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This 54 message thread spans 2 pages: 54 ( [1] 2 > >     
Do Glass Ceilings Exist in AdSense?
incrediBILL




msg:4260274
 9:11 pm on Jan 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

Always reading about the so-called "glass ceiling" where AdSense won't earn any more than that magical amount where earnings are capped.

Are you sure the glass ceiling isn't your imagination and creativity instead?

I almost fell into the glass ceiling mindset trap once, years ago, when I couldn't seem to get the site over the $100/day ceiling, just wouldn't budge. Then I realized I was looking at it all wrong, the site and AdSense units as-is (as-was) caused the cap, so I set about to change things up. Couple of months later I was looking at a theoretical $200/day earnings cap, but having broken the $100/day ceiling I was sure I could bust it and did.

Then of course the economy stumbled and budgets got pulled and everyone took a hit.

However, the point was just adding more traffic to a site as-is may not break a glass ceiling, it could result in simply spreading the same ad budgets thinly over more page views, aka smart pricing.

The trick is to explore how to access more budgets in AdSense, advertisers with bigger budgets, better paying keywords, etc. because the ad budgets and traffic your site currently attracts are what appears to set the ceiling, which would be true no matter what advertising medium you use, be it AdSense, affiliates or direct ads.

Just my $0.02 on the topic, discussion?

 

snickles121




msg:4260301
 10:16 pm on Jan 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

I have noticed the glass ceiling too(Can only write so much information on one topic without repeating myself). I got around my earnings cap a while back by targeting other countries (Same topic that my website discusses but concentrating on facts from these other countries) which really seemed to help. Different countries different advertisers. Now I been looking into writing about stuff in different countries that have a different language such as Germany and France (very high income potential that I have not tapped yet). Easier said than done though as I need to use language translators.

The only way for me to get off topic more is to change my domain name and site name. I just wish I thought of this years ago before I started my site up but I just did it for a few bucks then, now I need to live off of it.

I did try that pay per call from cj which brought in a extra 100 bucks a month. I figured that couldnt hurt considering its a static ad (no outbound links or mentioning of domain names).

P.S. Now it seems Im at another glass ceiling. One after the other and its seems its always at the 100 dollar daily increment too.

Scurramunga




msg:4260313
 11:16 pm on Jan 30, 2011 (gmt 0)


However, the point was just adding more traffic to a site as-is may not break a glass ceiling, it could result in simply spreading the same ad budgets thinly over more page views, aka smart pricing.


This is definitely true, as I recall many times in the past where traffic volume was lower and earnings were at the higher end of the scale. Your point regarding advertisers budgets in relation to a specific group of keywords is probably more plausible than any theory regarding glass ceilings. If there aren't enough of those advertisers to push the auction along, no amount of traffic or ad units is going to derive more income for any given publisher who may be sharing in those spoils.

What I can't understand however is how earnings can fall off a cliff to and plateau to a level where they are a fraction of their original state. Daily fluctuations in traffic metrics and changes to the site seem to have no bearing and do not help. Impressions go up and down but the new level remains.

I think it is many forces at play, including the ones you have outlined.

Lame_Wolf




msg:4260355
 2:44 am on Jan 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

I do think there are glass steps. I have looked after a number of accounts over the years, and one thing I have noticed is that the earnings seem to go up in steps.

For example (made up figures) for x amount of months it will earn $10 a day, then all of a sudden it will go up to $15 a day without altering anything, visitors about the same, clicks about the same. This will continue for a while, then jump again... but after about 2 years, they seem to stagnate at $40 a day... and a possible glass ceiling.

Scurramunga




msg:4260388
 5:11 am on Jan 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

I wonder if Google Adsense assigns a value to publisher importance ( say for example 1 to 10) in the same way as Pagerank does to inbound link votes and credibility, or Quality Score does to landing page quality. Could a variable Smartpricing value also limit revenue capability and contribute to the effect known as the 'glass ceiling'? Many of us assume that we are either smartpriced or we are not. Perhaps we are all smartpriced if we are not a 10/10. Smartpricing might not be a matter of off/on but rather a matter of degree.

zdgn




msg:4260543
 1:33 pm on Jan 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

I have long suspected that there must be ceilings tied to some tiered quality scores, i.e., account > site > page > unit.

On the other hand, there also appears to be a glass floor (like low traffic = high CPC incidents) to prevent things from hitting real rock bottom.

ken_b




msg:4260569
 2:56 pm on Jan 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

The flaw in the "glass ceiling" idea is that Google gets 32% of every click dollar.

Anyone here seriously believe Google decides one day that they don't want to earn any more money from AdSense on a given publisher site?

Oh look, we've made so much from Bubba Bob's "Fix yer Still, err ahhh, back yard hot water heater" site , let's just cut it off here, we don't need no more money anyhow!

HuskyPup




msg:4260570
 3:09 pm on Jan 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

Anyone here seriously believe Google decides one day that they don't want to earn any more money from AdSense on a given publisher site?


Since the very advent of AdSense I've been heavily smacked down three times by Google and each time I've had my earnings halved with absolutely no explanation whatsoever, no claw backs, nothing.

I'm not saying a ceiling does exist however I do believe Google does not seem to like it when some publishers seem to be doing reasonably well in their specific niches.

Why? I have no idea but it has happened, my earnings attest to this, period.

lty83




msg:4260583
 3:34 pm on Jan 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

There is no ceiling.... the only glass ceiling out there is the fictitious one noobs use as an excuse as to why their earnings aren't growing. Work harder, conspiracy theorist less...

ember




msg:4260587
 3:38 pm on Jan 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'm earning 250x today what I was when I first put Adsense on a site years ago. Doesn't seem like a glass ceiling.

Edge




msg:4260589
 3:46 pm on Jan 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

Well, from an observational point of view I would say that yes that the symptoms I am aware of scream that there is a “Glass Ceiling”.

Now, as all of us know Goggle AdSense is a Black box and the structural reasons for this apparent ceiling is unknown. In analysis and experimentation one can assume many points of view and postulate many theory’s for the inability to change total revenues or a sudden unexplained revenue drops or increases...

Ultimately, nobody I know seems to have the facts or is not sharing the facts with us. What I will say and I have been saying for five years now is that I would not bank or make any big purchases based on AdSense revenues.

Oh yes - your mileage may vary..

Edge




msg:4260592
 3:53 pm on Jan 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

There is no ceiling.... the only glass ceiling out there is the fictitious one noobs use as an excuse as to why their earnings aren't growing. Work harder, conspiracy theorist less...


Noobs huh? I expect a total of about 2.8 million uniques’ in a narrow vertical (one web site) this month (January).

What’s your traffic?

ecmedia




msg:4260624
 4:46 pm on Jan 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

Agree with Ember totally. Except for some very large websites, almost all of us the little guys started with pennies a day to whatever huge number people are at today. Now of course you have to understand the world of business is not linear. There are so many factors that impact revenue -- economy, ad rates, CTR, traffic, rankings -- that it is nearly impossible for most of us to keep growing linearly. Actually like any other business it is very likely that revenue can go down too. A good business person will simply see it that way.

dibbern2




msg:4260646
 5:18 pm on Jan 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

A problem I find with the glass ceiling theory is the number of people claiming to have reached it.

IF there WAS a glass ceiling, why would it be so low that an inordinate number of people in this forum would reach it and suffer? What IF there WAS a glass ceiling and it was set at, say, $1000/day? Or $500/day? How many of us would be able to say we have reached it? Not many, if any, I'd guess.

I don't believe it exists.

netmeg




msg:4260651
 5:25 pm on Jan 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

I've yet to see enough of any data (my own or anyone else's) to convince me there's any kind of ceiling imposed by Google. Plus there's no motive for them to do it.

nick28




msg:4260668
 6:07 pm on Jan 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

Actually like any other business it is very likely that revenue can go down too

I do agree with you.
However no other businesses have such a huge fluctuation(sometimes 50% up or down) like internet businesses.

incrediBILL




msg:4260674
 6:12 pm on Jan 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

I didn't suggest a glass ceiling exists, but based on my own personal observations it could appear to exist based on limited ad inventory for a specific area of a niche. Adding more traffic might just make the CPC less expensive for the same ad inventory which is why some claim they can't get past a certain milestone.

By expanding your niche a little, retooling some of the target keywords, etc., you're potentially addressing a different or expanded ad inventory pool, which may or may not pay better, which may or may not have deeper pockets.

Test, test, test, repeat and rinse, test again.

That's the kind of experimentation it takes to break those seemingly imposed limits.

why would it be so low that an inordinate number of people in this forum would reach it and suffer?


Ad inventory - supply and demand.

Google isn't paying for those ads, advertisers are, and Google just spreads them around the network collecting the same fee for their service no matter how thin the ads are spread.

For instance, if you have a few thousand sites vying for ads about digital cameras, just how big a budget do you think various advertisers are pumping into AdSense that would give everyone an endless stream of money when people click on digital camera ads?

Here comes a few thousand more sites vying for the same ads, payouts get lower.

Some of the best sites ramp up more traffic for themselves, they may see some earnings improvements, yet the many thousands of scraper and mashup leeches at the bottom of the food chain in that niche keep the ad inventory spread so thin that it costs less and less to get clicks, therefore the appearance of a ceiling.

That's my theory of how the so-called glass ceilings happen, simple supply and demand, and Google doesn't suffer in the least from all the competition.

That's why you have to expand the reach of the site topic, the breadth of the keywords, etc. in order to gain access to more ad inventory.

Leonard0




msg:4260691
 6:37 pm on Jan 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

Way back in Nov 2008 the ASA at the time stated:
I 100% guarantee that there are no earnings caps on adsense accounts. I will swear it on a big stack of Google search results. No earnings caps.

[webmasterworld.com...]

Of course, it's possible that the Adsense algo has changed since then.

Edge




msg:4260717
 7:07 pm on Jan 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

I agree with incrediBILL, netmeg, et al.

My perception at this point is that eventually a vertical website and competition just taps out the available and interested advertisers spend.

I don't think GG is picking on me or my webspace, no conspiracies; I'm just getting all the money available.

Think of the ceiling as the peak of the mountain you’re climbing - keep going until you get there.

scottb




msg:4260788
 8:58 pm on Jan 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'll throw out the idea that Google ranks sites for AdSense the way it ranks sites for search. Trust and authority are useful for protecting its advertisers from bad Web sites.

There has to be a ceiling in the form of a certain amount of revenue to distribute each month not just to all AdSense partners but also in each category and subcategory. If Google makes $50 million in the travel category / hotel subcategory in January to distribute to its AdSense partners who have hotel Web sites, then that's a ceiling.

If there are 100 partners in the hotel subcategory, then that's a ceiling. If the number of sites in a subcategory grows faster than the total AdSense pot, the revenue per site declines.

If one site is really slow and has bad HTML and suspicious SEO tactics, while another plays by the book, it seems reasonable for Google to send more high quality ads to the second site than the first.

Scurramunga




msg:4260804
 9:30 pm on Jan 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

Anyone here seriously believe Google decides one day that they don't want to earn any more money from AdSense on a given publisher site?


Yes, but Google does forgo earning potential when it smartprices us. If a glass ceiling were to exist it might be a byproduct of Smartpricing. ie delivering quality to advertisers and mitigating the risks posed by sites deemed less likely to convert.

Personally I am not sure if I do believe in a 'glass ceiling' however I find it a topic worthy of discussion due to the amount of anecdotal evidence I have seen.

Scurramunga




msg:4260821
 9:54 pm on Jan 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

Had not Google disclosed the existence of Smartpricing half of us would be claiming that earnings are arbitrarily manipulated by Google whilst the other half would be labelling it a 'conspiracy theory'.

ASA claims that there are "no caps" on earnings and I believe her/him that their are no caps per-say. Lets not forget though that there are limits imposed by algos all be it temporary (ie Smartpricing)

ken_b




msg:4260828
 10:04 pm on Jan 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

There could be all kinds of things that make it look like there may be a glass ceiling. But looks can be deceiving.

Google does forgo earning potential when it smartprices us

Good point.

If a glass ceiling were to exist it might be a byproduct of Smartpricing. ie delivering quality to advertisers and mitigating the risks posed by sites deemed less likely to convert.

I'd only rephrase that to say.... What looks like it could be a glass ceiling might only be a byproduct of ....

The thing is, that takes into consideration the content or nature of the site, does it foster conversions or not, and that is something that the publisher can control.

Something like what Incredibill was talking about here:
The trick is to explore how to access more budgets in AdSense, advertisers with bigger budgets, better paying keywords, etc.


Any day now we can rename this forum the

"Made for Google AdSense Forum".

Swanny007




msg:4260853
 11:00 pm on Jan 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

In my 7+ years' experience as a publisher monetizing with AdSense, I have not found a "glass ceiling" to be true.

scottb




msg:4260857
 11:11 pm on Jan 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

If you don't believe a glass ceiling to be true, do you believe it's possible you have gained AdSense revenue at the expense of other sites?

BillyS




msg:4260910
 1:33 am on Feb 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

Now, as all of us know Goggle AdSense is a Black box and the structural reasons for this apparent ceiling is unknown.

I don't think Adsense is a black box. No more so than anthing else that surrounds us. I don't know the exact code used to translate my fingers hitting a keyboard to those words being posted on this forum, but the process works. There are a lot of things we really don't understand, so we need to have faith in the system. If you don't have that, then why would you be part of it?

Maybe I'm a bit of an Adsense fanboy because the sytem changed my family's life. My little project, started nearly 7 years ago, was a ton of hard work. I used to tell people how much I made on Adsense and they'd laugh because they knew how hard I was working. But I didn't give up because I was reading the success stories here - and I believed them. I had faith in the system.

There aren't any glass ceilings.

Elsmarc




msg:4260968
 3:48 am on Feb 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

Nope - I don't see a "glass ceiling".

@incrediBILL - I agree with your post starting this thread for the most part. I can say I keep everything in an Excel spreadsheet for analysis purposes and the trendline for my income is positive since I started with AdSense in Dec 2003. Every year, with the exception of 2007 which was flat, I have made more money from AdSense than the year before. You mentioned some $ figures in your post, so I'll throw this in: My current income from my main site is over US$10K/month (AdSense and direct advertisers combined) and AdSense continues to climb. Income from direct advertisers has been flat for about 3 years, but that's because I have a set number of advertisement slots and I never raise my rates for continuous advertisers. Since all my direct advertisers are long term (none have canceled in several years), this is a given. Given that, it's obvious my income graph is positive (yearly income is increasing) because of the increase in AdSense earnings.

@BillyS - I agree. And quite a few friends laughed at me.

I started my first site in 1996 as a hobby of sorts. I used to travel a lot and spent a lot of time in hotels/motels. In December 2003 I got serious as I retired from consulting and travel. I tried AdSense (I was ready to shutter the sites I had going because of $ cost and all the time I was putting into the sites) because a fellow I was talking with convinced me to at least try it before shuttering the sites. These days I don't put as much time into my sites as I used to and they keep growing. Like you commented, a lot of my friends laughed as me as wasting my time "...sitting in front of a computer all day...".

I recently got a "payback" to one who stopped by the other day. He is a friend who owned several restaurants which all have gone bust and he's in debt up his wazoo. He asked how I was doing and I showed him my graph in Excel of my AdSense and direct advertisement earnings. He said: "That's obscene!" I asked what he meant and he said: "You make that much money sitting at your computer and don't even have to leave your house?"

I mention this because in the context of this thread I'm sitting here looking at a positive trend line dating back to when I started tracking in January 2004 and it's a positive trend line. Every year I make more even taking into consideration increasing traffic. Increasing AdSense income over 7 years isn't an indication of a "glass ceiling".

And, so many people I told to start a web site over the last 5 or 6 years are now asking for advice wanting to start a web business. My advice to them all is: "If you were interested in it you would have done it back when I told you to. You weren't. You missed the Gold Rush. Competition now is so intense that even if you started now you wouldn't see significant income for several years or more and I know you're interested in quick money." When I tell them that they go away.

Web businesses are WORK, which includes site upkeep and keeping up with the continuous changes in the internet. My opinion is that anyone complaining about a "glass ceiling" isn't doing the work necessary to keep a business growing.

DISCLAIMER: I know most of the people here are into sales/commerce sites. My sites are technical niche discussion forums. As always, Your Mileage May Vary.

My Motto: Content is King.

martinibuster




msg:4260987
 4:39 am on Feb 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

The trick is to explore how to access more budgets in AdSense


Very true. I opened several new sections to one of my sites that have become a major source of overall earnings. I would be making noticeably less money per month had I not created those sections.

Scurramunga




msg:4261047
 9:28 am on Feb 1, 2011 (gmt 0)


I'd only rephrase that to say.... What looks like it could be a glass ceiling might only be a byproduct of ....


Yes I agree. A better choice of words.

Swanny007




msg:4261185
 2:50 pm on Feb 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

If you don't believe a glass ceiling to be true, do you believe it's possible you have gained AdSense revenue at the expense of other sites?

No, as I see more competition every year.

This 54 message thread spans 2 pages: 54 ( [1] 2 > >
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