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This 58 message thread spans 2 pages: < < 58 ( 1 [2]     
Adsense Earnings Huge decrease on June 29 and June 30
BedSupperclub




msg:4589392
 11:01 pm on Jul 1, 2013 (gmt 0)

Hi,

Seeing a huge drop in CTR and Revenue on June 29 and 30.

Traffic is more or less the same as usual.

Any problem with google adsense or are we cursed?

 

nomis5




msg:4590236
 10:15 am on Jul 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'm going to play their game, it's all we can do right?


Play their game by all means but remember that you don't know the rules, they are the sole judge of what is wrong and right and it may just be a distraction from what is actually going on.

Remember the ATF warning they gave a couple of months ago, it got people asking what they defined as ATF, made people move their ads to where they thought G would approve and lots more. In the end G gave an explanation which was quite different to people's expectations.

Same with the scorecard on your Adsense account. Read the comments in the thread on WWW and you'll see that the scores are changing without any changes to the websites - another distraction with very, very obscure meaning and very dubious accuracy.

Best to forget their game and concentrate elsewhere.

birchy




msg:4590500
 11:08 am on Jul 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

Crazy Egg would have to work magic to pay for itself. I would have to get the top plan for my traffic. I might try the free 30 day trial, though, but the risk of not getting it canceled in time worries me. If I try the 10k visits plan, it would just quit working on day two when I hit 10k visits, right? It doesn't count search engines right? If so, I'd hit the wall within the first few minutes.

netmeg




msg:4590534
 12:56 pm on Jul 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

umm, why? I just use the $9 version on one or two pages at a time, that's good enough to give me an idea of the trend. I don't need to track all the visitors. No, it doesn't track search engines, and it just stops when it hits the max (I think 5000 visits per campaign on the low plan)

birchy




msg:4590648
 9:40 pm on Jul 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

netmeg: my site is different from most. 98% of traffic comes to one page, but that page has 1.6 million different contents (of varying lengths of tabular data), depending on two GET URL params.

If Egg ignores the URL params, I'll hit the max fast. I get about 6k human pg loads/day (according to Adsense, more according to my logs). That leaves no time to experiment with changes.

If Egg counts URL params as different pages, then I have the issue that most of those pages may see a human visitor once every few months at this stage. And "yes" this is the structure that must be used for this site.

birchy




msg:4590652
 9:56 pm on Jul 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

Progress report, on the original topic. After thrashing around, I've basically restored my site to its original setup, but with more space around the three banner ads that are used to break up the long list of tabular data, and I did turn of "enhanced text ads". My CTR had fallen to 1/10th of it's previous rate, and after 4 days has risen a little to about 1/5th (but that's a snapshot, no idea what it will be over the next week). Fortunately, my CPC has remained high, thanks to the page content. The clawbacks have almost stopped. There doesn't *seem* to be a 1:1 correlation with the extra space around ads and the clawback behavior, but I can only see into the black box so far. I've been thrashing around making all sorts of changes and we are in the middle of holiday traffic. I will try to report my situation status when more water has flowed under this bridge.

btw, as I ponder this whole issue, I'm guessing that mobile browsing is having some impact. It's a lot more likely to accidentally hit an ad while using a phone or tablet, scrolling and resizing images inside a tiny window. Perhaps, our pages will have to increase the white space around ads to minimize that, but Google will have to take that into account and allow for more invalid clicks in their algorithms.

netmeg




msg:4590666
 10:53 pm on Jul 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

Suit yourself.

tripower




msg:4590681
 11:36 pm on Jul 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

We're starting to see a recovery on our site, as are a few other publishers on the Google forum thread. We're hoping that tomorrow may be a 'normal' day for us.

It's just awful that we've all had to go through this. We've lost huge money with no admission or help from Google. This same thing happened to other publishers last month and this month. I'm worried that we are going to be dealing with this again in 25 days.

We've been operating our websites for around 15 years and have been with AdSense for much of that time. We've always tried to keep our sites clean and follow the AdSense TOS. It really hurts when something like this happens and Google won't answer emails and doesn't seem to care enough to even admit that something is happening.

I did customer support for years at an ISP. One of the things I learned is that customers are very willing to be (somewhat)patient and understanding if you listen to them and admit (or at least consider) that there may be a problem with the system. Ignoring, blaming them or denying an issue just makes people mad and ruins your reputation.

levo




msg:4590694
 12:25 am on Jul 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

@netmeg What do you look for in heat maps? False clicks around/near adsense units? BTW, Clicky also offers heatmaps with trial account.

netmeg




msg:4590700
 1:09 am on Jul 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

I don't just use them for AdSense. I use them to see where people are clicking - are they clicking on stuff that isn't linked? Then I probably need to consider putting a link there. Are they click on placements that I'm not getting a lot of revenue on? Then Google is probably yanking it back for some reason. Do they like one type of menu link better than another? That will tell me.

I used it on a client site once (no AdSense) and found out that the fancy navigation that we spent hours thinking up and implementing was being almost totally ignored in favor of a big honking search box.

It's just so useful for so little money, I can't understand why everyone doesn't do it.

netmeg




msg:4590705
 1:12 am on Jul 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

I did customer support for years at an ISP. One of the things I learned is that customers are very willing to be (somewhat)patient and understanding if you listen to them and admit (or at least consider) that there may be a problem with the system. Ignoring, blaming them or denying an issue just makes people mad and ruins your reputation.


You're not the customer. I know you want to think you are, but you're not.

birchy




msg:4590733
 4:25 am on Jul 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

netmeg: Do you know how Crazy Egg treats pages with parameter URLs?

netmeg




msg:4590800
 12:59 pm on Jul 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

No.

AnAppleADay




msg:4590805
 1:41 pm on Jul 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

netmeg:> You're not the customer. I know you want to think you are, but you're not.

You're right. But my customer google dosn't pay the bill anymore. My customer google didn't say why and he give me no information about my mistakes. But my customer Google has furthermore the key for my business door. And he closed up. No money, no visitors, no success. Strange customer, isn't it?

Netmeg, I believe you live in a better world.

jpch




msg:4590823
 2:29 pm on Jul 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

I had forgotten I had a Lifetime of Crazy Egg For Free (5000) views/month from a website deal I signed up for back in April. Going to give it a try now to see if it shows anything interesting for a certain page.

netmeg




msg:4590865
 5:30 pm on Jul 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'm not sure what you're saying, but Google isn't your customer either. I live in the same world everyone else does. I may not live the same way though.

Chris13




msg:4590929
 1:43 am on Jul 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

Seeing a huge drop in CTR and Revenue on June 29 and 30.

Traffic is more or less the same as usual.

Any problem with google adsense or are we cursed?

Got in touch with my adsense manager, the reply: 'Click spam rate increased since June 30"

I doubt it since traffic is as usual :(

This issue is not due "nessie", in fact, clicks are registered then disappeared in a very weird fashion.


The Nessie issue and clicks disappearing are two different things. A month or so ago google began removing the invalid clicks from the report whereas before they only removed the income and left the clicks in the count. This is why you see the clicks disappear.

The sudden reduction in CTR is exactly what occurred on 9 Mar when google removed Nessie arrows from a ton of sites. Text ads took the biggest hit, mostly on desktop browsers.

My site was hit that day. Ads had lots of space around them and it would have taken a moron to think they were anything but ads. I tested this theory by placing borders around the ads. The CTR dropped with the borders. I guess there are more morons than I thought.

I reconfigured the layout of the pages to place ads at the top and bottom, nothing half way down, which was the most clicked ad space.

After a while I still couldn't get any love from google, so I started giving adsense less ad space and replaced those adunits with another advertiser, creating more competition for my digital realestate. This caused an initial drop in income, but the income has since been rising each week and is higher and more stable than when I had adsense only.

Also, I found a couple of adword advertisers running ads with fake "search" buttons that were designed to look a lot like my site and their ads seemed to trick people into clicking. I began blocking all ads like these. If the advertiser redid the fake search ad under a different ad account I banned the advertiser's url altogether. After that I ended up with less disappearing clicks throughout the day.

Play their game by all means but remember that you don't know the rules...


To play a game one needs to know the rules, otherwise you are merely a pawn, yes?

birchy




msg:4590967
 1:58 pm on Jul 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

The CTR dropped with the borders. I guess there are more morons than I thought.


It sounds like your experience is very similar to mine. I added extra space and made the background colors stand out from the page. I went from 100x CTR to almost zero, made the changes and clawed back up to 5x CTR. My ads are in the center, breaking up a long, tall table. There may be more morons than we think, but they *couldn't* have made up 90% of previous clicks. But how else do I explain the huge reduction in clawbacks right after adding space?

I think I'll return the ads to the way there were before, and see if the clawbacks return. If they don't, then I can blame it all on Google.

Chris13




msg:4591007
 6:15 pm on Jul 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

@birchy,

I also used the ads to break up long pages. There was lots of space around the ads, but when the Nessie buttons came in the CTR jumped. I now believe people saw the Nessie arrows as a Next page button or More Content type button. Unfortunately, I didn't detect what was going on at that time. I had added over a million pages to my site only 10 days before the Nessie buttons became live and I was attributing my increase in income to the new pages, which part of it was. But it wasn't until I looked back at the graphs did I see that the increasing income accelerated on after 9 Dec 2012.

In Jan and Feb of 2013 I was noticing clicks I believed to invalid and I made several reports to google about these, including ip addresses and what I saw going on. But I didn't make the connection with the Nessie arrows. Of course, google didn't once respond to my reports. :/

I don't think the morons made up 90% of the clicks. I believe google levies penalties by adjusting their algo for what it considered a "invalid click". In other words, the invalid click algo is different for different sites, and therefore, you are seeing less clicks than are actually occurring. I make this statement by comparing pre-Nessie CTR with the post-Nessie Removal CTR. Over time these CTRs should be similar, but they aren't.

My CTR is now 1/3rd what is was at the end of Dec 2012 and 1/2 of what it was pre-Nessie. But I've cut the number of adsense adunits on each page, so there is less adsense ads to be clicked on. Overall I've gotten my RPM back to around 60% of where it was pre-Nessie. I use the pre-Nessie RPM as my measure as to how far back I've gotten the site, not the inflated Nessie values.

The Nessie buttons work well for many people but they had some very pecular effects on some sites and it doesn't appear that google considered the consequences of those arrows before going live with them. Google claimed 5000 sites had the Nessie buttons removed in Mar, but in my regular browsering of the web I see more sites without them than with them, so I'm guessing the number is actually far higher.

It's taken months to recover from this, mostly because it was all new as to what was happening and why, and I'm fairly new to this game as my site only went live with adsense last Oct.

Here's what ended up working for me thus far:

I removed the "most clicked on" ad spaces which separated sections of my pages. There's no ads in this space at all. I created all new adunits and don't use the old ones anymore. I've done a complete layout change to my pages. I brought in media.net to fill in additional advertizing.

I take ad spaces with low cpc away from adsense and give them to media.net. I believe that if I want to see more competition with the ad networks then I need to do my part and support them when they come along, so I do.

Overall adsense still has more space on my site than media.net, but by working it this way the income from both is rising and June was my first up month since Feb. [I would have been up in May if I had known what to do.]

I see way fewer disappearing clicks, although there is the occassional butthead who comes along and clicks on ads multiple times and I can see a glob of clicks in a very short period of time. But I believe that is something google gets everywhere and is use to dealing with it. Someone tell me if I'm wrong about that. I have over 20,000 visitors a week, so a couple of buttheads a week is probably normal.

In all that time the only communication I've gotten from google is asking me to put up more adunits. :/

Hopefully this data will help you out some. I still haven't reached my target of getting my total RPM back up to pre-Nessie levels and I may never get to that point. My next actions are going to be adding more content. I'm confident that I've done everything I know to do to prevent inadvertant clicks. Maybe google will recognize this.

birchy




msg:4591038
 10:32 pm on Jul 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

@Chris13: I really appreciate the details you've provided. I'd really like to have a conversation with you one-on-one, about more than just this Adsense issue. I don't know if it would be useful to you, but I know I could climb my learning curve faster.

One issue that I haven't been exposed to previously, is the above the fold mentality. My site is unlike the typical. I have summary content at the top of the page, but the visitor is most interested in the long table of data, and a certain percentage interact with small portions of that data. Some may get interrupted and come back, but might be in a frame of mind more conducive to clicking on an ad as the novelty of the content mellows.

I'm in the process of doubling the content. I hope that this will bring in more traffic, really hoping for a small bump in page rank, and I'm relatively certain that it will increase registration and activity. (Plus, more registration = more emails to remind them I exist every few months and get them to re-visit.)

I've resisted the urge to chop the tabular data up into paginated pieces, but if having ads below the fold is hurting me, I guess I'll try to find time to experiment with it for some of the visitors. With the current format, I often have more ad slots than I can fill, but that might be negative with G?

I'm also working on a second site that recycles/repackages the data in a different, more genral way/viewport, but will crosslink to the first site and hopefully, funnel some additional traffic.

And I have a third project waiting that addresses another niche, with considerably less data (although very much a data packaging presentation/convenience site) that I will put in a relative's name, in order to diversify the risks and get them more tangibly involved in the business.

So, I'm banking on increasing traffic & sites/pages to replace the loss of CTR (my CPC is slipping a little last couple of days also). Earnings on Friday would at least cover my server costs and payments to a content provider, but not yesterday or today so far.

Sigh... too old for this rollercoaster...

Chris13




msg:4591164
 2:04 pm on Jul 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

@birchy,

While I wouldn't mind speaking with you, there is A LOT more useful data on these forums than I could give you. I only started with adsense last Oct, so by no means have I learned everything I should know.

I've done zero link building, for example. My SEO work is very limited. You will be better off posting a question on these forums and getting multiple answers.

Before you cross link your own sites I'd do some checking on that. If your sites cross link to each other you can be assured that google's rankings of your sites will drop.

Also, I wouldn't recommend opening a second account in a relatives name as this the accounts are really both yours and this violates the rules. Google will eventually find out. See this thread: [webmasterworld.com ]

birchy




msg:4591180
 3:01 pm on Jul 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

@Chris13, I definately intend to use the forums as much as possible, but my gut says that a 10 minute conversation with you would cover a lot more useful territory in a shorter time period. You may not be the most knowledgable member of this forum on Adsense or any other topic, but our sites seem to have similar situations and your post about Nessie et al was the most useful treatment of those issues I've encountered so far. While I might ask someone like you to look at my site, I'm not comfortable doing that on a forum, for many reasons.

How developed was your site before Oct? My assumption was you weren't "live" very long before adding Adsense, and if so, you have development skills to envy (and learn from).

This relative wants to learn how to do what we are doing, but doesn't have the ideas for sites that I do. They want to have the option to pursue this kind of income in case I get hit by a bus, or whatever. We are tight enough that if their site tanked and mine were doing well, I would help support them financially and otherwise, and vice versa. Still, it is risky, having to maintain a firewall between the operations. Not knowing each other's passwords would help, but it's easy to forget things and try to help remotely and *bang*, the accounts are cross-contaminated. For example, if I were to use a smartphone, maybe they could link the IP at my house with the IP at the relative's house when I visit there. Seems to me, that one might get accused of multiple accounts if you use a smartphone to access your Adsense account and then visit anyone else who has an Adsense account, even if you don't know they have one. EG a dinner party. It probably wouldn't even have to be my smartphone. My daughter could visit another publisher's house and risk both accounts.

Got my media.net account approved this morning. No ads being served in the empty slots yet (been about 3 hrs). Sure nice to have a human being approach *me* and offer to help me maximize results with ads. What has been your experience with them?

I'll be doubling my content soon, and wondering if having up to a dozen ads per page will hurt me. The ad density won't change, only one ad will ever be visible at a time, and sometimes the closest ad may be just off screen (for desktop browsers with large screens).

birchy




msg:4591649
 10:08 pm on Jul 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

I don't see a forum for media.net, which I've been with for 24 hours now. Anyone got any tips I should know about them? Here's what I see that is different from Adsense: Don't show earnings until the next day, don't show clicks (is that because they are CPM only?), their day starts 4 hrs earlier? My RPM the first 6 hrs was the same or a bit more than what my Adsense RPM has fallen to (which is 1/10th of what it used to be).

tripower




msg:4592164
 4:33 pm on Jul 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

We were hoping and thought that the CTR was improving (and might be fixed) on the 10th, but that didn't happen.

Now there is a whole new batch of publishers that have started seeing their CTR drop through the floor on the 10th.

When is Google going to give us some help or answers?

zarathustra2011




msg:4592165
 4:38 pm on Jul 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

Mine dropped through the floor on the 10th, and is following suit today. What did Google do?

netmeg




msg:4592191
 6:01 pm on Jul 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

When is Google going to give us some help or answers?


Unlikely.

ember




msg:4592319
 1:23 am on Jul 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

I don't see a forum for media.net, which I've been with for 24 hours now. Anyone got any tips I should know about them? Here's what I see that is different from Adsense: Don't show earnings until the next day, don't show clicks (is that because they are CPM only?), their day starts 4 hrs earlier? My RPM the first 6 hrs was the same or a bit more than what my Adsense RPM has fallen to (which is 1/10th of what it used to be).


I would add that they have excellent customer service. They answer emails, and they even call me to chat about how things are going. Granted, their people are in India and I can't always understand them, but they are still helpful.

Saffron




msg:4592596
 8:50 pm on Jul 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

Mine drops by the day. It's now down about 70% on last year. Absolute disaster.

birchy




msg:4592620
 11:18 pm on Jul 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

After the 4th, mine has stabilized at about 15% of what it used to be. Media.net adds another 5%, Chitika and Amazon a couple more points, so I'm a little over 20% of previous. Guess grandma gets to eat dogfood for the rest of this year...unless I'm successful at increasing traffic. I wouldn't be surprised to see CTR drop if traffic increases.

This 58 message thread spans 2 pages: < < 58 ( 1 [2]
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