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This 339 message thread spans 12 pages: < < 339 ( 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 [11] 12 > >     
Prediction: May 2014 will be the worst month of all time

 9:38 pm on May 1, 2014 (gmt 0)

So, it appears as though AdSense has permanently replaced the smaller circle arrow in the text ads with the much larger square version. I've seen it consistently across all devices and I don't think I ever saw it before on smartphones. This will have huge negative consequences for publishers that are opted into text ads. I'm already seeing a huge CTR drop as a result.

Unless AdSense changes this "switch" I predict it will be every publishers worst CTR month ever, and as a result, your worst month as a publisher adjust for traffic.

Google - unbelievable.


wa desert rat

 12:25 am on May 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

I know that Google has had a big push on for more Adwords members. Several who post here in Adsense have said that they are both Adsense and Adwords participants. I'm wondering if some of this revenue decline revolves around who advertises their sites via Adwords and who doesn't. Is Google trying to push Adsense people into advertising their sites. Someone mentioned that we'll all be paying for search results; is this part of it?


wa desert rat

 12:46 am on May 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

Another thought. What impact does "page rank" have on adsense revenue today? I get the feeling that it's far less influential. I also get the feeling that fewer websites are getting high page ranks than before. Anyone have any insight on this?



 12:51 am on May 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

page rank

PR does not mean jack and has not for years


 1:14 am on May 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

I still believe the ones not affected are small sites. I have a few small sites and they are all doing well. My main site with 200k page views a day, however, is taking a beating.


 2:07 am on May 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

Whoever asked about not having a mobile device to test their site on, I've been using various emulators. Just put in your url, choose a device and they will give you some idea of what you have on that mobile device.


 2:39 am on May 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

I've been using various emulators.

In Firefox, you can use the Responsive Design View feature. It's not an emulator per se but for getting a good notion of how pages look at different resolutions, it's very handy Ctl-Shift-M to toggle modes is all it takes. I thought this was a plugin but maybe it's just part of Firefox. Anyway, a very handy tool for responsive site design. If you're programming for mobile, then an actual emulator is very handy.


 3:43 am on May 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

RedBar: without getting into too much bickering (because you are a nice guy)...I don't have to be naive. If you have the evidence to prove that Google is breaking the law, then by all means, take them to court (if the evidence is compelling enough i'll even assist you with your case).

I'm not here in defense of Google. Google is a means to an end for me and my business (pay for expenses and hopefully make a bit of money on top) for some websites (just like amazon is for my second biggest site, and my customers are for the ecommerce site I manage.) They (google) are having their ups and downs due to the same issues we are all facing. There isn't some conspiracy theory going on here. If you think so, tell me what your website is, give me access to your analytics/adsense account, and i'll bet you $100 i can figure out what your real problem is. Most publishers (and I don't mean you) have no knowledge of anything, but have been trained to know that adsense = money. This isn't true anymore than singing will make you rich.


 6:56 am on May 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

I'm looking at the lack of growth in AdSense from a broader scope, the web is simply changing.

First of all, the dropping of AdSense's share in Google's total revenue is simply due to the fact that Google's search ads grow faster than AdSense's display ads. This is no news, search always had an upperhand in targeting. What is alarming is not AdSense's drop in share, but its own lack of growth, which is currently around 5% YoY.

The correct comparison is not AdSense vs Google owned sites, but AdSense vs the total display ads market. The correct question to ask is why AdSense only grows at 5% YoY while the total digital display ads market is growing at around 20% (US numbers, I suppose global numbers should be similar or even higher)?

Here are my speculations:

1. Traffic. I have no numbers as I can't find a study on this subject, but I suspect the web is more and more dominated by big players. I suspect the traffic share of the top 10 or 100 sites has slowly but steadily been growing over the years, which means that traffic to AdSense publishers is not growing as fast as the market. Below average traffic growth leads to below average revenue growth.

2. Relevence. Keyword-based contextual ads are getting old. Facebook can provide better targeting on display ads utilizing their social data, data which Google doesn't have (RIP Google+). In fact, AdSense's stagnation started in 2013 (it grew a healthy 20% in 2012), in the same year Facebook's display ad revenue grew 50% (vs 25% in 2012), a coincidence? On a side note, AdSense is still doing much better than Yahoo, whose display ad revenue shrinked 6.4% in 2013.

3. Google's actions. I figure Google may have perceived Facebook's threat to its display ad business a few years back, and has since been taking measures to improve AdSense's competitiveness. The current stagnation in growth may be a result of trying to get rid of the bad guys (and inevitably some good guys by accident), which may be harmful short term, but should be good for the long term. Wait a few years and we will see if this is the case.

I don't believe for a second that Google is abandoning AdSense. Display ads is still a big market, about as large as search ads, and it's currently experiencing rampant innovation in targeting techniques, so its future could be bright. Don't forget that even Google needs to diversify, it's not healthy to put all its bet in search ads. AdSense is Google's major weapon to fight in the display ad market.

What's more, Google can't really shift revenue from AdSense to its own content sites, they grow independently to each other. Yes, it probably can save some high CPC ads to themselves if the advertiser didn't specify where to put them, but in general I don't think AdSense publishers are in conflict with Google's own display ads properties like Youtube. If Google abandons AdSense, I suspect most of the revenue won't shift to Youtube, but rather to Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, etc.

There are also a load of other benefits Google can get from AdSense, most of which are already mentioned in this thread. I'm sure Google is fighting to grow AdSense, although whether it will succeed is a totally different matter, I sure hope it will, but can't be too optimistic.

All in all, the web is changing, and the ad market is getting more and more competitive, the good old days when anyone could build a website and earn easy AdSense money is gone. It has been said a million times but you really can't take AdSense revenue for granted any more, instead you need to work hard to create a truly valuable website, gather loyal users, and think about how to best monetize it.


 3:14 pm on May 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

Maybe it would be interesting to compare websites and how, where and when people use the website. If you take my website for instant, it's an informational website for people who keep a certain type of South American tropical fish. It's very much in a niche category, although it does get around 3000 hits a day. Now all sorts of people keep these fish, you couldn't really isolate a minority, we've got young, old, male and female. A lot of the people who use my type of website will probably do so from a mobile device nowadays. Could it be a case that some websites receive visitors that are from a certain age, may be people who are not using mobile devices? It could be the case that these websites are not doing too badly if it is this mobile issue that is causing the decline in earnings. Just a thought


 3:17 pm on May 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

Unless I missed something, in all the comments here, those who are complaining about AdSense earnings don't mention whether they have looked to see how AdSense earnings break down by individual pages. And how traffic to individual pages has changed in relation to earnings.

That's important to know, because what you make from AdSense varies by page as well as by other factors. Depending on your niche, you may have a page that gets relatively little traffic generating a lot of income per click because of the subject matter. Other pages on the same site may get a lot more traffic but don't attract higher-priced clicks. In that case, if the low-traffic/high earning page loses placement in the search engines, your total traffic may not seem to decline, but your income might.


 3:34 pm on May 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

Regular SERP changes, targeted niche, demographic anomalies, device usage anomalies, ad format changes, fluctuation in the ad auction, seasonal variables, the economy, current events and the shifting sands of the Internet in general all point to a VERY COMPLEX equation for figuring out why your earnings are doing whatever they're doing. Some factors impact pretty much everyone (but not necessarily with the same results) and others only impact a few. We can discuss general influences but everyone's specifics are going to be different. That's why this discussion is all over the place. Not that that's bad. The discussion itself highlights the many facets involved when trying to make bank with Adsense (or any program for that matter). And I'm sure we probably haven't come close to listing all the variables but there are definitely some major ones in here. Weeding through the mess and finding what's pertinent to you is the tricky part.


 3:44 pm on May 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

I've gone back and had a look at last year's earnings and compare them to this months. I'm getting as many page views and clicks this month as I was back then, but the earnings are considerably less this month. So I think I can rule out a decline in people visiting those pages. It points to lower earnings per click, can't see any other reason why earnings are a lot lower.


 3:59 pm on May 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

It points to lower earnings per click, can't see any other reason why earnings are a lot lower.

Low EPC may be the reason for lower total earnings but what is the reason for the lower EPC? Isn't that the real question? Economy? Targeting? Not using both Text and Display ads as G suggests? Something else?

I'm just pealing the onion...not making a claim one way or another.


 5:45 pm on May 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

Could be smart pricing. Could be different advertisers. You'd also want to look at the mix of devices last year vs this year.


 8:11 pm on May 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

I've always made sure that my ads displayed both text and image. If any of my ads were displaying one of either, I would get marked down in that revenue optimisation points thing in AdSense. As soon as I change them to both, I would go back up to 5.


 3:41 am on May 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

My (quasi, since it doesn't adapt to mobile variations without a mobile user agent/reload of the browser) responsive design (with responsive ad units) has been out for a couple of days. Verdict is...CPC way up. CTR is down. RPM is good though.


 4:57 pm on May 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

Some have already mentioned this, but if you're not on the mobile wagon yet, you should be, or you will die a very slow and painful death. Mobile first is the future and Google doesn't care if you're not with the program. Yeah, I know it sounds painful, and it might be if you have a site from the 90s but it's gonna be worse the longer you wait.


 8:02 pm on May 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

I don't know whether it's just me, but my Google analytics "real-time" has changed in the last couple of days, instead of displaying people who have either been to the website before, or are new, it is now displaying which users are browsing the website from a mobile, desktop, or tablet. And monitoring it all evening and to my surprise, more people are browsing my website from a mobile device. So yes, you're absolutely right, it is paramount that your website is mobile friendly.


 9:44 pm on May 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

if you're not on the mobile wagon yet, you should be, or you will die a very slow and painful death. Mobile first is the future and Google doesn't care if you're not with the program.

I am not on the mobile wagon yet and doing better than ever. I am aware, though, that I need to get mobile ready and am working toward that.


 10:39 pm on May 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

Definitely not going to be the "worst month of all time" for me by a long shot and about 30% of revenue for the month is from other-than-desktop devices so I'm with the folks who are touting mobile design. I will say that we are at a point in the evolution of Adsense and the Internet in general where, if you're not willing to adapt, you could be in for a rough ride eventually. If nothing else, those who aren't getting into mobile are almost certainly leaving money on the table.

My (quasi, since it doesn't adapt to mobile variations without a mobile user agent/reload of the browser) responsive design (with responsive ad units) has been out for a couple of days. Verdict is...CPC way up. CTR is down. RPM is good though.

It can take some tweaking to get your layout working across devices. Where mobile is concerned, a couple of pixels of spacing or other minor adjustment can make a huge difference. Point being that it pays to really look at what happens to your ads in the mobile setting and not just leave it up to whatever you get based on your desktop ad placement. It's worth giving it a little extra attention to detail.


 6:20 am on May 24, 2014 (gmt 0)

Well this is going to be my worst month for a long time - i didn't believe that prediction when I first read it.

My main site been responsive for a couple of months now and I too am getting 30% of my income from mobile and tablets, but represent 50% of my traffic.
RPM for tablest is 75% that of desktop.
RPM for High end Moblies is 25% that of desktop.

Havnt been able to analyse yet but am not convinced the responsive banners work well on mobile - guess 300 wide rectangles may be better.


 11:30 am on May 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

Hi everyone, first posting here.

I've been an adsense publisher for around a year now and I had steady growth up until my peak in March 2014 since then it's gone back to what it was 3 months before.

My traffic is steady and growing adding about an additional 50 sessions per day. The big reason my earnings have halved, and frankly the only reason is that the CPC has gone down by around 60-70%. Now I assume it's down the the niche I'm in and the advertiser budgets.

Just my story. I've noticed alot more colour skins in recent days added to the stock colours may be worth testing some of these out.


 4:50 am on May 31, 2014 (gmt 0)

What a freaking turtle derby! I have to LOL at this twisted turn of events. A freakishly high day of earnings today means I'm going to surpass....April! I know that May has an extra day. If I look at this evenings close, it will almost be to the PENNY as April. Now this isn't after that fat skimming which will hammer the earnings, so there is still one juicy surprise left. What a turtle derby. I have to LOL at this. *shakes head*


 5:35 am on May 31, 2014 (gmt 0)

Me, I'm up every year since I started. I'm not the only one by a long shot.

Actually, I can say the same thing. This month has been a bit turbulent but I'm rolling with the punches and working the program and it's paying off. Will probably end up down about 20% from my best month of the year so far (March) but this is still my third best month of all time. I'm not the biggest publisher here by a long shot but the graph continues to trend upward so I'm going to step out on a limb and make a new prediction (seeing as though this is the last day of the month now).

"June will be my best month EVER!"

...but not because I sat on my butt and did nothing in May. Au contraire.


 1:09 pm on May 31, 2014 (gmt 0)

I'm going to end up just short of twice last May.


 2:12 pm on May 31, 2014 (gmt 0)

It looks as though I'll probably be around 15% down on last month, which was about 15% down on the previous month. This will be the first month for at least seven or eight months when my earnings will be less than 500 for the month. Oh well, at the end of the day so deep pocket money so I can't really grumble. Let's just see what June brings us, let's hope it's a bit of improvement.


 2:28 pm on May 31, 2014 (gmt 0)

I'm going to end up just short of twice last May.

Ah yes, compared to last May, I'm up almost 3x. It's good to keep things in perspective, particularly if there's a good perspective to keep them in. When the perspective is not so good, then "damn the perspective and full speed ahead" becomes my motto. ;)


 3:12 pm on May 31, 2014 (gmt 0)

I have just looked at last May's earnings as well. I was quite astounded, I received more page views each day last May, but my clicks were probably less than half they are this may. Earnings were more than 100 down last year compared to this month. So I suppose when you look at it like that, we can't really complain :-)

I think I probably peaked around December January, February, things started dropping slightly from March. Oh well, let's see what the next seven months bring

It just makes me want to work harder on my website to increase earnings.


 7:18 pm on May 31, 2014 (gmt 0)

End of month and week-end = yuk, very low eCPM...


 11:12 am on Jun 1, 2014 (gmt 0)

Yep, it was my worst month in 11 years however is there a chink of light in the distance for me?



 12:50 pm on Jun 1, 2014 (gmt 0)

May 2014 did not wind up being my worst month ever in terms of overall revenue, but it was my worst month ever in terms of CTR and Page RPM which was essentially the point of my original prediction. The reason it wasn't my worst month is because I worked a ton of hours on projects that led to a significant increase in pageviews. But Google's text ad format change (the version originally launched earlier in the month) is a CTR killer for the majority. Now, since the first version they have modified quite a bit and continue to refine because even they know it's worse than the round arrows we were so accustomed to.

This 339 message thread spans 12 pages: < < 339 ( 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 [11] 12 > >
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