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



 6:01 pm on May 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

@ Sally Stitts

Whilst your figures are also disastrous bear in mind that I have gone from USD 10,000 month to a year ago at USD 1,000 month to April's USD 290.00 and the way things are going maybe USD 200.00 this month.

I forecast awhile back that I reckoned May/June would be my last AdSense month, it looks as though that prediction may not be far off.


 6:39 pm on May 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

Alright, while my CTR is way up, CPC has cratered as never before.

So it's a wash. Actually, that's not true, I'm way down for the month. Bad.


 6:44 pm on May 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

CPC (eCPM) is on the toilet this year + big day to day variations...


 7:07 pm on May 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

Sally, I am just curious when did your declines start? Could you put date/dates on it?

Sally Stitts

 7:08 pm on May 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

(Sorry about the date errors - fixed now.)
Jan. 2013 - $19,850
Feb. 2013 - $17,000
Mar. 2013 - $18,000
Apr. 2013 - $18,000
May. 2013 - $17,000
Jun. 2013 - $15,000
Jul. 2013 - $13,000
Aug. 2013 - $13,000
Sep. 2013 - $12,000
Oct. 2013 - $10,000
Nov. 2013 - $ 9,000
Dec. 2013 - $ 8,000

Jan. 2014 - $ 9,600
Feb. 2014 - $ 8,400
Mar. 2014 - $ 9,800
Apr. 2014 - $ 6,000
May. 2014 - $ 800 (projected)

Ah, how the mighty have fallen. I have been doing nothing but constantly improving my site. I spend hours on this forum EVERY day. I am a fanatic about AdSense TOS compliance. Since I have MANY bidders for my diverse pages, it cannot be a "bidder thing". After much speculation, I still do not know why I am suffering this spectacular collapse of May earnings, except for the sheer and utter vaporization of appropriate contextual targeting.


 8:08 pm on May 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

Is it just your earnings that have dropped, or has your traffic dropped as well?

Lenny Brooks

 8:29 pm on May 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

Something is going very wrong with Asense. LB


 8:37 pm on May 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

Re. Sally Stitts - How can I take a look at your website? Can someone message me or something?


 8:53 pm on May 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

Sally, I am sadly seeing something very similar. Adsense was very consistent and reliable for years, and then it has declined to unsustainable levels in a few short months. It seems that the number of clicks is down, but also that Adsense is giving less value to each click. The ecpm has dropped sharply. I don't know how widespread this problem is. But I tend to agree that there's something about our sites that the algorithm doesn't like, and the numbers will just push inexorably down. It's time to diversify, and hopefully there's enough time to do it.

[edited by: TamourineMan at 9:16 pm (utc) on May 4, 2014]

Sally Stitts

 8:57 pm on May 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

@Netmeg -
Traffic has been steadily dropping, as well.
2014 traffic is approximately 50% of 2013 numbers.
From 7 figures per month, to 6 figures per month.

@SnowLeppard -
Can someone message me or something?

I can sticky a few of you, but it is not my intention to fully "out" myself. But I need help, so I will take the risk with a few of you.

It's time to diversify.

An inevitable thought, but where are you going to go? There is nothing close to AdSense. But that could quickly change. (Remembers expression, "Would, could, should, might, Weasel words are always right!"
"By doing this, that or the other, you could increase your AdSense earnings." Or not. :<)


 11:15 pm on May 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

Yes, options are limited (maybe non-existent). Anyone, know of any ad provider out there that serves responsive ads (for example)?

The new formats (or should I say the ongoing format evolution) is bad enough and is certainly a factor in earnings but I'm also truly wondering if there is some other major factor involved in the radical declines posted here. Smart pricing or other ad targeting bugs? Bad economy? Who knows?

This much I know. When you take something as fundamental to the Internet as an underlined hyperlink and replace it with some dumb-ass arbitrary symbol pointing away from the thing you want people to click on, you're a bleeping idiot. Perhaps if we take all the traffic arrows in the world and turn them around so they're pointing in the opposite direction, it will begin to make sense to surfers. Until then, the only conclusion I can draw from all of this is that Google has decided to kill Adsense. It's an absurd conclusion, I know, but it's the only one that makes sense anymore.

Also, the hypocrisy is stinking up the room. Why aren't these big ugly arrows plastered all over the Google SERPS? And one always has to wonder if this story is getting legs with advertisers...true or not.

[zdnet.com ]

UPDATE: CTR is trashed. CPC (for the few clicks that are coming in) couldn't buy a stick of gum these days.


 11:31 pm on May 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

options are limited

Limited but there are options.

I'm at 50% Adsense, 40% affiliate and 10% direct advertising.

At one time it was 95% Adsense.

I hope some of the Gurus here can get Sally back on track. Seems like she still has enough traffic to try some other options


 1:16 am on May 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

I hope some of the Gurus here can get Sally back on track.

Ok, I'm now officially an ex-guru, I haven't a freakin' clue...I have absolutely NO IDEA whatsoever it is that Google expects of anything/anyone, maybe IF they had a dialogue with us...nah...that ain't going to happen. Remember this though, Google may not know the/an answer since this is very uncharted territory, it has never happened before.

Bear in mind I used to help Google out with their alogorithms in the 90s/00s, nothing whatsoever makes any sort of logical sense to me these days. Their SERPs are a total mishmash of crap and actually as to why their advertising programme has seemingly crashed is mystifying.

Is it bad ad targeting? I do not know.

Is it bad ad presentation? I do not know.

Is it bad economical situations? I do not know.

Is Jo Public being MUCH, MUCH more savvier? I do not know.

Or, maybe, after surviving several years of a deep recession Jo Public has realised that they don't need most of the crap that is being purveyed to them?

Outside of big city earners has JP switched off from all this BS?


 2:40 am on May 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

@RedBar and in response to my own earlier questions...I just turned off enhanced text ads about two hours ago and in that time earnings are triple what they were over the previous 48 hours. A two hour test ain't much to write home about but after the last two days, I've decided nothing could be worse. So, I can't eliminate the bad economic factor, bad ad targeting and a great many other things but I can turn off all the BS in the ads themselves and have. We'll see what we shall see.

Wondering how many others have already tried this and how long it will take others to do the same. For me, enough is now way more than enough.


 3:02 am on May 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

And on another tangent where this is all concerned...first a quick aside.

Responsive ads in Adsense are clearly labeled as a Beta product.

And now the reality of the situation. It seems to me that responsive ads have only had one major change since their inception. I can't even begin to count the number of changes to the "Enhanced" text ad product just since the introduction of Nessie. It appears to me that the Beta label should be removed from responsive ads and re-affixed to the Enhanced text ads feature.

Here's the pudding. Enhanced text ads are a Beta program and everyone who has them turned on is a beta tester for Google with no control over the game. Changing colors and fonts provides a bit of illusory control but when you've lost control over the components that can appear in an ad and are subject to unpredictable changes at any moment, a very inequitable relationship is created. In a normal beta test environment, testers are encouraged to provide feedback and are responded to when they report bugs and other issues. That's what's missing here, any disclosure that turning on Enhanced text ads is tantamount to volunteering to be a beta-tester for Google. Perhaps it would do some good if people started looking at this feature in the light of its current reality. It's not a proven feature. I for one am in business and don't have time to be experimented with so I offer this observation as food for thought to anyone who is currently a member of the the Google beta-testing community. What you do with it is your business.


 3:52 am on May 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

I can sympathize with the bottom dropping out with AdSense over the last few months/years (it seems to have happened in sudden downward spurts and depended on the niche/topic).

One thing I did notice during this time period was that most of the Yahoo! properties (not search) were slowly switched over to AdSense. Essentially, gobbling up the inventory of ads that were once available for smaller sites. That's the only thing I can fathom that would result in having such a dramatic effect/decline for other sites in such a short span of time (unless they really are doing something shady behind closed doors which makes me feel ill).


 7:20 am on May 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

@Sally Stitts - It's the new very artificial intelligence from Google.

The popular name is Panda.

It's a disaster for webmasters, except the "untouchable sites"!

Same results here...
- 60% traffic since March 2013 and the adsense payment (CPC) is getting lower every day => perfect storm, extinction.


 8:55 am on May 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

@Sally Stitts
You are not alone!


 9:28 am on May 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

used to make 400EU/day, now its barely climbs over 150eu.

everyone's here is on the same boat.


 10:27 am on May 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

Same here, used to see earnings about 200-250E/day, within 2 years I'm down to xE, when I see xxE is an excellent day. Traffic dropped as well, about 90%.

[edited by: gogu258 at 10:30 am (utc) on May 5, 2014]


 11:22 am on May 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

everyone's here is on the same boat.

Nope, not quite everyone therefore the question needs to be asked just why some are seemingly unaffected meanwhile many of us are being atricken down as though we have some kind of incurable disease?

My specialist widgets have absolutely nothing to do with any type of Google product or business and are very unlikely ever to do so, in fact they would actually have to employ trade specialists such as myself if they were ever to be so stupid as to consider it.

So what made my specialist, trade widget galleries such a threat to Google that they needed eliminating? Damned if I know and I have a great suspicion that they do not even know they have done it either, I've been eliminated by "friendly fire", "unintended consequences", "negative positives, "positive negatives", "whatever", all for the so-called greater good of their fubard algo of whichever black and white species one likes...personally I feel it is the skunk simply because it stinks of amateurism and naivety of monumental proportions.

Not wanting to specifically put anyone on the spot, unfortunately I will do, what makes netmeg's sites and approach different to the rest of us? What can we learn from her that benefits the rest of us, if anything at all?

the only conclusion I can draw from all of this is that Google has decided to kill Adsense.

As ludicrous as this may appear I came to this conclusion a few months ago, absolutely nothing else makes sense any more.


 12:34 pm on May 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

what makes netmeg's sites and approach different to the rest of us? What can we learn from her that benefits the rest of us, if anything at all

Nothing I haven't been saying all along. Be useful, be unique, and diversify diversify diversify.


 4:27 pm on May 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

So here is what happened this morning at Googleplex. Someone at AdSense looked at the numbers since the new design went 100% implemented across all devices on text ads and they must not have liked what they saw (in terms of numbers). Now the "dark square background" which looked ridiculous is now basically white/non-existent and I am just seeing a grey arrown/greater than sign. I'm not saying they are doing for for all devices and all publishers, but I am seeing it mostly when I check my sites now.

Typical Google not doing enough testing. I have never seen a worse testing team with unlimited resources. This is so typical.


 4:39 pm on May 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

They try to circumvent the "ad blindness"


 4:45 pm on May 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

Now the "dark square background" which looked ridiculous is now basically white/non-existent and I am just seeing a grey arrown/greater than sign.

I didn't think it would take long for the repercussions to hit. I'll say it again. Welcome to Google's beta-testing program. I'm content to watch the feedback and when I hear a positive consensus of opinion on the subject of Enhanced text ads, I might give em another try. Until then, plain ads are holding their own so I'm done with all these "enhancements." Again, mislabeling applies. "Experiments" should have been reserved for the enhanced text ads feature.

Again, I'm wondering how many publishers have just turned the feature off in the last few days. That could be a motivating factor in its own right.


 5:02 pm on May 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

I have enhanced text ads turned on and am seeing the large square/rectangle with the arrow. My CTR has actually increased since I started seeing this, around the beginning of the month. EPC dropped briefly but is now up again. So all in all, things here are looking good. Knock on wood.


 5:03 pm on May 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

Be useful, be unique

And there's the great Google conundrum, I could hardly be more useful or unique for my widget industry yet what does Google reward us with in the SERPs, scraped Blogger sites, misinformed sites, malinformed sites and general garbage.

I know there's nothing wrong with my sites, it's Google that has the problem.


 5:16 pm on May 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

Not every industry, or niche, or site is suited to Google. They want sites that are already popular to a huge number of diverse people. You are 100% set to create your own place in your industry; if I were you, HP, I'd have kicked Google to the curb YEARS ago, created my own list, marketed to channels outside Google - maybe even a member only gallery that you can charge a small subscription fee for, and that Google never sees (side benefit - cuts down on scrapers) - and eff the big G. But that's just me.


 6:08 pm on May 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

@ ember,

Same here, same thing. CTR is WAY up, obviously up on mobile devices, a little up on tablets and slightly down on desktop (but within normal range).

I love the new text ads, I have no idea why people are complaining. I HATED that stupid circle, it looked so cheesy, screamed "AD!"

Today is ON FIRE. CPC is finally matching CTR. Once that happens earnings should see a big boost. CTR is DOUBLE what it was a month or two ago.

Of course, nothing is guaranteed. I'm not worried about Adsense, though, I'm worried about the search rankings. My main site has been holding strong for 8+ months but you never know. You never know.

Sally Stitts

 11:31 pm on May 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

Regarding my earnings demise, I received an answer from AdSense, which was a pretty fast response (Fri. to Mon.). That's the good part.

What did they say? The boilerplate response, with some added obfuscation. Which, of course, is exactly as expected. With ZERO acknowledgment of my TOTAL WIPEOUT on April 1. Not only was there no guidance, they didn't even listen to what I had said.

Hi xxxxx,

Thank you for contacting us.
I took a look at your Performance Reports and it looks like your earnings have decreased over the last few months because of a decrease in your site's page views. I've attached a screenshot from your account that shows RPM (the amount you're earning per 1000 impressions) has stayed fairly flat over the past year, while page views have declined. If you have your account linked to Google Analytics, I recommend looking in to your Google Analytics for your site to see if you notice any changes in your referral traffic.

Additionally, here are a few more ideas on how to increase traffic to your site: Tips to increase traffic to your site - URL= [url]https://support.google.com/adsense/answer/1348732[/url]

- Promote your site with other major websites that cover the same topic
- Promote your site through social media and create a group of interested people who regularly visit your site
- Use Webmaster Tools to ensure Google correctly crawls and indexes your site
- Update your site regularly (perhaps send an email or newsletter with updates) to encourage repeat visitors
I'd also recommend reviewing this Help Center article on Tips to increase traffic to your site.

Let me know if you have any other questions or concerns I can help address.


Google AdSense

My response (if I were to respond) to their 4 suggestions would be "Just what do you think I do EVERY DAY?" Pushing the matter further with them would be totally futile, and just serve to piff them off. I'll pass. After all, I still get a few bucks a day.

No help here. An utterly useless response. Because of my lengthy excellent earnings record, and sudden MASSIVE earnings decline beginning April 1, I feel that they know EXACTLY what is going on. And have no intention of telling me.

Walks away slowly humming "Singing in the rain, just singing in the rain."
(Unabashed technique plagiarism of webcentric - thanks for the attitude adjustment.)
Things look pretty bleak for me, AdSense-wise.
I'm going to drink some fine Chardonnay now, to combat my depression.


 12:48 am on May 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

Makes you wonder if handwashing is outlawed at Google...what with one hand barely willing to even acknowledge the other (let alone admit that the two are connected to the same organism).

I recommend a nice sharp cheddar with that Chardonnay. Me, I prefer "wasting away again in Margaritaville" when the cow is jumping over the moon like this.

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