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How to Deal With AdSense Income Dropping



4:22 pm on Oct 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Well, the month I dreaded finally came - the month when the AdSense empire would crumble. OK, "empire" is just a joke, but hey, it was paying my bills and letting me enjoy some leisure time with the wife and all my kids (20 dogs). Alas, all good things must come to an end, and end they have in "Black October." Like a faucet being turned off, my AS income dried up. Interestingly, traffic did not dry up. Just a big drop in CTR and EPC. I think about all those long long days and hours in front of this slave box (er, computer) writing articles and getting links, and yeah, I'm pretty sad right about now. Not sure what I'll do, but I'm educated and can probably find a job that isn't too tedious. Hate the thought of going back into the rat race, but that's life. Anyone need a good writer? OK, I'm done crying over spilt milk. Just needed to vent. Moderators, I'll understand if you delete this thread. :-)


9:53 pm on Nov 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Can you confirm if you get the majority of your traffic from Google?

Nope, it's mostly from MSN and Yahoo. Just a trickle from Google. You made a good point about traffic coming in that's close but not quite right. I don't know why that would have happened to every one of my sites on exactly Oct. 1, but it's in the realm of possibilities I suppose. Maybe some kind of system-wide semantics algo shift or weighting issue. So I might have been getting visitors where my landing page was dead-on until Oct. 1. Then suddenly I was getting similar traffic #'s, but they were looking for something only tangentially related. That's an interesting idea that I'll have to pursue.

I do know that AdSense ad targeting got really screwy on Oct. 1, so that is definitely the biggest part of my own particular woes. It could explain it all, but it's just so weird that it happened literally on or around midnight Oct. 1 and that it hit all my sites that were running AdSense. The sites are not in related fields at all, not even remotely.


10:06 pm on Nov 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Perhaps your biggest advertisers went to Yahoo, you may have to wait for them to come back or others others come in.


10:07 pm on Nov 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ken_b is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

I suspect that if you combine "related but not quite on target" traffic with "related but not quite on target" ads it could do a real number on your income.


10:11 pm on Nov 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

$74,000 a month? Its the internet, anything can happen...


3:36 am on Nov 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Would have to agree with the earlier post by drall that something significant happened with AdSense in late August as a result of the AdWords changes. The situation further deteriorated during October.

The result has been a significantly lower CTR on my major site. This has been somewhat offset by a higher EPC. The end result, however, has still been a significant decrease in ECPM.

I am looking at implementing a few of the AdSense changes suggested in the thread. I feel, however, that the changes are important enough that I am, for the first time, seriously considering moving a major part of my income stream away from AdSense.

Judging by the phone calls and emails that I receive, the monetization options are increasing.


3:55 am on Nov 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I had a record month in October and earnings have been consistently growing over the past few months after I added more pages and content.


5:50 am on Nov 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

This is just another case of something that hurts some and helps others. For myself, I have had a very significant increate in CPM (over doubled) in the past 45 days, as well as an increase in CTR (though some of that is explained by a change in the color of the ads I made).


8:32 am on Nov 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

This might be a comment from an ignoramous, but something I notice on my own site is that there isn't much variation in the ads - next thing on the to do list is to see how that can be changed if at all. If many of your returning users were those who clicked on the ads, then there might be a saturation point till a good body of new users came onto the site? Could it just be that you got a lot of returners who read your content, but just thought "oh not that same advert again"?

October was my best month so I think I might be learning - however LOL not as fast as you guys who actually make money. At least I got my highest click rate so far!

The other thing I wondered was whether you do not get increased click rate from an advertising campaign in a new field? - for example, if people used one site that they found ads for your site on ( I mean an advertising site) then after a while, if that site was just getting a lot of the same people, then those people would not be clicking on a link to your site - so advertising on a new advertising site with a link to your site might help.

Has to be thanks to this site I know anything! Not sure if I haven't just displayed complete ignorance; or said what everyone who knows, knows, but anyway nobody got anywhere without brainstorming.


11:20 am on Nov 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

How to Deal With AdSense Income Dropping

Maybe you are already tracking user response with AdSense channels, at least for the highest traffic pages or sections. There are 200 (url + custom) active channels available currently.

In this case, you know your more successful topics, and you can give more info or services -related to those specific successful topics- to your users. If they find it useful and/or interesting, this usually increases good -targeted- traffic, and therefore AdSense earnings.


11:22 am on Nov 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

but something I notice on my own site is that there isn't much variation in the ads

That's something I noticed on some of my pages. If Adsense is having trouble filling spots - or serves low value/low interest ads - I fill that adblock with something else instead. Like Chitika.


7:27 pm on Nov 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

in response to the OP's title for this thread.

Heavy self medicataion - in both herbal and liquid forms.


10:42 pm on Nov 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Yeah, I'm not much of a drinker, but I surely did tie one on Halloween night. What a truly crappy month.

I'll probably jinx myself, but I gotta update things for November. After a slow start early on Nov. 1, things have really ramped up since. It can't be a coincidence that on exactly Oct. 1 things nosedived, then on exactly Nov. 1 (albeit later in the day), things recovered (almost back to what I consider "normal" now). There, I've posted it like a fool. I'm prepared to see it all go bye bye again now. But hey, it's nice in the meantime to actually want to wake up in the morning again.


11:35 pm on Nov 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I've gotta agree, Nov. is starting out weird. Like you Swebbie, I had a truly horrid Oct. Yesterday continued as well. Just checked today's stats, and lo and behold, with half the day done it's already doubled yesterday's result, and that with half the traffic and double the eCPM and almost double CTR! Bring on those first of the month ad dollars! You just can't go by day to day, there is too much variation to draw any conclusions.


3:10 am on Nov 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I had a low spell back in the summer. Got dropped by Yahoo. Earnings dropped 60% at one point. But I decided to turn a bad situation into a good one. I did some major house-cleaning. I made all the changes I had been wanting to make over the years but was too scared to "mess things up". I changed Meta tags, link formats, the works. My site stayed in the dumps for few months, but has since started its slow climb back up to about 75% of my peak days. I attribute much of it to the site overhaul. Something to consider if you got a laundry list of things to do and find yourself in a hole.

Good luck!


9:11 am on Nov 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have read right through this thread and I have a few comments to make.

I may be wrong, but I think there's a simple reason for fluctuating adsense payments. It's the old law of supply and dmeand. When demand drops for a given supply, the price goes down.

And for Google adversisers (of which I am one), that's taken care of by Smart Pricing. Although I haven't personally used this feature yet, I have nevertheless had to (manually) reduce my maximum CPC on all my ads to adjust for the falling demand.

Demand has been dropping in America (but also all around the world) for some three or mroe months now, culminatingf in the worst month I've had so far for IM sales in October. This I believe is due to mainly national and global issues directly or indirectly affecting America and the rest of the world: the hurricanes, the war in Iraq, on and offline security fears, and the woes of the present US government, and so on.

Simultaneously there has been a deluge of el cheapo adsense sites (along with infoproducts and software tools to help build them) swamping the market, because everyone and his dog wants to cash in on the adsense revolution, and many are building massive sites for a dwinlding pool of adsense advertising money, unwisely placing all their eggs in the adsense basket.

How all this translates then to falling adsense sales is simple. Less demand, more supply, Smart Pricing and it would be astonioshing if the adsense checks didn't take a beating. While the Internet relies heavily on automated tasks, people are not automatons. at the end of the day it's a very human customer who dictates prices.

In terms of buying behavior, I believe surfers have been clicking on ads without buying much, probably looking forward to buying in the future when times are better.

November is already showing a better trend, probably due to the release of the news earlier this week that the American economy is recovering.

Of course that's just my opinion, though I can't really see what else could be causing such a large drop in adsense takings, assuming all other things (such as traffic and CTR) are equal.

My advice? Hang in there but also focus on diversifying and innovating on your web sites, and not relying on adsense revenue long term.


11:04 am on Nov 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I've been with Adsense for well over a year now and the last 4 weeks have been the worse ever as far as income.


11:13 am on Nov 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I've had a magical last week, and a great last month. Of course, things could go downhill any minute, but thats not happening quite yet.


12:09 am on Nov 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

October hit was big for me as well - income 50% of what it was before.

However - I would advise everyone to differentiate - have many sites in different ways.

What I am saying is - do not do with every site what works for one of your sites - make each site unique and different.

If you find something that works - repeat it, but don't go overboard - keep on differentiating. This way, you will always notice during an update some things go up, some things go down.

Try different hosting providers, different SEO, different links etc.


1:35 pm on Nov 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

My 2 Cents:

For those out there with a weak stomach, don't get on this roller coaster ride because what comes up, will come down, and just like the real thing, usually pretty fast.

My advice to those who want to quit their jobs:
1) Calculate your daily average for the past year, and use that number to see if you can comfortably live off of it.
2) Save so you can survive at least 6 months without any income.
3) Always be ready to swap your AD code for another.
4) Diversity will help in keeping a decent average.
5) Always add content.

Myself I don't plan to quit my job for another 4 years. I probably could quit next year but I would go completely loopy when my earnings dipped. They have in the past and they will again.


2:58 pm on Nov 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have found that the sites that have the lowest earnings for the numbers that visit the site get their traffic primarily from Google. This is because the Google algorithm is no longer about relevant results.
The sites in question have started to receive "related traffic" as opposed to targetted traffic. e.g. our holidays site now gets more visitors looking for travel insurance, travel accessories and so on as opposed to actual "holidays". Because Google is ranking us for related terms as opposed to actual terms (a by-product of too much semantic emphasis) the ads we show because our content is about holidays are not relevant to the people visiting the site which are looking for something else.

Therefore the best course may be to push for more traffic from other major search engines rather than thinking your own site is wrong. Can you confirm if you get the majority of your traffic from Google?

I think you are spot on. I have noticed the exact same thing.

Google and relevance can no longer be mentioned together on the same sentence…


3:04 pm on Nov 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Max_M wrote:
>Google and relevance can no longer be mentioned together on the same sentence…

Er... you just did!


4:25 pm on Nov 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

October wasnt bad,November started out great, but until yesterday. I'm getting the same no of clicks, same CTR%, same amount of impressions, everything's just the same. Except, I used to earn 2 figure amount, and believe or not, now for same no of clicks it doesnt even count up to 1$!

This is outrageous, is it possible that adsense even allows 0.01$ per click o_O? Does this have to do anything with referral program since I added the buttons exctaly 2 days ago.


4:43 pm on Nov 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I am not sure if this can be connected to referall program.


4:56 pm on Nov 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jane_doe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

For awhile Adsense was great but I found it diffcult with some sites to increase my earnings over time. I'd work to improve the click through rate and the traffic, yet total earnings would not go up proportionately. I think someone else mentioned this, but it was like being a hamster in one of those exercise wheels where you keep moving faster and faster but never seem to get anywhere.

So I'm diversifying more now with other programs again and I'm back to seeing more of a income rise when I make traffic and targeting improvements.


5:16 pm on Nov 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Same here Jane. Diversification has allowed me to become much more productive also. I used to login to check my stats every hour or two. Now it is only once a day. Having all the eggs in one basket was frustrating and wasteful. I actually feel free to add content without worrying about the effect. You know, add a page with a non-site related keyword and all of a sudden non-related widget adds start showing up all over your site. Don't have to worry about that anymore.


8:50 pm on Nov 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

This is outrageous, is it possible that adsense even allows 0.01$ per click

I forget what the minimum AdWords/AdSense bid is these days, but I assume that smart pricing could reduce the net cost to the advertiser into the penny or subpenny range (with the publisher getting only a percentage of that).


9:30 pm on Nov 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I saw $.01 and $.02 clicks about 6 months ago when I had lower traffic. I've not seen anything that low since then.


11:56 pm on Nov 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Adsense Side:
I am also experiencing this strange fate. Traffic has gone up, amount of clicks has gone up ..yet I'm earning less then when I did with less traffic and less click throughs.

Adword Side:
I am also an advertiser on Adwords something strange is happening with them also. What I've noticed is that I am getting more visitors from my ads for about the same amount I was paying for earlier. The major difference is although the new traffic is cheaper it is converting at 50% less then it used it.

Could it be that Adsense algo that calculates and matched relevant ads is gone looney?


1:07 am on Nov 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

One cent clicks are as real as the computer in front of you.


1:17 am on Nov 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

>Could it be that Adsense algo that calculates and matched relevant ads is gone looney?

That is exactly what happened.

This 95 message thread spans 4 pages: 95

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