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And I'll make a start: I created a large-ish Excel spreadsheet that covers every day in detail from the original data provided by Adsense, i.e. ad and page impressions, ad clicks, and revenue.
From this I derive the following parameters:
- ad impressions per pageview
- revenue per page and per click
- total revenue, pages, clicks
and I run weekly and monthly totals from this data, also cumulated for weekdays. I find that this gives a much better view on what actually happens than the individual days data.
Then I have very interesting performance stats for weekdays, i.e. just looking at the SHARES of traffic, clicks and revenue, regardless of the absolute traffic. One would think that if I get 10% of traffic (ad impressions) on Mondays, that there should be 10% of the clicks and 10% of the revenue linked to this. But it is not like this - at least not for me. And you may be surprised when you look at the stats this way for your site.
Finally, I throw in cumulated data for pageviews from the log file analyzer, total, and by weekdays. You can run this data against the Adsense values to see whether there are big differences.
Ah, very interesting are 30 days averages across these values (especially revenue!). Makes you think. Anyway, it's fantastic what you can make from just four values per day.
What about you and your Adsense statistics secrets?
This may sound a bit backward to some however occasionally we do throw the stats into Excel for an overall impression of the general trends however, maybe I've worked with statistics for too long, I have a "feel" for what is going right and wrong and where things are "happening".
I don't know whether that's experience through the last 30+ years and the hard maths learning we did at school or possibly a "gift" at understanding figures etc, however it's not very often I'm wrong.
Fortunately my sidekick seems to have these abilities even though he failed maths miserably and they wouldn't allow him to do computing at school!
Now? He's one of the top programmers around...
eCPM shows how AdSense is performing in comparison to other revenue sources (so that I can decide how to allocate ad space).
Total revenues show what I'm earning (so that I can decide whether to pay the bills this month).
Other stats such as EPC are of academic interest, and it's always nice to see them having a positive trend, but for a publisher (a publisher in the traditional meaning of the term, at any rate) eCPM and bottom-line revenues are the metrics that count.
the other stats like #impressions/#clicks are more or less predictable to me, but with epc, there are the most differences which lead to a heavy span of daily earnings. epc is the real kick. unfortunately worst to manipulate.. as is ctr on a highly optimized site.
The bottom line has got to be the bottom line.
Looking at trends over time is very interesting, especially if you do 7-day and 30-day moving averages. I can look back at points where I made changes and see what worked and what didn't. I can also get a better sense of what's normal than by looking at the daily stats.
For me, eCPM and overall earnings are what matter. Over the course of those 18 months, eCPM nearly tripled, but has now drifted back down to merely double. However, since impressions are up, earnings are still good. EPC has such a wide range on my site that I don't pay much attention to it.
There are too many variables in the mix, including smart-pricing, for me to look at any long term trends. While overall I'm happy with my AdSense income, it's just a small part of my total revenue. I've applied to Chitika just to play around with it, but I'm not sure how well that would work with my sites either.
eCPM shows how AdSense is performing in comparison to other revenue sources
I don't think Google wants people the see the average CPC as most would toss AdSense seeing such little numbers and the eCPM gives you a nice false sense of CPM earnings.
eCPM is really quite meaningless noise if you don't pay attention as the example below shows you can get misleading information as $0.40 earnings can be represented as all sorts of crazy eCPM.
2 impressions, 2 clicks, @ $0.20 CPC = $200 eCPM
100 impressions, 2 clicks, @ $0.20 CPC = $4.00 eCPM
1000 impressions, 2 clicks, @ $0.20 CPC = $0.40 eCPM
Give me just one new column, an AVERAGE CPC and show me that the clicks are worth about $0.20 each which is a non-fantasy number based on the reality of your clicks, not what 'might' happen with a thousand impressions.
Basing a marketing decision on eCPM only makes sense if the same ads keep appearing that are generating the clicks as it's the CTR that makes your eCPM and nothing more.
OK. In that case, try putting channels on all your URLs. When you have enough data, say after a week, select the pages with the lowest CTR, EPC and eCPM and then remove your Adsense ads from those pages.
Measure your data for another week, and all other things being equal, your CTR, EPC and eCPM will all improve.
And your total earnings will go down.
1) My overall earnings for the day; checked throughout the day perhaps twice. I have specific checking points each day and use them to give me a general feel for how the day is going to be. I automatically accept that this is the rollercoaster approach, but I got me a day job, and the rollercoaster, re: Adsense, is fun.
2) Channels. I can't control eCPM, TEPD, WDE, XYZee or ABC. I feel that if I'm basing my feelings on how well I'm doing as a publisher on factors I cannot control then I'm wasting my time away. Like Incredibill, I can't decide or determine whether my average click is worth 50 cents or 5 cents. I can assume what the average click HAS been worth from the data I am provided, but that data doesn't provide an overall view nor a future view of eCPM. It is relevant for the moment I check my stats and that moment only. If I start thinking it is relevant to the future, I've hopped on the rollercoaster for another ride.
Why do I mention channels and not another thing about it for a paragraph? It's called a sidetrack. And if you let Adsense sidetrack you, it will!
I track what my channels are doing. I let my channels relate to position of Adsense on my page, and specific pages on my site. I can adjust the positions and see a little increase or decrease. I can also alter a page and due to its ranking, relevancy, and 'referability' (how likely a page is to general referrals for advertisers) see that same little increase or decrease. Those are both things *I* can control, which the advertiser nor Google can- therefore, my success hopefully, is in my own hands.
I hope that sort of makes sense! ;-)
[edited by: ClosedGL at 5:35 pm (utc) on Oct. 25, 2005]
Summary: It is the CTR that makes the difference. Our CTR is steady and strong, so we don't worry about it. You should worry about page impressions. That is something you can control very easily from your end. Only if the CTR drops substantially and consistently over several days, should you worry about anything other than page impressions.
Work your site, drive traffic, place the ads in hot spots, and the rest will take care of itself.
I've always said about the same thing in that once you've gotten your page AdSense delivering properly targetted ads the only thing you can really do at that point is generate more traffic.
While it makes sense to focus your efforts for more traffic to the pages making the most revenue per click it also makes sense to beef up the lesser paying pages as well as AdSense earnings is the sum all the pages, not just the high earning pages.
Trust me, lose one major keyword in Google and you'll be praying for all those little low paying pages to sustain you.
We have 3 major revenue earners with Adsense, as well as several other minor sites. One gets majority of it's traffic from G, another from Y and another from M.
This diversifies our revenue if Google dances the night away, and decides it doesn't like our tune. The worst we can possibly be hit is 15% of our gross, and that is a hit to our major cash cow. In house and other adservers help manage the risk as well.
We call this Google Risk Management. We love them, but understand that they have the ability to crush a small business with their engine.
The worst thing you can do is have 90% Google traffic, and 90% Adsense income. It makes you very vulnerable. The most traffic we get from Google on any one site is 48%. That is plenty.
Also something I have seen, Adsense revenue depends lot on google search traffic. If you have the same traffic level but banned from google, you earn less. Same traffic level but with google refferal earns you more. Anyone else seen this?
With multiple sites you need to target different engines with different sites you own. If you target Google with all them, what if Google updates and tosses the cash cows?
The crazy thing is that this does not matter! Yahoo! and MSN's spidering and algos are so whacky that they are not worth trying to SEO for.
Use the scatter gun approach for these two and you are bound to rank highly using the same SEO techniques as for Google...they are totally pot luck.
I have one very highly-prized Google term for which I am #1, yet for MSN I am #1 thru 20 and Yahoo! 1 thru 10 and neither of them show the same SITE as Google which is recognised as the authoratative page by the widget trade.
Claim whatever you like...!
The problem is the basic rules are so easy to break in the course of maintaining a site, when you listen to the rumors that float on the web. The average webmaster can break them by doing nothing at all. NOTHING, can be more dangerous than SOMETHING. When he/she does nothing, they assume it is the engine. It is easier to place blame on the engine, than to take responsibilty for the failure as a webmaster.
You must understand the target market of the engine. Yes, each has a different target market. If your site is not within the target market, you are not going to rank well. I can easily rank one site at Google, while another will not rank well there, because the target market is within Yahoo territory.
Do you know the typical hours and days that the majority of visitors from Yahoo, will visit a Yahoo optimized site? It is different than a site optimized for MSN. When you know these things, it makes life much easier. This is why you optimize specific sites for specific engines. When you don't, life become very difficult.
Yes, Google might kick us tomorrow. But, we don't blame Google for that. They have done it before (and will no doubt do it again), and you will not see a single post from us on this board whining about it. Why? It was our fault. Yes, we will login here and lurk, just a bit. But, 'most' of the answers are found in the search results and in our code, not on this board.
What we protect ourselves from by targeting various specific engines for specific sites we own, is ourselves, in the end. It gives us time to see where WE zigged when WE should have zagged. We don't waste precious time sitting on this board whining. Instead, we work around the clock looking for OUR mistakes. Sometimes it takes a day or two. It has taken several months.
If you follow the basic rules, for each engine, the liklihood of crossing the line, is very much reduced.
There is a definate set of rules for each, that never change. If you don't think so, I'm afraid you are very vulnerable.
That vulnerability can be resolved by mastering a college level course in english composition. When a proper outline is followed closely, it guarantees seo for any engine. In addition, mastering the basic concepts of marketing, would be a huge plus. This would help you understand more about who would come to your site, how they are most likely to get there, and how to maximize your chances of them finding your bread crumbs on the path
So, since the thread is about statistics, I guess we can say the most important statistic, as I stated before is impressions. That comes right back to seo and marketing. You can't get, increase, and keep impressions, for content designed with visitors in mind, without mastering engine specific seo and marketing, in the long term.
The worst thing you can do is have 90% Google traffic, and 90% Adsense income.
Just relying on Google is the road to failure.
chill down folks. as for myself, i am in fact 50% dependent on google traffic since i am in the game for several years and get about 50% repeat visitors apart from google. when i started, it was nearly 100% dependency.
and i am 100% dependent on adsense income, aside from selling some ad space directly.
you know what? that doesn't make me nervous. i'm living good from that and i'm saving money every month for the worst case. i can sleep well at night, no problem.
in my area at least 85% of all search engine traffic comes from google, so it is absolutely senseful to concentrate on this revenue generator. traffic from other engines is peanuts.
every online business has different conditions, so beware of generalizations.
Is there a specific generalisation you had in mind, or is it generalisations in general? :-))
Seriously, though, I think you both have a point. What is interesting in your circumstance, moTi, is that you have a contingency plan should the worst happen - you are saving money. The generalisation, here - if I'm not stretching that pun too far - is that you are both engaging in good risk management, but using different approaches to prepare for the possibility that Google-derived traffic or income disappears.