throw in minimum bids issues and...well, there's a lot more than you are considering here.

signor_john




msg:3813502
 6:57 pm on Dec 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

There's as much indication that some advertisers are paying more as is the opposite.

That's been my experience, although the decline in CTR over the last couple of months has cancelled out any gains in EPC.

This 44 message thread spans 2 pages: < < 44 ( 1 [2]
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