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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.


Sally Stitts

 3:40 am on May 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

Hi Sally. I'm also a high earner. My earnings started to suddenly go down beginning in March about 40% less. Yours is quite extreme from 20k to 800, that's just not normal. How many sites do you have? Are all those sites have similar extreme downward trend or only a few were affected?

My earnings started to suddenly go down beginning in APRIL about 40% less. Then on May 1, a total collapse.

I am working feverishly on my new page, which gives ALL the data that everyone would like to see. I will hold this in abeyance, until I receive confirmation of my execution, or until AdSense locks me out. Just the outline has taken me 5 hours. It will be exhaustive. It looks like anger will be MY fourth step of grieving. Quickly turning into rage. Yeah, yeah, I know, Google owes me nothing. But I have a lot to say about it. There are a lot of things that folks don't understand, and don't think enough about. I intend to warn others that may suffer the same fate as I.


 3:57 am on May 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

Regarding where I'm at in May and where I expect to be at the end of the month?

Right now, I've shut down a few sites. I've removed ads from a few sites. I've shut auto renew off on many domains I own.

It's the evolution of Adsense really. Myself making money from the program? Having to pay me to show ads made sense before, but not now. Why pay me a cut if you have your own properties which can and have been catching up to many of the websites that the program once depended on. I certainly feel that as the owned property ad opportunity rises, my earnings will continue to decline into oblivion. It's how I explain my rankings in the SERPS and the related monthly check I'll get from last month and in May.

It's in the earnings calls. Adsense is dwindling, but earnings certainly are not. There isn't anything to fix, it's all working. Only one thing matters. Earn more than you pay out. Simple.

Anyways, I'm nothingburger. I appreciate hearing from people who really had or have amazing success with Adsense. It's highly enlightening and I thank you for the posts.


 4:34 am on May 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

My earnings started to suddenly go down beginning in APRIL about 40% less. Then on May 1, a total collapse.

I've had periods over the years where things started to decline - no total collapse, though - and I started to panic. Invariably, things always turned around. Not on my preferred timetable, which would have been immediately, but always within a week or two. There are just so many variables outside of a publisher's control that sometimes you just have to hold on and let the universe work its will. It is possible that your revenue could come back up just as dramatically as it dropped. Maybe not to $18K a month but to a decent level.

Sally Stitts

 7:58 am on May 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

Calming down now.

Its just that after 10 years of great consistency, one starts to think of publishing as a job. 55 hours a week. Then, when everything suddenly goes south, it is as if you have been fired, without explanation. Kinda tough to take.

An old PHD boss of mine once told me, "It doesn't matter what you do, as long as you are consistent." Proven once again.

Be consistent yourself. But don't expect consistency from a corporation, just because they have been consistent for 10 years. Its crunch time. The rules have changed. Anything can happen.


 9:15 am on May 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

f**k this #*$!. Earnings are dropping month by month.

december (2013) - 13248
January -10825
februrary - 7526
march -5580
april -4904

This month is even worse, i bet it will not reach 4500EU.

page views/ unique are pretty much the same. But ctr and cpc across all platforms went to tve very bottom line. Used to be ~ .40 EU per click and now its .22.

I bet adsense is still paying more per click compared to yahoo+bing (media.net).


 9:56 am on May 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

R0meo and others. Out if interest, is the drop in ctr and cpc all hapinging with mobile visitors - who are becoming an increasing proportion for most of us?


 12:34 pm on May 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

Oddly, this year my CTR is up and my EPC is down a bit.


 1:34 pm on May 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

Quickly turning into a massacre.



 2:18 pm on May 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

Clicks dropped for me beginning May 1, and continue to hover at this new, lower level. Could be that my text ad configurations are no longer well-suited to the new designs? Has anyone seen positive results after tweaking their ad settings? I am going to try this today on one of my sites.


 2:22 pm on May 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

Just took a look at the stats for last month and the 69% were text ads. The problem seems to be that the new text ad format is quite repulsive. Add to that the falling traffic and the targeting and it is a bit of a perfect storm.



 2:47 pm on May 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

Yesterday was my highest earnings day in months, go figure. So far, May is well above previous months for no reason I can see whatsoever.


 2:56 pm on May 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

Text or Image ads?



 3:04 pm on May 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

> Text or Image ads?

Just text.


 3:25 pm on May 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

The problem seems to be that the new text ad format is quite repulsive. Add to that the falling traffic and the targeting and it is a bit of a perfect storm.

I'm not sure the current climate can be summed up any better...unfortunately. Over the past few months, I have been optimizing my site for speed and useability and that has kept the bottom of the traffic part of this puzzle from falling through for me but the other two factors are creating a roller-coaster ride this month so far.

Yesterday, clicks were coming at a record pace (albeit CPC was very low) until about 1pm Eastern. Then they just stopped (no loss of traffic, no server outage). Not another click for the rest of the day. It was like a water spigot being turned off. Clicks started coming again shortly after midnight. I'm wondering if advertising budgets are small so advertisers are targeting morning traffic with short, targeted runs. I've seen this pattern a couple of times this month already. Big burst in the morning and then things just go dead. Can anyone else relate to a pattern like that?

FYI I've turned off enhanced text ads for now in order to narrow down the cause of this roller coaster. Normal ads don't seem to be doing any worse than the enhanced ads which means they're on a rollercoaster of their own and have bad days too.


 3:30 pm on May 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

webcentric, try the "Beta experiments" and run enhanced ads vs regular .. and get more than 10k impressions on both, then you will see what performs better

Still I am reaching news lows like every other day (steady traffic)

I will ignore May this year and look forward to Q3, everything else I will simply ignore, it's too depressing


 3:47 pm on May 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

To me it looks like a pretty coincidence:

1) Google Adsense CPC is down, Quarterly earnings report bad, Youtube revenue and mobile goes up

2) Google decides to make changes to the layout, completely ignoring CTR to make sure as many publishers turn towards Youtube

They keep doing similar things, that appear "small" at first but are really game changers

But who can blame them? They are making use of their monopoly

[edited by: noname123 at 3:54 pm (utc) on May 7, 2014]


 3:52 pm on May 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

@noname123 -- Now that would be a useful experiment but as far as I can tell, it's not possible to achieve.

Enhanced Text Ads is an account-wide setting. It's either on or it's off and impacts all ads in the account.

I'd love to be wrong about this but unless I'm missing something right in front of my eyes, I doubt it. Again, great idea for the geniuses as Google to implement.


 3:53 pm on May 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

webcentric, no you can turn this off, using the beta Experiments (its an actual feature)

You can then block Enhanced text ads and certain sensitive categories


 3:56 pm on May 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

Maybe this feature has not been turned on for your account, it's under My ads, Content, Experiments

Wait a few weeks then you may have it too or send a mail to your acc manager/support


 4:16 pm on May 7, 2014 (gmt 0)


I can create experiments under My Ads > Content > Experiments but don't see any option for turning off Enhanced text ads.

To be clear, there is an option under Allow & Block Ads > Ad Serving titled

"Enhanced text ads - show performance-enhancing features on text ads."

This is the only place I know of to control Enhanced text ad features, so, maybe like you say, it's not available in my account. I've tried looking for the feature you describe both when I have Enhanced text ads enabled and when they are disabled to see if disabling them at the account level hides the feature in Experiments. No luck. Can you describe exactly where you are seeing this option on the experiments page? Thanks.


 4:23 pm on May 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

I don't see any way to test Enhanced Text Ads in the Experiment tool. Basically all you can test right now are text vs image or style vs style.


 4:27 pm on May 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

January 2011 is when AdSense really began going downhill for me and it's never recovered. Even with the current spike I'm seeing this month, earnings are a small fraction of what they once were. Average today is about 1/10th of what it was in September 2009.


 4:28 pm on May 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

I don't see any way to test Enhanced Text Ads in the Experiment tool. Basically all you can test right now are text vs image or style vs style.

That's my take on this as well until someone demonstrates otherwise. Then I'll be jealous. ;) I'm thinking there is a terminology breakdown here but I've been wrong before and G does roll things out to different accounts at different times so anything is possible these days.


 4:36 pm on May 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

I've been thinking today, yep, that's very dangerous for me, and I suddenly remebered that the beginning of May has been disastrous for me several times with Google:

05.05.05 - A halving of my earnings overnight for seemingly no reason

06.05.11 - Panda introduction - yet another halving with seemingly no reason whatsoever

May 2014 - Yet another halving of earnings with no plausible explanation

I'm sure if I look at other years I may find other coincidencies but three halvings for me doing nothing wrong, plus other things that Google has done to me over the years, it's very easy to see that they simply do not like having me around.

or send a mail to your acc manager/support

Do you know what, even when I was a UPS member, I never, ever had one of these, in 11 years never a call or email from anyone, ever!


 2:51 pm on May 8, 2014 (gmt 0)

Sally, I'm truly sorry you've experienced such a dramatic downtown in your traffic and earnings.

I, too, have experienced a downturn this month, albeit less dramatic -- my earnings were down slightly in Jan 2014 vs. Jan 2013, up a little bit for February, up nicely for March, but down slightly for April, and now they're down a little again for May so far.

I know this won't solve your problem overnight, but are there ways you could bring in new traffic from different sources? Say, a Facebook fan page, Twitter account, Google Plus fan page, or an email newsletter? (Maybe you've already thought of these things and have already implemented them; if that's so, please disregard.)

I hope to light a candle for you, and not curse the darkness. It might seem a stretch, but could getting a regular, full-time job be an option for you too? (I did that a couple of years ago, and it certainly helps me maintain my sanity when AdSense disappoints -- my entire world doesn't collapse if the Google gods don't appear to be shining on me at any particular moment, and vice-versa, it's a nice bonus when things go well.)


 3:50 pm on May 8, 2014 (gmt 0)

Well its not all doom and gloom. Last month was an excellent month. Well into UPS Club earnings. So far this month earnings are ahead of last month.

I have been at this level before, knocked down to almost nothing and now back again.

It is possible to recover from a huge drop.

What worked ten years ago, five years ago or even last year may not work now. Bottom line adapt or die.


 4:02 pm on May 8, 2014 (gmt 0)

I have been at this level before, knocked down to almost nothing and now back again.

There's gotta be an interesting story there. Breeks, how did you manage to climb back up? Any tips/ideas on how a publisher who's seen a big drop can turn things around?

Sally Stitts

 4:05 pm on May 8, 2014 (gmt 0)

My traffic, although down somewhat, is not the issue.
It has actually been going up recently.

"It might seem a stretch, but could getting a regular, full-time job be an option for you too? "

Actually, I just started receiving SS payments. I am 70.

"I have been at this level before, knocked down to almost nothing and now back again.

Thank you. Just what I want to hear.

This morning, I got a real, juicy click. So, I have not really been executed yet. Very encouraging.

Most feedback is in agreement.
My site looks like cr@p. Old school. VERY old school. So I am trying to change the now "universally acclaimed" pooh-pooh-looking site. I need to upgrade my appearance. Being a retired hardware engineer, I am desperately lacking in software skills. I am big on facts. But lousy on presentation. My Hermann Brain Dominance Inventory clearly indicates this - left brain = good, right brain = bad. Highly analytical, hopelessly unartistic.

AdSense sent me a feedback form.
The big point I made was (paraphrased), "Just tell me what happened on May 1. What did I do? How can I fix it?" I even said please. I am not above begging. I probably won't receive an answer, but they know how I feel. Which has to be positive.

There is a switch in the algo, which I need to try to get flipped back to its previous position. Tough to do though, with so many unknowns.

I am going "all-in" with 300x250 ads, although I made all my money with 250x250 ads and no image ads. I am enabling image ads again, although I hate them with a passion. But it is step 1 - comply with all AdSense suggestions. Step 2 is try everything else you can think of.


 4:53 pm on May 8, 2014 (gmt 0)

Yea I'm not good at design, either, Sally. I've been stressing out over fonts for three weeks now, for example. You might want to look into a low cost HTML5 template, or one of those companies where you can you can building something WYSIWYG like SquareSpace or WIX. I dunno what the SEO options are for those types of sites tho.


 5:17 pm on May 8, 2014 (gmt 0)

I'm not a designer, either, and my sites are very old school. Yet they work, and I am afraid to change them. I know everything is about responsive, sleek design these days, but it also seems that websites are all starting to look alike. Design is obviously important, but so is good writing and unique content. Maybe more so.

I also cannot wait until I am 66 and can start collecting Social Security. Imagine, someone sending me money for not working!

Sally Stitts

 5:47 pm on May 8, 2014 (gmt 0)

In my last post, I failed to add, "One ad per page only".

And now, for the big reveal. My Website editor is, are you ready for it? Claris Homepage 3 from 1997. So Mac-like. So elegant (for 1997). I have never loved a piece of software more, but it is SOOOO long in the tooth. Yet I know every inch of it. But for some things, there are no workarounds. BUT IT STILL WORKS, for what I want to do. One thing it cannot do is asynchronous AdSense code - it slaughters it. Funny, because Chitika asynchronous code works fine with HP 3.

"WHAT? This bozo made $640,000 using Claris Homepage 3 from 1997?" Yes, I did.

Your monthly SS payment goes up until age 70, at which point it peaks. That's why I waited until 70. For me, it is about $1,000 more per month, mostly because of my peak earning year of 2013. High recent annual earnings can really push up the monthly benefit if you wait until 70. I'm glad I did. Hopefully, the Republicans won't be able to decimate it, which they would love to do.

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