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January 2018 AdSense Earnings & Observations

     
7:44 am on Jan 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Happy New Year !
I wish you have high CTR, CPC and RPM throughout the year!

Let's start the discussion about the January earnings :)
11:58 pm on Jan 7, 2018 (gmt 0)

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thecas, welcome to WebmasterWorld. It is an easy question without an easy answer. It depends on your niche, traffic quality, website design, ad placement and much more. I know some people who get millions of view a month and make so-so money while others get relatively little traffic and earn a nice living. Having said that, I think the average RPM is around $2 or $3.
12:02 am on Jan 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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And this does seem like an Adwords bug more and more, especially when NickMNS points out the increase in third-party networks. It explains the blank spaces, the lousy ads, etc. Also why Google hasn't said anything. It doesn't want stockholders to know that there is a problem with its money-making business. The Adsense department might be aware of the issue but unable to do anything about it.
1:26 am on Jan 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@ Ember maybe its time to take a short position in GOOG, or by some puts.
4:02 am on Jan 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Everyone should be back at work/school starting tomorrow (U.S.) so this week will give us better data to sift through.

Thank goodness for linkads this time of year - they're getting me through the downturn some, though that clawback is going to hurt at the end of the month.
7:25 am on Jan 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@Nick - I have increased impressions from Media IQ Digital w/DBM from 18.12 , some days equal to Google Adwords
8:32 am on Jan 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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To check your own stats go to Performance Reports -> Advanced Reports -> Ad-Networks. Select the last 30 days as a time period and then check the first few networks (less than 5) off the list. Click the compare button and finally click the timeline icon in the top right corner of the graph to get a line chart.


Same here. Yet, I don't think it means the problem is only on AdWords' side. My guess is that early Jan 2018 has been an incredibly low AD space demand period (maybe because all mondays were holidays, or for other reasons, who knows...). Possibly, Google reacted to such low demand (and lower prices, consequently) by reducing the number of AdWords' slots available to advertisers, thus trying to keep prices over a minimum, acceptable level (it's arguably the same strategy behind the AD balancer). It this is correct, we'll see things returning to normal by the end of the month (or, at least, I hope so).
1:02 pm on Jan 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Seeing dating ads here :D

In other news, a ad network is throwing popups on all reputed sites including The Verge. There was a post on Sovrn community too.
AdSense seems unaffected though.

(Credit: [twitter.com...]
1:32 pm on Jan 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Seeing a bit of an uplift today.
2:10 pm on Jan 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@riccarbi
Same here. Yet, I don't think it means the problem is only on AdWords' side.

If this were a market issue, that is, impacting the market as a whole, then one wouldn't see a massive uptick in 3rd party impressions, one would simply see a drop in ad quality with the same distribution of impressions across networks.
2:56 pm on Jan 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Gentlemen and gentlewomen :)! I'm sorry, but when I was saying that yesterday was my worst day ever in Adsense history I lied to you. Today is the worst one. My usual RPM is about $8, today I have $2,2. Years ago when I was managing websites in RUnet - I had the same RPM. The one Adsense source of income that is stable right now is UK visitors. US visitors right now giving me the same revenue as visitors from India, South Africa and Mexico...
4:49 pm on Jan 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@ember
I was an adsense user 10 years ago and internet was very different compared to now.
But.. if i have a quite good idea for a webtime and some time for coding, a website with adsense is a good idea for round the salary?
5:12 pm on Jan 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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It was going great but today things have dropped again :(
5:28 pm on Jan 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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thecas, I'm not sure what you mean by round the salary, but if you mean is it worth the time or can it bring you extra money every month, it depends. I have worked my tail off to get where I am (and so have many others here). Way more than any full-time job. I think about it when I wake up and when I go to bed and every minute between. I have to be my own boss, though - I am a terrible employee - so I like that.

But there is always the stress of knowing that it could all disappear overnight. I've diversified so that I'll be okay if Adsense suddenly tanks, but this business is not for the faint of heart. If you want to do it as supplemental income and have the time, I say go for it and see what happens. Having a good idea and coding skills are a start. I would not, though, recommend it if you are thinking of it as a way to quit a full-time job any time soon.
5:46 pm on Jan 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Earnings seem to be returning to normal today. Still not great, but more in line with a typical January day. Coverage is also much better.

Edit: I may have spoken too soon. My revenue is actually dropping right now.
8:39 pm on Jan 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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But there is always the stress of knowing that it could all disappear overnight. I've diversified so that I'll be okay if Adsense suddenly tanks, but this business is not for the faint of heart. If you want to do it as supplemental income and have the time, I say go for it and see what happens. Having a good idea and coding skills are a start. I would not, though, recommend it if you are thinking of it as a way to quit a full-time job any time soon.


My Adsense was good for a while, it enabled me to cut back my hours when my children were little and work for myself when they started school. It's now so low that I have had to find paid employment again.

You know what really bugs me though, people who tell me (and this has been said), that I don't work for a living, that my revenue is 'free money'. When I tell strangers what I do (and I don't, unless pressed), they think it's such a cool thing and how awesome, you start a site and earn tonnes of money from Google. This is why I try to avoid telling people what I do for a living, they think it's so easy, but as ember above mentioned, it can be long hours and very stressful. Without a shadow of a doubt, I would have earned more money for way less hours working at McDonalds.
8:49 pm on Jan 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I would have earned more money for way less hours working at McDonalds


Working on your own web site is more interesting though!
8:53 pm on Jan 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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For anyone having an issue with missing ads - I'd like to say that I had no experienced this until today. Before today I had Ad Balance set to around 90% or so. Last night I set it to 16% because I wanted to see what would happen if I really let my passbacks kick in. However, my passbacks are not displaying. In their place is just a missing advertisement.

So... If you're missing ads, you might want to set Ad Balance higher and see if that helps. I created a new topic about my issue and hope to get it resolved soon: [webmasterworld.com...]
12:27 am on Jan 9, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Just to update - it looks like MY specific "blank ad" issue was fixed by going into each of my Adsense ads and switching the passback URL to https...
12:40 pm on Jan 9, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I don't think I've seen my AdSense as low as this for years. I CPC is 3p at the moment. I would have to get 100 clicks before I even made 3 at this rate. If this trend continues then I will be removing AdSense altogether because there is absolutely no way anybody is going to advertise on my website for next to nothing.
1:01 pm on Jan 9, 2018 (gmt 0)

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We are into second week of January and no improvements yet! How strange D:
1:03 pm on Jan 9, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@May how low is your CPC?
1:34 pm on Jan 9, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Bad news - it's not a bug, it's a feature:
[productforums.google.com...]
2:05 pm on Jan 9, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I disagree. Google product forum doesn't provide official info from bigG, and the explanation given by that "top user" makes no sense whatsoever IMHO.

That said, I am becoming seriously worried about the situation, 9 January and RPM is worst than ever....
2:19 pm on Jan 9, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@ironside US CPC is down to 0.38$, it used to be around $1 :D
2:30 pm on Jan 9, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@riccarbi I have been following the AdSense thread closely and I can say that there is growing evidence that supports the "brand safety" or crawler theory. In that there are more people posting that they have received the messages from AdSense Support. I'm waiting for a response for myself.

But I still have my doubts, this is likely a factor but not the only one. The main reason is that over the past few days I have seen my coverage recover fully, but my earnings are still weak. If this were really a "feature" why would one see a recovery? Moreover, when I dive into the data in Analytics and AdSense I find very little to support that this is actually happening.
2:31 pm on Jan 9, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I'm kinda in agreement with you @riccarbi. I will agree that there was obviously an update made towards this brand safety and whatever else mid December. Like @riccarbi mentions, there hasn't been any info from bigG and I usually keep on all the Google notices that tell us to get ready for so and so. Also, I don't see why ads display sometimes and sometimes don't display at all on pages that have been around and crawled for 10+ years. If that the case, wouldn't our crawl error report be showing all sorts of errors. Was everyones adsense crawl history thrown out prior to that change and we are all starting on a brand new crawl. If this is the new normal, I would think that news site owners and bloggers would be really upset. They put out an article to get traffic immediately but their ads would be blank because its newly created content and they have to wait for the Adsense crawler to show up whenever it does. I really don't understand.
2:45 pm on Jan 9, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Also, I have checked my exposure to this "brand safety" theory, by my estimate I would loose 25% of all impressions assuming a crawl validity of 30 days, and 16% for a validity of 90 days. My drop in revenue over the period has been 60% on a seasonally adjusted basis. So once again things don't add up.

Note: by crawl validity, I mean the time span that AdSense/AdWords would consider a crawled page valid, I assume that if the site was crawled 2 years ago that is not considered valid, but how long that period actually is anyones guess at this point. And this will have a huge effect on the magnitude of the impact of this change.
2:46 pm on Jan 9, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I don't quite understand how CPC works in the real world. Does the CPC only relate to people who have actually bid to advertise on your website? The reason I ask is that a lot of the ads I see on not only my own website but most other websites I visit are very much related to my search history. I see a lot of adverts for Currys because I do buy stuff from their online store occasionally and they seem to follow me around now. Now, if they are doing it to me then they must be doing it to millions of other people who also buy online from their store. These ads are only displayed on these websites because of my search history, they are not actually choosing the website specifically are they? So they are not going to pay that website owner 1 if I click on one of their ads?
3:02 pm on Jan 9, 2018 (gmt 0)

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...they are not actually choosing the website specifically are they?

They are not choosing the website, they are choosing the user. They are completely indifferent as to where the ad appears. But when you click the ad, the owner of the site is awarded the click like any other ad click. When advertisers "stalk" users, specially after the user abandons a cart or some other similar action, this is called remarketing. You can disable remarketing in your AdSense account, meaning that the ad stalking ads will not appear on your site. But these are very lucrative as advertisers are willing to pay a lot for customers that are nearing the end of the buying funnel.

As to has this works in terms of bidding, well each time an impression is put up for auction the advertise bid on it and there are many factors the domain is one of many, including things such as, ad location on the page, keyword relevance, user history etc... and depending on the setting the advertiser has set in his/her Adwords account they will bid more or less for a given ad slot.
3:40 pm on Jan 9, 2018 (gmt 0)

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My earnings yesterday were up 44% from the previous week, but RPM was actually down 25%. The only reason my earnings were up was because page views were up by 90% and impressions by 92%. So, good news for traffic, but still not great for earnings.
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