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Changed my layout
clicks dive

 3:53 am on May 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

Decided to try a new layout today and again, clicks plummeted. Unless there's a miracle, earnings today will be the lowest in months. Back to the old layout.



 4:01 am on May 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

Sorry to hear that your efforts haven't panned out in a positive way.

Nothing works any more. Over the last couple of weeks I have been thinking of giving Adsense another go with new site structure, new layout etc, but I already know I will be wasting my time.


 4:26 am on May 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

Thanks Scurramunga. My old layout at least earns something so I will fall back to that until I can find another layout worth moving to. Perhaps someday I'll get around to doing a thorough layout test like WiseGEEK did to find the best format based on hard data as opposed to hunches. In the meantime, it'll be interesting to see just how well things bounce back tomorrow with all the changes I did today.


 5:33 am on May 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

When I changed my layout recently I had two goals. 1) separate ads from content and 2) make things easier for my visitors. I did this knowing CTR would suffer and it did by as much as 50%. But I stuck with it and experimented with the ads themselves because traffic and pave views and EPC began climbing. In years past I redesigned to increase CTR with regard to little else. The result was OK but nothing like what I am seeing now. I suppose I should also credit some college courses in HCI and social computing.


 6:24 am on May 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

Play_Bach - I wouldn't give up too quickly. In the past I've spent ages changing my ads and thought I'd see an instant response on the day. For some reason it sometimes took a few days before I started to see results, and had to fight the temptation to switch it all back right away.
You might also want to experiment with A/B testing to see if a particular type of ad works better than another.


 8:02 am on May 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'm in the same position for one of my main sites, except I created the new layout and went live without putting any of the adverts back on.

I'm going to gradually phase in the adverts a unit at a time with a/b testing.

In an ideal world though I wouldn't need put any back in as the site now looks a whole lot 'cleaner'.


 8:47 am on May 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

Thanks all for your replies. Not surprisingly, yesterday closed at about 20% of average. So I'm back to the old layout but with some minor changes. It's early here (1:46am) in the SF Bay Area and since most of my traffic is USA, I won't be seeing much for a few more hours.


 9:32 am on May 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

> Play_Bach - I wouldn't give up too quickly.

Thanks for your thoughts on this. I was pretty surprised to see how poorly yesterday went considering that to my eyes the new layout is much better. I'm by no means done testing and haven't given up on it - yet. There's a lot of A/B testing I can still do to determine what works and what doesn't.


 9:50 am on May 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

Perhaps someday I'll get around to doing a thorough layout test like WiseGEEK did to find the best format based on hard data as opposed to hunches. In the meantime, it'll be interesting to see just how well things bounce back tomorrow with all the changes I did today.

It may well take a little A/B testing and I hope it goes well for you. Please do keep us updated on any positive results you achieve as positive posts will certainly inspire all those who have lost their hope.

Reading back on my initial post I must ask you to forgive me for my negative tone.


 3:31 pm on May 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

I am 1000% sure that clicks don't all accrue the same day. I sure wouldn't give up on a new layout in less than a week; preferably two.


 3:57 pm on May 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

Thanks netmeg. You know I listen like a hawk to everything you say ;-), so I'm by all means keeping the new layout option on the table. Was a bit of a shock to watch earnings go through the floor and not think it had something to do with the changes I'd just made. With the 'old layout' back in place, earnings have already exceeded all of yesterday. Difficult not to think there's a cause/effect here, even if all the clicks aren't tallied.


 4:48 pm on May 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

When I changed my layout, I had a bad following day, and was feeling a bit blue and considered switching back right away, but then the next day I had my best day ever. After that it was quite erratic for a week, swinging up and down. Following the first week it stabilised a lot more, and has been a great improvement since.
I'm not saying this is always the case, but I'd definitely hang in there.


 7:41 pm on May 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

I completely changed ad layouts last year; the content was essentially the same, but the ads moved to all different places (and different sizes) I did it about six weeks before my seasonal traffic spike, and it took an immediate dump, which was pretty scary. But I ended up having my best year ever last (by about 180% of the best year I'd had before) - just had to give the users time to get used to where the ads are. If your ads are in different spots, you might play around with color / backgrounds to make them a bit more noticeable at first (since you can always turn them down later, once everyone gets used to it)


 5:37 pm on Jun 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

Been trying the new layout again. It's yet to catch on with my visitors but at least in the last few days, it's reception is improving. Took your advice to try some different color / backgrounds which seems to be helping as you suggested. Thanks!


 5:51 pm on Jun 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

How are your other stats looking? Any change in time on site? Bounce rate, etc?


 6:44 pm on Jun 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

Thanks Atomic. Just checked Google Analytics and Avg. Time on Page and Bounce Rate have not changed significantly. With the new layout, Bounce Rate is a little less and Avg. Time on Page a little more.


 8:29 pm on Jun 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

Perhaps the weekday traffic will behave differently?


 9:30 pm on Jun 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'm glad it seems to be picking up.


 2:45 am on Jun 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'll be interested to see if going back to the original layout reverses things. I have a sneaky suspicion it might not, at least for a while.


 3:15 am on Jun 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

Nothing moves "instant" these days. Very difficult to view results since the SEs are either over aggressive (and deflating) or lackadaisical and not up-dating with frequency. Most times six weeks is required to get any feel for +/- regarding any changes.


 3:29 pm on Jun 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

I made what i thought was a minor change to to one of my sites the other week and now users stay on it for longer and more clicks. All i did was get rid of a blue side banner and make one with images that reflected my sites topic ! amazing what works and what dont work.


 3:39 pm on Jun 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

Back to the old layout. Not sure why the new layout is such a dud, but the numbers don't lie. No choice really but to retreat back to something that works (or at least did work) before I elected to change layouts. Here's to hoping for a return to normal.


 7:42 pm on Jun 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

So far today, earnings are already at 40%. Not bad considering the way things have been going. Might just make "average" today. If so, it'll be the first time since a month ago.


 8:59 pm on Jun 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

I know it must feel discouraging, but if you don't try, you never know. Perhaps you will find the motivation to try something else at a later date. My changes have been very positive these past couple of months, and I only wish I'd implemented them years ago - I was never brave enough, because I was already doing quite well and didn't want to make things worse.


 10:50 pm on Jun 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

Thanks zarathustra2011. This layout test has been both an education and a reality check, which is good. I'm encouraged to see that my old layout still seems to work as well as it does and can fall back to it. Why the new one didn't work as I had hoped is interesting too, but I may have to live with not knowing what the reason is. C'est la vie.

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