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That was until 2 days ago, when for no reason that I could figure out at the time, the CTR dropped about 3 points. At first I had no idea why, but now I think I may have figured it out.
There are 2 ad units on most of the pages of my site. One is a skyscraper which is the 4 boxes of text on top of each other, and the other is the banner, with 2 boxes of text side by side.
After looking at the pages of my site, there are very rarely any boxes of text anymore. Instead, for example, the skyscraper is showing just one really long ad, and the banner is showing 1 wide ad.
I think this is effecting my site's CTR, and I'm wondering why the ads are showing like this all of a sudden, and, if possible, how to fix it?
Thanks in advance for any help.
for example, if for your 'red widgets' topic on a page Google can only display 3 ads, use one 250x250 block, or two small blocks.
hope this helps.
If you get a single large ad in a block, it is because google believes between its payout rate and its ctr it is the most valuable ad to have in that place. Above and beyond any other ads for that segment.
The intent is to maximize dollars. You mentioned CTR but you didn't mention revenue. What was the change in revenue. I have seen this mechanisms and they are far from perfect, so you may see a decrease even if the intent is an increase in revenue. That being said if various advertisers moved out of your market it can shift things around a great deal and change up your revenue substantially.
If this may be happening to you (on small browser windows -- not necessarily _your_ browser window), you might consider swapping it for the vertical banner (120x240, I think) so that the single ad is forced to remain above the fold.
Those are what Google calls "expanded" ads, plain old text CPC ads, expanded to take up more space. The algorithm does it when they think it will bring in more income than showing more ads would--I'm guessing that the ads or ads that are chosen must have a history of a higher CTR or have a better bid value.
I see them all over my site too, and don't think they are working very well. I'm just waiting it out--Google will give up on them if they don't work.
If you really hate them, here's a tip. I only see these in horizontal-format ads. Never in the narrow skyscraper format I use on much of my site. Try different formats and see what happens.
In the case of the skyscraper, there is now 1 ad showing where there used to be 4. That's 3 less chances of getting a click. Not to mention, it's the format the of ads - those little boxes of text - that I think people find very appealing. One long/wide ad does not have nearly the same effect.
That would have just been my opinion before, but now I have statistical proof.
I do a bit of CPM bidding myself through adwords, bottom feeding click throughs at a $0.25 CPM on competitor sites to feed them to my own sites.
I'm using a mix of text ads and banner ads. I suspect my competitors make more on $0.25 CPM than they do on clicks.
I also run CPM ads for a client, and they only show up in certain parts of a site (unless I bump up the CPM to two bucks, in which case it receives tens of thousands of impressions every day).