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February 2010 collapse
Same traffic, same advertizers... CTR collapse
alephh




msg:4075362
 9:17 am on Feb 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

I would really like to know if anybody else has experienced collapse in CTR+ECPM+CPC-wise starting in February (Jan 31 was totally normal day).

Facts:
- Same traffic
- Same advertizers with the same budgets (small niche, everybody knows everybody)
- Everything was rock solid the last year
- Last minutes of January looks normal

... then... February starts and CTR drops 20%, eCPM 25% in one second and has stayed at the new level every since.

Is this something only I am experiencing, or...?

I just cannot figure this one out... If it is penalty (and the level of the jump would support this), why has my CTR jumped down?

Only explanation I can think is that: I have hit some penalty word, which has ""disabled"" some of the ads. But without knowing the exact problem, it's kind of difficult to "undo".

 

Lame_Wolf




msg:4075940
 9:19 pm on Feb 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

I am with johnnie :)

alephh




msg:4075941
 9:24 pm on Feb 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

February has been absolutely phenomenal so far


Gimme back my $$$ ;-D

The two biggest population centers in the US are being hammered by weather


I doubt it's the case (unless you're US focused)...

I remember how, in the early days of the web/adsense, when something happened in the US, it emptied the net and stopped adsense. Now there are more chinese online than there is population in the US (just one example how "tiny" player US is online nowadays) - and that really shows: 5 years ago I was scared of all the american holidays, because they totally killed my traffic and earnings. Now the biggest US holidays show up in the stats as a tiny drop.

I also feel that it's so easy to be online no matter where you are, that holidays and weather cannot cause any major turbulence.

...And any weather that forces people to stay indoors is great news, isn't it ;-)

martinibuster




msg:4075952
 9:58 pm on Feb 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

Yes there have been snows and rains on both sides of the coast, and this weekend is a giant storm back east AND one of the most important sporting events of the year in the U.S. Coincidence?

Before you jump to a conclusion first jump to your server logs or stats program (that means you have to close your AdSense control panel) and check where your traffic is coming from. Not a single participant in this discussion has discussed their traffic logs.

alephh




msg:4076003
 11:21 pm on Feb 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

Before you jump to a conclusion first jump to your server logs...


Naturally I did that - and I'm pretty sure anyone earning any serious money online and facing problems does that immediately (kinda goes without saying) - Traffic amount, where it comes from, and when, and why... all is normal. Nothing to report.

There are times (=problems) when logs are useless.

Chinese aren't spending much on AdWords...


Common myth. Latest stats that I saw showed that USA was spending ONLY 4-5 times more on online ads as China. So China is nothing to sneeze at - especially considering the growth rate of their online spending - and the fact that they will soon be (if they already aren't) the world's largest producer of manufactured goods.

And isn't most """American spending""" Chinese/foreign spending... ;-D For example foreign ownership of American sound recording industries is 97% - it's not American money they are spending on advertising, it's Chinese/European.

IanCP




msg:4076103
 3:48 am on Feb 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

check where your traffic is coming from


FWIW - mine, only as a matter of interest [if any]

USA - 30.56%
India - 14.27%
United Kingdom - 8.32%
Canada - 4.53%
Philippines - 4.52%

The other 37.8% comes from another 184 countries.

SOURCE: Google Analytics.

YMMV - Oh! China represents only 0.51%

Lame_Wolf




msg:4076122
 4:40 am on Feb 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

Is it possible that a number of Chinese are using USA proxy servers ?

DeVille




msg:4076174
 8:04 am on Feb 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

In Australia today I may as well not have turned on the computer. The power was more expensive than what I made from Adsense.

Online Car Guy




msg:4076322
 1:36 pm on Feb 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

I agree totally with "jhood". Yesterday's weather, and Super Bowl, are probably the biggest reasons for lower earnings. I wouldn't worry too much about it.

indias next no1




msg:4076395
 4:30 pm on Feb 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

my ecpm, ctr and earnings down nearly 35 % from jan , don't know the reason

dj_webm




msg:4076508
 7:30 pm on Feb 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

on my main website visitors comes as usual from:

91.36% United Kingdom
2.10% France
2.10% Germany
1.87% United States

Earnings down 50% for all last week... Advertisers are the same for last couple of years, was steady as rock, but Feb came - caboom...

purplecape




msg:4076552
 8:23 pm on Feb 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

Super Bowl day was as usual a good day for me--above average for a Saturday. My visitors are mostly US, but mostly women. So while hubby or boyfriend is watching the Super Bowl, they are online.

Different demographics, different results.

HuskyPup




msg:4076631
 10:03 pm on Feb 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

Different demographics, different results.


Thanks...I was trying to find a simple way of saying the same myself:-)

brassneck




msg:4076655
 10:47 pm on Feb 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

Here in the UK February has also been awful for me. Following an excellent January, I've been getting same traffic and same clicks, but about 30 to 40 per cent drop in earnings per click. This has been consistent now for several days.

golocal




msg:4076690
 12:06 am on Feb 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

I don't track CPM or EPM but when I track Revenue per click and graph it. It is almost identical to last year.
Luckily the clicks are up over LY and so the total revenue is up over LY but the trend of the CPC is just about even with LY as well as 2008.

kd454




msg:4076751
 3:45 am on Feb 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

Jan was a record month for me, this month is going so so.. Google is messing the algo's and traffic is not what it was in Jan. Guess gorg needs to burp or something.

sonjay




msg:4076957
 2:38 pm on Feb 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

My February CTR and eCPM are exactly normal compared to previous years. Traffic is up, and earnings are up accordingly. So whatever might be going on is definitely not hitting everyone the same.

alephh




msg:4077887
 8:09 pm on Feb 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

Could this explain the recent horrors (from Inside Adsense Blog [adsense.blogspot.com]):

"We've recently started to expand the use of the query words in referral URLs..."

[edited by: martinibuster at 9:04 am (utc) on Feb 11, 2010]
[edit reason] Added URL. [/edit]

drall




msg:4078140
 4:49 am on Feb 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

Well that goes a loooong way to explaining our problems, targeting has gone totally bat #*$!x and revenue down by 40%. My guess is they got flooded with emails from publishers like us so they felt compelled to make a post detailing what changed.

radiofanatic




msg:4078165
 6:26 am on Feb 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

Let's assume the user in our example leaves your golf website and browses through to a news website that is also an AdSense partner. Since [golf shop atlanta] is in a referral URL that was visited in the past few hours, we may use those query words, along with the content of the news webpage itself, to determine the most relevant ad to show the user on the news website.


They mean the user will see golf related ads even if the next visited website is about cars?

alephh




msg:4078265
 12:05 pm on Feb 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

They mean the user will see golf related ads even if the next visited website is about cars?


Exactly. This seems to heavily punish those webmasters who have worked hard for years to optimize each of their page so that only relevant expensive ads are shown.

Those webmasters who have never worked on their site and let it go on downspiral will benefit hugely as they will jump from 0.000001 clicks to 0.1 clicks.

If this continues I obviously need to put adsense ads back on pages they never performed and on pages absolutely without any related ads.

Hard work and fine-tuning is now useless: What's next? Unique content will be punished? :-(

brassneck




msg:4078276
 12:27 pm on Feb 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

I think this will explain my situation then. I'm finding that blog type sites are doing better than static content sites, presumably since it is often hard for the adsense to be optimised for blog content so now visitors are more likely to be presented with at least something of interest. Unfortunately, for the static content sites I am now losing the directly relevant ads to my sites.

There must be some winners I suppose though.

HuskyPup




msg:4078279
 12:40 pm on Feb 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

If you're quick get to see the Chinese spamming at the Google blog:

[adsense.blogspot.com...]

alephh




msg:4078366
 2:38 pm on Feb 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

I just struggle to understand how this could be good for a professional webmaster or an owner of authoritative site. How nice to pour your life's knowledge about something on a site - and know that visitors are seeing $0.001 ads about pizza or russian women - while there are 100% relevant ads out there not being showed.

Only way to benefit from this is create 80994840333335850389787667546439798489 blogs babbling about something completely non-monetizable -- and then the new system will reward you with some random hits that most likely won't convert.

How could this possible benefit advertisers: instead of getting 100 clicks from relevant sites, advertiser gets 70 clicks from relavant sites and 30 from generic funny-video-of-my-stupid-buddy blogs? Surely it means less conversions for advertiser -> so they decide content network is useless -> theyd leave if forever -> less money available for publishers.

Please tell me there is some logic behind this """improvement""" --- because I just fail to see it.

drall




msg:4078378
 2:55 pm on Feb 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

So our revenue dropped 40% around the 1st. We scramble around for days trying to figure out what happened since we made no big changes. Our sites content has millions of advertisers, tons of inventory.

So after hundreds of hours spent trying to figure out what went wrong and why targeting is so off after almost 7 years with adsense I find the post they made on the 10th on the inside adsense blog.

So I do some testing, had my wife from home on a unrelated network and unrelated pc go to a website about dog grooming. Someone on that site posted a link over to our site to use to research different tech related products for the vet office. Guess what she saw on our tech site? Yep thats right dog ads.

So I go to a site to research my medical condition with my back, again someone at that site linked to our site to review different business techs solutions. Well guess what kind of ads I see on our site! Yep thats right, medical ads.

If this stays then that's it for adsense for us after almost 7 years. Exit stage right. The whole point to adsense was to serve contextually relevant ads to YOUR websites content, NOT someone elses websites content.

radiofanatic




msg:4078434
 4:03 pm on Feb 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

I hope this is only an experiment or they and we will lose a lot. Something is wrong at google, maybe they have new employees with stupid ideas or their management is blindfolded.
I hope they come on the right way and start asking the adsense publishers for adsense improvements and advertisers for adwords improvements! If they keep doing non-sense experiments then the competitors will have a great advantage and kick down google's domination.

Lame_Wolf




msg:4078443
 4:12 pm on Feb 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

For me, I am having a great month. Today [11th] is superb. I wish every day was like today.

ken_b




msg:4078449
 4:20 pm on Feb 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

This seems like it is just an expansion of the "Interest Based Ads" system.

netmeg




msg:4078464
 4:35 pm on Feb 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

I dunno; I'm not seeing anything all that different, and everything's up for me (specially over this time last year) The only ad targeting glitch I'm seeing is a lot of Toyota Recall video ads (and I don't know that they're all that mis-targeted, since some percentage of my visitors probably drive Toyotas, even though it has nothing to do with most of my sites)

I'm reasonably sure Google wouldn't have implemented the referral url thing without testing it and deciding it was a moneymaker. Maybe not for everyone, but overall.

ken_b




msg:4078468
 4:38 pm on Feb 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

Yeah, I'm not seeing anything all that out of line either. February is running ahead of January so far.

Pepito




msg:4078529
 6:06 pm on Feb 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

For me so far is behaving like previous months.

jmccormac




msg:4079020
 1:23 pm on Feb 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

Every time they "fix" something they foul up something else. Start of the month was great. Last few days have been absolutely dire.

Regards...jmcc

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