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This 93 message thread spans 4 pages: 93 ( [1] 2 3 4 > >     
Connection Between Interest Based Ads and Low CTR?
Are More Interest Based Ads Dropping CTR?
Roseb44170




msg:4123176
 8:40 pm on Apr 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

I know that there are a lot of posts having to do with a low CTR and I was looking at one of my blogs today and noticed that some of the ads were related to sites that I was looking at previously as opposed to the ads being about the content that is on the actual blog itself.

Could that possibly have something to do with getting low CTR - meaning having the ads being based on where the visitor was previously as opposed to the actually content on the site?

 

Sally Stitts




msg:4123233
 10:18 pm on Apr 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

I maintained a CTR of 8% or better for YEARS.
On April 1, my CTR immediately dropped to UNDER 4%, and has been there ever since. I made no changes of any kind.

Something REALLY BIG happened then, which has NOT been explained. I can't understand the lack of buzz on this topic. Others got blasted on March 15. I think they stagger these things, to keep the noise level down.

The bizarre thing is that my EPC doubled, and is now back to 2006 levels.

It takes a lot of faith to stay with these guys, no? Especially since you can be summarily executed at any time, with no explanation whatsoever. I am currently embarking upon a diversification binge. There is just too much uncertainty, and lack of transparency. Only an idiot would put all their eggs in one basket, in light of all these unexplained, unfathomable "adjustments".

So, you think it is the "interest-based" ads thing? As good a guess as I can think of. How can we know?

netmeg




msg:4123644
 2:43 pm on Apr 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

We can't. You can beat and beat and beat your head against the wall, and it will make no difference. You will never know.

I've been thinking my CTR has dropped horribly too, but yesterday I compared Jan 1 - April 26 2009 to Jan 1 - April 26 2010, and it's actually UP. Who knew. And I don't have any thing blocked or disallowed except a handful of sites I just don't like.

I don't like the ads that follow you around because I think they're creepy, but I don't (so far) see any reason to think they're costing me money.

Leonard0




msg:4123681
 3:50 pm on Apr 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

My CTR for April is about half of what it was in April 2009. It has been dropping steadily over that period compared to the corresponding months a year earlier. However, the CTR on my sites had been decreasing prior to that, though slower.
It was around April 2009 that interest-based ads started to roll out.
Luckily, increased impressions and EPC have maintained my revenues (so far, fingers crossed).

wanderingmind




msg:4124191
 7:59 am on Apr 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

After doing some research in Google about web hosting, I had a hosting company's display ad follow me around the Web for the next few days. It was disconcerting. If they were different ads from different companies, I might have clicked them. Here, no clicking. Might be happening to others.

sonjay




msg:4124240
 10:46 am on Apr 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

I've been noticing the interest-based ads in my general surfing. I do some research on a product, order one from somewhere, and for days afterward I'm seeing ads for that product and similar ones on all the sites I visit.

It's kind of creepy. From the point of view of a websurfer and consumer, I don't like it.

There seems to be a slight drop in CTR on my own AdSense ads, dating from around mid-February. I'm not sure the interest ads were even rolled out by then, though, so I'm not sure it can be attributed to that.

bumpski




msg:4124246
 11:12 am on Apr 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

Here's one reason interest based ads might really affect your CTR.

A lot of traffic on my sites comes at "lunch hour". Surfers taking their first real break from work and wanting to get some serious PERSONAL shopping done. BUT, where are they? They're still at work. They've been using the internet for hours investigating WORK related topics.

But now they want to shop for personal items. But what ads are showing? Boring work related interest ads!

SO no clicks!

If Adsense allowed a geo-located timer control on interest based ads such that they would turn off or reset at lunch hour, then maybe they would work. Until then I leave them OFF!

Go to your "My Account" Tab and turn them off, maybe it will help!

john5000




msg:4124247
 11:13 am on Apr 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

>>>I don't like the ads that follow you around because I think they're creepy<<<

>>>I had a hosting company's display ad follow me around the Web for the next few days. It was disconcerting<<<

>>>It's kind of creepy. From the point of view of a websurfer and consumer, I don't like it. <<<

me too, very creepy.

Months ago, I researched a potential vacation destination, and today am still seeing google ads following me around related to an airline that specializes in travel to that location. It kinda makes me not want to visit that place or use that airline company. Also, it pushes me toward keeping my adblocker switched on.

AndyA




msg:4124257
 11:41 am on Apr 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

I've noticed that if I search for something on Bing, I see ads related to that search in Google AdSense on sites I visit later. Is this possible? Are Bing and Google somehow working together to share this information?

I don't like it at all. And once I've found what I'm looking for, I'm not interested in seeing ads about it for the next few hours or days. And that's the really big problem with interest based ads, other than being creepy. They very likely aren't relevant after the initial search.

AndyA




msg:4124266
 11:58 am on Apr 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

I went back and checked my stats for the period January 1 - April 28, 2009 vs. January 1 - April 28, 2010.

1. Impressions are almost identical (traffic is up, but I've reduced AS impressions because of its poor performance).

2. Click throughs are down 50%.

Ad Sense is the ONLY advertiser on my site showing a decrease this year.

You tell me where the problem is. I'm pretty sure it's not my site, though.

brassneck




msg:4124294
 12:59 pm on Apr 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

Absolutely pathethic stats this week. Just looked at a tourist south for South Wales and got an ad about London shopping deals. This degree of bad matching is apparent for a lot of sites I am looking at. No wonder my stats are 50 per cent down this week across the 100 sites we manage.

ken_b




msg:4124341
 1:40 pm on Apr 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

Here's one reason interest based ads might really affect your CTR.

A lot of traffic on my sites comes at "lunch hour". Surfers taking their first real break from work and wanting to get some serious PERSONAL shopping done. BUT, where are they? They're still at work. They've been using the internet for hours investigating WORK related topics.

But now they want to shop for personal items. But what ads are showing? Boring work related interest ads!

SO no clicks!


That's an interesting observation, it gives a clear example of how IBAs can negatively affect a publisher.

londrum




msg:4124346
 1:50 pm on Apr 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

i think we've got to remember that these ads are probably making google more money, so we are stuck with them. because it allows them to put ads on sites where they'd never normally get a look in, which burns through the advertisers budget quicker.

before, they might just be competing to appear on 100 sites, but now they might have a shot of appearing on thousands. the individual click rate for any one publisher might drop as a result, but the clicks are likely racking up for google a lot quicker.

AndyA




msg:4124387
 2:40 pm on Apr 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

i think we've got to remember that these ads are probably making google more money, so we are stuck with them. because it allows them to put ads on sites where they'd never normally get a look in, which burns through the advertisers budget quicker.

before, they might just be competing to appear on 100 sites, but now they might have a shot of appearing on thousands. the individual click rate for any one publisher might drop as a result, but the clicks are likely racking up for google a lot quicker.


The problem with this theory is: as AdSense continues to perform poorly for publishers, they will cut back on impressions because AS is no longer worth the real estate. Those sites where they'd never get a look in likely will convert more poorly than the 100 other sites, which means less value for the advertiser.

Google may make more money in the short term, but this is not a long term plan to increase profits.

buckworks




msg:4124399
 3:05 pm on Apr 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

If someone's follow-up ad is overdone to the extent that it's giving you the creeps, the advertiser is using their AdWords remarketing tools very badly.

Remarketing works best when done with a light hand. Advertisers should be aiming for an occasional courteous reminder, not "stalk the user".

wanderingmind




msg:4125126
 6:33 pm on Apr 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

AndyA, if the ads are making Google more money, then they are making more money for publishers too? (unless Google has made any changes in the revenue share)

If that is the case, despite them being a nuisance to some of us, we can't complain, right?

I think its mostly a case of Google experimenting with IBA for a while. That could last a month or two or even more till they have enough data. So from their point of view, if publishers (and maybe they themselves) lose a bit of money for a while, so be it..?

Roseb44170




msg:4128248
 5:18 pm on May 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

Thank you all for posting your comments. There has got to be a way to be able to get these CTR's up - just haven't figured out what it is yet. Increasing the traffic I guess is always a good thing to do as well as that old standby of providing good content and increasing the reputation of the site(s).

martinibuster




msg:4128293
 6:16 pm on May 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

Fwiw, I had been researching certain products and later on, on an unrelated site saw an image ad for discounted products. I clicked the AdSense ad and bookmarked the site.

If you want your CTR and earnings to go up, your topic has to be about a product. It helps if site visitors are not advanced but newbies. It also helps if typical keywords are questions like How do I... Where do I find... etc. Check if you have those kinds or phrases in your copy.

alephh




msg:4128436
 9:14 pm on May 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

I disagree with martinibuster: there was a time when having a topic about a product was great thing. There was a time when good content was the king.

Now, thanks to the creepy interest based ads system, page about "how google <snip> may generate $1.00 clicks, but product page with your lifelong expertise pour into it may show some "play free games in hell" ads which are worth $0.000001 per click.

I understand how IBA makes sense/profit to google: most of the adsense pages are full of cr*p, there will never be related ads to most of them. But now, money is more evenly spread: it is very likely that budgets are consumed completely.

And there is another bonus for google as the money is more evenly spread among publishers: many (tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands?) minor publishers never reach the required $100 to cash their profits and just forgot about their adsense account, ultimately leaving their money to Google.

I agree with what AndyA said: Google will not make more money in the long term. Let's say you have gardening ads: which click will convert better, the one from a gardening site or the one from a "die slowly in the grease fire" hate-post on some random blog.

Another factor: site credibility. If you have a high quality site about religious books, visitors will see (interest based) ads about thai-man-ladys, free games, ring tones for cellphone, how to cheat without getting caught, etc... and those visitors wont be happy visitors, appreciating your site.

And what the hell can you write back to people who write to you complaining seeing "sick ads" on your site? Honest reply to the visitor would be: Google has followed you around and knows for a fact that you are interest in this "sick" topic. Huh.

The very core of the adsense was: write about something and get RELATED ads. I just want that back.

And I personally deeply hate the way ads follow you: I searched for a book, and then bought it. Now, day after day, I keep seeing ads for that book. For heaven's sake, I'm not going to buy the same book for a second time, or a third time. All those ad-views are wasted.

[edited by: martinibuster at 9:56 pm (utc) on May 6, 2010]
[edit reason] Removed obscenity. Keep it clean, please. [/edit]

drall




msg:4128464
 10:18 pm on May 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

They really should give us a option to turn it on or off. The few channels I run adsense on still have watched ctr implode over the last few months. Granted these channels are only throwing out 100 cpms a day it still is easy to see that ever since the intro and ramping up of this stuff it has had a horrible impact on ctr and thus earnings.

At least give us the option to turn it OFF google. I dont want to see car insurance ads on my tech site just because I was looking at car insurance 8 hrs ago.

eeek




msg:4128513
 12:10 am on May 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

for days afterward I'm seeing ads for that product


I ordered some tea over a month ago and I'm still seeing ads for that company on my site. Why would Google think an ad for a site I already order from would be something I would click?

martinibuster




msg:4128541
 1:47 am on May 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

I disagree with martinibuster:


You are reading way too much into my post. There is nothing in my post (reproduced below) to disagree with.

Fwiw, I had been researching certain products and later on, on an unrelated site saw an image ad for discounted products. I clicked the AdSense ad and bookmarked the site.


Good luck.
;)

JasonDX




msg:4128565
 3:07 am on May 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

I am seeing interest based ads on my site for the first time. I had suspected that this was happening ever since my ctr crashed in half months ago but I personally had never seen interest based ads on my site. I just spent a few minutes visiting some stock investing websites and now adsense is displaying ads for "stock investing reports" on my site. My site has absolutely nothing to do with investing. I can see how something like this can kill a site's CTR. Maybe they should call these, "contextual untargetd ads".

SEOPTI




msg:4128584
 4:04 am on May 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

They should give us a channel for

a) interest based ads
b) google certified ad networs
c) filtered categories

JasonDX




msg:4128586
 4:13 am on May 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

They should give us a channel for

a) interest based ads
b) google certified ad networs
c) filtered categories


Or the option to opt out of interest based ads altogether. This way we can run our own tests to see if they benefit our site.

martinibuster




msg:4128628
 7:30 am on May 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

I am seeing an increase in interest based ads lately. As I mentioned above, I actually clicked on an ad, which may be the first time I ever did that. Someone outside the search industry mentioned having noticed their their browsing behavior reflected in the ads they saw and that it was a bit creepy.

My CTR doesn't seem to have been affected. But I'm not doubting that others are having a different experience.

  • Why would some sites be affected more than others?
  • Is behavioral targeting not a good fit for some sites?
  • What factors make a site a poor candidate for behavioral targeted ads?

Lame_Wolf




msg:4128647
 8:24 am on May 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

I am seeing an increase in interest based ads lately.


I don't see them. I keep trying to, but the adverts are related to what is on the page, not for what I have been searching for. [IE6]

glitterball




msg:4128672
 10:01 am on May 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

* Why would some sites be affected more than others?
* Is behavioral targeting not a good fit for some sites?
* What factors make a site a poor candidate for behavioral targeted ads?


Since I run some diverse types of sites, I'll add my two cents.
One site that seems to be benefiting from interest-based ads is a free social-networking type site. It has no real Ad focus (except for competing pay sites) and a very broad audience. Adsense earnings are well up year-on-year.

Another site has a very focused subject and is used by people researching something just before they buy.
This site is really suffering and I am seeing more and more irrelevant Ads.

As someone said earlier, it would be nice if we could have the choice of displaying interest-based Ads on a per Ad basis.
For instance, I would like to be able show interest-based Ads on my Forum, but not on the rest of my site.

bumpski




msg:4128685
 10:32 am on May 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

You can turn off interest based ads. If this is repetitious, sorry!

From your Account settings:
My Account Tab:

Scroll down to see:

Interest-based Ads Preference [edit]

Interest-based ads: Do not show ads based on user interest categories. Visitation information from my sites will not be used to help create interest categories.

londrum




msg:4128694
 11:04 am on May 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

i'm sure those words have changed again. because it never used to be that clear-cut. when they phrase it "Do not show ads based on user categories" it seems pretty straight forward. you would think that interest-based ads wouldn't show.

i wish google would come on here and give us a definitive answer.

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