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This 55 message thread spans 2 pages: 55 ( [1] 2 > >     
US Govt Shutdown and Adsense Earnings

 3:25 am on Oct 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

My earnings for the past weeks are doing well but I'm concerned about the government shutdown in the US as most of my visitors are coming from there. Will it affect our revenue?



 3:36 am on Oct 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

If its government employees looking at the site during business hours, then yes - likely to see a substantial drop for the duration.

If it is selling to government employees for official business it might take a hit for even longer as even once the shutdown is over, the funding will likely be a mess for a while.


 4:47 am on Oct 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

I already see this. Thuesday revenue is lower than Sunday!


 6:26 am on Oct 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

You know, the question above had a regional implication yet the answers above disregard it. I know a lot of members on this board are overseas (i.e. not in the United States) and others are here in the US. Seems like it wouldn't be that much trouble to answer a regional question with some information that puts your answer into a regional context. I pretty much block all traffic from outside the United States so my answer is based almost entirely on US traffic and the answer is that we had one of the best days ever on the first day of the shutdown. Even had new member signups from DC itself. Maybe being off work gives people more time to surf the Internet. Who knows?

Also, there's the niche and target audience of any given website to consider. Of course we don't discuss our niches here but if you're running a site about US Political news, this might be a great time for you. If you're operating a site about home baking, you may see no effect at all.

Also, if you're comparing today with last week, you might want to consider that last week was the end of the quarter and companies just might have been dumping dollars into the auction like they're not going to put in again until we get a bit closer to the holidays.

My main question would be, has traffic slowed down and maybe, how well is that traffic converting e.g. what kind of a CTR are you getting with that traffic? A traffic dip could bother your earnings obviously. You might also get a traffic increase but the traffic could be of lesser quality than you're normally used to resulting in a wash. Revenue depends on a lot of variables (most notably, competition in the auction). To say that revenue is lower because of a Government shutdown is to disregard a great many other factors that naturally cause revenues to fluctuate. You may be able to see cause and effect in your stats if you're detailed enough and you can relate your niche to the shutdown in some direct way but, in my mind, if your only measuring stick is the bottom line then you're probably overlooking information you could use to better influence that bottom line. Attention to the details can not only benefit yourself, it also has the ability to contribute to the success of others when it is shared openly which is the primary purpose of this detailed response.


 9:56 am on Oct 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

This could be a cause to the drop in epc (50 percent drop) im seeing. Advertisers maybe holding back because of the million plus workers pay being affected by this.


 2:26 pm on Oct 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

The only things the shutdown is affecting are national parks and federal employees. Social Security checks are still flowing. The military is still getting paid. Congressional workers will get their back pay. So, really, the shutdown is a lot of angst over not much. Earnings will be fine.


 2:52 pm on Oct 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing a drop of earnings yesterday when the shutdown started (not sure yet about today). Yesterday, was still above average but just slightly - not the usual way above average earnings I've been getting.

Could you give an estimate how many employees were affected? Are they in the thousands, millions? We have to also consider their immediate families who defend on them.

HOw about those people who defend on OBAMACARE? Will they be affected too?

I'm seeing steady traffic on my end but it's looking like advertisers are maybe holding back as snickles121 mentioned.


 3:18 pm on Oct 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

HOw about those people who defend on OBAMACARE? Will they be affected too?

Sounds like a political topic if you're talking niche. The answer should be self-evident.

I'm seeing steady traffic on my end but it's looking like advertisers are maybe holding back as snickles121 said.

Or maybe they're holding back because it's the start of a new quarter as I pointed out or that the holiday season isn't quite here yet. Of course, neither a start of the quarter slowdown or a slowdown because of a government shutdown can begin to explain why your earnings are down while mine are up.

Go ahead, ignore the reality of the situation. You're asking questions that can only be answered with speculation unless more facts are provided. The fact is that if I was an advertiser for a conservative cause or a liberal cause right now, I'd probably be pouring money into the system while everyone's attention is focused on this. Sites that target political topics may actually be off the hook right now.

It's almost impossible to take some event like a government shutdown and attribute it to some earnings trend unless you also factor in a lot of other variables. The OP started out by worrying about what would happen. I guess time will tell and we can all draw our own conclusions when it's said and done based on our own individual powers of deduction and level of attention to the details. There's certainly not a lot anyone can do about it in the meantime.


 3:37 pm on Oct 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

No one is dependent on Obamacare because it has not kicked in yet, and I don't see how it would affect earnings. Except maybe when the people who think that they will be receiving free health insurance realize that they have a $4,500 deductible. That could affect spending, I suppose, but that is a long way off. I believe that the number of federal employees affected is around 200,000, out of 300 million plus U.S. citizens


 4:04 pm on Oct 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

I just dont understand how I go from a great month last month to a great day on Oct 1 to very bad earnings yesterday and today from the same traffic.

Anyway, like webcentric said it could be from the start of a new quarter too. Or adsense is up to some kind of testing. I guess Ill know more as the week goes on.

Heres a link at [nbcnews.com...] on how the Government shutdown affects GDP for those interested.


 5:48 pm on Oct 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

I already see this. Thuesday revenue is lower than Sunday!

The results on a single site are statistically insignificant. Only Google can tell us if AdSense itself took a downward turn due to a government furlough. FWIW, I find Thur-Sat has become my off days when it used to be Sat-Sun so I couldn't say.

Maybe I incorrectly assumed that workers with a few days off might be online doing a little shopping in their spare time and give AdSense a bump.

If in fact AdSense goes down instead of up during the government shutdown, then we know those workers weren't really working in the first place and probably deserve to be furloughed.

I think certain internet sectors related to entertainment, employment and possibly apparel/home might see a bump.

Now I must go back to work, solitaire awaits...


 6:09 pm on Oct 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

Unless your main source of traffic is at-work US federal government workers I wouldn't expect to see more than a minor shift in web traffic patterns.

Many businesses run their ad campaigns on a monthly or quarterly basis. I've noted in the past that the first day of a new month often sees a sharp flux in earnings. Even more prominent on the first day of a new quarter. I suppose people are pouring over the previous period's stats to see what, if any, tweaks need to be made for the new period. New rates and new creative can impact performance as a new baseline performance metric (think click through and conversion rates) established by AdWords/AdSense.


 6:42 pm on Oct 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

Maybe I incorrectly assumed that workers with a few days off might be online doing a little shopping in their spare time

My sister is affected by the shutdown (she works for NASA) and I can tell you that shopping is as far from her mind as possible today. She has no idea how long this will last and if she will be paid for the time she is furloughed. She has a mortgage and other bills to pay and has to make her emergency fund last through this. I imagine many other of the laid off federal workers are in the same boat. Many likely do not have an emergency fund like my sister did, so their situation may likely be even more dire.

Then there is the military... I am a member of a military family (reserves) and while they are still getting paid, any unnecessary drills have been canceled. That means the couple hundred bucks that reserve families normally would be getting (and likely use for extra spending money) is gone this month.

Not to mention that military contractors are on a case by case basis on whether they will be paid.

Then, let's see, how about all those restaurants and shops near federal facilities. They rely on federal workers to eat and shop. And tourism areas, no tourists will be going to National Parks so no tourism dollars will be coming in for those areas.

These are just a few of the examples of how the shutdown ripples past just federal workers and affects the incomes of those not in the federal government.

The shutdown did coincide with a new quarter, but likely many marketers have also realized that the shutdown could affect a large portion of the population, so may be holding back. After all, they could just up spending later when the shutdown is over.


 7:52 pm on Oct 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

@hannamyluv's comments...

Trickle down effects are a reality in my estimation and many marketers probably put some serious thought into planning around this shutdown while others may not be that astute. Impulse shopping is also still a reality though and so is window shopping which is what a lot of online advertising results in anyway. During a government shutdown, more people wind up with free time on their hands and many will go window shopping online as a result. From a publisher perspective, it doesn't matter why a user clicks on an ad (i.e. to do research, to impulse shop or just to satisfy some burning curiosity), the results are the same. The old adage "When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping" has a certain seed of truth in it too. People may be seeing a downturn right now but I'm seeing exactly the opposite which flies in the face of what seems like a logical conclusion at first blush. I agree that there may have been some anticipation in the marketing community prior to this event but it's also possible that the trickle down repercussions you mention will only surface over time as the ripples spread out over the pond and if the stone thrown into the pond is big enough to cause major, long-lasting ripples (i.e. long vs short shutdown). As for how this plays out for individual people, I spoke with someone today that had no knowledge whatsoever of the shutdown so they're going about their normal routine (which for all I know, includes shopping on the internet). "Ignorance is bliss" or so they say and there are a great many people in this world that insist on daily doses of bliss e.g. watching MTV rather that the evening news.

ADDED: BTW, CPC is higher both today and yesterday than I've seen in many months.


 8:15 pm on Oct 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

I was just thinking of this...

Today's marketer is pretty savvy when it comes to "news events". I know for a fact that "news events" like 9/11, The Olympics, terror plots, etc have a significant effect on consumer spending. Not because they are afraid to spend money, but because they are too busy reading/watching/clicking on a news event to spend. Many may remember that the 9/11 attacks were devastating on the American economy because people stopped spending and just were glued to their news source of choice.

This is not as big as 9/11 - that was an extreme case, but it is typical to see a redirection of attention when there is a news event. The shutdown is a news event that has a lot of people's attention.

Marketers may not even be thinking of this from a trickle down affect on spending but rather a "where are people's attention" standpoint.


 8:31 pm on Oct 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

Marketers may not even be thinking of this from a trickle down affect on spending but rather a "where are people's attention" standpoint.

Which is exactly why it might be a great time to be operating an editorial website focused on US politics. If you are, you may be noticing a spike in traffic at the very least. You're right, this isn't 9/11 which leads me to believe that the impact is going to be more niche oriented (over the short term). Of course, if this goes on long enough, it's got the potential to mess up practically everyone.


 3:02 pm on Oct 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

Update: Yesterday was stellar (very respectable CPC), today is the exact opposite so far. If this shutdown does become a major variable in publisher's bottom lines, there may be a silver lining in it as well i.e. the holiday season is nearly upon us. While marketers may well hold off on pulling the trigger until the shutdown and looming Debt Ceiling debate are in the rear view mirror, this could result in a more intense holiday marketing season as those delayed dollars get put to use in a compressed holiday marketing season. Marketers impacted by government activities (or lack thereof as the case may be) will be itching to recover from the lull AND make bank during the holiday season which many absolutely depend on. Anyway, the concept looks good on paper. Something to help keep your hopes up if things don't look so good right now.


 4:12 pm on Oct 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

hannamyluv has done a great job summarizing how many people are affected by this shutdown.

Don't forget that in two weeks, the debt ceiling has to be raised, or else the Treasury is no longer officially authorized to pay the bills Congress has racked up. This could have several outcomes, and none of them are pretty. (Unless the Feds actually negotiate a sensible debt limit increase, which IMO isn't even a possibility anymore.)

Also keep in mind, no matter what job market and unemployment numbers the press gives us, people usually base their spending habits on how secure they FEEL about their ability to earn money. Confidence there is still pretty low, and the longer it stays low, the harder it will be to shake it because those feelings are kind of like slow-motion trauma. If you've ever been unemployed or underemployed for a couple of years, you know how it erodes your sense of having any value in the marketplace. Then when you finally get a good job, you don't immediately trust it's going to last.


 4:14 pm on Oct 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

CPC yesterday was horrible for me at 50% of normal (clicks ok), today is looking the same.

Sounds good webcentric and hopefully this shutdown gets resolved soon.


 3:56 am on Oct 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

Well, talk about trickle-down. NOAA.gov is down due to the shutdown causing a disruption in the xml weather feeds they provide (at least the server that serves weather icons is down). We seem to still be getting some weather data but I'm not sure it's actually real-time data and I'm also not sure when and if it will completely go down, (throwing errors in the process). Long story short, we've had to take weather components offline temporarily. I'm guessing this may also be influencing a great many other non-essential federal web services, rss feeds and other data repositories across a multitude of topics. Anyway, the tip of the iceberg reveals itself in a very unexpected way. For us weather is more cosmetic than a critical feature but I could imagine a site that relies on government feeds for some of its content could be up a creek for awhile. Yuck!


 1:44 pm on Oct 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

Quick Update: Seems weather is a critical service but weather icons are not. Means a few less graphics on the page which could impact user engagement but not like having a completely blank feed on a page anyway.


 8:47 pm on Oct 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

My earnings returned to normal by the end of day yesterday. However, back to bad earnings today again. Not sure if this has anything to do with paranoid advertisers or not.


 8:33 am on Oct 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

In a word, yes, simply because a significant portion of our advertisers, here in the US, via Gadsense rely on the National Parks which are now closed, so they have cut ads until they reopen.


 8:52 am on Oct 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

I really hope this is the cause for the drastic eCPM drop since 1 Oct.


 2:18 pm on Oct 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

I actually don't use Adsense, but rather several other CPM brokers. The drastic drop since October 1 does seem to be across the board.

It's not just the shutdown. It's that if we default in a couple of weeks because of debt ceiling shenanigans, the markets could be horribly upset, Social Security checks won't go out, etc. If I were buying advertising, I'd be tempted to wait-and-see.


 3:34 pm on Oct 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

I agree that a pending default may actually put advertisers off more than just the current shutdown. The double whammy is definitely enough to give the big players serious cause for concern.

On another note, it appears NOAA has the weather back up to snuff. Seems like shutting down their website caused some glitches for a few days but our feed is working fine now. Anyone else seeing any content issues related to the shutdown? Feeds offline? Etc?


 5:34 pm on Oct 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

Travel related topic.

Normally October is the start of the off-season and revenue hurts badly as a consequence.
Not this year. It feels more like high season so far.


 3:42 pm on Oct 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

It feels more like high season so far

I generally agree with that. We're having a good month even though the last two days were off a bit. Guess the fact that I've got garlic hanging over the door, salt under the door jam and I rub my cat's head three times in opposite directions every so often is helping. Also recommend knocking on wood frequently and carrying a rabbit's foot in your front left pocket. I believe these may be the new keys to success with the Adsense program.


 5:10 pm on Oct 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

Travel related topic.

I've just witnessed the "closure" of state parks first hand and the people are still there ignoring the signs that say it's closed over the place where you normally pay to gain entry.

They're using the parks for free is all.

I was one of them! hehehehe :)

If the government shutdown continues and results in the government defaulting on their lines of credit the next AdSense thread following this one will be titled "World Economy Collapse and AdSense Earnings".

Of course there will be no AdSense at that time, nor will the lights be on powering the servers that run WebmasterWorld so you might as well discuss it now before civilization takes a 200 year step backwards.

Wondering if Mad Max ever worried about his AdSense earnings...

[edited by: incrediBILL at 1:28 am (utc) on Oct 9, 2013]


 5:28 pm on Oct 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

Wondering if Mad Max ever worried about his AdSense earnings...

Mad Max wasn't mad, he was just misdiagnosed and misunderstood, all he really needed was a hug.

This 55 message thread spans 2 pages: 55 ( [1] 2 > >
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