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Disturbing Trend Since May 30th 2006

On only one of my sites

     
10:46 am on Jun 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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One of my core sites metrics has gone haywire!

Using the same metrics of March 1st 2006 to May 29th 2006 average per day compared to May 30th to June 3rd

Page impressions +2.36%
Clicks -19.54%
CTR -21.32%
eCPM -20.69%
Earnings -18.08%

Where have those reductions occurred?

AdLinks x 1

Clicks -20.00%
CTR -31.55%
eCPM -27.25%
Earnings -26.74%

Leaderboard x 1

Clicks -10.89%
CTR -11.98%
eCPM -7.52%
Earnings -6.20%

My EPC has remained the same, well, up 1.80%.

Fortunately I have many other same widget sites with which to compare and none of those have been affected, solely this one core site.

Insofar as I can judge from the AdLinks, and the Leaderboard for that matter, none of my advertisers have changed nor have I been hit by MFAs etc.

Has anyone else seen strange metrics in the past 5 days similar to these?

Any ideas what may have caused this?

11:06 am on June 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Well, I have had a less-than-excellent beginning of june, but before I call it a trend I want to see a few more days..

(BTW, aren't you publishing too much info re: the Adsense TOS? Aren't we allowed to onlt disclose earnings?)

11:19 am on June 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Optirex, my surprise is that your other sites haven't seen a decline as well. The majority of internet surfers are approaching summer and Google's advertising income declines during the summer months. That's what Google have publicly stated, and I experience it on my site as well. Eg: my visitor number trend shows a slight decline recently, without any significant loss of position in the search engines.

Having said that, if you are talking about a change in 1 adlink unit and 1 leaderboard over a period of a few days, even if it is getting large volumes that's not enough for a trend. That one change could simply be an advertiser pulling the plug on one popular advert, eg: if they know that during the summer months they get poorer conversion rates.

11:33 am on June 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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my surprise is that your other sites haven't seen a decline as well.

Yep, this is what really surprises me too, most strange, however I also feel that 5 very similar days is a trend, since I've never had one for more than a couple of days before, and this concerns me. Obviously I am going to keep on top of this and if it continues for a few more days, and the other sites do not alter much, then it's off to the plex I write to see if they can shed any light on it.

That one change could simply be an advertiser pulling the plug on one popular advert, eg: if they know that during the summer months they get poorer conversion rates.

As you noted, the other sites have not been affected at all and the same advertisers are still across all sites and channels.

Just one site from 100+?

BTW, aren't you publishing too much info re: the Adsense TOS?

Insofar as I am aware this is allowed since I am disclosing trend metrics, not the actual metrics.

11:41 am on June 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Basiclly since mid may our CTR has declined by 50% to 75%, it slightly improved by the end of May and dived back again the first few days of June, it seems to me that there is a real problem with Adsense targetting, and of course as targetting fails ctr takes a hit and when ctr takes a hit, epcm and earnings take a dive as well..
11:51 am on June 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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it seems to me that there is a real problem with Adsense targetting

I have neither a problem with targetting nor EPC, I can't help you there.

So far for today, Sunday, the metrics for this specific site have gone ballistic meanwhile all the other sites are flat on their backs!

If it rights itself today and overnight then I'll just have to write off a few hundred Dollars to Goo Flu:-(

11:52 am on June 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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One of my core sites metrics has gone haywire!

What language is this site?

I have similar problems with my German sites.

Lower CTR, rest is fine

12:51 pm on June 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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What language is this site?

English.

My Chinese, German, Italian, Portugese and Spanish sites are totally unaffected...at the moment!

So far today it's earnings are already 50% of Saturday's:-)

1:31 pm on June 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The only answer I can come up with for you OptiRex is to check that site's statistics, if all the other environments are unchanged (relevance, total ad impressions, epc, no MFA..), then this can only happen if your type of traffic changes or drifts.. e.g. a drop in the serps on some terms and a compensating raise in other terms, that would bring a different type of visitors who might not be as interested in that site's topic, hence the drop in ctr, ecpm ..
1:44 pm on June 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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English.

My Chinese, German, Italian, Portugese and Spanish sites are totally unaffected...at the moment!

The exact same here. My English visitors just don't click anymore at all! The ads are not off topic and mainly the same (advertisers) as always. My German visitors click as always, no losses there. It's bewitched.

2:02 pm on June 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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a drop in the serps on some terms

I was wondering that however all keywords are still ranking #1...it's quite bizarre, there seems to be no factor jumping out at me at the moment except that I am getting substantially more www.mydomain.com referrals than I used to and especially when considering my sites have always been constructed, linked and submitted without the www.

The ads on both urls are the same.

I know it's too early in the day to judge however my CTR is already +246.25% and eCPM +375.42% compared to the previous 5 days average.

Self-healing Goo Flu?

2:03 pm on June 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Not sure if this is relevant to the price of cheese, but FWIW my haywire behaviour is that the large rectangle ads have simply ceased to generate any reasonable income, but adlinks are suddenly working really well. So I've replaced my large rectangle with adlinks unit and it's working again. Not marvelously, but acceptable.

I don't understand why adlinks work at all - you have to get joe public to make two clicks before you get any earnings. But hey-ho, if it works, let it be :) I won't even try to understand, I'll just go with whatever works this week.

2:24 pm on June 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Don't you worry that by chasing trends and redesigning your ad layout to meet what may be a short term issue you may lose sight of what is causing the problems? When we initially started using Adsense, I would change things around based on a couple thousand impressions, but now I'm inclined to let things be for a couple weeks to give the Adsense algo a chance to seek and settle. Based on our experiences of the last couple months, it seems to me that the pricing and ad selection mechanisims now take well over a week to adjust for changes the publisher makes.
2:38 pm on June 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I don't understand why adlinks work at all - you have to get joe public to make two clicks before you get any earnings.

IMHO, and 54-55% of my earnings are from AdLinks, Joe Public surfs AdLinks with the knowledge that they are, for my sites, 99% spam and MFA free and two clicks is nothing compared to the tens one sometimes has to go through.

They are ads pre-qualified by Google for want of a better description.

Would that be a fair assumption?

The more users I have, the more use AdLinks once they find out what they are. I don't try and disguise them as anything else, I make sure they are evidently Google ads.

3:09 pm on June 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Don't you worry that by chasing trends and redesigning your ad layout to meet what may be a short term issue you may lose sight of what is causing the problems?

The layout of the site has been the same for probably 18 months. I did a lot of experimenting in the early days, and settled on a format that worked best. I added adlinks a while back, and slowly and surely they started becoming a bigger and bigger part of the income. Replacing the main banner with adlinks isn't really following a trend, but what seems to be a worthwhile change based on a long term trend.

My post was slightly TIC, but I genuinely still don't see why they work so well.

that they are, for my sites, 99% spam and MFA free and two clicks is nothing compared to the tens one sometimes has to go through.

Well, having zapped a load of MFA's found on the adlinks results pages so are mine :)

The more users I have, the more use AdLinks once they find out what they are. I don't try and disguise them as anything else, I make sure they are evidently Google ads.

Nor do I - it's quite clear what they are.

10:19 pm on June 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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same here, english site is way down and other european language sites are actually about 30 % up this month
10:31 pm on June 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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english site is way down

It has been school half term holiday this week in the UK. The congregation at church this evening was down by 50% because so many people were away.

11:02 pm on June 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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University is out in the States, too. Sounds like a plausible reason.
7:24 am on June 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Sounds like a plausible reason.

Well, most of the long term posters here have been with AdSenseat least since this time last year.

Therefore you all have your stats, including channel stats available on a day by day basis for the same period last year.

Simple to check the theory, or not?

2:57 pm on June 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Sunday's results?

Core site 1 bounced back with a vengance and very impressive numbers.

Core site 2 took an absolute pasting with its worst overall performance since Easter and the infamous May 13th.

The satellite sites' performances were all over the place varying from great to zero!

IMHO whatever it is that's going on has not yet settled down however my feelings are that it is nearly there...whatever "it" is.

7:00 pm on June 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Adlinks which used to perform well for me have been performing badly recently. So much so I've replaced them with ordinary ads.

My lurch into darkness started about one month earlier than yours.

I'm still fiddling but don't have the answer, but your figures look similar to mine, although my CTR drops are more severe.

Targeting anyone?

10:54 am on June 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Unfortunately I have to report that these metrics have worsened and especially so with AdLinks' earnings on one specific core site that have, literally, halved.

Oh well, a weekend of intense analysis coming up!

1:12 pm on June 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Optirex, have you examined your site's performance and compared it with the weather patterns? It's really nice weather in the UK right now, for instance, and people want to be outside. Could that be affecting your visitor numbers?
1:36 pm on June 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

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have you examined your site's performance and compared it with the weather patterns?

Mine are global sites with only major international exhibitions sometimes affecting their performances and, for example, even Katarina had very little effect after the first couple of days.

The only consistent metric I have at the moment is inconsistency!

Maybe it is a summer slump however in the previous two summers I have not noticeably experienced one but that is not to say that this year I will not have one.

Rodeo was good to me, Twister seemed ok but now seems to be biting me in the butt!

 

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