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This 56 message thread spans 2 pages: 56 ( [1] 2 > >     
Putting Sites On Auto Pilot!
Google Slapped Once Too Often
HuskyPup




msg:3986873
 8:13 pm on Sep 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

Has anyone else decided enough is enough with falling CTR and revenues and just left their sites to continue with hardly any interference or updates?

I am seriously considering this since no matter what I do I keep getting Google Slapped.

My CTR has been falling all year and in comparison to the first 4 months of the year (remember when all that financial stuff was happening?), well my actual click volume for September is now 66% of then and yesterday, Tuesday 8th September and bear in mind Tuesdays have always been my busiest day, Google slapped me with my worst-ever day when clicks were 41% of Jan to April.

I'm not even going to make comparisons to 2006 since it would probably make me cry with frustration.

My traffic is normal, the whole thing is normal, my B&M business is flat out to the extent we actually cannot cope with the sheer volume of real-world orders, the only thing that I see as abnormal is being Google Slapped time and time again for doing absolutely nothing wrong.

So back to the first paragraph, has anyone else become so frustrated that they just walked away in disgust but left their AdSense running?

Have things got better, worse or more or less stayed the same?

 

explorador




msg:3986879
 8:22 pm on Sep 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

I've considered this for one site. It has growing traffic, more and more but the income via adsense really sucks compared to my other sites. Sadly it is hard to convince people of the performance of the ads on my site (great, I would advertise on this site I talk about) but giving free tries is not on my list.

I have some other plans (B, C, D...) according to the potential of the sites. As other say, Adsense shouldn't be the only plan, is just that this niche I'm into requires some extra work I'm not interested on doing. But things might change, the site is very solid.

You are not alone. The thing is, complains about Adsense will always be all around. I just can't understand why G allows so many LOW quality scrappers sites or the MFA 2.0 generation.

HuskyPup




msg:3986894
 8:37 pm on Sep 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

I'm off for a beer to discuss this with my better half.

It's not a financial issue for us, AdSense has always been a service to our global widget industry customers, however the time I spend on maintaining squeaky clean sites could easily derive much more real-world B&M business profits.

I don't suppose there are that many AdSense publishers like me however September and October would be a very good time for me to experiment with it.

coachm




msg:3986902
 8:52 pm on Sep 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

If it's not a "financial issue", but it's always been a "service to your" customers, why are you worried about the income?

Sounds inconsistent to me. I think some people are not suited to using adsense, because of their niches, skills or lack thereofm or personalities, and I think it's possible you may be one of these.

If you don't need it financially, why not stop checking your numbers every few hours, or just dump it all together.

If I were you, I'd walk away from it, if you can. I'd bet you can't, though.

I do basically no extra work with adsense. I don't tweek things or spend my time worrying about it. I check the numbers once a day or so. Basically, the most I do is use my ad server to serve more or less impressions of adsense, and I don't much do that.

My income is great now. As good as in mid 2008 before the economic crunch. We are hitting our "mark" fairly regularly after 10 months of never hitting it. Our income should be up 50% from last year for Sept/Oct.

What I'm saying is if you are killing yourself over things you can't control, either chill on it, and let it do what it will do, or walk away.

IanCP




msg:3986909
 9:01 pm on Sep 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

Has anyone else decided enough is enough with falling CTR and revenues and just left their sites to continue with hardly any interference or updates?

You're not going to believe this but I've essentially done that for over seven years, before AdSense was even invented.

Earlier this year I got rid of graphic ads to combat falling CTR but the decline is now back with us again.

Impressions more or less steady, EPC fairly constant but falling CTR I can't combat. Used to be 5% years ago, now less than 1% some days.

I've considered many possible reasons and the only thing which makes sense is irrelevant ads. I can't see what ads are displayed outside Oz, locally they're fine.

No, I don't buy the ad blindness, yadda, yadda theory.

CTR can't decline, so get rid of graphics then CTR eventually goes up, remains reasonably constant for months then goes back into steady decline.

Competition for ads from 1,000's of new sites doesn't help and I can give you a "platinum plated guarantee" AdSense DO NOT have quality control. How do I know?

A fellow logged into the Amazon forum yesterday with a very basic question. A one page, yes one single page site masquerading as a "search for best deals on the net". Links to eBay, Amazon etc. etc. Not one iota of content. Not a damn word, not one.

AND

AdSense which doesn't display for obvious reasons. From the code?

/* 120x600, created 9/3/09 */

Created days ago? This is AdSense quality control at work? Bull, it's a total joke.

ASA if you read this you can sticky me for the link.

[off soapbox]

tim222




msg:3986957
 10:21 pm on Sep 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

I took a break for about a year and a half after my daughter was born. I didn't completely ignore the site, though. I tried to log in every day just to make sure it was still running, but there were periods as long as a week between checkups. Basically I would log into AdSense in the evening, see a dollar sign with a number after it and that told me the site was OK.

The best of it is that everything was still the same when I decided to start working on it again. That's pretty cool to know that I can just let it run and it keeps on pumping out money. What was once a hobby is now a money machine.

Another benefit is that I have regained interest in the site. I have fresh ideas for new features and the desire to actually implement them.

The downside is mostly in missed revenue opportunities. For one thing, I've noticed that revenue goes up when I work on my site. Maybe that's because I also answer emails and interact with website visitors. Also, when I develop pages they always add something to the revenue. If I'm not developing then there's less revenue that I might have had.

(One important point to make here is that I interact with visitors only because I want to. My site still functions the same whether or not I respond to their comments.)

So if you're getting burned out and you're thinking about taking a break then my suggestion is to go for it. This is not like a retail store where you go out of business if you stop showing up to work. My site was still there and just as strong as ever after a long break.

koan




msg:3986987
 11:34 pm on Sep 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

CTR have been on a free fall since september 2008 for some of my sites. I'm thinking of putting them on hold indefinitely also, even if they are the most fun, and keep my focus on more commercial topics where the potential for revenues are greater, independently of Adsense. This is business, after all.

I've had up and downs with Adsense, probably a few bouts of smart pricing now and then, but the long term decline of CTR worries me. EPC is increasing a bit, but not enough to compensate. After constant work, I am where I was 2 years ago right now with these sites. What's the point?

I mean, is the economy really that much worse today than a year ago when everything crashed? Something's amiss.

Could it be that many visitors have become jaded with the omnipresence of these ads in some topics? Have a lot of advertisers pulled out of the game?

I guess it's time for some natural selection and abandon the under performing sites that are too dependent on Adsense and are not attracting a desirable crowd.

HuskyPup




msg:3987014
 12:47 am on Sep 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

Wow, obviously I'm hitting a nerve here of experienced AdSensers plus I've had far too much beer to reply coherently!

@ coachm ... we've had a lot of conflicting discussions however you are correct.

I'd bet you can't, though.

Yep...shortest answer you've ever had from me.

What I'm saying is if you are killing yourself over things you can't control, either chill on it, and let it do what it will do, or walk away.

Did you write that or me? :-)

I'm going to experiment, no bull, change nothing for four weeks and see what happens...ok!

IanCP




msg:3987107
 4:16 am on Sep 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

I've had far too much beer to reply coherently!

At least your priorities are right, a man after my own heart.

Ooooh drinkies time down here in Oz. 14:16 LT

vordmeister




msg:3987467
 5:33 pm on Sep 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

I do find I am more likely to lose interest if the site isn't paying towards my time. I feel if it's not worth it to everyone else why should I put in the effort? I assume that is where you are coming from.

For one site I have a related bricks and mortar store. The store wouldn't have been possible without learning and communicating on the site.

The site has a little adsense at the bottom of pages that each take several days to prepare, but the real benefit is the marketing value of the pages for my store. I don't advertise the store on them at all, they are genuinely intended to be helpful, but mostly they were there before the store and I've not got around to it.

So. You say your store is busy? That's because lots more people are walking past and looking through the window all of a sudden maybe?

Adsense can a poor judge of value in my experience.

ken_b




msg:3987472
 5:45 pm on Sep 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

I'm going to experiment, no bull, change nothing for four weeks and see what happens...ok!

Nothing? No content changes, or just no AdSense changes, or both?

4 weeks is probably not long enough to judge anything about "autopilot" for a site, at least as it refers to AdSense.

4 months maybe.

Edge




msg:3987487
 6:25 pm on Sep 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

Has anyone else decided enough is enough with falling CTR and revenues and just left their sites to continue with hardly any interference or updates?
I am seriously considering this since no matter what I do I keep getting Google Slapped.

Your conclusion is old news to me. A few years back when my AdSense earnings started to slip I refocused my efforts on revenue streams that I could control.

AdSense is still on my site, however I have not labored hard to increase that revenue for several years.

[edited by: Edge at 6:27 pm (utc) on Sep. 10, 2009]

HuskyPup




msg:3987488
 6:26 pm on Sep 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

I'm going to leave AdSense in situ with no new additions to any directory pages or galleries, the one thing I am going to do is continue with my blogs since I enjoy doing those, they're easy and add their links where appropriate.

I know it's not totally hands-off however it may give me a rough idea of whether adding new directory content or blogging may be the more profitable way forward.

Any thoughts?

ken_b




msg:3987502
 6:50 pm on Sep 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

Are using separate channels so you can compare the results/earnings/etc in the blog vs the directory pages or galleries?

That would probably help a lot in getting a clearer picture as time goes on.

nomis5




msg:3987508
 7:03 pm on Sep 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

Give it a go, I know it has worked on some of my sites.

I'm also p£ssed off about the Adsense results of one major part of my top site. I've worked my sphericals off for the last six months of this area, and the result is a minus one compared to six months ago. I'm going to leave well alone for six months and see how it goes. My bet is that leaving it well alone will result in a significant increase, only time will tell.

Good luck with the four week experiment, but I think that a three month one at least, is the only way to really see if leaving alone works.

HuskyPup




msg:3987516
 7:10 pm on Sep 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

Are using separate channels so you can compare the results/earnings/etc in the blog vs the directory pages or galleries?

Yep, actually using totally separate domain names for them but linked from the main directory website so it should be extremely clear, I hope.

but I think that a three month one at least

I agree since it usually takes a good couple of months for stuff to be indexed. I'll make a comparison at the beginning of October and see if there is anything remotely noticeable/significant.

Edge




msg:3987750
 2:51 am on Sep 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

I agree since it usually takes a good couple of months for stuff to be indexed.

Small site traffic? my stuff gets indexed in less than 24 hours and positions within GG search.

Are using separate channels so you can compare the results/earnings/etc in the blog vs the directory pages or galleries

Channels are interesting, however Google analytics will tell exactly where the money is coming from - or not.

Control of increasing revenues via. hard work is the real issue.

IanCP




msg:3987797
 5:35 am on Sep 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

What is find especially "galling" is today and yesterday's income are average.

Rotten CTR both days down 40 - 60%. If only the "recently restored" CTR of previous months? Double average net!

Grrrr.

callivert




msg:3987804
 5:49 am on Sep 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

I mean, is the economy really that much worse today than a year ago when everything crashed?

yes.

piatkow




msg:3987883
 10:10 am on Sep 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

I have seen CTR go into free fall in recent months. Trouble is that affiliate clicks aren't doing much better.

HuskyPup




msg:3987919
 12:45 pm on Sep 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

Small site traffic? my stuff gets indexed in less than 24 hours and positions within GG search.

The original directory site has been #1 for almost 13 years, the new blogs on new domain names are only a month or so old however they are already appearing in the three main SEs.

I am only adding new content to them with appropriate links from the exisiting directory site.

And how strange...Thursday saw one of my highest earning days of the year! Not enough to make up for Tuesday's loss however very welcomed.

signor_john




msg:3987981
 3:02 pm on Sep 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

It's a question of return on (time) investment:

- The directory is already in place, maintenance time should be manageable, and the site will only decline in value if you let it languish.

- The blogs are likely to be more labor-intensive, and unless they have value beyond their ability to earn ad revenue (such as attracting or retaining customers for your brick-and-mortar business), it may be hard to justify investing the time required to keep them going.

Maybe the best solution is to do some triage on your Web sites, keeping the one(s) with the best return on your time investment and getting rid of the others. Continue to use AdSense, but use it the way it was conceived when the network launched back in 2003: as a largely "set and forget" revenue source that allows you to place AdSense code on your pages, let Google do the selling and serving on ads, and collect a payment each month. The less time you spend agonizing over AdSense, the easier it will be to avoid disgust. :-)

HuskyPup




msg:3988010
 3:58 pm on Sep 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

s_j - The directory is similar in ways to all my static B&M sites in that the information is evergreen once posted and the traffic levels to it are steadily increasing albeit a good proportion these days to the image galleries.

The biggest problem everyone in my industry has is getting the trade to submit press releases and relevant new information. Considering the size of my whole global widget business none of us in the publishing side understand why this is.

Interestingly I have only just started my blogs since I had been contemplating for ages the best way forward to increase traffic and revenue but also get a better CTR. I had tried various things with very little positive results therefore experimented with several blog templates etc and found one I really liked.

I can easily create a full page with text, images and links in 15-20 minutes, it's not only 100 times easier than doing the same in the directory I reckon it also looks better!

So, how are they doing? Obviously at the moment there has not been a huge volume of traffic to them and they're in their low thousands of page impressions however the encouraging factor is that the CTR is more than 500% more than the directory with the same EPC.

I'm adding a few pages a day to the blogs and the traffic is increasing, it'll be interesting to see how this pans out.

explorador




msg:3988037
 4:47 pm on Sep 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

zett, as usual, a very important contribution from your post.

signor_john




msg:3988107
 6:30 pm on Sep 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

Guess what? It's great. It's great to not micro-manage the mess that Adsense has become.

Whether AdSense is a "mess" depends on your point of view (and your eCPMs or earnings), but it certainly isn't the network's fault that some people waste time trying to micromanage AdSense at the expense of more productive tasks. Also, if the shoe doesn't fit, complaining about the shoe won't make it fit any better. Find a shoe that does fit and don't look back.

zett




msg:3988111
 6:36 pm on Sep 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

Find a shoe that does fit and don't look back.

If you re-read my post carefully you will find that this is exactly what I have been doing. Getting rid of the cheap old (formerly good-looking and fashionable) shoe, and replacing it by a tailor-made shoe that is more expensive and still needs to be worn in (which can be painful). That shoe will feel much better than the old Adsense shoe.

So we're exactly on the same sheet, Signor, exactly.

IanCP




msg:3988165
 8:28 pm on Sep 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

I mean, is the economy really that much worse today than a year ago when everything crashed?

Definitely not in Oz. No recession, unemployment far better than expected and interest rates likely to rise. Many European economies better than first feared and I expect the USA is just lagging a bit behind.

Not all doom and gloom.

sailorjwd




msg:3988255
 1:42 am on Sep 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

I gave up about 10 months ago actively working on the site. Had to concentrate on consulting to pay the bills. Hopefully I'll get interested again when the economy returns. Besides doing more work work I'm spending time and money on social networking methods.

ps. about the only thing I do with the site now is file boat loads of DMCA complaints when I get bored.

koan




msg:3988264
 2:14 am on Sep 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

the only thing I do with the site now is file boat loads of DMCA complaints when I get bored.

I like your style.

moTi




msg:3988920
 1:14 am on Sep 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

has anyone else become so frustrated that they just walked away in disgust but left their AdSense running?

count me in. at the end of last year, my adsense earnings were only just a tiny fraction of what they used to be back in the golden years of 2005-2007 (enjoy it while it lasts). it is absolutely astonishing what earnings differences adsense has produced for me on one and the same website with the same hard work every day and more or less steady traffic. i talk of differences hundred to thousandfold - so you see, it has hit me extremely hard. the ever surging competition in my niche and massively changing user behavior may be two of the main factors for the steadily worsening stats.
anyhow, end of last year i decided to stop it eventually and really did what the title of this thread is about: put the sites on auto pilot. in other words: i went from pure editorial content to 100% user submitted content. therefore i had to completely recode everything on my sites. i introduced safety features to ensure the balance and weed out spam. i moved the domain to another tld (don't do that unless absolutely necessary). i had to give up control to the users and as it is a kind of news business cope with less quality and especially less quantity of content. after three months restructuring i went from the former 10 hours work a day down to next to nothing (if i really wanted, i still fiddle here and there).

Have things got better, worse or more or less stayed the same?

it's difficult to compare. financially, it remains poor. especially the domain change and resulting serps problems cause trouble. also my niche is difficult to monetize at this time. so i'll have to find other business opportunities in the near future. but i have more freedom now. should have done the changes much earlier. i don't worry much about google anymore. in fact i have buried the adsense concept although i still have the ads on my site. it just doesn't work anymore. if earnings will ever increase one day, fine. if not, i haven't wasted work time at least. ps: i like the term "google detox"..

This 56 message thread spans 2 pages: 56 ( [1] 2 > >
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