One possible explanation is that users of alternative browsers could be considered generally more web-savvy, and they would naturally therefore be less inclined to click, and more likely to be using ad-blocking software.
The part that kills me is that Chrome, the browser Google pushes, would result in a significant decline in AdSense revenue across the board if they're successful making it mainstream with 20% usage or more assuming the low CTR trend continued.
Google's own plans for market dominance could severely impact their own bottom line.
Of course we'll all suffer right along with them ;)
For me its
Internet Explorer -3.68%
So Compare to last year yes,but if I look revenue wise inspite of reducing the share, IE has got me more revenue than last year.
IMHO IE users tend to click more because
a)More new or novice users using IE. I use FF for long time now, but my wife still thinks IE IS internet.
b) This happens because IE comes as default browser still in many parts of the world.(May not be in EU now). So the users who buy new laptops or desktop get it as default and they really dont know about other browser.
c) Audiance like in india where people still know only IE (Majority of them I can say according to my experience.)
even the tech savvy users I have seen use IE just because lack of knowledge about other browsers.
I know a lot of non techie users just can't be bothered to download a new browser. They feel that IE works for them and "downloading" is a dangerous thing that lets viruses into your computer (not realising that most malware is probably targeted at IE users). These are the ones that are most likely to click on ads.
If G gets a deal for a major reseller to pre-install Chrome as default then the figures will probably change.
I see the same re IE users clicking more
Feb - Apr
IE 61% 73%
FF 20% 18%
SF 13% 7%
CR 4% 2%
Nov - Jan
IE 62% 72%
FF 21% 17%
SF 12% 9%
CR 3% 2%
But the BIG surprise was that 95% of all search visitors who came in from Bing were using IE. The group represents only 10% of searchers who use IE as their browser. 80% used Google.
Very interesting statistics. And the causative effect in the gradual lowering of Adsense income (for a given amount of traffic) is, as has been pointed out, surely not the switch to non-IE browsers but the increasing savviness of users. To put it another way, we'd still be experiencing the same reduction in income per visitor even if there was no choice of browser beyond IE. It's just that a high proportion of people who don't tend to click on ads also tend to be selective about their browser.
Anyhow, as you say, not a lot we can do except to grow our sites to compensate for the downturn.
Last year I was affected by a huge drop in earnings. It started April 1st and lasted for some time.
This year, I am doing well.
PS: I am an IE6 user, and rarely click on adverts no matter where I have come from.
|To put it another way, we'd still be experiencing the same reduction in income per visitor even if there was no choice of browser beyond IE. |
Not necessarily more savvy, but possibly burned by the internet.
Many decide to switch browsers because they get hit by a malicious website that forces IE to download a virus or something nasty.
Firefox has better tools to address the malicious website issue so it's an obvious choice for people to use.
That's way interesting, Bill. I'm going to run some numbers tonight on my sites.
The first thing that jumps to mind is that Firefox has the ad blocker extensions, and Chrome users (at least the ones I know) may tend to be a little more technical and maybe less apt to click on ads.
|Therefore, as MSIE usage has declined from 68% to 51% on my site over the last 3 years |
I can agree with you about MSIE usage decline. I see similar numbers on our GA accounts.
|People using MSIE tend to have a significantly higher CTR on AdSense ads compared to visitors using any other browser. |
That's not true for our websites. Both our CTR and eCPM are better for visitors using Chrome, Firefox and Safari (in this exact order) if compared to CTR and eCPM of visitors using MSIE.
However I'm a troll living in the jungle, so don't take it too seriously. ;-)
|1. Internet Explorer 4.79% |
2. Firefox 3.69%
3. Safari 3.47%
4. Chrome 3.30%
5. Opera 3.20%
Maybe it's simply that after you get past #1 and maybe #2 above, the number of people using those browsers and visiting your site and seeing the AdSense ads on your site aren't enough to be statistically significant. (That's number of people not percentage of the total.)
|One possible explanation is that users of alternative browsers could be considered generally more web-savvy, and they would naturally therefore be less inclined to click |
|...may tend to be a little more technical and maybe less apt to click on ads. |
I don't follow the logic of an assumption that someone who is web-savvy or more technical is less likely to click on an AdSense ad.
I would expect that someone who is web-savvy or technical to understand that clicking on an AdSense ad is safe (relatively speaking) and a FREE way to find out about a product or service that is of interest.
Bill, you should check the numbers on search engine users. I get much better CTR and earnings from non-Google SE visitors compared to Google itself (not surprising, perhaps. They won't have just seen the same or similar ads). This may be a larger effect than browsers.
|I don't follow the logic of an assumption that someone who is web-savvy or more technical is less likely to click on an AdSense ad. |
Because part of what I do is study how the less technical and web savvy users actually use search engines and websites. And you'd be amazed about how many of them still don't realize that Google ads are ads.
|And you'd be amazed about how many of them still don't realize that Google ads are ads. |
Is there an assumption that some significant number of people wouldn't click on an ad for a product or service they are seeking if they knew it was an ad?
No real surprise IE is higher. Many people who use Firefox have Adblock installed which blocks adsense.
encyclo and netmeg live in the same world as I do. Sometimes I think about launching a rant here about the disconnect between what the web can do and what most people do with it. The growth in the money-making potential of the web is going to be influenced to a large degree in how fast people become savvy about it.
And it's not good news. Look at what is going on with news as people become more and more savvy about it. It's more difficult to make money providing news.
Lawyers are worried about this as well. It's not just services on the web that rate lawyers or provide wills and such, but government is getting more "user friendly" where joe citizen can handle zoning cases, incorporation, and such.
I think this data is pointing to a trend in click rate which, overall, really doesn't have anything to do with browsers.
|Many people who use Firefox have Adblock installed which blocks adsense. |
Are there statistics for that?
Chrome is NOT impacting Adsense income, you simply are looking at statistics incorrectly. When I was using IE, up to a week ago, I was part of that MASSIVE statistic of those using IE. I didn't click then, and I don't click now. My adding to the IE percentage wasn't even a blip in the stats.
Now I am using Chrome. Does it mean that Chrome is the reason I am not clicking? NO, I don't click because generally there is a free link that will do the job. I call it responsible clicking, given that I am an Adsense publisher. Irresponsible would be clicking everything I see just to rack up revenue for a publisher, though I have no intent to buy a product or service.
When you look at statistics from a massive group, you can not compare them to a smaller group, number to number or even by percentage. The sample group is too small to really identify any trends. With a sample group of 300, 1% is only three visitors. With a sample group of 300,000 1% is 3,000. You wouldn't notice me not clicking in your stats of 300,000. But, in the sample group of 300, I am important.
I assure you, those who clicked before, are simply not clicking now that they are using chrome. I think it is more likely most of those using Chrome are Google addicts, using everything Google, which includes a wide range of business products.
Joe Blow using Google Chrome, may have never heard of G Analytics, only using the Gmail and Chrome products. He clicks, he clicked before and he will still click once using Chrome.
Joe Webmaster, likely part of the bulk of Chrome users, is like me, a Google product addict. He uses Google sitemap, analytics, custom search, website gadgets... the works. He doesn't click, and neither do I. Nothing has changed in our behavior just because we now choose to faster browser.
I personally know of a dozen machines recently converted to Chrome, and everyone is used by a tech. We do a lot of searching for information, not products or services. People searching for information or news, have a low CTR, as you well know.
It is my belief that once Chrome is more widely used by online consumers (who comprise the bulk of the clickers) the CTR will rise dramatically. Like every other aspect of the internet, the techs pave the way when it comes to innovation. Then, the consumer follows. I wouldn't put much stock in these relative early statics. They really don't mean much in the larger scheme of things.
|Is there an assumption that some significant number of people wouldn't click on an ad for a product or service they are seeking if they knew it was an ad? |
There is by me; it's anecdotal (meaning I don't have any stats I'm willing to give out), but definitely a recurring theme.
|When you look at statistics from a massive group, you can not compare them to a smaller group, number to number or even by percentage. The sample group is too small to really identify any trends. With a sample group of 300, 1% is only three visitors. With a sample group of 300,000 1% is 3,000. You wouldn't notice me not clicking in your stats of 300,000. But, in the sample group of 300, I am important. |
I agree. It's the point I brought up earlier - only you said it better.
|The growth in the money-making potential of the web is going to be influenced to a large degree in how fast people become savvy about it. |
I disagree. But for anyone who does agree, I'll just reference the abbreviated version of the serenity prayer.
|God grant me the serenity |
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
|Chrome is NOT impacting Adsense income, you simply are looking at statistics incorrectly |
Maybe. Maybe not.
Chrome itself obviously isn't at fault but it's perhaps a clue as to the root cause of lower CTR.
Why did these people switch to Chrome, there had a be a reason.
Obviously the statistics are just numbers without more information kind of misleading at times.
However, how can MSIE decline over 18% over 3 years, which generates a high number of clicks while other browsers rise to fill that gap generating much lower numbers of clicks.
In both cases they're clicking, but the variance between the top 2 browsers is simply disturbing and nothing I can change.
Slipping in the SERPs, off top ads, and to some extent even smart pricing can be dealt with but the browser and the trends of those using that browser?
I'm kinda stuck with Farmboy's serenity prayer on this issue.
|Many people who use Firefox have Adblock installed which blocks adsense. |
Are there statistics for that?
#5 here: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/recommended with 737,863 weekly downloads
Could it be that the adverts are more related when using IE than other browsers ?
I'm missing something.
Firstly I don't think that a crazy clicker switching to Chrome from MSIE can suddenly develop a total revulsion for AdSense ads.
Said that, let's assume that web savvy users are switching to Chrome; let's also assume that web savvy users are not clickers.
Why is it so important for you what kind of browser they are using?
HAHA! That's funny! Personally I think that it is unlikely there is a direct correlation. This seems like saying:
Blueberries are blue & the sky is blue, so therefore the sky must be made of blueberries!
Buzzdown, welcome to WebmasterWorld! What you're talking about is "correlation does not imply causation"
IncrediBILL noted that there seems to exist a correlation. For sites with thousands of daily visitors, the percentage differences become statistically significant. So, +1 for correlation.
About causation... That hasn't been determined yet. We're trying to establish what those causes could be.
Edit/add: some supporting evidence that seems to indicate that "less savvy users click more" CTR of AOL/organic sourced traffic is 2x that of Google/organic.
|No real surprise IE is higher. Many people who use Firefox have Adblock installed which blocks adsense. |
Sorry again. How can Adblock reduce your AdSense CTR?
That information does not support the contention that many FF users have adblock installed. The fact is that FF 3.6 has been downloaded at a rate of 30 million users per week. IF you correlate those downloads to the AdBlock download rate, then that works out to a guesstimate of only 2% of FF users are using AdBlock. Before anyone quibbles about that figure, I understand that there is no direct correlation between the two figures. That's why I call it a guesstimate. But it's a lot closer to reality than saying many FF users have an adblocker installed and causing a CTR drop.
AdBlock Plus Statistics
78 million total users.
9 million Active Daily Users on On Sunday, Apr. 25, 2010
10 million total users.
100k active users yesterday.
Here are the statistics:
The data is clear. The vast majority of FF users are not using AdBlock. We cannot scapegoat FireFox for a decline in CTR.
[edited by: martinibuster at 10:24 pm (utc) on Apr 26, 2010]
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