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The Ever Shrinking CPC
austtr




msg:4426734
 12:46 am on Mar 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

In recent months traffic numbers to my sites have increased along with the number of Adsense clicks.

However there seems to be a pattern that as the clicks increase, so the CPC goes down. The outcome is that while I am generating an additional 12-15% click numbers, the Adsense earnings shows little if any change.

CPC is just the result of dividing earnings by clicks (eg $250 earnings/500 clicks = $0.50 CPC). A falling CPC must mean lower earnings so advertisers must be paying less. Right?

However, I'm seeing CPC steadily falling 15% ($0.58 > $0.50) in a month which seems a radical shift in advertiser spend given that these figures are spread across multiple sites and advertisers.

Am I missing something here? Is anyone else seeing lower CPC when clicks increase... or is it simply a case that Adwords spends are dropping significantly?

 

netmeg




msg:4426759
 2:08 am on Mar 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

CPC is just the result of dividing earnings by clicks (eg $250 earnings/500 clicks = $0.50 CPC). A falling CPC must mean lower earnings so advertisers must be paying less. Right?


Don't forget smart pricing.

farmboy




msg:4426760
 2:09 am on Mar 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

CPC is just the result of dividing earnings by clicks (eg $250 earnings/500 clicks = $0.50 CPC). A falling CPC must mean lower earnings so advertisers must be paying less. Right?


I think maybe you're mixing a few things together.

That aside, the amount I earn per click is up over the past few months - some of the highest I have ever experienced.


FarmBoy

buckworks




msg:4426768
 2:28 am on Mar 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

Having more traffic makes more impressions available and the increased supply will push prices down unless demand increases too.

There may be other things in the mix as well, but that's Economics 101.

ember




msg:4426793
 4:41 am on Mar 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

Having more traffic makes more impressions available and the increased supply will push prices down


Yep.

levo




msg:4426813
 5:49 am on Mar 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

Actually, if you have a very targeted but a small amount of traffic, Google wastes most of it by trying to figure out which ads/types/targeting/network work best. My theory is; having more traffic makes their algorithm work better, because it gathers more meaningful data (more than couple of thousand impressions) faster.

IanCP




msg:4426884
 9:50 am on Mar 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

That aside, the amount I earn per click is up over the past few months - some of the highest I have ever experienced.


That is also my experience. Higher CTR days = higher EPC. Lower CTR days = lower EPC.

Jaideemaak




msg:4426980
 2:05 pm on Mar 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

Same thing. I had a record number of clicks last month but my earnings in February were down compared to January, and my January earnings were down compared to December. Page impressions and clicks continue to go up, but the average amount for each click continues to go the other way.

There is another problem. Often when I log in, the total has gone down from when I last looked. This has always been the case periodically, but now it is happening several times a day.

I guess that Google must be trying to protect advertisers more than it does publishers. My assumption is that if two clicks come from the same computer within a certain time period, then one of the clicks is invalidated by an algorithm. This is really disappointing because some of the clicks that get wiped are quite high paying.

I'm still doing well compared to a year ago but to have my PI and clicks go up while my earnings go down is a little disheartening.

farmboy




msg:4427000
 3:03 pm on Mar 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

IanCP:
That is also my experience. Higher CTR days = higher EPC. Lower CTR days = lower EPC.


Jaideemaak:
Same thing. I had a record number of clicks last month but my earnings in February were down compared to January, and my January earnings were down compared to December. Page impressions and clicks continue to go up, but the average amount for each click continues to go the other way.


Same thing? Unless I missed something, you two seem to be saying the opposite of each other.



Often when I log in, the total has gone down from when I last looked. This has always been the case periodically, but now it is happening several times a day.


I've never experienced that.


I guess that Google must be trying to protect advertisers more than it does publishers.


Maybe you might want to check in to what is causing that on your site(s).


FarmBoy

farmboy




msg:4427013
 3:36 pm on Mar 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

There is another problem. Often when I log in, the total has gone down from when I last looked...

My assumption is that if two clicks come from the same computer within a certain time period, then one of the clicks is invalidated by an algorithm.


Hmmm. Now why would you assume that two clicks are coming from the same computer within a certain time period?

FarmBoy

netmeg




msg:4427027
 4:06 pm on Mar 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

My EPC (the proper term, by the way) is just under twice what it was last year. Never higher.

farmboy




msg:4427033
 4:28 pm on Mar 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

My EPC (the proper term, by the way) is just under twice what it was last year. Never higher.


Interesting number netmeg. Mine is about twice what it was last year also.


FarmBoy

Slashus




msg:4427217
 1:59 am on Mar 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

There's more aggressive scrubbing going on of the clicks you receive than ever before. But they leave the click in your stats but remove the revenue. This dilutes your EPC, making it artificially lower than it actually is.

Whenever I see 2 clicks come through from the same ad at the same time, I'm no longer surprised when half of the revenue is removed 10 minutes later (but the extra click stays in the stats). Rightly so, because the person double-clicked the same ad.

Some jerkoff click-bombed me the other day, 16 clicks to the same ad. All revenue removed but the 16 clicks are still in my stats throwing off my numbers.

farmboy




msg:4427518
 1:25 pm on Mar 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

Whenever I see 2 clicks come through from the same ad at the same time,


How can you know that? Are you watching someone click your ads and watching your stats at the same time?

... I'm no longer surprised when half of the revenue is removed 10 minutes later ..


How can you know something like this happened in a 10-minute span when there is a lag of unknown time on the stats?

Rightly so, because the person double-clicked the same ad.


How do you know someone double-clicked an ad?


Some jerkoff click-bombed me the other day, 16 clicks to the same ad.


Again, how do you know this? If you see 16 clicks in your stats how do you know it was from one person clicking an ad 16 times and not 16 different people clicking over a period of time?

This is interesting. Earlier in this thread someone else posted about someone clicking their ads more than once from the same computer in a short period of time.

If this sort of thing can be determined simply by looking the stats I'm interested in learning how that's determined.

FarmBoy

levo




msg:4427546
 2:48 pm on Mar 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

easy, if the site/channel has very low impressions (or you can get a more granular view by adding dimensions)

2 clicks come through from the same ad


1 impression & 2 clicks

half of the revenue is removed 10 minutes


lets say $2 dollars for 2 clicks, 10 mins later $1 dollar for 2 clicks, for same channel/view

eddieh




msg:4427562
 5:41 pm on Mar 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

This is interesting. Earlier in this thread someone else posted about someone clicking their ads more than once from the same computer in a short period of time.

If this sort of thing can be determined simply by looking the stats I'm interested in learning how that's determined.


Statcounter records all clicks on adsense so it easy to see where the click(s) came from and even from which ad block the click was made.

I have determined over time that clicks emanating from any IP that is remotely connected to a US based educational establishment (school districts, universities and/or colleges) get logged in adsense stats but no revenue is earned. The same applies to clicks coming from various other countries, notably India, Phillipines and Indonesia to name but a few.

Slashus




msg:4427966
 12:28 am on Mar 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hi Farmboy, my answer to your doubts that what I said is accurate: Experience, observation and checking stats every 10 minutes or so for 4 years and importing the csv every 10 minutes (or so) into a proprietary program where we do statistic stuffs with GA, the history of each channel and just have an intimate love affair with our AdSense performance and channels.

Good luck.

Jaideemaak




msg:4431650
 8:46 am on Mar 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

Sorry for the delayed reply - I don't have much time these days. Farmboy, I'm an AdSense minnow and don't get many clicks. Click activity comes in little flurries and when it happens I am 99% sure it is the same user. With AdSense, there is nothing I can be totally sure of - a lot is speculation.

Further, I don't believe it is anything on my site that has caused the problem. Earnings have tanked since the start of the year and I have done very little, apart from making some more improvements.

Here are some stats and background:

I'm just a small fish in the Adsense pond. I changed my life completely eight years ago by moving abroad and used the site I had registered previously to write about my new life. One part of my site became increasingly popular because it filled a niche for which there was little information on-line.

Money was never my motivation and I didn't add AdSense until 2006. When I did, my earnings were tiny but I could see the potential.

I did everything by Google's rules and just concentrated on creating content. All content was original, taking hundreds of hours to do, and I never resorted to any dodgy SEO techniques. I have never clicked on my own ads or encouraged others to do so.

Last year, my hard work seemed to have paid off and everything started to climb - page impressions, clicks and revenue. 2011 was a great year and I was hoping for the same in 2012. That wasn't to be. Page impressions continue to rise and the click rate is OK but EPC is now a fraction what it was and lots of clicks are now being disallowed.

It used to be that when I checked, earnings were the same or more than the previous time I checked. Now, more often than not, earnings are down since the last time I looked. My earnings this morning were significantly lower than when I checked last night.

This is how my revenue increased last year, month on month. The percentage figure shows the change from the previous month.

Revenue for 2011

Jan -5.59%
Feb -18.92%
Mar +70.68%
Apr -16.75%
May +13.89%
Jun +7.12%
Jul +6.89%
Aug +1.26%
Sep +5.09%
Oct -4.02%
Nov +25.12%
Dec +38.79%

A bit up and down (I don't know what happened in March) but by December I was delighted. My little niche had finally become a useful income stream. And then what happened?

Revenue for 2012

Jan -19.09%
Feb -25.18%
Mar -27.72% (current estimate)

Down, down, down, down, down

All I have done is to continue adding content and to improve the site navigation/organisation. I don't know what has happened but Google seems to be protecting its advertisers, who pay money, at the expense of its publishers, who don't.

I found some interesting comments on this page:

[google.com...]

"Although the intent of a click is difficult to determine with a high degree of scientific accuracy, we try to identify suspicious clicks as often as possible and to exclude additional clicks which we know will perform poorly for advertisers. By casting a wide net, we try to maximize the amount of invalid clicks that we exclude, which helps us to deliver consistent and high-quality traffic to advertisers."


Most of my revenue has come from Link Ads. I think that once a user gets the list of links, they often click on several to find something useful. When this happens I only get paid for one click, or maybe none. After all, Google only pays for clicks that perform.

I've tried affiliate schemes and they haven't been very successful because people often click through but don't buy. The advantage with AdSense was always that you were paid just for directing traffic.

Now, it seems that simply directing traffic isn't good enough. If Google deems that a click might 'perform poorly' for an advertiser they disallow it. I don't know how they determine this but I guess that one thing they look at is the time between clicks from the same IP.

With Amazon you only get paid for a sale but the amount is quite high. It seems that AdSense is going the same way but the EPC is low. AdSense publishers now only get paid for clicks that 'perform', not simply for directing traffic.

Apparently, AdWords publishers "can see how many invalid clicks have been proactively filtered from your traffic." I suspect that the number of invalid clicks is now higher than it was a year ago.

I'm disappointed but I can't do anything and AdSense, very fortunately, is just a bit of pocket money and not my main source of income. At one point just a few months ago my AdSense earnings looked like a very useful amount of pocket money but how quickly things change.

This is just my experience. YMMV, as they say.

Jaideemaak




msg:4431659
 9:30 am on Mar 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

I have determined over time that clicks emanating from any IP that is remotely connected to a US based educational establishment (school districts, universities and/or colleges) get logged in adsense stats but no revenue is earned. The same applies to clicks coming from various other countries, notably India, Phillipines and Indonesia to name but a few.


Perhaps Google has also determined that clicks from certain countries and organisations don't 'perform'? In that case, the clicks are excluded in order to protect advertiser ROI.

But they leave the click in your stats but remove the revenue.


This is exactly what I see every day now. The clicks remain but the revenue gets taken away.

HuskyPup




msg:4431686
 11:34 am on Mar 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

Most of my revenue has come from Link Ads. I think that once a user gets the list of links, they often click on several to find something useful. When this happens I only get paid for one click, or maybe none. After all, Google only pays for clicks that perform.


It would be interesting to know how they determine this. I can see from my stats that some people actually surf Adlinks maybe clicking up to 20-25 times.

Sometimes I get very little, sometimes I get 0.05 per click however I have also had 0.20 per click...that is multiple clicks from the same country. I had one last week from China of 20+ clicks at 0.10 per click.

My sites are widget trade relevant to China and I have several Chinese domains therefore it is not an unusual occurrence for me.

Jaideemaak




msg:4431695
 12:54 pm on Mar 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

HuskyPup, I don't know and I can only speculate. The Google algorithms, as we all know, are closely guarded secrets. I keep thinking it is the time between clicks because that would be easy, but I don't know. No doubt Google have lots of things in their algorithm.

If a user clicks on an ad and then clicks on another ad 30 seconds later, it is unlikely that the first click 'performed' for Google and the advertiser.

Google's comment about excluding "additional clicks which we know will perform poorly for advertisers" quite concerned me.

This has nothing to do with click fraud. This is a user genuinely clicking on an ad, but then finding nothing of interest and deciding not to go any further.

In that scenario, publishers have completed their part of the deal by adding the ad to their content, attracting visitors to their site, and getting a click. Finished. Now make the payment.

Just because the user doesn't find the site of any interest after he clicks, why is the publisher then punished? It's not the publisher's fault.

I would go as far as to say that with Google looking after both publishers and advertisers, there is actually a conflict of interest.

Rockyou




msg:4431713
 1:49 pm on Mar 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

What Google doesn't know is in some niche Conversion is low, But some conversion will give Jackpot to the advertiser, For example Real Estate sector. what Google does is bend the publisher so much that he is almost like leaving adsense stage and then pull back by good earnings, Every month same story.

netmeg




msg:4431719
 2:11 pm on Mar 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

(Don't forget that on link units, you don't get paid unless there's a SECOND click)

When I get what looks like a lot of clicks on my link units, but no revenue, then I start thinking maybe I need to style them differently, to make sure people don't think they're site navigation.

Jaideemaak




msg:4431722
 2:22 pm on Mar 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

(Don't forget that on link units, you don't get paid unless there's a SECOND click)


I realised that, thanks nutmeg. One click to the list of Adlinks without a second click wouldn't register as a click. What I am seeing is registered clicks that earn revenue, only for the revenue to be removed a little later.

That was an interesting comment, Rockyou. I have at times felt like G was playing with me, the same way a cat plays with a mouse.

The problem is that I respond to their game. When I get good earnings I feel motivated and start putting in lots of effort, only for them to press the switch and cut my earnings off again. Then when it gets really bad and I feel like giving up, another run of decent earnings comes along so I start again.

HuskyPup




msg:4431749
 3:59 pm on Mar 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

If a user clicks on an ad and then clicks on another ad 30 seconds later, it is unlikely that the first click 'performed' for Google and the advertiser.


It is very common in my widget industry for buyers, trade and retail, to get quotations from several suppliers and actual real sales on a landing page is almost an impossibility owing to the nature of the product.

I'm guessing that Google already knows this, just how they allow for it though I have no idea!

Jaideemaak




msg:4432491
 10:41 am on Mar 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

This is getting really predictable now. I checked a short time ago and saw 11 clicks with Adlinks - 10 on one page, 1 on another - total earnings 1.24. Pretty good.

Next time I checked, 13 clicks, total earnings 0.21. This is happening every day, several times a day, and it's been like this for a while. It never used to be. The clicks remain but because earnings get deducted my average EPC is now a joke.

anteck




msg:4434268
 6:08 am on Mar 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

What the hell is wrong with adsense? I used to do well with it - now, with more traffic, it's performance is pathetic. Ads shown sometimes have NOTHING to do with the on page content. Seems to me Google have screwed it up. I bet they're still charging advertisers, whilst they screw us over by taking away click revenue.

Rockyou




msg:4434320
 10:25 am on Mar 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

Comments Removed might cause problems to admin.

scottb




msg:4435586
 3:00 pm on Mar 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

The problem is not AdSense. The problem is that the number of Web pages is growing 70% a year while the amount of Web advertising is growing 20% a year (and the growth rate is declining).

More sites and pages are competing for a relatively smaller amount of revenue. CPMs and CPCs are dropping everywhere.

Anyone who is doing better than last year on a CPM basis is in a niche with low competition, doing something unique or maybe is in an ad category that is hot for the time being.

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