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We are getting thousands of impressions per day so it is a large sample pool. The only chance we have made is to add a few more sites which increased our impression count even more, but our overall click thru rate and earned revenue went way down.
Many of our sites are informational sites about products and services. I was wondering if it could be that people are just clicking less as the Christmas shopping season is coming to an end.
Anyone have any ideas what could have happened?
(For the humour impaired, this is a parody. I can't believe people are trying to decipher "trends" on the scale of days, based on data from individual sites and without any seasonal baseline!)
Are these very very small sites or something, as I'm usually 0.1 per cent to 0.2 per cent (if it's a drop in traffic - weekends) We're talking about 50,000 to 70,000 PI a day if that helps.
On topic, everything's been as normal with the stats so far. Expecting it to die off midday tomorowish.
In addition to the distinction between pageviews and unique visitors, IMO the type of content your site provides and the type of ads you end up showing also play a huge role. Not just that the ads are "targeted" to your subject matter or visitor demographic, but that they promote the type of products and services that your visitors are interested in at that moment. A subtle but very important difference.
Your 0.2 CTR represents more clickers than my small site which often has a double-digit CTR (can't mention it owing to ToS) but fewer visitors. It boils down to getting a targeted audience. Therefore, CTR is only one factor.
Incidentally, my CTR has been climbing and earnings rising since I joined in September. I am not a seasonal site but the week leading up to Xmas was the best.
We've run many different types of ads for 7 years and analyze results carefully. I fully understand that there is fluctuation over time. It's tough to make any conclusions after just a week or 2, but after a few months, there's usually a pattern and that pattern doesn't fluctuate by more than 5 or 10% in my experience. Even seasonal changes don't cause quick, drastic fluctuations when you're running the ads across a large network of content with hundreds of different categories.
Our experience with Adsense does not add up. I've never seen the CTR for a very large sample pool of impressions drop by over 50% within just a few days, with no changes on our part.
We have many information properties which we started placing Adsense on about 6 weeks ago or so.
In your followup post, you said:
I fully understand that there is fluctuation over time. It's tough to make any conclusions after just a week or 2, but after a few months, there's usually a pattern...
You haven't been in the program for a few months to establish a pattern.
loanuniverse asked if you receive a lot of repeat visitors which you haven't answered.
In your first post, you said:
The only chance we have made is to add a few more sites which increased our impression count even more, but our overall click thru rate and earned revenue went way down.
In your followup post, you said:
I've never seen the CTR for a very large sample pool of impressions drop by over 50% within just a few days, with no changes on our part.
Adding a few more sites is definitely a change. If the CTR and/or EPC on those added sites is lower, it will bring your averages down.
Your experience is in no way unique. As I said in my original response, there have been several other threads discussing this. Since you haven't answered any of the questions posed to you, it seems to me that you are set on believing your situation is unique. It's not.
I was just guessing at 6 weeks... it was actually closer to 7, so i said "a few months" in the next post. You are making an issue of nothing.
and when i said we added a few sites, I also made it clear that we are running the ads across thousands of impressions per day (its actually 10s of thousands per day)... so in other words, adding it to a few more pages could not possibly cause our CTR and our REVENUE across the whole network to drop.
I'm not wanting to believe any theories. Im simply stating my experience with Adsense so far and comparing it to the years of experience we have running other ads and watching patterns over time. I know others have posted similar findings... does that mean we cant talk about it any more?
Yes - We do have some repeat visitors like im sure everyone else does. However, the reason i'm baffled with the recent results we're seeing with Adsense is that the drop was much too sudden to be caused by the "repeat visitor" effect alone.
Our experience does show that when you first add new banners or text links to a site, the CTR is higher and than settles down gradually as repeat visitors stop clicking on them.
Again, im not trying to start any conspiracy theories here. I'm just stating our experience and wondering if anyone else who has run adsense on a very large impression pool for several weeks has seen drastic changes like this.
It's very easy to know the exact date you put the code on your sites simply from looking at your reports. "about 6 weeks or so" is not the same thing as several months and yes, adding the code to sites that get different ads can certainly have a significant impact on click thru and revenue performance.
I've been in the program for one week shy of 6 months and my site's traffic is certainly enough to draw some conclusions. My AdSense revenue this month will be almost 50% less than it was in September and October and I never get PSAs.
[edited by: Blue_Fin at 8:48 pm (utc) on Dec. 25, 2003]
If you haven't been tracking the number of free ads being shown on your various sites then there's not much that can be said.
First I said 6 weeks... and than i said "a few months" not "several months" as you just claimed I said.
Do you really think that a few weeks matters in this situation?... or are you just having a bad Christmas?... Santa not bring you the right toy you asked for?
I just stated my experience here and asked for other's opinions... only to have my comments nit-picked to oblivian and ridiculed for raising an issue that has already been discussed. If you already know everything there is to know about this issue and are sick of talking about it, than try just letting others talk about it freely please without harrassing us. Unlike you, we still have some things to learn about all this.
I was wondering the same thing about Christmas being the cause somehow, people lowering their budgets as Christmas approached. I had just never seen such a drastic change even around christmas in the past running other types of ads. Perhaps it has to do with the bidding nature of these ads.
Still, this just seemed like to much of a drop to be natural, but I'm sure there's some logical explanation. I really dont believe that Google would be tinkering with individual accounts... even large accounts like ours. If it were to come out that Google was just willy nilly altering data or playing games, it would be disastrous for them.
I've been in the program for one week shy of 6 months and my site's traffic is certainly enough to draw some conclusions. My AdSense revenue this month will be less than 50% of what it was in September and October.
I've been in the program since it launched about six months ago. My AdSense revenue this month will be about 60% of what it was in September, but it should end up being almost identical with October's. Revenues have been on a slight upward path lately (with the obvious exception of Christmas Eve and today). And CTR has been cliumbing, too, after dropping off somewhat in the early fall.
I think my own current revenue and CTR patterns are influenced more by my topic and audience than by anything that Google and I are doing. My site is devoted primarily to European leisure travel, and I normally see a drop in traffic (except from schoolchildren) in the fall, followed by a gradual turnaround early in December and a surge after the first of the year.
Some people have reported lower impressions or revenues per click recently, very likely related to Xmas, but I have yet to see anyone else report a sudden decline in CTR. I think it's got SOMETHING to do with more PSA's being shown, but AdSense is a complex system and there are lots of possible explanations.
There has definitely been a trend down in pay per click.
I just did a quick check of the last three months, and the average pay per click was within a 2-cent range for October, November, and December. So I'm definitely not seeing the same trend that you are. :-)
Before my ads were showing up on AdSense sites, I had a conversion rate of over 2.2%. My ads on AdSense sites had a CTR of 0.3% and conversion was 0%, a total waste of money for me. So what do you do when that happens? You stop leting your ads show up on AdSense sites, causing the webmaster to make less money.