"It's quite possible all that's happened here is this data was analyzed yet again and another wave of sites that didn't perform to the advertisers (or algorithms) expectations have simply been smart priced. "
That doesn't address the fact that interest-based ads seem to be the cause of the CTR drops, though, Bill.
If it were simply an issue of conversions, this would have been expected to be a long-running issue.
I just can't accept that off-topic ads are paying more to target niche sites, or that all advertisers in a major niche are suddenly leaving major niche portals en masse to leave the way open for generic ads.
Well, Today my CTR is skyrocketing but my eCPM is down the toilet (€0.18! #*$!!?) WTH?
|That doesn't address the fact that interest-based ads seem to be the cause of the CTR drops, though, Bill. |
You can't even come close to knowing that. You don't know what's being displayed to your users at any given moment. You can't know how much is "interest-based" and how much isn't. You only know what YOU see. It's way too much a black box to try to draw these kinds of conclusions.
Google tested this enough to be pretty sure it was going to make money for *them* at least (they don't get paid if people don't click either) And even if they made a huge honking mistake on it, the scale would be so large that they'd have most certainly corrected it.
Regardless - I don't really care if people want to act on inconclusive data, it's nothing to me. But I want to make sure people realize it *is* inconclusive, and, in fact, not something you can measure.
Your time would be so much better spent finding other ways to earn money on your sites.
|Your time would be so much better spent finding other ways to earn money on your sites. |
I spent 3 weeks changing the position of Ads, changing the colour schemes, blocking irrelevant Ads etc and nothing ever made any more than +/- 10% difference in terms of CTR.
I killed the Analytics and my CTR more than doubled straight away. It would take a lot of new content to produce a 100% increase in income.
I don't know why you find it so hard to accept that there might be a software bug that's "losing" clicks - all software has bugs - every programmer knows this. I find it interesting that my Adsense and Analytics didn't integrate properly either - another bug. Obviously everyone didn't experience this, but it proves that there are bugs in Google's software (just like anyone else's).
Here to report that I had reasonably normal AdSense earnings yesterday, so perhaps (at least I'm hoping it is!), things are turning around.
|I don't know why you find it so hard to accept |
Years of heavy involvement in both AdWords and AdSense, since the first days they opened each program, and Overture before that. I'm confident I've got a pretty good handle on how it works, and what's statistically significant and what isn't.
|That doesn't address the fact that interest-based ads seem to be the cause of the CTR drops, though, Bill. |
How do you know that's the case for others, not just you?
Disable interest based ads for your site and let us know after a week or so if the problem corrects itself. I've never had interest-based ads enabled, sounded like a bad idea, didn't let it run on my site ever.
Others claim removing GA is correcting the problem.
Purely speculation when it's only been a day or two for any of those changes.
Brief spikes and dips do not make a trend.
It took weeks to discover a sustained problem, it will take weeks to prove a sustained solution, and then it will take more time to analyze whether any so-called solution solved everyone's problems.
In the end it could all be a bug, a fluke or multiple issues, but I'm still betting the long term effects, which we've seen happen over and over again, are smart pricing and advertisement adjustments like netmeg discussed.
Some have even ignored that it could even be simple SEO things on your site that need adjusting to better target the visitors and the ads.
Google adjusts their algos all the time so the key here is to figure out what has specifically changed and adapt because neither SEO nor AdSense are static and what works today may not work as well tomorrow and may completely crater in a year.
|I don't know why you find it so hard to accept that there might be a software bug that's "losing" clicks |
I'd be more inclined to suggest that removing the Analytics, which they may use, changed the types of ads you may be displaying which resulted in more clicks.
If you honestly thought you were ever losing clicks there are click tracking scripts you can install on your site that will count the number of clicks in AdSense that can be compared with the AdSense totals.
No need to randomly speculate when the tools are available to collect absolute empirical evidence of whether or not they actually have a bug in click counting.
If that was in fact the case, and lots of people have run those click counters in the past, there would certainly have been a lot of screaming about the discrepancy in all the AdSense forums over the years and there wasn't.
Not saying something new can't be happening here, but the tools to measure clicks exist.
|Disable interest based ads for your site and let us know after a week or so if the problem corrects itself. |
As noted earlier, "disabling" Interest Based Ads won't save you from Google displaying them on your sites:
At this point I'd be happy with a return to the average daily earnings mean I've had since 2005. Last month and most of this month has been running at about half that. Yesterday was just a little under the average. Earnings today is crawling along and not looking particularly promising. It'll be interesting to see where it winds up.
Well, I will be the guinea pig. I never really looked at google analytics, so I just took it off a site that used to do really well and has since tanked despite steady traffic. I'll post back in a week.
|Well, I will be the guinea pig. |
I removed it a couple of days ago and nothing has changed for me as yet.
It's now getting to the point of what do I do and when, the sites are still earning however I cannot see any way forward, no matter what I try or add to the sites my CTR keeps falling which makes any effort expended seem futile and depressing since it was a complete waste of time.
Is it pure and simple ad blindness? It's the only conclusion I can come to other than the obvious Google's screwing me ones!
Same here, CTR stayed same.
Encountered another lower revenue day yday and today revenue looks dismal!
This thread is 7 Short of 200 replies. Lets do it..
Yesterday earnings wound up 20% under the norm.
Any news from the folks who removed Analytics?
We have not yet seen any significant increase lately. We're still about at 50% of where we usually are.
Removing and adding analytics didn't show any significant changes. Earnings went down by 10% after adding it - wouldn't blame Analytics for that, though!
April has been a disaster. And perhaps for the first time I'd be holding my payments after 2 years :[
|Any news from the folks who removed Analytics? |
No difference for me so far however it's only been a couple of completed AdSense days.
I've never used Analytics and I have been experiencing a drop in earnings since April 13, after being steady for years.
I am thinking that the volcanic ash is somehow affecting Google's servers. Seems as likely an explanation as any....
I've been with adsense for years and have never seen the low CTR like I'm seeing now. I don't have GA on my sites and never have. Something else is going on here. It seems strange the CTR would be within 1-2% for years, now has gone down 4% to a level I've never seen even on a single day before.
|I am thinking that the volcanic ash is somehow affecting Google's servers. Seems as likely an explanation as any.... |
Lots of Europeans have been trapped away from home or hovering in airports for over a week because of the volcano.
We're talking 8k+ flights per day that would normally be full of people for over a week.
That's a lot of people potentially away from their computers for extended periods.
Earnings today are down 50%, again. :-(
|Earnings today are down 50%, again. :-( |
What do you do when earnings are down?
Do you check the ads running on your site?
Do you check to see if the traffic sources vary much from better paying days?
Do you check to see if the keywords driving traffic vary much from better paying days?
Do you check to see if your site has moved in the SERPs?
I'm hoping some of you are checking all these things.
There has to be some answers out there somewhere for some of you.
Hi incrediBILL. Yes, I check some of these things. There's a number of variables that could be at play for my site - recent redesign with all new URLs, Google index update which looks like it reduced the amount of pages indexed from my site by 30%+ are the two that seem to be the most likely to contribute, but not completely explain, the drop.
|recent redesign with all new URLs, Google index update which looks like it reduced the amount of pages indexed from my site by 30%+ are the two that seem to be the most likely to contribute, but not completely explain, the drop. |
Actually it sounds like the exact reasons.
Did you 301 redirect the old URLs to the new URLs?
Just remember, when it's not broken, don't fix it ;)
I think one of the reason for revenue drop could be that google is majoring time to load the site.
Ofcourse this is just one of the many reasons, but in my recent experimenting with site design of one of my site, I find out this makes impact on the overall revenue.
This site was loading fast compare to now so the revenues were great. Now when the loading time has gone up by 30-40% (after redesign) the revenues have come down.
We tried and adjusted the site loading time so that it could be somewhere near the earlier time. So now revenues are slowly showing improvements.
So guys just check many things such as Bill suggested
Your SERP ranking
Your site loading time
Visitor spending Time on your site etc etc.
Google it seems have become very smart and adding many more factors when giving out the money. :)
Just my two cents.
After the initial recovery of my CTR, it dropped again to about 50% of normal - I have received some messages stating that others also saw a recovery after removing analytics, but I don't know yet if the CTR has since dropped again.
I then blocked all of the advertisers that had been placement targeted to my site and low and behold, I then saw another recovery of the CTR. But this has since dropped off the cliff again so far today.
The common factor that I saw was that the relevance of the Ads improved dramatically for a day after each of those changes, only for it to fall off again on the second day after the change (today I can see nothing but irrelevant ads again).
For the sites that we ran adsense on we had no changes nearly large enough in traffic or any other measurable metric except earnings across the board being slashed 40% and then this month an additional 20%.
Being that somehow our account always manages to equal out to a certain amount of dollars per day despite the large range of sites and traffic I can only surmize that our payout percentage was lowered account wide twice since Feb 1st.
For those that want to argue that accounts are not capped for earnings I have many years of hard data to prove otherwise. Maybe not all accounts are but ours most certainly is capped for a monthly allowable amount. Almost like a salary if you will.
First drop in Feb dropped our account cap to x followed by another drop this month. In the past when this happened our reps told us they saw no evidence in our account of smartpricing and they were not allowed to give me any other reason they said.
Whether these drops are smartpricing or not I have no idea since we have had 5 reps in as many years and have not been reissued a rep since the last one was promoted.
When we removed adsense code a couple weeks ago our monthly earnings had been just 1/4th of our 6 year average. Ads all seemed spot on and there is no lack of advertisers in the tech areas we cover, if anything we are seeing a huge resurgance of advertisers as tech is really picking up.
It is what it is. Nothing we can do about it. As someone mentioned earlier we had the sites in 5th gear already. I refuse to blend and confuse our readers and spam up the sites with 5 ads per page. Being a larger brand we have alternate avenues available to us to monetize the sites.
It's a shame to see adsense go but business is business. Google is looking out for it's business and we are looking out for ours.
I cant help but think that with YPN shutting it's doors the greenlight was given to...
> As someone mentioned earlier we had the sites in 5th gear already.
That would have been me! ;-)
I agree drall, AdSense "is what it is." I'm not sure about the capping biz however as I've seen moments of glory (like September 2008 when for some reason earnings nearly doubled). This latest round of low earnings seems unusual and the inconsistency in stats from day to day points to something in flux on their end.
April 2010 has been awful. My traffic has increased about 20% or so, but my CTR has gone to about 50% of what it was therefore my eCPM has gone way down too.
I see many others have posted about April. Whenever I look at my sites the ads are relevant and normal ads. I just cannot understand why it is that when your traffic increases, that your income decreases. I see this posted about often. It makes one wonder why they bother adding new content sometimes.
I agree, but there's also the other way to it. If you had a dreadful say first 20 days in a month, Adsense will (might be) do everything it can to take your earnings to a level that it 'fixed' before hand.
And the other way is what Drall said. I earn huge amounts in the first half of the month and no matter what I do in the other half, my earnings will be 'capped' to restrict my earnings to a level that is 'fixed' before hand.
I experienced this many a time before.
This month April, doesn't satisfy that presumption though :)
I thought the last 10 days would take off, which it certainly did try, but not to the highs that I expected.
I only reached 66% of my March's earning with 4 days to go.
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