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|Mobile Traffic Impacting AdSense Earnings?|
ASA offers to answer any Adsense for mobile questions
Like many here, my CTR has dropped dramatically this year, despite many many more impressions served, and rising traffic. (Fortunately EPCs are high enough that I'm still ahead of last year)
I was looking at my log files and analyzer program today, and I noticed a lot of traffic from m.google.com, m.yahoo.com and m.bing.com.
I've mostly ignored phone traffic, figuring it hadn't really "arrived" yet, but this was too much to ignore. My site doesn't have anything fancy on it by a longshot, but it probably isn't very usable for someone without an advanced smart phone browser. Never ever ever EVER thought I'd say this, but I think I might have to make another version of my site for this traffic. Maybe not in time for peak traffic this year, but definitely soon.
You might want to look at your logs, analytics, stat programs. Find out if that portion of your phone traffic is rising. I would think that could definitely have an affect on AdSense CTR. I'm now sure it's having an affect on mine.
If anyone's interested in hearing more about AdSense for mobile content (which is awesome), I'm happy to answer any questions you may have.
The AdSense for mobile content section of our help center is here [google.com].
There's also a great article in the Webmasters help center [google.com] that gives a great overview of Google's Webmaster Guidelines for mobile sites.
|I'm happy to answer any questions you may have. |
Why is it "awesome" ?
Thanks for the resource links, ASA, I'll definitely be looking at them.
It was such a d'oh moment, I have a blackberry, an iPod touch and a low rent cell phone, all of which I frequently use to access the web. Just wasn't thinking. D'oh!
|I have a blackberry, an iPod touch and a low rent cell phone, all of which I frequently use to access the web. |
But how often do you (or other users) click on AdSense ads when using such devices?
|But how often do you (or other users) click on AdSense ads when using such devices? |
And what type of ads? For example, would a mobile user click on an ad to purchase a widget if the ordering process required you to enter your name, shipping address, email address, credit card info, select a color & size, etc. then save a purchase confirmation number?
Not often. But I don't often click on the ads anyway; I don't appear to be typical to my demographic.
Making a mobile site might not make sense for everyone. But this particular site is as much a community service as it is a revenue generator for me (I had it for at least six years before AdSense) so I want people to be able to use it. And if in fact, many of my increased impressions this year are coming from mobile devices, that might help explain the decrease in CTR. Not all of it - but some.
I'm just saying, people should look at their logs.
My users may or may not click on the AdSense for mobile ads. But it's a lead pipe cinch they won't do it if they can't navigate my site with their phones in the first place.
darn, I don't even know how to make a mobile web page :( darn you technology!
|darn, I don't even know how to make a mobile web page |
Much, much simpler than you would think however if you go down the .mobi route you must adhere to their standards plus it's probably a good idea if creating an m.example.com or example.com/mobi site. Incidentally m.example.com is the more sensible route to take with it being a sub-domain.
This is the new link to dev.mobi - mobiforge.com where you should find everything you need plus you can test your existing site for compliancy.
One word of caution, don't be too upset when you see your site fail miserably!
Whilst I have several .mobi sites my industry isn't using them hardly at all and personally I hate using these small devices for accessing stuff like this. My Asus netbook does all of this far, far better and I see from my logs a huge increase in both Linux and netbook usage.
Less than 1 percent of my traffic is from mobile devices, and I'm surprised it's that high (since my site didn't look at all mobile-friendly the last time I viewed it on an iPhone).
We all have to set priorities, and trying to produce a Cliff's Notes version of my site for mobile users just doesn't make a lot of sense editorially or financially. (If I were a large corporation and didn't mind assigning staff to "loss leader" projects, I might have a different point of view.)
All I'm saying is, keep an eye on it. I *never* thought that I'd be getting as much traffic as I apparently am, so it wasn't even on my radar for site enhancements and while I'm not going to panic about putting out a site in the next month, it's definitely on the burner for sometime in the next twelve months. I'm going to take a look at some of my clients sites too, just to see if there's any movement there.
"Mobile Traffic Impacting AdSense Earnings?"
It's more likely that webusers are now too scared to click on anything on a webpage that looks like an Advert, just in case it takes them off to a phishing site. Adsense is so "everywhere" I'm guessing that advertising blindness is being experienced on a larger scale nowadays than in the earlier days of its implementation.
I heard that the majority of internet access in Japan is via mobiles now. Maybe we'll all be going that way.
Regarding the access via netbooks, I think that's a red herring. Net books are still too big to carry around in your pocket. I sometimes browse for specific food / recipe / price comparison info when in a supermarket. I can't imagine getting out my netbook to look up that info in shop.
Having said that, I've never clicked on ad from my mobile but then again I've never done it from a PC either.
|Regarding the access via netbooks, I think that's a red herring. |
There's a very interesting article on the BBC website this morning:
"By any measure, netbooks have been a hit with consumers. Research firm Gartner forecast sales of 5.3 million last year, compared with actual sales of 14 million computers."
Personally I know a lot of people using these all the time now and hooking up to a larger monitor etc when they get home.
Then again, I know a lot of people who still drink real ale:-)
One thing to keep in mind is that many--possibly even most--Web sites don't lend themselves to "mobile versions." For example, a Dorling-Kindersley Eyewitness travel guidebook wouldn't be very useful in mobile format (except with a lot of editing and cutting that would eliminate the best features of the guidebook), and neither would a Volkswagen service manual. On the other hand, porting a Zagat restaurant-review guide or Time Out food, nightclub, and shop listings into a mobile format would be fairly easy, and--with appropriate navigation and additional functionality such as GPS integration--the resulting mobile site could be useful even on a tiny screen.
Recently, I saw a mobile Web site for a major national tourist office that was unexciting at best and not terribly useful. I also saw an iPhone app for a hostel-booking site that was extremely useful, with integration of Google Maps, easy booking by using the iPhone owner's stored information to eliminate the need for repetitive typing, etc. The experience taught me that the best mobile sites are well-thought-out applications, not just miniaturized versions of conventional Web sites, because the "mobile Web" is a different medium from the desktop, laptop, or netbook Web.
|the best mobile sites are well-thought-out applications |
Precisely and they need to be since they are usually for people with an "at need" situation and you cite perfect examples.
My expensive specialised construction products are not exactly a spur of the moment purchasing decision however I do have basic information on the .mobi sites...interestingly I have been considering using one as a blog/twitter type thing with regularly updated trade supply information.
Heck, I'm going to have to try it out now!
Right well, if I do go this way, it will at first be for my event sites; makes sense if someone is looking for something to do, they might want to look it up on their phone.
The one thing that puzzles me is how to do something that would look passable on a smart phone and still be operative on an older, more limited phone browser. Seems like there's no one standard that would look ok on everything. But I have a lot of devices I can test with, heh.
netmeg - are you thinking of going m.example.com or example.mobi?
I actually have the .mobi's, someone bought them for me as a gift. But I'd probably stick with m.example.com. I host everything myself, though, so I can do all kinds of weird things, like test one against the other.
|are you thinking of going m.example.com or example.mobi? |
What about duplicate content? How can you have example.com and m.example.com with essentially the same content and not get penalized by Google for duplicate content? Plus if you block access to search engines, then how do results from m.example.com ever get listed in search engines?
If you block all search engines from m.example.com wouldn't that take away some of the benefit of having a mobile site? How does anyone become aware of the mobile site?
Is the idea to use a browser detection script to detect if browser is a mobile device and then redirect to m.example.com?
Does anyone know of a good script to use to detect a mobile device?
I assume all other banner ads (not adsense, but Tribal Fusion, Value Click, etc..) would not be able to show in a mobile site?
my question is, do we have to use 'adsense for mobile'?
in the mobile version of my website, I just used regular adsense code, since the adsense for mobile phones just wouldnt work.
I read that example.com/mobile was acceptable. I set it up with a redirect script on my regular pages for mobile devices and seems to work fine according to a few friends who tried it. .htaccess redirect is preferred but I am on windows shared server.
According to google webmaster tools I was getting alot of various queries from mobile devices.
I find it totally unbelievable people would actually surf the web using mobiles.
I can understand someone grabbing "a piece of information" to illustrate a particular point.
Surfing the web? It's hard enough on a 14" screen for heavens sake!
Has everyone gone totally "Dolly"?
|I find it totally unbelievable people would actually surf the web using mobiles. |
Depends. I doubt if many people are reading the full text of THE NEW YORK TIMES or BEOWULF on their standard-sized smartphones, but things like iPhone apps that are designed for the purpose can work quite well. (For example, my son uses his iPhones to check Google maps and movie listings, which he can do quite easily with a few thumb clicks and touch-screen gestures.)
The important thing to remember is that the "mobile Web" isn't just the standard Web rendered on a subminiature screen. It consists of Web content and applications that are designed or formatted for the smaller screen. Take things like calculators, calendars, currency converters, or weather forecasts. There's no reason why they can't be delivered on a small screen just as efficiently as they're delivered on a large screen--as long as they're optimized for mobile devices and not served up on pages that are designed to by viewed at 1200 pixels of width with multiple ad units.
The question for us as AdSense publishers is whether the mobile Web lends itself to the kind of advertising that works in a conventional desktop or laptop setting. I'm guessing that the most successful mobile Web sites will be those that function less as "Web sites" than as mobile Web applications--e.g., the hostel-booking site that I mentioned in an earlier post, which is designed to provide an easy-to-use service for the user that generates commissions for the application's developer. Such application-oriented sites require a different set of development skills than a traditional information-oriented Web site does; designing one is more like designing a software program than editing a magazine, newspaper, or book.
The sites where I am seeing the increase in mobil traffic (and I'm not making it up - the referrals are right there in my logs) are mostly event sites, consisting of various types of ways to search for events - by city, by date, whatever. I don't think it'll be too much of a stretch to make a stripped down version that would work on most phones.
As for the earning potential - can't hazard a guess. But if I *don't* do it, the earning potential will be zero.
|As for the earning potential - can't hazard a guess. But if I *don't* do it, the earning potential will be zero. |
Well, sure. And if I don't create a line of magazines, books, and e-books as product extensions of my site, I won't make a dime from those media, either.
Most of us don't have the time, the skills, or the desire to do sverything, and we're mostly likely to be successful when we focus on what we do best.
|Most of us don't have the time, the skills, or the desire to do sverything, and we're mostly likely to be successful when we focus on what we do best. |
You're also doomed to become extinct if you don't adapt to disruptive technologies while your competitors embrace them.
Mobile is just an alternate way of accessing the net which is applicable to every site so there are some sites that provide the service and others that ignore it and as mobile rapidly expands those that are ignoring it may become increasingly left behind.
Comparing mobile to magazines actually proves the point because on the flipside, magazines did have to embrace the disruptive technology called the internet otherwise most of them, like many newspapers, would already be extinct as well.
You can still focus on what you do best, but you need to do it in the evolving medium otherwise you won't be doing it for long.
|It consists of Web content and applications that are designed or formatted for the smaller screen. Take things like calculators, calendars, currency converters, or weather forecasts |
Well I could get some of my content formatted for it just to make it easier for students to cheat in exams <G>
|Then again, I know a lot of people who still drink real ale:-) |
Hey! I skimmed over everything but that caught my attention. What's wrong with real ale? (sorry.. off topic a bit)
Actually. I've been swithering about this for a while now. Do I just leave things until mobile technology is as good as the web was 10 years ago or do I make a mobile version of my site. The jury is still out. One of the things that stopped me doing anything about it was a potential duplicate content penalty. The other having to make my site detect lots of different agents to present a different version of the site in order to avoid the previous issue. Ideas anyone?
|One of the things that stopped me doing anything about it was a potential duplicate content penalty. The other having to make my site detect lots of different agents to present a different version of the site in order to avoid the previous issue. Ideas anyone? |
Well the issue of duplicate content can be avoided entirely by blocking search engines from the mobile site via robots.txt.
The other issue of detecting the user agents is something I am wondering about also. I did research a while back and didn't find much if I recall. Any help would be appreciated.
There must be a script already written to detect most mobile browsers?
Creating a mobile site from my existing site would be pretty easy for me. Just get rid of the most of the menu, cut out the graphics and advertising and make navigation from page to page as simple as possible.
There are benefits for me to build a scaled back version of my existing site for mobile users even if I didn't make a penny from mobile advertising because it would build my brand. Visitors who find my website via their iPhone may remember my website and visit me on their PC where I can make money via Banner ads and Adsense
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