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This 246 message thread spans 9 pages: < < 246 ( 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 [8] 9 > >     
Drop in revenue

 4:45 am on Mar 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

I've been making my money off AdSense since before it was really released. But recently I had a pretty major database crash on my largest site. So while I was fixing it I've actually been improving the site, for instance I was running SMF for my forums and have since changed that to IP.Board.

The site is looking better than ever but my revenue has gone down and my traffic has taken a hit. Funny thing is that the CPM is down on all my content not just the pages that were effected by the crash.

Can it at all have to do with Googles Indexing of those changed pages... could that at all effect the ads on other pages?



 6:35 am on Apr 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

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.


 7:51 am on Apr 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

For those that want to argue that accounts are not capped for earnings I have many years of hard data to prove otherwise.

I've got data to prove otherwise, took a site from $3K/mo to $10/mo and the only limiting factor seems to be my creativity and how hard I'm willing to work to take it to the next level.

I know a publisher that makes $80K/month, wonder what their cap is?

Marcus Frind from PlentyOfFish claims he made $1M in 3 months, now that's a nasty cap!

The only thing capping your site is your imagination.


 8:26 am on Apr 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

I perfectly agree with Bill.


 10:26 am on Apr 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

The only thing capping your site is your imagination.

Or the size of ones niche...not every subject is capable of producing such levels and to state so is quite irresponsible.


 11:23 am on Apr 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

Or the size of ones niche...not every subject is capable of producing such levels and to state so is quite irresponsible.

Bill was exactly talking about that. Imagination!


 11:37 am on Apr 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

I spoke too soon yesterday as my CTR was reasonable again. I'm now thinking that it's purely a targeting/relevance problem as I am seeing mostly relevant ads again.

Removing all of the placement targeted Ads seems to have made a difference. Perhaps Google is too trusting of these.

BTW, how do I contact Google to report a bug in the Adsense interface?


 1:44 pm on Apr 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

IncrediBill you should work for the news, only taking the pieces you want to fit your viewpoint.

What I said was

"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."

You see that little part that says MAYBE NOT ALL ACCOUNTS ARE?

I would post my evidence to the account cap which my 13 year old daughter can easilly see that has been clearly put into OUR account but that would be against the Adsense TOS. Lets just say the now defunct CPA program sealed it from a scientific/mathmatical view.


 2:03 pm on Apr 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

I said simply I've never seen an account yet that couldn't be pushed higher.

Your niche may be limiting, but I've never seen an AdSense account that wouldn't pay more.

What you see as a cap could simply be that your site and all of it's competition has completely drained the ad money for your niche, it's not a bottomless pit of money, there are limits. However, you can jockey to be the 800lb gorilla in your nice and take more of that pie.

Once I thought I'd hit an AdSense ceiling, I was wrong, thought I'd max'd out my traffic too, yet again, I was wrong. I took the site from 300K visitors/mo to 1M visitors/mo a couple of years ago in a 3 month period and documented that rocket ride and 3x income boost in this very forum. It was more SEO than anything plus refining the keywords I was targeting to best match the most bid on terms.

Unfortunately, when you start pulling in those kinds of raw traffic numbers and you have lots of competitors, they catch on fast and start chipping away at your traffic leaving you to look for something creative to do all over again.

Obviously your niche could be self limiting because of a finite demand, but then again you have the options to try other niches, or figure out ways to totally dominate your existing niche and get the lion's share of ad revenue.

My niche also has a very wide advertiser base so I can target generic widgets and specific terms used by global advertisers plus local terms and pick up local ad money as well.

Like I said, never seen a site yet that has hit it's maximum performance but I've see a few site owners that did ;)


 2:20 pm on Apr 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

Like I said, never seen a site yet that has hit it's maximum performance but I've see a few site owners that did ;)

If this forum had a tagline, this should be it.


 5:40 pm on Apr 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

That really is so true. I can only speak from my own experience but eventually I just burned out development wise. When i started a few years ago, i didn't realize just how much there would be to keep up with. I mean i learned basic html and got some really great rankings in real popular niches but after a couple years found it hard to keep up with the changing standards in versions whether css, xhtml, dhtml, java, javascript, , mysql,php, etc. Then there is cross browser compatibilty, bad bots, log analysis, hosting issues etc. I've learned a hell of a lot last few years but feel i have reached my max performance.

Back on topic, since january, my ctr has remained one third of the steady norm it held for 4 years. The canadian dollar being basically at parity has to affect the ad base, so i am sure that is part of it but FWIW IMHO i am convinced after reading the many threads here it seems ads based on user history has hit a lot of publishers hard. I still don't understand how they reason that if someone bought a fridge last week that they are still looking for another fridge. I guess they must go day to day for it to work. Just speculation again of course but maybe conversion rates are better for the advertisers and thats why they havn't aborted it.


 9:15 pm on Apr 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

Just for the sake of argument:

My small, steady site (plus two daily blogs) is on track to finish April 2010 with less than a 5% decline from April 2009.

Comparing April to March or any other month is not an apples to apples comparison; only monthly year-over-year comparisons are worthwhile (why do you think Wall Street compares current month to previous month - a tiny increase looks large and like a positive, spurring more confidence, and thus, more trading).

Netmeg and IncrediBILL seem to have the most relevant posts on this month's "sky is falling" topic.

These drops and spikes happen all the time, to different people. April 2010 is likely nothing different.

April weather in the Northeast US (huge segment of the internet population) has been warmer and drier than normal, possibly less internet use. Also, changing patterns of Facebook, twitter, etc., plus the usual algo changes could have contributed to pattern changes.

Lots of other factors, too numerous to mention, could have caused changes.

Probably better to work on your own site, maybe even sell some ads on your own, than tweak, moan, complain, conjecture.

Adsense is generally "passive" income. I am the envy of most of my friends who, like me, are still a decade away from Social Security or pensions. It's like real estate rental income (when the tenants are paying on time). Consider yourself fortunate that Google came along and has paid what they have paid these past 7 years. Maybe something better is out there, maybe not. Actual real estate is pretty cheap most places.

Somewhere on another thread somebody posted that my posts were something like "brilliant." I naturally concur.

A little effort into diversifying your income stream may be well worth the time.


 9:54 pm on Apr 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

These drops and spikes happen all the time, to different people. April 2010 is likely nothing different.

I run four adsense accounts and three of them are well up on last year. So I am not saying that the sky is falling in.

However, on the largest account, there was a sudden drop in CTR after a very consistent 5 years.
I played with pretty much everything that I could for the last couple of weeks and the last few days seem to be back to the old 'normal' CTR.

The more that I think about it, the logical answer seems to be that some advertisers targeted my site with Ads that were not appealing to my users and that caused the drop in my CTR.

I am now going to just kill all placement targeted campaigns (there were a lot targeted at my site) as even the ones that should be relevant seemed to have bad titles.
e.g. "New York Red Widgets" appearing on my Los Angeles Red Widget site. The advertisers also had stores in LA, but the New York Ad was being displayed on my site.

Has anyone else who has experienced CTR drops tried removing the placement targeted ads in the Ad Review Center?


 11:05 pm on Apr 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

IncrediBILL, I probably better then most understand what you are saying.

In 07 we added CPA, lets say we were making 50k per month. Lets say we gained 10k per month via CPA. 30 days later to the day our regular CPC revenue dropped exactly 10k balancing the account back to its 50k per month average literally to the penny.

We expanded CPA again to confirm what we long suspected before this. Lets say the second expansion of CPA brought in another 5k per month. Just like clockwork 30days later to the hour our regular cpc earnings dropped by exactly 5k bringing our monthly balance to 50k again.

Now this is spread across a dozen or so sites. So earnings came in on this account spread across a dozen sites and thousands of clicks a day and brought in 50k per month every month for years.

Introduce CPA and earnings drop across a dozen sites all on the same day to completely balance out to the account average of 50k. Not once but twice.

Now smartpricing cannot be blamed in this instance as in the past due to the simple fact that the increased earnings came via conversions.

Traffic 4x same monthly revenue

CTR increases same monthly revenue

CTR decreases same monthly revenue

15k per month in CPA conversions, same monthly revenue

Additional medium sized sites (500-1mil vis) added to the account, same monthly revenue.

/shrug if thats not an account cap I sure would love to know wth it is.


 3:35 am on Apr 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

/shrug if thats not an account cap I sure would love to know wth it is.

Advertisers possibly adjusting their budgets will account for a lot of sudden fluctuations like that.

They throw a bunch of money into it initially, see what's paying then focus there and pull back in other places.

Additionally, AdSense may not have been smart pricing your inventory for certain aspects and suddenly they did.

I've seen the same boom and bust but mine have had 6-12 month runs and usually I find that a competitor(s) has focused on a well paying keyword that I was taking for granted.

I'm just too lazy to keep up with it all but I know it can be done, I just keep enough done that the mortgage is paid, the lights are on, Comcast is paid, the liquor cabinet is full, and I can do whatever I want the rest of the day, which is often parking my carcass in a pub with a pal arguing over the hot topic of the day :)


 4:12 am on Apr 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

Look, if fearlessrick is mentioning me since I compared April's earnings with March's, it's only because my earnings were nascent last March/April. In fact, I only started receiving checks monthly from April 2009 (for earnings accumulated from Dec 2008 till March 2009). However, it's an incredible growth since then from a few hundreds of $ per month to few thousands of them now.
Thus, this fall of nearly 25% from previous month is something new 'to me'.


 12:54 am on Apr 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

I want the rest of the day, which is often parking my carcass in a pub with a pal arguing over the hot topic of the day :)

Try getting into the real world!

Bet this one gets deleted as well!


 6:15 am on Apr 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

we have seen huge rev drop in the last few months but mainly April 2010. Lets hope we recover in may or June by summer.


 10:43 am on Apr 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

Ditto! HUGE revenue drop in the month of April. Can't wait for this month to end, and yeah, yday overall revenue was the worst of all time!

I am shocked.


 1:17 pm on Apr 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

Every month I'm hitting new all time lows.


 1:26 pm on Apr 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

lol incrediBILL, I wish I had that kind of freedom:)

Anyhow, the few channels/sites we still have adsense on are continuing to crash and burn. These sites have been running adsense since the 2003 beta and are now seeing revenues down by some 70% from any yearly average data we have.

Not worth my time anymore but I will keep a few of these sites running adsense so I can win the office pool in the new game we have of "how low can adsense go".


 3:43 pm on Apr 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

It's like April just ran out of steam. We still had a great month, but today is pretty disappointing so far.

Note to anyone reading my comment - two days does not make a trend. I'm not even looking for my panic button, let alone thinking about pushing it.


 4:03 pm on Apr 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

These past days have been sucky as hell for me. CTR is a bit higher than normal but my CPM is cut by 70%...


 5:32 pm on Apr 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

<These drops and spikes happen all the time, to different people. April 2010 is likely nothing different.>
True , but what is different is that now many that have endured those drops and spikes for years are experiencing long lasting drops that had'nt recovered as usual, coinciding with IBA testing and implimentation.

As for typical fluctuations, we all know there have always been many factors, ad placement, more competition, economy,war etc and of course natural disasters,which reminds me that like tornados not everyones house gets blown down so just because some houses are still standing doesnt mean there wasnt a tornado.


 5:41 pm on Apr 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

Things change.


 6:33 pm on Apr 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

January was excellent but February didn't perform well but in total I was satisfied.
At beginning of march we introduced new layout with new sections and decent ad placement (never more than two per page and never on places that may be clicked accidental) and earning almost doubles virtually over night and everything looks great until that dreadful middle of march. From that date to this Monday we saw many lowest earning days ever (in a last 6 years) - lowest CTR and ECPM ever so this April final earnings will be pathetic, about 40% percent less than usual in slow months (we talk about four, sometimes five digits numbers).

But last few days shows some signs of recovery, not so good as two months before but decent and with little luck this Friday will be as on good old days.


 8:47 am on May 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

System: The following 2 messages were spliced on to this thread from: http://www.webmasterworld.com/google_adsense/4125367.htm [webmasterworld.com] by martinibuster - 1:34 am on May 1, 2010 (utc -8)

Since I do not have a comparable FY 09 April data, I'll compare it to March earnings. I know its not Apples to apples, but still..
My earnings are down by 23% with traffic (adsense impressions) being down by 9%.

I'm 2 hours into May 1, and things are looking worse(er) than April. Okay I'll be optimistic..


 9:33 am on May 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

You can't compare two hours of one day to a whole month. Things are often slow first thing in the morning. Yesterday for me was slow, but ended up being the best day of the month.

Strange for two reasons...
1: It was a friday (which for me is normally a below-par day)
2: Last day of the month (when budgets are normally at a low)

I was in your boat last year. It hit me bad for a few months. It recovered and escaped the downturn this year.


 1:49 pm on May 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

Bill is right as usual. My account isn't capped.

It is more likely that the following influences drive earnings changes:

1) Advertiser budgets
2) Visitor interest in ads based on content, attributes, position, and ad blindness
3) Number of visitors

Also, too many of #3 will wear out #1


 2:37 pm on May 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

I've noticed another strange detail:
During past 5-6 years I'm regularly checked stats at 7PM (GMT+1) or about middle of "Adsense day". It was very easy to predict how that day will perform to the end by simply math - stats at 7PM is usually about 30-35% of total earnings for that day.

From middle of March in 10-15 days there was strange behavior that total earnings is about amount at 7PM plus 5 to 10% with normal traffic and ad impressions. Everything looks like somebody decided that one day will worth some fixed amount (or ad inventory) no matter how much additional click your site generate.


 8:06 pm on May 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

May is starting with a BANG! Yeah! 90% of my clicks are not worth more than $0,03 (down from $0,60 on average in March/april) WTH! CTR is bit higher. I didn't change anything on my sites. Ads are relevent etc.. oh well...


 1:08 pm on May 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

Extremely disappointing earnings now with average EPC down 20%, interestingly I have had several regular AdWords advertisers contacting me direct requesting my rates.

It's not a route I really want to go down however it may be one I shall now be forced to take.

This 246 message thread spans 9 pages: < < 246 ( 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 [8] 9 > >
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