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Interest-based Ads Preference Disabled
Drop in earnings a co-incidence?
HuskyPup




msg:3904057
 2:45 pm on Apr 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

I disabled this feature a couple of days ago and have suffered my worst two week day earnings' of the year!

Co-incidence or not? I have enabled the feature again just to see what happens.

Yes, I know it's not very scientific or long-term test but it's mighty strange to say the very least.

 

walrus




msg:3904108
 3:38 pm on Apr 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

For what its worth, I have experienced a sudden drop last few days as well, IB ads are enabled so i would be inclined to believe its a budgets used up end of the month syndrome.
Maybe worse than usual because of the global depression.

jmccormac




msg:3904111
 3:43 pm on Apr 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

The stats seem to be borked again today.

Regards...jmcc

HuskyPup




msg:3904120
 3:48 pm on Apr 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

so i would be inclined to believe its a budgets used up end of the month syndrome.

It would be the first ever time that I have experienced budgets used up plus my EPC has held consistent, that hasn't reduced at all, it's the extremely low CTR on some sites of up to 50% whereas other sites have remained stable.

Hmmm...I've just checked my stats for one of my core sites and already today it has earned more than either Tuesday or Wednesday!

What on earth is going on?

petra




msg:3904126
 4:00 pm on Apr 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

The stats seem to be borked again today.

Definitely something wrong today!

jmccormac




msg:3904130
 4:01 pm on Apr 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

Stats seem to have been jammed here for a few hours. Whatever Google did when trying to integrate Doubleclick into Adsense seems to have caused problems.

Regards...jmcc

coachm




msg:3904131
 4:02 pm on Apr 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

What on earth is going on?

YOu don't appear to like any answers provided on these topics, but I can only repeat that you are making unwarranted assumptions about your reports/data, and then drawing bad conclusions.

It's really that simple. There's a raft of bad ones involved here, not the least of which is that you expect the past to have some relation to the future, and that's not tenable in this context.

..and there's about ten others.

THAT is what's going on.

HuskyPup




msg:3904172
 4:51 pm on Apr 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

THAT is what's going on.

It's quite amazing that you pretend to know what's going on meanwhile no one else is allowed to question it without you being uber critical of what others may say.

Not a lot of point in us having a forum board if we can't speculate is there so why bother responding to my posts if all you are going to write is the same every time?

jmccormac




msg:3904191
 5:08 pm on Apr 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

It's really that simple. There's a raft of bad ones involved here, not the least of which is that you expect the past to have some relation to the future, and that's not tenable in this context.
Most of us are webmasters and we monitor traffic stats to an almost obsessive level. From these stats we would generally have a good idea of the kind of traffic our sites get each day. When we see Google Adsense and Google Analytics stats being massively out of synch with the expected traffic and revenue then there is often a reason for this. And all too frequently these days, that reason is that something is wrong with Adsense. It is either delayed stats or some aspect of Adsense that is being "improved" or experimented upon.

THAT is what's going on.
Unless you work for Google Adsense, you haven't any greater insight than anyone else.

Regards...jmcc

Dave_Hybrid




msg:3904199
 5:23 pm on Apr 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

Disabling Interest-based Ads in your AS control panel does not stop them showing on your site, it just stops your site being used for Interest-based Ad data collection. So, I doubt it is related.

purplecape




msg:3904226
 5:50 pm on Apr 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

Dave_Hybrid, where did you read that? I'm asking because I've always seen it stated that it was the other way around.

ken_b




msg:3904315
 7:45 pm on Apr 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

Can we really opt out?

From the AdSense help page [google.com]

You can opt out of showing ads

that are based on user interest categories (e.g. 'sports enthusiasts'). In turn, Google will not use visitation information from your sites to help create interest categories. However,

you cannot opt out of showing ads

to users based on their previous interactions with the advertiser, such as visits to an advertiser's website.

So, who really knows?

coachm




msg:3904546
 11:47 pm on Apr 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

Unless you work for Google Adsense, you haven't any greater insight than anyone else.

I certainly DO have greater insights than many here, simply because I understand how the system works better than many here, and I understand basic issues of variability, probability, etc, a subject that people here clearly do NOT want to understand.

It's both sad and hysterical to talk about the roller-coaster earnings as being abnormal, or a glitch, or even to bother checking your numbers day to day, and that's a MATHEMATICAL issue. IT IS NORMAL. Stop looking for a boogie man to explain fluctuations that are completely normal.

Extreme variability in your numbers WILL occur day to day BUT there will be a tendency to see your monthly totals "fairly" stable, but downturning over time due to changed ad/visitor behavior that has always been predictable. Situations will vary, but that's where she sit. If you have a family of sites, you may see strange things site by site, but probably not overall.

One of the reasons has to do with the HUGE FUNDAMENTAL variance in ad bids for the same keywords, PLUS how the system works on the bidding side.

I'm really sorry you feel that everyone is "equally" disabled or uninformed. Plenty of people understand this stuff, but they no longer hang here, because nobody listens.

I really have come to the conclusion, as have other serious players who gave up one WW, that most of the people posting on these trivial day to day threads don't WANT information to guide them. They want to invoke glitches, or other things that make sure that "they" have no responsibility or actionable paths.

Still, I think it's worth a try because maybe one person will read what I write and get a yen to learn some extra math and probability, or learn how the bidding system really works to create some really wacky numbers.

Just trying to stimulate some learning if people are into it.

PS. Several smart people have pointed out that it's almost impossible for any one person to see an effect from interest based ads YET. But, that doesn't stop people from claiming impossibilities.

Can we have even a modest level of thought goin on here?

coachm




msg:3904549
 11:56 pm on Apr 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

Most of us are webmasters and we monitor traffic stats to an almost obsessive level. From these stats we would generally have a good idea of the kind of traffic our sites get each day. When we see Google Adsense and Google Analytics stats being massively out of synch with the expected traffic and revenue then there is often a reason for this.

I think that you will always discrepant stats using different systems. We all know that, or should. And I agree that you probably DO have a good feel for your traffic. I do too.

We're good so far. But the problem is when you guys try to take "natural fluctuations" in your revenues or other metrics and explain them as a glitch, or caused by something else.

THEY ARE NORMAL. It's NORMAL to end up making $10. one day on a site, and on another day $2, and then $5.

If you could see what you actually got for each click (not an average), you would have a better understanding of where the flucts. come from and they are normal for the wacky system google uses.

I see very little that is confusing about the numbers I see. It's been predictable over years, and I've been able do "see" some of the declines and volatility years ago, hence we stripped many adsense ads off our sites over the last two years.

What's worse, I'd say the majority of people trying to explain away their numbers as glitches commit basic logical errors.

Now, if you really want to understand fluctuations, take a scenario where what can be paid out per click ranges from 1 cent to 2 dollars, and model a normal distribution for different standard deviations. Compute daily results based on the distribution.

And there you have CPM, CPC and revenue flucts on a daily basis. CTR is a bit different.

And, remember, we do not know what period the numbers in our reports are from. When the clicks happened. When the impressions happened. What clicks match with what impressions.

day to day means nothing.

netmeg




msg:3904572
 12:13 am on May 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

I don't always agree with coachm, but I agree with him 100% on this.

cmendla




msg:3904597
 12:48 am on May 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

FWIW I have been noticing some major swings without having any recent changes in my adsense or my sites.

ie.. Yesterday I was thinking.. Wow, this is great OK, let's order the hot water heater, the pool heater etc..

Today it's like... Uh oh, better make the coffee myself instead of getting it at 7-11.

cmendla




msg:3904604
 1:01 am on May 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

LEt me just add something to Coachm's thoughts. When I worked for the navy in logistics 20 years ago, we would spend a lot of time responding to increases and decreases in our key indicators.

In the 80's or so, some of the bigger thinkers in gov't and the navy started looking at Deming and TQM.

To boil deming down, you do a statistical analyis of your data. You then look at the Standard Deviation and come up with an upper and lower control limit. Anything inside those limits is normal (there are exceptions). You don't worry about the normal variation... You just ignore it. However, if something is outside the control limits (Above OR below) Then you investigate.

When we started doing that, it freed up tens of thousands of Man hours a year in our facility alone. (2700 people or so).

What I do with my stats is to pull the monthly stats and put them in a spreadsheet. Excel has a neat feature in their graphs called a trend line. What you can do is set things up for a moving average of 12 months or so. A Moving average gives you a much truer picrure of exactly what is happening because it smooths out the spikes and self adjusts for seasonal variability.

If you want to do that

1. Pull the monthly data for each month. Just look at the totals and averages for page views, clicks, ECPM, earnings etc.

2. Put that in a spreadsheet

3. Create a new tab for each element such as page views

4. Create a graph on that page

5. I forget offhand where you find it on the graph settings but look for trendlines. When you find that, look at a moving average. Set that for 12 data points... ie one year

Now, each month, you just add the monthly totals

Then adjust the data settings to include one more row for your data values.

It takes a little playing around with but the resulting graphs will tell you quite a bit. The good part is you don't have to mess with exponential smoothing equations

hope this helps

coachm




msg:3904615
 1:36 am on May 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

Cmenlda. good take. I know there are at least a few other adsense people who calculate and use moving averages, and it makes sense. Nice tools to provide a picture of things, which is often easier to grasp than straight numbers.

One of the errors people make about many things is that they seek out a central driving single reason for something, when in fact, almost everything has dozens, or hundreds of microcauses. As a result they try to answer the wrong question, and end up with no idea what to do next.

Husky is an example of how someone can be pushed and pulled by day to day values, constantly asking what is going on, trying to explain data of unknown paramaters, and constantly, over many many months talking about almost pulling adsense. That's probably a normal way of doing things, but if you happen to depend on adsense money to live (I don't think HP does), then it just brings you problems.

In any event, calculating control limits is a good idea. One issue though, and maybe you have an answer, is what numbers should you look at: daily revenue, ctr, monthly revenue, and so on. It's not clear to me what would be the most important on which to calculate control limits.

Off the top of my head, I would go with daily revenue.

jmccormac




msg:3904843
 9:59 am on May 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

I certainly DO have greater insights than many here, simply because I understand how the system works better than many here, and I understand basic issues of variability, probability, etc, a subject that people here clearly do NOT want to understand.
This is all very well but the reality remains that unless you are working for Google, you do not know exactly how the system works. We only see the effects of Adsense. We do not know exactly how it achieves those effects and what other variables affect the outcome. Adsense is essentially a Black-box model. Perhaps this is straying into the realms of cryptanalysis and reverse-engineering. What probably irritates some people here is your claiming, in a rather school teacherish manner, to be better informed than many others purely on the basis of having a knowledge of probability and statistics. I accept that some people may not have quite the same knowledge of probability and statistics.

IT IS NORMAL. Stop looking for a boogie man to explain fluctuations that are completely normal.
What we saw yesterday was not normal. It was a complete freeze in stats and revenue. It lasted for what was, for some of us, the afternoon of a business day. Just to explain it again: the page impressions stopped incrementing and the revenue stopped incrementing. This is quite separate from the Interest Based ads issue though with Adsense's Black-box model, there is a problem in that we cannot be sure if IB ads or enabling or disabling them are having any effects. Naturally people will search for an explanation as to what is happening. While some of them may not have a knowledge of probability and statistics , when a set of people start reporting the same problem, it may not be just a fluctuation. As far as I remember, IB ads are not completely implemented yet so speculation as to their effects is futile. Unless one works for Google, there is only speculation based, ironically, on past actions, suppositions and statistics. Your's may be just a better class of speculation. Forgive me for being a cynical SOB but I used to work with crypto systems and reverse-engineering in a former life. :)

Regards...jmcc

jmccormac




msg:3904849
 10:23 am on May 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

I think that you will always discrepant stats using different systems. We all know that, or should. And I agree that you probably DO have a good feel for your traffic. I do too.
Well monitoring with multiple systems is a good thing however the interpretation of these stats from these systems can cause problems.

We're good so far. But the problem is when you guys try to take "natural fluctuations" in your revenues or other metrics and explain them as a glitch, or caused by something else.
The "natural fluctuations" such as a complete freeze on stats have been happening more frequently of late. The problem was that the impressions stopped incrementing as did the revenue. That is a reporting failure. It is quite separate from trying to ascertain if it was caused by enabling or disabling IB ads or some other feature. The confusion arises when people don't distinguish between them.

Regards...jmcc

walrus




msg:3904896
 12:42 pm on May 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

it's the extremely low CTR on some sites

okay, i see what you mean, i just reviewed last month and ctr was down 30%. Strangely enough earnings down only 12%. I hate to assume anything after reading the posts here but....looks like the effect of IB based ads for one site has been less clicks. I just hope the convesions are better for the advertisers.

[edited by: walrus at 1:00 pm (utc) on May 1, 2009]

Lovejoy




msg:3904900
 12:46 pm on May 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

The point should be made is that "We's all be jus sharecroppers aworkin fo massa" ;~) Massa Google makes all the rules, changes them at will, NOBODY, including coachm, has any better idea what's going on than anyone else. Google could be perfectly legitimate or totally corrupt and there would be no way for any publisher to know the truth.

Lovejoy

netmeg




msg:3904988
 3:00 pm on May 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

I'm no sharecropper, and Google isn't my massa, thank you very much.

Why oh why do people keep ascribing human attributes to an automated program? Why do they think Google should bend the program to fit THEIR needs, and not Google's needs? Why do they feel cheated somehow that it doesn't work the way THEY think it should? AdSense is what it is. The offer is out there on the table - it's completely up to you whether or not you pick it up. You don't get charged for it. You aren't committed to it; you can leave any time. You can augment your AdSense with almost any other type of ad, contextual or affiliate or otherwise; you just have to make sure it can't be confused with a Google ad. Google makes no promises whatsoever how much money you'll make, or even IF you'll make any money. They don't make any guarantees as to revenue share. They don't even make any guarantees that the stats are even *close* to real time. You don't have to do any work at all, other than placing the code and making sure your site is compliant. I'm sure you think your site is wonderful and deserves to make a lot more money (I certainly do) but it's up to US to go find some way to make that happen, not sit back and wait for Google to put our best interests ahead of their own. And guess what, if you decide your site is too good for AdSense, or I decide my sites are too good for AdSense, we can pull them right out, and there will be a hundred other publishers jumping in to take our place. If there isn't anything that pays as much, tough. Better get hustling. But mostly - get over yourselves.

jmccormac




msg:3905018
 3:26 pm on May 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

Why oh why do people keep ascribing human attributes to an automated program?
It is not the human attributes that people are trying to determine but rather the human modifications to the program and their possible effects.

Regards...jmcc

Lovejoy




msg:3905296
 12:25 am on May 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

Well Netmeg, you're right...it's worse than share cropping. If adsense is the main bill payer then you are "Workin for Massa" ;~)Google calls the shots and if you don't jump you're gone.

For sites like mine that sell product or information it's just added income, at times more bother than it's worth.

Lovejoy

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