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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".

 

Mentat




msg:4080803
 9:57 pm on Feb 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

punctual question:

Did you see a drop in traffic this week-end?
It was Chinese New Year and Valentine day...

I see a 10% drop compared to other week-ends.

alephh




msg:4080872
 11:39 pm on Feb 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

+ Winter Olympics kicked on during the Weekend.

Weekend: traffic 11% down (but CPC went up a bit)

Marcito




msg:4081321
 2:57 pm on Feb 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

February distractions: Super Bowl, Chinese New Year, Valentine day, Winter games, President's Day, Marti Grass and a short month. I am hoping these elements are responsible for the low earlings this month. Things should pickup in March!

Pico_Train




msg:4082054
 11:56 am on Feb 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

My page CTR is significantly down and my eCPM is done by about 40%. Great stuff, another reason inching me away from AdSense.

ashii7




msg:4082730
 3:37 am on Feb 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

I have best days in last 4 days in last 6 Months or so
so I think its randon,when some people says its very down,its UP for rest of us

alephh




msg:4082849
 10:37 am on Feb 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

In seroundtable poll 60% of publishers said that their earnings have dropped in February.

maximillianos




msg:4082967
 3:37 pm on Feb 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

Where is the 'Adsense Advisor'? It really frustrates me that this person picks the topics that can make him/her look like a hero, while equally meaningful topics like this are ignored! There is obviously a need for information from ASA, can you just tell us what the issue is so that we can stop wasting our time!


I think you are being a little presumptuous, both on the part of ASA, and the assumed issue.

If ASA had any information to share, I'm sure he/she would share it.

Perhaps there isn't a problem, just a resetting of budgets that happens at the beginning of every year?

We recently spoke to one of our ad partners regarding a drop in revenues in Jan-Feb of this year. They also cited the new year and lack of finalized budgets from Advertisers as a explanation for the slow down in earnings.

netmeg




msg:4082973
 3:46 pm on Feb 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

Remember that the people who post here are only a very tiny but vocal group of the entire pool of AdSense publishers. Your experiences may be shared by some - but not necessarily by all. Or even most.

That in mind, the need for "information" is not all that obvious to me.

marcus11




msg:4083018
 5:20 pm on Feb 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

'I think you are being a little presumptuous, both on the part of ASA, and the assumed issue. '

As a good friend of mine says, 'This ain't my first rodeo', I've been at this long enough to know that what is occurring is not occurring from a lack of traffic, ctr, seasonality, or any other metric except the one variable we cannot control directly, and that is cpm. Don't subscribe to link schemes, or any black hat prescriptions. Writing excellent content in your niche market is the hallmark for anyone who wants longevity online, so that one is out as a variable. All I'm asking for is a little 'Heads up' from the plex. IE Attention Adsense Publishers: Account System Advertising Capacity at 70%. Then we can say, Oh this is all we can expect from system because of external reasons beyond our control. I know, I'm dreaming.

netmeg




msg:4083105
 8:14 pm on Feb 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

You are, indeed. Writing excellent content is no guarantee of AdSense earnings, or continued AdSense earnings. I honestly don't see what kind of "heads up" you would expect to get? If you're so sure that every single variable is covered except for some glitch on Google's end, why isn't everyone seeing it?

alephh




msg:4083134
 9:26 pm on Feb 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

If you're so sure that every single variable is covered except for some glitch on Google's end, why isn't everyone seeing it?


Countless possibilities, my two favourites:
1) Google is slowly rolling the feature out.
2) The feature seems to aim to fill empty ad-units (with "average" paying ads).
2A) BENEFIT: If you have empty ad-units you will benefit as they will be filled with unrelated ads (=unrelated to your site). If your site serves low-paying ads, you will benefit because now adsense throws in average paying ads.
2B) NO-CHANGES: With average paying ads, and semi-good optimization, your CTR/CPC may remain the same. Instead of normal average-paying ads your visitors will see different average paying ads.
2C) LOSS: If you haven't empty ad-units you will not benefit. If your site shows high-paying ads, the new feature will mix in some average-paying ads - and you will lose income.

sahm




msg:4083217
 11:42 pm on Feb 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

The past few months have been average but normal months for me, but my earnings took a sharp dive on February 11 and have not recovered. My earnings are dropping by the day and now approximately 50% of normal. My niche does have seasonal variables but not to this degree. I have been an Adsense user since Adsense began, and my earnings have never been this low, ever, even when my site has occasionally gone missing in Google. My traffic and CTR are slightly down but not enough to make that much of a difference.

Elsmarc




msg:4083229
 12:17 am on Feb 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

Everything good here. Traffic up a bit, eCPM is within its normal variance, CTR is normal. Steady as she goes!

From what I can tell if anything really is happening it's niche specific.

Adsense user since Dec 2003. The only down year for me was 2007. Other than that, every year my income has gone up. The only year my February income was less than previous years was in 2006. February 2010 isn't finished yet but my projection at this point is about 5% to 10% increase from February 2009.

farmboy




msg:4083235
 12:39 am on Feb 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

If this is a collapse, I'll take an even bigger collapse next month please.

I know people who aren't doing so well right now don't want to hear that, just trying to add some perspective.

Besides, if ASA offered some input and it wasn't what people want to hear, how many will just dismiss him as lying? I'm glad I have my "job" instead of his.


FarmBoy

Roseb44170




msg:4083252
 1:19 am on Feb 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

Personally I have never been able to figure out Adsense! As of this year my numbers are on the average except the CTR which has really gone down. I'm assuming from the posts that I have read here that this "interest based" thingie may be the blame!

I forgot about February being the shortest month - still we got a good week to go before the end of the month.

WolfLover




msg:4083332
 5:40 am on Feb 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

January and February are not my greatest months, but February is doing better than January and better over February of last year, so I'm happy.

dj_webm




msg:4083509
 3:36 pm on Feb 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

I've seen a 40% drop in revenue and I am also getting the same amount of clicks/traffic in Feb (talking about day stats). Steady niche with high paying ads, over 90% UK visitors, was quite steady for last 3 years, only traffic slowly grew up and so did earnings accordingly (I was 'smart priced' in the begining also). Till this Feb, when pay-per-click went down...

My wife has sort of 'funnypictures' website with peanuts for click, international visitors, and her earnings increased about 50% on Feb, same traffic/ctr...

Go figure...

on other hand, we havnt opted out of interest based ads... so imho that has an influence: say if someone likes a lot stuff where ads paying peanuts, then that person visits my website - he/she sees ads on that theme also, not only ads related to my content. So some clicks brings 1 or 5 pence instead of 50 pence (as used to be an average per click). If that happens even for 1 out of 10 or so visitors - should explain drop in my earnings..

so for my wife the same, only for better :) someone 'brings' higher paying ads with his/her visit...

So I'm off to figure out how to opt out from interest based ads on my acc :)

Roseb44170




msg:4083749
 12:33 am on Feb 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

Actually this does bring up a question that I was thinking of because a good 50% of my traffic comes from the search engines - so in theory I wouldn't think that the interest-based thing would have an affect on the ads if they are coming from a search engine as opposed to coming from another website?

ken_b




msg:4083755
 12:48 am on Feb 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

I wouldn't think that the interest-based thing would have an affect on the ads if they are coming from a search engine as opposed to coming from another website?

Google recently extended the time frame in which they serve interest based ads, so even if your visitor came from a serps page, the ads they are served could be based on the topic of a site they visited hours before the reached your site.

farmboy




msg:4083764
 1:35 am on Feb 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

Suppose you have a site about flowers.

Someone who has been researching widgets visits your flowers site and AdSense shows them a couple of ads about widgets.

My understanding is those widgets ads wouldn't have been displayed unless they beat out the flowers ads. Therefore, it's better for you the publisher - it's having more ads competing for your ad space.


FarmBoy

drall




msg:4083771
 2:14 am on Feb 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

Well whatever the hell it was it nailed our biggest site like a mac truck. CTR isnt really down much but earnings dropped by a good 40% plus from our 6 year average.

Not much we can really do about it, our site is tech related and inventory is not a issue. The ads are totally different then what we have been seeing for 6 years. They clearly changed targeting for our site.

Im just glad I have continued to ramp up direct sales and aff promotions over the last couple years since we got smacked in 07. That is going to make the difference in us not having to lay off staff as a result of this.

People bashed the heck out of EFV for years but that is one killer piece of advice he gave me in 07 and man oh man is it making a big difference right now.

Yes I will take a pay cut but I wont have to tell Tom and Jill they are canned tomorrow. Lesson learned in 07 and I just got another reminder, never take adsense income for granted. Pretend it doesnt exist because one morning you can wake up and poofta it's gone through no fault of your own even.

maximillianos




msg:4083892
 12:34 pm on Feb 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

Sorry for the side question but who or what is EFV?

I think it is always wise to try and spread your eggs around regardless of what business you are in.

farmboy




msg:4083924
 2:50 pm on Feb 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

Sorry for the side question but who or what is EFV?


"EFV" is an abbreviation for the moniker of someone who used to post here. He didn't post for a period of time then came back using a different moniker. I forget what that other moniker was. I don't recall reading anything from him lately under any moniker.


FarmBoy

marcus11




msg:4083937
 3:12 pm on Feb 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

EFV='Europe For Visitors' is the person to which you are referring.

andrewshim




msg:4083944
 3:36 pm on Feb 20, 2010 (gmt 0)


EFV='Europe For Visitors' is the person to which you are referring.



"EFV" is an abbreviation for the moniker of someone who used to post here. He didn't post for a period of time then came back using a different moniker. I forget what that other moniker was. I don't recall reading anything from him lately under any moniker.


His cover was compromised so he had to go into hiding. He's been trying to change to another super hero identity with new super powers but it hasn't been smooth sailing. I believe he was last seen morphing into a huge green giant everytime he lost his cool (or whenever his eCPM fluctuated beyond reason).

Anyway... what Drall wrote is especially significant. Adsense has become unpredictable. Diversify, diversify, diversify. For me, Adsense income goes into the bank. I NEVER rely on it. I'd hate to wake up one morning and find myself laid off by Google!

maximillianos




msg:4084026
 8:23 pm on Feb 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the explanation.

I think the same should be said for any business both online or offline. Diversify and don't ever expect a free ride. You never know what lies around the next bend.

dataguy




msg:4084065
 11:13 pm on Feb 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

Sorry guys, diversifying may be nice if you're trying to hold your ground, but who's happy with that?

I've seen AdSense rates eroding in February like a lot of people, but instead of worrying about it we should be trying to grow our businesses so we don't notice the decline.

Sure I'd love to have some competition for AdSense as a backup, but instead of losing sleep over having all my eggs in one basket I'd rather be losing sleep over trying to get in front of the next big thing. Faint of heart need not apply.

andrewshim




msg:4084080
 11:48 pm on Feb 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'd rather be losing sleep over trying to get in front of the next big thing


To each his own, but diversifying means a whole spectrum of things - from finding direct advertisers & new ad networks to pioneering new businesses & "the next big thing" - don't you think?

AndyA




msg:4084300
 3:00 pm on Feb 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

Saturday was miserable for my site. 0.14% CTR. The ads I'm seeing on my site have nothing to do with its content, and have nothing to do with anything I've ever searched for on the internet. Ever.

They are NOT contextual. They are NOT interest based. They are GARBAGE.

The few clicks I did get yesterday were high value clicks, but there just weren't enough of them.

I would think this lower CTR would have a major impact on Google's income as well. The whole interest based ads thing seems like a foolish experiment to me. Just because someone on a computer was looking for something an hour ago, doesn't mean the same person is using the computer now. Nor does it mean they are still interested in the same thing an hour later.

I'm reducing AdSense exposure on my site to limit impressions. Until Google gets this figured out, I'm wasting real estate on them.

dataguy




msg:4084360
 6:18 pm on Feb 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

but diversifying means a whole spectrum of things ... don't you think?

Sure it does. Part of diversifying means "dividing" as in dividing our eggs out into to different baskets. To me, this is a waste of time. I'd rather multiply my eggs and maybe put the new ones in different baskets.

Already overusing the analogy, there is a big difference between shuffling eggs between baskets and gathering new eggs. It just seems like this thread has reached the point where someone needs to say this.

I test AdSense alternatives constantly, but if I spend my time worrying about maintaining things I won't have time to work on building new things.

dnm2112




msg:4085105
 10:29 pm on Feb 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

My revenue has been increasing since the new year... had my best day ever on the 8th...

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