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This 44 message thread spans 2 pages: 44 ( [1] 2 > >     
CTR Declining Since The Introduction Of Personalised Search
HuskyPup



 
Msg#: 4045475 posted 2:21 pm on Dec 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

I have gone through all my data for previous Decembers and although overall earnings were down as the month progressed, my CTRs and eCPMs stayed within their usual norm.

This morning I have been comparing the past few weeks metrics since yesterday, Thursday 17th December, heralded a new CTR low, therefore comparing recent metrics, and especially so since the introduction or personalised search, I have the following to report.

These figures are compared to 1st November 2009 to 4th December 2009

5th December to 14th December - Page Impressions normal average

CTR -12.3%
Clicks -22.8%

15th December to 17th December - Page Impressions normal average

CTR -22.6%
Clicks -35.2%

Obviously my eCPMs and earnings have reduced considerably, yesterday my eCPM was -24.5% but significantly earnings were -38% of 1/11 to 4/12 average.

How much of this is to do with personalised search as discussed in the search forum?

[webmasterworld.com...]

Personally it seems to be very coincidental how I have seen a gradual slide to this new low since 5th December and especially so when comparing AdSense metrics to previous Decembers.

Are personalised search results now serving non-relevant or garbage widget ads on my pages that I cannot see?

Has anyone else seen such a reduction in CTRs since 5th December?

I'll repeat, I did expect my earnings to go down in December however not the anhiallation of all metrics.

 

ken_b

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ken_b us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4045475 posted 2:58 pm on Dec 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

I wonder if the drop in CTR might be more related to a wider roll out of interest based ads. If I recall right, ASA has said the IBA was being rolled out slowly, so maybe by now it's more common.

I don't know what the cause really is though, but wish I did. Unless Google speaks up, I guess all we can do is guess.

Leosghost



 
Msg#: 4045475 posted 3:01 pm on Dec 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

Are personalised search results now serving non-relevant or garbage widget ads on my pages that I cannot see?

probably

albl

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4045475 posted 3:11 pm on Dec 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

HuskyPup - my observations of CTR and revenue declines are very similar to yours and your dates...

levo

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4045475 posted 3:18 pm on Dec 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

I've disabled interest based ads two months ago, and my CTR still got dropped..

HuskyPup



 
Msg#: 4045475 posted 3:38 pm on Dec 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

a wider roll out of interest based ads

Plus the Opt-in Personalised Search results could mean my specialised construction products sites are now possibly displaying ads for books, travel, insurance, weight loss and a whole host of other stuff I cannot see since I am not using that user's computer etc?

Coincidental? My waters are telling me otherwise:-)

incrediBILL

WebmasterWorld Administrator incredibill us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4045475 posted 3:40 pm on Dec 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

@Huskpup - Personalized search has been around a long time. This update only forced personalized search on browsers not signed-in to their Google account.

Does anyone know the percentages of searchers not signed in?

Also don't forget they just introduced the Google "Caffeine" index update as well, plus it's the holiday season, and the sampling period is still to short to statistically attribute anything to specifically to personalized search or Caffeine as too many variables changed at the same time to determine which one is having the most impact.

[edited by: incrediBILL at 3:44 pm (utc) on Dec. 18, 2009]

Lame_Wolf



 
Msg#: 4045475 posted 3:43 pm on Dec 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

BTW, remember this update to personalized search only impacts browsers not signed-in to their Google account.

And then there are people like me, who uses firefox to view my adsense, but use IE for browsing.

So even though I am logged into my account with Google on one browser, It doesn't affect the other.

Erku

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4045475 posted 3:45 pm on Dec 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

will this settle down?

We experience huge drop from google traffic as well

signor_john



 
Msg#: 4045475 posted 3:55 pm on Dec 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

My average CTR for December is about the same as for November, with a high yesterday (December 17). In general, CTR has been fairly steady over the last 12 months, and it's currently running well ahead of mid-December last year, which may reflect improvements in consumer confidence.

CTR is lower than it was a few years ago, but average EPC has climbed noticeably (perhaps due to Google's current definition of a "valid click," which is stricter than it used to be when a click was registered whenever a user clicked--by accident or otherwise--on the body of an ad).

vordmeister

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4045475 posted 4:22 pm on Dec 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

My stats patterns forever match Huskys. The last month or so has been oddest I've ever seen from a Google point of view. Everything is all over the place.

Yesterdays stats for me were probably the lowest for a Thursday since I started. I expect a click dump.

Google just seem preoccupied at the moment. Like they are winding down for Christmas and just can't be bothered processing anything. It's being noticed in indexing too. Suspect it's more that than personalised search (which for Asdense has been around a while).

Go60Guy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4045475 posted 4:40 pm on Dec 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

I, too, had some concern about the personalized search modification. But, FWIW, comparing December, so far, with November, my CTR is up somewhat, and EPC is also running ahead. Nothing spectacular, but, nothing to complain about, either.

Lame_Wolf



 
Msg#: 4045475 posted 5:03 pm on Dec 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

My stats patterns forever match Huskys.

Mine used to, but for the last few months at least, when HP has a bad day, I am having a good one.

vordmeister

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4045475 posted 5:09 pm on Dec 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

What's your secret Lame_Wolf? Have you changed anything? It's OK following HP when things are on the up, but if he's going to mess around with decreasing earnings I'd rather get behind someone else.

More seriously, I've noticed disaster earnings down to nothing threads when I've had a fantastic day. Those times the sufferers didn't get a click dump.

I'd worry more, but the last few months I've altered my revenue streams from the net to ones I am more able to control, and Adsense on a good day is under 50% earnings.

Lame_Wolf



 
Msg#: 4045475 posted 6:15 pm on Dec 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

What's your secret Lame_Wolf? Have you changed anything?

Nothing at all.

Although I had an increase in visitors, I only have adsense on about 20% or less on the site.

For whatever reason, I am receiving a higher CPC than before. I hope it stays that way.

HuskyPup



 
Msg#: 4045475 posted 10:28 pm on Dec 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

I obviously wrote the magical words on WebmasterWorld today since my CTR is the highest it's been for a couple of months!

I would like to add that even though my CTR has been in decline that my EPC has stayed relatively stable with today's EPC being well above average.

I expected this month to be a bit more turbulent than usual, it'll be interesting to see what happens from January onwards since I cannot believe just how many people have been lucky enough to finish work today and will not be returning until 4th Jan...jealous, you bet.

incrediBILL

WebmasterWorld Administrator incredibill us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4045475 posted 10:41 pm on Dec 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

my CTR is the highest it's been for a couple of months!

That usually happens right before the "You've been banned" letter arrives via email ;)

farmboy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member farmboy us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4045475 posted 11:32 pm on Dec 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

when HP has a bad day, I am having a good one.

When you logged in to Adsense, you must have seen the same button I did. The one that reads, "Click here to have a portion of HP's earning credited to your account"

:)

-----------------------------------------

Anyway, is there an assumption here that AdSense has completely abandoned the concept of contextually based ads and is now ONLY serving ads based on "personalized search" or individual browsing habits, etc?

I saw that mentioned in another related thread and I certainly don't share that assumption.

FarmBoy

maximillianos

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4045475 posted 1:26 am on Dec 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

We've been noticing a slow decline in traffic over the last 2 weeks. Thought it was related to the holidays, but maybe it is the personalized search rollout?

Guess we will find out in January if it bounces back or not.

menospath



 
Msg#: 4045475 posted 4:21 pm on Dec 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

Does anyone know the percentages of searchers not signed in?

I've had the same question in mind, it will help if we could see that stats.
I don't know what type of statistics we should look for in order to know the percentages of signed in / out searchers / googlers.

by the way, my CTR has not been affected, but it got better:
November (first 15 days): 5.50% CTR
December (first 15 days): 7.00% CTR + (PPC improved)

I didn't make any changes to the site.

my view: it all dependence on the sector you are in.

signor_john



 
Msg#: 4045475 posted 5:55 pm on Dec 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

my CTR is the highest it's been for a couple of months!

That usually happens right before the "You've been banned" letter arrives via email ;)

LOL. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), my CTR wasn't that high on December 17th. :-)

HuskyPup



 
Msg#: 4045475 posted 6:33 pm on Dec 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

That usually happens right before the "You've been banned" letter arrives via email ;)

Hehehe...not too bad a day in the end insofar as December is concerned however nowhere near the CTR of a few years ago:-(

I think that my sector of the www is officially closed now until January, I haven't see such low traffic levels, apart from December 25/26th, since this Saturday last year...at least that's consistency for you!

purplecape

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4045475 posted 10:25 pm on Dec 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

Husky, the question I have is: given that CTR seems to have been declining overall for the past few years--from many comments here and your specific ones--is this "new" decline actually a significant additional drop or just a continuation of the long-term trend?

Have you, has anyone, graphed their CTR over the past few years to see?

ken_b

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ken_b us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4045475 posted 12:25 am on Dec 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

Have you, has anyone, graphed their CTR over the past few years to see?

Numbers like that might not mean much unless nothing has changed on a site/page over the years.

For instance, my CTR has taken a real dive this year, especially this fall. Looks really bad at first glance.

BUT.... I've added other ads to the site and when I figure in the CTR from those ads, things look pretty much stable.

signor_john



 
Msg#: 4045475 posted 2:05 am on Dec 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

Have you, has anyone, graphed their CTR over the past few years to see?

Numbers like that might not mean much unless nothing has changed on a site/page over the years.

Also, we know (because Google has been quite open about it) that the definition of a "valid click" [adsense.blogspot.com] isn't what it was a few years ago, when an accidental click on the body of an ad would be counted as a paid click. Today, a user has to click on the ad title or URL to register a click that's charged to the advertiser. That's good for advertisers (who pay for fewer spurious clicks), and it's good over the long term for legitimate publishers (who benefit from having advertisers who are satisfied with their ROI), but it does mean that the network's average CTR is likely to be lower than it was before the change was made in 2007.

IanCP

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4045475 posted 3:14 am on Dec 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

Numbers like that might not mean much unless nothing has changed on a site/page over the years

Ken, as you and others know I've changed nothing on my pages/sites of significance since 2002 excepting dumping 728 X 90 in favour of the single rectangle.

I agree with SJ, much of the changes come down to the definition of a "valid click". If this means the advertiser continues to get "value for money" for his/her costs and retains long term confidence in the system then that's fine by me.

purplecape

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4045475 posted 2:46 am on Dec 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

Yes, we know about the change in definition of a valid click. We can mark that point on our graph, and we can take it into account when looking at the long-term trends, just as we can take into account major changes on our site.

It's interesting to read HP's speculation about the impact of personalized search, but it's impossible to gauge how real that is except in a long-term context, in my opinion...

(FWIW, the change in valid click definition did not have a noticeable impact on my long-term CTR trend. Make of that what you will.)

HuskyPup



 
Msg#: 4045475 posted 1:41 pm on Dec 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

is this "new" decline actually a significant additional drop or just a continuation of the long-term trend?

Until the introduction of personalised search my CTR decline had actually stopped and was rising slightly witnessed by my best month's earnings of 2009 in November.

I knew December would be a fickle month and being realistic I don't feel I'll be able to make any definite conclusions until the end of January when many of us will have seen much more "normal" figures. FWIW my actual traffic and earnings have halved in the past few days, my CTR has now stabilised and I really do not expect much now until the first week of January.

As a point of interest, and I know it's been discussed in-depth on the search forum, it seems a bit crazy to me that I have specialised widget sites and users visit them, I assume, to learn about those products and I do not think it's unreasonable of me to expect the ads being shown are about my widgets.

Does anyone know, or has seen, whether their widget site(s) are displaying off-topic personalised results?

signor_john



 
Msg#: 4045475 posted 3:30 pm on Dec 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

Does anyone know, or has seen, whether their widget site(s) are displaying off-topic personalised results?

My site isn't about widgets (it's more about whatsits), but I'd have to say that ad matching on my pages is at least as good now as it was a few years ago. And in some cases, it's clearly better. Maybe editorial diversity is a factor, and sites with many subtopics (within their overarching topics) aren't as likely to exhaust their allocations of ads for relevant keyphrases?

HuskyPup



 
Msg#: 4045475 posted 4:12 pm on Dec 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

From what I am seeing my ads are still spot on therefore I'll have to try someone else's machine that's full of garbage and see what ads appear on my sites...my daughters looking on ebay and fashion sites should prove to be a good test I would have thought?

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