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Unblocking ad networks leads to lower epc?

 7:35 pm on Mar 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

I unblocked allowing adsense to show '3rd party ad networks' on my site to see if the increased competition would help my bottom line.

The result a day later - 33% drop in average EPC and earnings after having been steady for months. The exact opposite of what I would expect. Anyone care to speculate?



 7:43 pm on Mar 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

A day isn't enough to go on.

I went into my stats and ran the numbers back to September (which is as far as they let me go back) and anything that didn't have more than a few cents of earnings was blocked.

If you've never allowed 3rd party ads before (i.e. had them all blocked) than I'd give it at least a week or two.


 6:45 am on Mar 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

Since you specifically asked for speculation, here's my best guess: Ad networks have lots of SEM specialists who probably issue lower bids than your typical B&M business that does not know too much about placing ads on Adsense. By unblocking those ad networks, you open your site to those cheaper ads (from the pro's), probably pushing away the B&M ads. In addition, those ad networks might get better placements due to volume.

No, it's no surprise to me that your average EPC goes down.

(Disclaimer: I have stopped actively managing Adsense long ago and removed most ads from our sites. It just was not worth the hazzle any longer.)


 2:14 pm on Mar 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

I blocked all other ad networks when I realised that we are required to give information about EACH ONE in our privacy policy:

Notify your site visitors of the third-party vendors and ad networks serving ads on your site.

Provide links to the appropriate vendor and ad network websites.

Inform your users that they may visit those websites to opt out of cookies (if the vendor or ad network offers this capability). Users can opt out of some, but not all, of these cookies in one location at the Network Advertising Initiative opt-out website


Other ad networks only accounted for about 1% of my income anyway, but my EPC is too variable for me to be able to tell if it made a difference to that or not.


 8:07 pm on Mar 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

I blocked all other ad networks when I realised that we are required to give information about EACH ONE in our privacy policy:

I get what you're saying and have read the policy several times. Has it always been this way? I don't recall ever seeing a Privacy Policy on any site that lists all their ad networks. How the heck could anyone know for sure, especially if they are using a CPM Ad Network that utilizes real time bidding for the ad space?


 9:02 pm on Mar 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

Just for kicks I looked to see how many networks were listed as blocked on my control panel,


I clicked "Block ALL" as soon as I had the choice. I haven't looked back since.

But yeah, adding links to all those networks, what a pain that would be.



 1:21 am on Mar 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

So does anyone that have 3rd Party Ad Networks turned on actually bother to list them in their Privacy Policy?


 1:31 am on Mar 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

So does anyone that have 3rd Party Ad Networks turned on actually bother to list them in their Privacy Policy?


I only have them on for 1/2 the day, if that. If Google want us to do that, then they need to make it clearer which sites are joining (because it is constantly changing), their homepage, and any other details. If they cannot be bothered, why should I ?


 1:45 am on Mar 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

Thanks Lame_Wolf. That's exactly the conclusion I'm coming to.

I only have them on for 1/2 the day, if that.

Now that's interesting.


 1:54 am on Mar 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

Thanks Lame_Wolf. That's exactly the conclusion I'm coming to.
Let's say there are 450 networks, and I have allowed them all. Plus, the box is ticked to "Automatically allow new Google-certified ad networks"

I go back the next day to find 451. Do they (Google) highlight it ? No. They expect you to hunt it down, then try and find the website that it relates to.

And all that time spent doing it, doesn't mean you'll get any clicks from them. I have better things to do than to pander to all that. I mention DART, but that's about it.


 8:35 pm on Mar 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

This makes adding them easier,,,but still anoying.


 10:51 pm on Mar 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

The thing is, JCKline, how up to date it is ? and will it be kept up to date ?
The Adsense TOS is over 2 years out of date as it is. Even the WebmasterWorld TOS is.

We cannot follow rules if the powers that be cannot keep up.


 6:46 pm on Apr 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

@Lame_Wolf, You're right, and this is why I blocked all third-party ads. I just don't have time for this crap. It's only going to bite G in the a$$. Webmaster's who are aware of these changes will opt-out, and those who are unaware are risking being banned. Payouts will be lower across the board.


 7:20 pm on Apr 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Just when you think you're starting to learn all the in's and out's, I realise I know nothing at all! Do they really enforce this policy about listing ad networks?


 7:43 pm on Apr 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

@zarathustra2011, who knows? But I don't want to take that chance. Do you?


 8:33 pm on Apr 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

This is bothering me to a point where I posted a question to Google about it in Google groups here:


It'll be interesting to see the replies if any.

[edited by: JCKline at 9:29 pm (utc) on Apr 1, 2012]


 8:40 pm on Apr 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

I added a selected list of 3rd party advertisers based on their location (UK, US, EU). Over more than a month it added an irrelevant amount of revenue.

It didn't drop my revenue from the Google network, compared with previous months.

On top of that I notice (by accident) that for instance McAfee gave an alert and blocked the IP's for 3rd party AppNexus in the US.

Blocked them all again.


 8:41 pm on Apr 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Ps: The McAfee alert was: "Risky connection"


 10:16 pm on Apr 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

I've gotten one reply thus far in Google Groups as follows:
In my opinion this is a grey area, and not one which will get an account disabled generally.

Personally, I do enable all ad networks and don't list each specifically on my privacy policy page. I give a generic staement about the types of information which these third-parties will include in cookies, and how the information may be used. I do provide the full Google requirement about the double-click cookie and provide the opt-out link.

Others have taken the approach that they check and verify each ad network, and then ad a note about each in their policy.

Not sure this is the best advice.


 9:29 am on Apr 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Assuming you place the information and list all third party networks as accurately as it is possible to do so - how do Google go about finding this page to ensure you conform? Do they have a bot to automatically pick up the text and wording?

Of course, I don't want to take risks, but then Adsense is one big risk in itself sometimes. I don't mind sticking up the pages, but I'm not going to be reviewing it every few days, and updating my page accordingly. I'd sooner disable third-party ads, and am not sure they bring me an awful lot in revenue anyhow.

It really is a grey area.


 2:12 pm on Apr 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

If this was really important to them and they were on the ball, they'd release a short code or iframe or something with some code you could embed on a page called privacy that would just generate an acceptable privacy policy with whatever the current third party networks are, and it would update whenever they added a new one.

But of course, it isn't and they're not.


 2:48 pm on Apr 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

I got a second reply, same person:
I've been a publisher for a while also, and have no problems with the TOS or privacy issue.

The important thing is to be honest with your visitors about what information may be captured and how it could be used. Give them the opt-out links etc. and you will be fine. People who don't include the basics of the privacy policy are the ones who encounter problems.

This makes sense to me and this is what I'm doing. I NEVER get third-party ad clicks, but they do up the CPC being in the bidding pool.


 5:46 pm on Apr 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Wow, I'd tried to close the issue on Google Groups and their server's down! 500 error.

Anyway, I noticed since I've blocked all the third-party ad networks, yesterday and today's earnings have improved. Coincidence? Maybe. I'm going to give it a week and see.


 7:10 pm on Apr 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

I usually find you have to wait at least 2 or 3 days to see a difference - if it works, I might follow you.


 9:46 pm on Apr 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Well it's been 2 days and so far so good.

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