birchy - 5:04 am on Jul 6, 2013 (gmt 0)
New to this site, been talking about the CTR decrease and rampant clawbacks on another thread. I had a huge jump in CTR and CPC due to some content changes and ad placement late March. Revenue shot up, got really excited. Then July 1st hit and late morning, the clawbacks started and continued at the rate of about 99%. I only had a handful of clicks allowed in the next couple of days.
I'm self taught, have a day job, do all my own coding and everything else for a site that is on a scale is way too ambitious. I know just enough to fake it in most areas, including Adsense.
I thrashed around making changes to the ads, messaged Google, got the std form reply about invalid clicks (you mean 99% of my previous clicks were invalid?!?) at about 24 hrs exactly. Nothing seemed to help and I ended up putting almost everything back the way it was except 1) a little extra margins around the ads (which are used to break up long lists of tabular data that contains quite a few text links to other pages) and 2) turned off the "Enhanced text" ads feature (which probably did nothing). Yesterday, CTR rose a bit from almost zero, but clicks were less than 10% of former. Still a few clawbacks, but mostly just an absence of clicks (that Google admitted to anyway). Today, a few more clicks and a jump in CPC at least for the first half, and my earnings are up to only 1/4 of last week's consistent, steady level, instead of almost 1/20th. My content still gives me great CPC, but that's the only positive this week. I only caught one clawback today, I was able to monitor every 15 minutes on average and then more frequently when a click or two was added.
So, it will be interesting how/if things recover. If there was an invalid clicks issue, why does it seem to be slowing recovering without a significant change on my site (knock on wood)? If it wasn't an issue, WHAT THE HECK?!? It really seems like Google's algorithms are part voodoo and create lots of friendly fire/collateral damage.
As a newbie, can anyone point me to good resources to learn the ropes. EG, what a "clawback" is. I only learned that the hard way and it seems like basic info. I don't have time to spend weeks learning the ins and outs of Analytics, eg. My coding todo list is infinite. I need the Cliff notes. I'll skim the archives of this forum as much as I can.