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After yesterdays bizarre outage, earnings down by 10X

I think it might be because of an algorithm change with smart-pricing

     
10:41 pm on Jan 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Yesterday a whole bunch of us noticed that there was some kind of an outage with Adsense as primarily PSAs and alternate ads were displaying (as a recent thread in the forum shows).

My CTR and earnings dropped big time.

Today, I noticed that the ads are back, but my CTR is significantly lower and my earnings are down by about 10 times normal.

I run one of the authority sites in my niche, and believe me, there are plenty of advertisers in my niche, but for some reason this is happening.

I think Google made some kind of an algorithm change yesterday (hence the temporary outage), and whatever change they made, it hit my site very negatively.

What gets me the most though is that there has been an influx of spammy made-for-adsense sites in my niche over the last year, and Google just keeps on accepting them. If I am correct that there has been a shift in algorithm, my guess is it's to catch the spammy sites. I think Googles approach is to accept most sites that apply, and just try to catch the bad ones algorithmically via their smart-pricing mechanism. I think this is an over-reliance on technologically policing Adsense, and it invariably catches some good sites that are innocent of any wrongdoing. It would be far better, and in the long-term interest of Google, to do more human-based vetting of sites. That way they won't alienate the good publishers that get caught up in their filters.

I know I am making a lot of assumptions and speculation, but I can't think of any other reason for what has happened to my site with Adsense. I can only hope it is a temporary thing.

My site, which was running for a few years before I ever even applied for Adsense, and which I have built through countless hours of hard work, research, and commitment to quality, seems to be triggering something now. Probably because a lot of spammers steal my content and link to me. I can't explain the 10-fold drop in earnings in the manner of one single day, in any other way.

Can't wait till YPN becomes available in Canada.

10:45 pm on Jan 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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No PSA's here, nor anything unusual to report yesterday. A middling Friday for visitor numbers, but eCPM and cpc held up well.

You can filter out the MFA's to an extent with the competitive ad filter, and sometimes by re-jigging your text, or using the section targeting tool.

I think something must have happened, because my epc is just over a buck today :)

10:48 pm on Jan 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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my earnings are down about 60% this weekend but they have been falling steadily since mid december so i am not sure what is going on.

I hope you are right about Yahoo being a great alternative when they finally go international (if they do) but i am sure we will find just as many things to complain about with them :)
....don't they pay only once every 3 months or something like that?

10:58 pm on Jan 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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My CTR and earnings dropped big time.

Today, I noticed that the ads are back, but my CTR is significantly lower and my earnings are down by about 10 times normal.

Yesterday the traffic to my site surged, mostly due to the fact that an article I published was posted at a forum that has huge participation. It was the best traffic day I've ever had.

My CTR was about 60% less than what it normally is for that type of traffic so you can imagine how bad the earnings were.

I'm not a happy camper but glad to know I'm not alone in this experience because I've been madly scratching my head.

As to YPN, I suppose it depends on the site you have, but it hasn't working very well for me to date.

11:19 pm on Jan 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I took a pretty big hit yesterday as well. In fact, I started noticing the PSA's late Thursday and my CTR and eCPM were horrible.

I also think Google is revamping its search algorithms, as well as its ad-display algorithms. On another thread, a few folks alluded to the fact that this may be happening.

As a result, some of our 300x250 rectangles only show two ads, and the 120x240 often shows one ad. Since it is almost impossible to simply, "not have enough ads to show", it must be a filter technique implemented by Google.

11:35 pm on Jan 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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an expensive "filter technique" at that ( for us of course, never google) ;)
11:39 pm on Jan 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I dont know about you guis but it seemns that tonight I'm back in bussine. For me January was not so good and today my numbers are showing improvements. Ofcouse the day is not over yet...

I think it was a smart pricing hit...

11:48 pm on Jan 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Nothing unusual to report for the "Black Friday" except a drop in earnings by 20%.
Saturday seems to be normal earnings wise.
12:04 am on Jan 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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It is too early to tell anything..... maybe AS has dropped their data and is going to re-crawl all AS sites. There is a short period of ad serving outstage.
12:40 am on Jan 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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From what I see the Google bots are keeping themselve very busy in crawling my site at the moment.
12:47 am on Jan 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I am seeing nothing out of the ordinary in my stats, Friday or today.
12:52 am on Jan 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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[....I am seeing nothing out of the ordinary in my stats, Friday or today....]

Probably that only impacted a certain group of AS websites, this is not your turn.

As of the trend for today, I will expect about -40% of income, my site is always suffer from the AS changes.... :P

12:54 am on Jan 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Must have been sectioned into areas or something. I had the my best Friday every by far and didn't know of any issues until seeing this thread.
12:59 am on Jan 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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[....My site, which was running for a few years before I ever even applied for Adsense, and which I have built through countless hours of hard work, research, and commitment to quality, seems to be triggering something now. Probably because a lot of spammers steal my content and link to me. I can't explain the 10-fold drop in earnings in the manner of one single day, in any other way.

Can't wait till YPN becomes available in Canada. ]

There is no perfect system, AS is not possible to "discover" the value of all websites. And I already found my site "reach" the upper limit under the norm provided by AS, if I want to expand my income or at least to secure the income, I have to go for other income sources.

For those with quality contents but not converses well under AS will switch to YPN. Waiting and wait, hope Yahoo will not disappoint me too .... :P

2:18 am on Jan 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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>>>my earnings are down about 60% this weekend but they have been falling steadily since mid december so i am not sure what is going on. <<<

that's exactly what i've been seeing... and i could have written the exact same post that sr123 started this thread with.

it's pathetic, and i'm fed up with it.

2:28 am on Jan 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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[....it's pathetic, and i'm fed up with it. ...]

The critical factors are always held on the Google sides, not much at the publisher's side.

Google can implement new changes sharp in confidence (and they must have analysis the impact to the premiuns) because we have no choice ....... :P ....thats why we always need competition .... need the existence of other comparable ad agents.

2:31 am on Jan 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Getting Google server errors right now. Not good.
2:43 am on Jan 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Last month it was vanishing link units. Tonight its vanishing wide skyscrapers. :-(
2:48 am on Jan 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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[....Getting Google server errors right now. Not good. ]

Rolling back?

2:58 am on Jan 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I can't login to my adsense account, some sort of server error... whats up here?
4:23 am on Jan 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Seems come back, there are about 2x hungry Google bots online, must be preparing the feeds for the new algorthm?
8:46 am on Jan 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Was the best Saturday ever.
Highest earning day in January.
Highest eCPM in January
Did not look like a Saturday.

Normal, a Saturday is the weakest day in the week.

12:16 pm on Jan 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Sr123: Are you sure you did nothing regarding changing the content or hosting stuff (IP, Rewrite rules, etc.)?
8:58 pm on Jan 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Update:

Same thing happening today. Earnings are WAY down. Quite literally the turning point was 2 days ago when a whole bunch of people reported seeing mostly PSAs. That happened to me too. Within a few hours the PSAs were mostly gone, but my earnings stayed low.

If things continue at this rate I will be forced to pull Google ads off my site and do my own direct ad sales with the advertisers.

If the intention of Google is to get rid of MFA sites by all this smart-pricing and tweaking, I think it will totally backfire. Here's why:

1) The MFA site makers just churn out sites in QUANTITY, not quality. By creating a bunch of useless, nonsensical sites and sticking adsense on them, they expect to make money via lots of clicks. If smart-pricing reduces the CPM for their sites they can just use their unethical techniques of scraping and what-not to create MORE sites, and get MORE traffic and MORE volume of clicks.

2) The quality site webmasters spend hours writing quality content, and setting up useful sites. Doing this takes a lot of time and effort. They can't create as many sites as the unethical guys by the nature of how they take time to focus on quality.

Since the MFA, scraper, and spam sites do their best to trick the search engines into thinking they are quality sites, the REAL quality sites eventually get caught up in the smart-pricing tweaks that Google does to try to catch the bad guys. But here's where it hurts Google: the REAL quality sites can't just roll with the punches and churn out sites at the rate that the spammers, MFAs, and scrapers do. So they have two options really: (1) Sit back and watch their earnings wither away to the point that it doesn't have much value to stay in Adsense or (2) Sacrifice quality for quantity.

Google smart-pricing will eventually lead to tons and tons of crappy MFA sites that have no problem just churning out crap in a cat and mouse game of smart-pricing vs. site-tweaking-to-trick-smartpricing.

This may not be all that bad for Google, at first, since they probably will continue to make money as the volume of clicks increases from crappy sites, even as the CPC goes down due to smart-pricing.

But if enough of the quality sites jump ship... I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want to have any Google stock in my portfolio at that point.

9:54 pm on Jan 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Was the best Saturday ever.
Highest earning day in January.
Highest eCPM in January
Did not look like a Saturday.

Normal, a Saturday is the weakest day in the week.

Mostly I have to agree!

For me it was not only easily my best Saturday, it was my 3rd highest-ever day.

Most strange but also today, Sunday, is shaping up to similar figures!

10:09 pm on Jan 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I think a proper reply would be good for many other webmasters around.
Simply weeping benefits noone.
10:45 pm on Jan 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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We had unusaully sharp drop in revenue on our AdSense for domains on 01/26. Anyone using AdSense for domains?
10:53 pm on Jan 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I think a proper reply would be good for many other webmasters around.
Simply weeping benefits noone.

Because some are having problems, and I am not doubting their sincerity, does not mean everyone else is.

I have seen an increase in PSAs which I normally never get however my sites are still earning well.

Something's going on and we shall no doubt find out very shortly.

11:22 pm on Jan 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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[....If things continue at this rate I will be forced to pull Google ads off my site and do my own direct ad sales with the advertisers....]

You don't have to remove AS, but wait no time to built your won network, it would take time and more effort to build more secured and independent sources.

I make my own once I found a sudden AS disaster drop for months ago, I wish I could start my own network eariler even I have good AS earnings at the moment.

11:25 pm on Jan 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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A week ago I had my best day in 6 months. Today, also a Sunday, my worst day in I don't know how long - probably since June of '05.

The roller coaster continues. When do publishers get a break?

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