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Earnings down since late-October 2009
photojack




msg:4021917
 9:04 pm on Nov 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

I've been an AdSense publisher for many years now, and I don't know if it is just me, but my earnings are noticeably down since late-October.

I'm constantly adding new content, so it's sometimes hard to compare stats to previous years. But I can tell, my Clicks and eCPM have never been that low what it used to be... starting from late-October.

To me, it seems like Google did some tweaking.

Still, I'm making a good amount of money from AdSense. It's just the sudden, obvious drop that quite surprises me. I'm wondering if Google is moving more into CPA ads, which I guess would be better in the long run (more value clicks, advertisers would pay more per click, publishers & advertisers wouldn't need to worry about invalid clicks, publishers would pay more attention how to get the best results for the displayed ads and not just try to get the highest amount of clicks, etc.). In the end, I believe, it's the ROI that matters.

Anyways, it's quite obvious to me that there was some major update on Google's side in October. So, I'm hoping that as soon as advertisers see better results for their money, the eCPM will rise. I still believe in quality content and that the market place will decide the value of clicks.

I'm very curious if anyone else is experiencing this?

 

koan




msg:4028459
 1:19 am on Nov 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

Yeah this week has been very weak so far. Sigh.. a never ending ongoing battle. We are getting aggravated. Yes we are.

katherinez




msg:4028462
 1:26 am on Nov 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

Have you heard the song, "Low Low Low"? I sing that before I hit submit to view my stats nowadays... because that is all I see. I had the significant drop over a year ago, but then got to the "new norm".... but now, in this exact time frame as yours, my numbers are back to when I first started on the web. I'm seeing the exact same thing, and know others who are also seeing it.

signor_john




msg:4028476
 1:49 am on Nov 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

(but yes, the money switch idea has crossed my mind and in certain extent that's certainly true, when their earnings go down, so will our earnings go down too, but I doubt they'd deliberately try to "switch on" to "steal" a bigger share of the ad revenue from us. That kind of business model wouldn't perform well in the long run).

Also, a change in overall revenue share would show up in Google's quarterly earnings reports.

There are many, many different factors that may affect an individual AdSense publisher's earnings, such as:

- Advertiser supply and demand for keywords (or, more broadly, within a category);

- Google's definition of a "valid click" that gets charged to the advertiser (which is stricter than it once was);

- "Smart pricing" (discounts given to advertisers for clicks that are expected to convert more poorly than the norm);

- Improved advertiser controls over where ads are (or aren't) run, such as domain filters and placement targeting for both CPM and CPC ads;

- Other factors that we don't know about, but that conceivably could exist (such as publisher quality scores or a sliding compensation scale, either of which would affect some publishers more than others).

Of the above factors, I'd guess that "supply and demand" gets a lot less attention from AdSense publishers than it should. To paraphrase a question that a member of this forum once asked, "How many of you don't have more pages and impressions than you did a few years ago?" If the number of available clicks for a given keyphrase is growing faster than advertisers' budgets are growing, there will be more publishers competing for smaller pieces of a finite pie.

kd454




msg:4029043
 10:03 pm on Nov 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

I am just trying to figure out how one day/week things took a turn for the worse, it started in October for me, like so many others.

Before Oct every month was getting better, not worse.

I believe Google implemented something that caused this nonsense. I am going to have to get busy and find another way to make money off from my sites if this keeps up.

One shining ray of hope is when Caffeine comes out traffic will increase as I expect it to, and maybe can get back to pre "Black October" revenue.

Today is going to be another record low, yesterday was a record and today is going to beat that for sure.

signor_john




msg:4029063
 10:48 pm on Nov 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

I believe Google implemented something that caused this nonsense.

If they did, they didn't implement it for everybody, so you might want to look for problems closer to home.

Could "seasonality" be a factor? For some topics, November and December are great (I'd imagine that things like gift baskets do well at this time of year, compared to July or August). For other topics (barbecuing? lawn mowers?) the arrival of late fall in the Northern Hemisphere may bring seasonal gloom and doom.

kd454




msg:4029093
 11:56 pm on Nov 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

Yes it could be a season thing for sure, there is just no other explanation for it. I think for a at least 2 of my sites it is an poor economy issue.

Another thing that I have noticed it that the requests for people wanting to "purchase" advertisement on my sites has went way down as well, I think the poor economy is a factor with this as well.

Just have to sit tight, glad I found this board. This is about the most sane webmaster board on the net :)

gwnhwyvar




msg:4029268
 12:54 pm on Nov 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

Mine went down noticeably for almost 3 months but thankfully are picking up again this month (Nov). For a while I was afraid to log in and see the damage - some days earnings dropped to half of what they've been for a long time. Scary when that happens.

System
redhat



msg:4030170
 4:50 pm on Nov 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

The following message was cut out to new thread by martinibuster. New thread at: google_adsense/4030168.htm [webmasterworld.com]
8:54 am on Nov. 23, 2009 (utc -8)

kidder




msg:4030412
 10:02 pm on Nov 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

I run a fairly large adwords campaign, have doen for years and years. Over the last couple of weeks its very obvious we are getting a lot more lower quality traffic from the content network. At the same time I've noticed a dip in my earnings from adsense by the order of 10 - 15%. There is no relationship between my adsense / adwords they are in different markets in different parts of the world. It does appear to me that changes have been made, adsense CTR is down as is income..

nrep




msg:4033487
 11:01 am on Nov 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

Has anyone spoken to google about this drop and figured out if anything changed around late Oct? The CTR drop is very noticable and our earnings are suddenly down around 20%. It's been over a month now and this appears to be a new level of earnings :(

surfer67




msg:4033558
 3:29 pm on Nov 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

It does appear to me that changes have been made, adsense CTR is down as is income..

Yes, this is the case for me. I've been with adsense since they launched in June 2003 and my CTR has been steady at ~ 1% for the entire 6 year period, however in late October my CTR crashed to 0.4% and has stayed there. Nothing on my site has changed and I'm seeing the same ads as before.

It looks to me that they are simply not counting/crediting as many clicks. EPC is the same or even higher than before, but that doesnt do much good if your CTR is down 60%. Perhaps they're not crediting most of the international traffic which I receive a good percentage.

If Google did make a major change, it would be nice to know.

surfer67




msg:4033571
 3:52 pm on Nov 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

Ever think that Google has the money switch, when there earnings go down they just give us less to compensate? Make sense to me.

So you think this is how they find the money for the employee Christmas bonuses?

frakilk




msg:4033572
 3:52 pm on Nov 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

For my site also CTR is noticeably down since the end of October. Income is down significantly as a result.

I wouldn't bank on Google/ASA informing us that something has changed.

kd454




msg:4033581
 5:05 pm on Nov 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

So you think this is how they find the money for the employee Christmas bonuses?"

I am thinking so, there is something going on and it is not in our favor.

This is just a wake up call for me, working on other ways besides adsense, everything happens for a reason I suppose.

It looks to me that they are simply not counting/crediting as many clicks.

Yeah that is a good thought, I have 3 sites that constantly get high CTR and for it to be this low there is just no excuse. One of them is sitting at zero today, very frustrating.

signor_john




msg:4033595
 6:08 pm on Nov 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

I haven't seen any change. My eCPM for November 28 was tied for the second-highest day of November, and other metrics have been holding steady all month. Not thrilling, not depressing, just the usual fairly even graph with minor peaks and dips from day to day.

One of them is sitting at zero today, very frustrating.

Look for a click dump after the server gets a dose of castor oil.

surfer67




msg:4033599
 6:15 pm on Nov 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

I haven't seen any change. My eCPM for November 28 was tied for the second-highest day of November, and other metrics have been holding steady all month.

How much international traffic do you receive? Is your traffic mostly U.S?

johnnie




msg:4033618
 7:34 pm on Nov 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

November is going to be a record month. Finally breaking four figures (in euros that is)!

signor_john




msg:4033656
 8:48 pm on Nov 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

How much international traffic do you receive? Is your traffic mostly U.S?

No, about 36 percent of my traffic is from the U.S., with roughly half coming from Europe.

photojack




msg:4033669
 9:21 pm on Nov 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

It does appear to me that changes have been made, adsense CTR is down as is income..

Yes, this is very obvious for me also. No question about it. I just don't know what happen and I've been trying to figure it out. This hasn't affected everyone, but still quite many have experienced this. So, I don't know... maybe they are experimenting with something, doing some A/B testing... or.... hmmm...

or I just happened to find this post from June 09 (I didn't receive that email though, but maybe it could have something to do with this):

[webmasterworld.com...]

signor_john




msg:4033677
 9:53 pm on Nov 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

Changes in smart pricing? Maybe. There's no way of even making an educated guess, though, without knowing what types of sites are hurting and what types aren't. And even if we had that information, there are so many other variables that an educated guess would be more "guess" than "educated."

surfer67




msg:4033746
 10:44 pm on Nov 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

Changes in smart pricing?Maybe. There's no way of even making an educated guess, though, without knowing what types of sites are hurting and what types aren't. And even if we had that information, there are so many other variables that an educated guess would be more "guess" than "educated."

It can't be smart pricing in my case because my EPC is up. It's the 60% CTR drop that's the problem. It's as though after 6 years they've concluded that 60% the of the clicks through my site are useless. Coincidently, the 60% drop in ctr is equal to my foreign traffic percentage. I tend to believe this has something to do with the drop. It would be nice to know if any or what ads are being shown to my foreign visitors.

sailorjwd




msg:4033755
 11:18 pm on Nov 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

To add to the mayhem:
EPC= good to great
CTR= down 50-60%

No signifcant site changes other than minor tweaking resulting in better Google search positions and 8% more visitors. Have gone from 3 figures a day down to two in 4 months.

People simply are not clicking on the ads. It makes no sense at all and makes me wonder if G is missing or blocking 1/2 of the clicks.

Did USA companies only layoff clickers? Is the economy so bad that no one is considering buying some software?

My consulting biz is only down a little and at the moment I'm turning away work. I don't understand what is going on with Adsense. The passive income idea for retirement is pretty much a mute point now.

surfer67




msg:4033757
 11:31 pm on Nov 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

People simply are not clicking on the ads

People don't suddenly stop clicking. It's either that the clicks aren't being counted or visitors are being shown PSA ads.

photojack




msg:4033758
 11:40 pm on Nov 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

I agree with what signor_john says above and I'm sure there are always changes to Adsense program.

That's exactly my original point here. When things like this happen, I just don't know why and I need to keep wondering and wondering what's going on.

I'm not talking about minor fluctuations, that's understandable. But it is just so obvious to me that Google tweaked something in late-October. So it would be nice to get even a hint from Google what's going on.

There are too many variables to consider, but there must be one significant variable that caused this noticeable drop since late-october. I just know and feel it in my guts that there must be one.

My personal feeling is that there are changes to what is consider to be a valid and value click, something somehow relating to CPA advertising or something like that, and the clicks are not counted the way they used to be counted before.

I hope (I really hope) that as soon as advertisers see better results for their money, EPC will rise even more as advertisers will be bidding for high value clicks.

kd454




msg:4033829
 2:53 am on Nov 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

I am thinking surfer67 may be on to something with the international traffic theory based on what I am seeing with my sites. For me I started to see the "tweaking" in early October, I have multiple sites in different niches, all quality sites and they all were effected.

ken_b




msg:4033841
 3:16 am on Nov 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

People don't suddenly stop clicking. It's either that the clicks aren't being counted or visitors are being shown PSA ads.

PSAs and uncounted clicks are not the only reason CTR drops.

More likely, I think, is that the ads shown are not well targeted or maybe well targeted and just too pervasive.

I've had some well targeted ads from 3 big name corporations (that compete aggresively with each other) running on my site and it kills my CTR, even though the ads are well targeted. Sometimes I'll see versions of ads from all 3 company's running on nearly every page of the largest section of my site.

That may be the reason why my income is down a bit this month, but it's hard to say. I'm seeing lower CTR and higher EPC on average.

surfer67




msg:4034385
 4:09 am on Dec 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

I am thinking surfer67 may be on to something with the international traffic theory

I'm thinking Google may be doing some testing and not serving ads to visitors from some third world countries such as India for instance. Many of the over one billion people in this country have an internet connection but can barely afford the basic necessities and are therefore not likely to make online purchases. Advertiser ROI is much better when targeted to North American traffic. If you run a tech site, you probably get alot of this type of traffic.

I can't be certain, but knowing the history of my site's performance and demographics, this is my best guess as to why the ctr has pluged 60% and the epc has gone up.

sailorjwd




msg:4034405
 5:32 am on Dec 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

if the international theory was correct then we'd see a significant drop in ad views wouldn't we? Mine are steady to up. Does G count PSA ads in the total showed?

surfer67




msg:4034417
 6:13 am on Dec 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

Does G count PSA ads in the total showed?

I believe PSA ads are counted as impressions.

nrep




msg:4034463
 8:32 am on Dec 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

I don't think it's PSAs, as I have backup ads set and there are only a handful coming through.

Hopefully ASA will pop in and clear this up, as there are plenty of us concerned about this sudden change.

m0thman




msg:4034833
 8:31 pm on Dec 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

Actually more end of November that's down the toilet for me. my CTR dropped about half a %

Does anyone remember the happy days of 4,5 and even 6% CTR? These days 2% is a good day.

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