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revenue drop after ad change to text/image

 1:37 pm on May 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

I know AdWords quite well but am fairly new to the AdSense side of things. I'm trying to increase ad revenue for a website that hasn't been updated in quite awhile.

Near the top of the page is a 468 x 60 banner that was set to "text ads only" for quite some time. I did a bit of research and it seems like the general consensus is that switching to "text & image" should generate a lift in revenue. I went ahead and made this change to the ad and almost immediately saw a HUGE drop in revenue.

Here's what I've noticed so far:

- The number of ad requests have gone from about 5,000-15,000 a day to only about 500. and earnings have dropped with it.
- Clicks are way down too, though I'm not sure why because click-through-rate is about the same.
- CPC has gone way up from about .50 to $1.00
- Ad request RPM is about the same.
- Traffic during this time has dropped slightly, but not nearly enough to be responsible for the drop in revenue.

I'm not sure what to do from here. Should I change it back or just ride it out and hope that ad requests go back up over time?

What exactly happens when you tell Google to open up your ad space to images as well as text and how does this affect the ad requests or other things that could cause a revenue drop? Anything else I'm missing here?

Help! Thanks!



 3:14 pm on May 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

How much time did you give it? Sometimes it takes a week or two to settle out.

I have had good luck with image ads in the past, but then they seemed to tank so I took them off. Tested putting them back last week; the CTR went way up but the EPC went way down. I'm still running them, but I reduced the frequency.


 3:33 pm on May 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

It's been about 10 days.


 3:47 pm on May 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

Do you have room to replace the 468x60 with a 728x90? The 468x60 is one my my worst performing ad sizes. I see lots of image and rich media ads, however, in my leaderboard spots.

Personally I try to give a full 7 or 14 day evaluation period when making changes to ads. That's because most of my traffic is from Mon-Wed and really tapers off on the weekend.

If you're willing to try a 728x90, by all means do that. If not, I would recommend you go back to text-only after 14 days.

Whatever you do though, don't stop experimenting. As I said, try a leaderboard if you can. If not, try moving the placement of the 468x60 a bit on the page, see if that helps. Or try adding an AdLinks unit. Or replace the 468x60 with a 300x250 unit, another ad size that performs well for me.

Keep us posted.


 4:02 pm on May 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

Yes, good suggestion. I'm was planning on replacing the 468x90 with a 729x90 but that won't happen quickly because I need to do a site redesign first to make more room. I was hoping to increase the revenue with a quick change before I was able to completely replace the banner. So much for that. ;)

If I take the same ad and switch its settings back to 'text only' will the ad requests come back or have I 'reset' things in some bad way?


 6:23 pm on May 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

I would leave it alone, and focus on getting the 729x90 ad up. This is what will improve things, and make it text/image. This ad size is more targeted by advertisers.


 7:26 pm on May 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

Always be testing; there's no one solution for everyone. As it happens, 468x60 is by far and away the best performing ad unit on my site, and attracts frequent average EPCs of $2 and up. I dunno how 728x90 would do on the same site, although I've tried it on other sites and it hasn't really popped.


 7:55 pm on May 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

Thanks. I'll keep testing until I'm at least back at where I started.

Does anyone know why the ad requests dropped so much when I edited the banner to add the image option?


 12:43 am on May 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'd check and recheck your code and settings, and anything you changed, since I can't figure why you'd see ad request drops, unless it's something strange about the image ads that is getting them blocked by browsers or something like that.


 2:42 am on May 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hi ben,

image ads do NOT work for every type of site, it depends on the AdWords Image inventory and your initial CTR. I have looked at 100s of sites, and Image usually only works well when the CTR on the text unit was not too high before.

Image can be especially crappy for small ad units as the 468x60 -. Why? Because Image works as a puffer in the auction( Advertisers have to bid higher because the use the whole space of an adunit) But if you have a higher bidding text ad you still have to out-bid it!

So one image ad has to otbid 4 text ads on a 768x90 while it has to "only" outbid 1 text ad on the small unit.

Adrequests can decrease when you switch to image, but usually that only the case for larger units (300x250, 769x90...) I do not understand why this happens with your small unit.:(

Get rid of text and image and switch back.


 1:28 am on May 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

Thanks Guru. I've had enough with the lousy performance that doesn't look like it's getting any better and switched back to the text only. Hopefully I'll at least return to where I started.

When I redesign things I'll replace it with the 728x90.

What resources would people here recommend for maximizing revenue? Feel free to point me to another thread if it's already been covered.


 3:20 am on May 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

There's a thread pinned to the top of this forum that you should read.

Interestingly, I swapped the image ads back in, and now the EPCs are *much* better, running between $.70 and a buck, on average. Maybe it just takes time.

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