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Major changes to AdSense

Pricing structure and ad relevance

     
8:04 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Unless adsense is sending out a april fools joke, what do people think of the changes? Every site has a unique pricing model?

For example, a click on an ad for digital cameras on a web page about photography tips may be worth less than a click on the same ad appearing next to a review of digital cameras.

[edited by: markus007 at 8:08 pm (utc) on April 1, 2004]

6:36 pm on Apr 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Since April 1 we are seeing a significant increase in CTR and revenue. I haven't seen a significant difference in ad types, but we get so many different kinds it would be hard to know for sure.
6:54 pm on Apr 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

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The changes Google has made have, over time, affected my site, but they have primarily balanced out - e.g., a lower EPC with a higher CTR.

I don't think Google will cry bitter tears if the publishers it has deemed to produce lower ROI for advertisers switch to other services, as if their calculations are correct and the other services continue to charge a higher rate for those clicks, AdSense becomes a better deal for advertisers.

My primary complaints about AdSense remain:

* The hyperactive "offensive content" filter blocks ads from popular pages - even when Google has advertisers who would like to advertise on those pages (and who are relegated to less relevant pages as a result of the bad filtration); and

* The contextual filter is not very good at figuring out when 80% of a site is on a particular subject, that 20% of the site might benefit from different types of ads. **** seems to anticipate that its filters are imperfect, and lets publishers suggest themes and keywords. Google should do the same, even if it is cautious about how it uses the publisher-provided information.

6:59 pm on Apr 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

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"Oh, there's a pattern emerging alright, it appears every single person on this forum has taken a big pay cut."

That's close enough for government work. Between this and other boards looks like 90% of posters were like me and basically let go, with about 5% unchanged and 5% earning more.

6:59 pm on Apr 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Not every publisher has been negatively impacted by the recent changes. Some sites have improved earnings. I suspect that people with complaints may have more motivation to post than people who are not having issues.

If you have multiple kinds of sites and use channels, I think it may be easier to see which kind of sites are coming out ahead and which are making less revenue with the recent changes.

7:14 pm on Apr 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I agree totally karatekid, we ALL seem too be taking a pay loss. But as someone posted earlier, is that being reflected in the charges to advertisers? Is this whole episode to fatten Google's wallets? I am also an advertiser on Adwords and I have set up a test. Identical adverts, identical CPC, identical keywords, but one campaign on search and one on sites.

Will be interesting to see what I get charged!

7:35 pm on Apr 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I do have a significant increase in EPC since April 1st, however I don't have a clue why I get more and so many less.

cheers
viggen

7:40 pm on Apr 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Varya:
No, every single person on this forum has NOT taken a big pay cut.

I don't think there's enough data to make any firm conclusions. Thurs-Sun are my lowest earning days of the week in any case.

Ditto. Too soon for me to tell. The EPM which is all that really matters to me does not look too different yet.

At this point I have no obvious net gain/loss.

My affiliate links trend near a 10% converstion which I believe is rather high, and may have a direct correlation to my lack of seeing a major AdSense CPM drop.

7:48 pm on Apr 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I have set up a test. Identical adverts, identical CPC, identical keywords, but one campaign on search and one on sites.

Will be interesting to see what I get charged!

Hey TimeShareGuy, I like this idea... I hope you let us know your results!

8:20 pm on Apr 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Late post europe-

"Because the difference in conversion rates between, say, an article on widgets and a gmail e-mail message about widgets is likely to be even greater than the difference between the difference in conversion rates between a widget ad on a SERP and one in a review." - europe

I agree because gmail e-mail, SERP, articles are seperate advertising mediums. Thus the need to let advertisers decide.

"Largely"? Partly, maybe. But it's unrealistic to pretend that there aren't intrinsic differences in value between leads from different media--and it's also unrealistic to expect advertisers to jump through hoops to increase conversion rates from traffic that doesn't perform well and which they'd just as soon avoid altogether." - europe

Whoa there. Read what you said. If you were to teach an advertiser to convert well off of content do you think they would do it? They sure would. Why is it so unrealistic to expect advertisers to learn how to market with a different medium?

Would you market the same in a newspaper as you would in a magazine? Would you market the same on TV as you would on radio? No marketing your products change to the type of media you are using.

I am not saying what google is doing is wrong but if google were to seperate content from SERP from email... and let market force determine the value you would see many more advertisers want to give it a try and learn what works. You can't have the same pricing scheme to fit all.

Even now with a discount provided, it is based on a different advertising medium's prices and value. You still won't see the effect on ROI as you would hope to see. I think google should seperate biddings then work on a better technology to deal with conversion issues and discount from there.

8:41 pm on Apr 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

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For anyone tracking EPC and CTR values through this thread... after a pretty bad day yesterday, EPC and CTR today is above average compared to the last x months.
8:59 pm on Apr 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Whoa there. Read what you said. If you were to teach an advertiser to convert well off of content do you think they would do it? They sure would. Why is it so unrealistic to expect advertisers to learn how to market with a different medium?

That may happen eventually, but right now, I wonder how many advertisers would want to venture into waters that are muddied by so many different types of "content" (some of questionable value).

9:04 pm on Apr 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

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After a few days of channel data with the "new and improved" revenue plan there is an EPC drop across my network of 8 sites ranging from 4% to 80%. Average drop in EPC is 12%. This is for April 1-3 compared to March 18-31.

Drop in EPC for the whole month of March is about 20%. Traffic is normal, and CTR is very slightly up 0.1%. Revenue is also down April to date 21% from March.

All these sites are very different in scope. There seems to be no pattern to the drop (i.e. lowest traffic sites didn't drop the most, etc.).

9:06 pm on Apr 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I'm happy to report that money is WAY up. The ads appear more relavent, the CTR is higher and the EPC is at a record.

Triple digit days are nearly at hand.

9:07 pm on Apr 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

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My revenue has definitely gone down. On a travel forum site they started showing an ad for "Gay chat - Come out now!"

Better targetted ads? I have yet to see any. I really hope they iron out these bugs soon - I don't want to spend half my day blocking inappropraite ads for my site.

9:13 pm on Apr 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

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sorry I cant resist.....

Did anyone in the forum come out?

9:43 pm on Apr 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I sent in a complaint and got a reply frm G. Is it against the TOS to post this reply?
9:57 pm on Apr 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Oh, man. Saturday and Sunday looked like things might be making a slight upwards turn (from horrible to merely really bad), but today it's gotten even WORSE.

CTR down 20%
EPC down 48%
CPM down 58%

I get this CPM from the stinking NON TARGETED BANNER AD COMPANIES!

Oh, and you know why I think this is the case? About 75% of the ads shown are OFF TOPIC!

10:00 pm on Apr 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

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TonysDesign, all you can do is paraphrase the reply - you cant list it verbatim
10:04 pm on Apr 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Tony: you can explain in general what they told you... very much interesed in it.

I just looked into the channel stats and it looks like this:
- CPC before: $1 to $2 => now 85% less
- CPC before: $0.5 => now 60% less
- CPC before: $0.10 ... $0.20 => now 35% less

I can see this kind of pattern on a medium traffic (high converting) and on a high traffic site (low converting), 500k impressions/day sample. I haven't seen any improvement in ad-targeting yet.

so it appears as if the "high earners" were hit the hardest... on the other side if you were in the $0.10 to $0.20 range before you might actually seen a small increase in earnings by better/different targeting. (a couple of months ago all in a sudden all our ads changed to a different topic which resulted in a 40% higher CTR/income)

10:18 pm on Apr 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I was never earning high $$$ on clicks, and I'm down... way down.
10:20 pm on Apr 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

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The G reply was pretty general (BUT APPRECIATED WINK WINK) and sort of along the lines of the BLACK Thursday email but they said the new changes to advertiser prices and targeting will affect differnt publishlers differently. That maybe our EPC will go down, our click-thru rate may increase do to the more targeted ads (this makes sence and I am seeing a little higher rate). They also said that even tho we are seeing smaller revenues, the changes are ment to affect the LONG term potential, blah blah by getting more advertisers.

They also said to look at my reports for those changes over time.

IMHO, we are a staunch Adsense supporters! We will most likely stick it out to see how it goes on my valuble real-etate that we are giving up on our many sites.

And No I have not came out yet!

10:36 pm on Apr 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I find it interesting that JuniorOptimizer is one of the very few who claim an increase in earnings, yet was recently complaining about getting terminated from Adsense without possibility of further appeal. [webmasterworld.com]
10:36 pm on Apr 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

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We went from peak $XXXX weekdays down to $XXX weekdays so far -- about a 40% drop in revenue since 4/1
10:38 pm on Apr 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I will stick it out in a way also.

I have already changed to a one ad format throughout most of the major site in place of a five ad format. If/when I see an uptrend on those more limited ads I will consider going back to displaying more ads.

10:50 pm on Apr 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I can't begin to tell what today is like until my stats get updated. It's been hours since the last update.
11:01 pm on Apr 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Who was the Adsense guy from Google that used to come on here? Did he get layed off?
11:17 pm on Apr 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

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So far today (at about 7pm Eastern US time) my CTR and EPI (earning per impression) are both up from last Monday.

And that being said, I know at least some of my targeting still seems really bad to me, so things may still improve. I think this system may need "retraining."

I'll give another report in a few days once I really have some meaningful trends, but wanted to combat the it's all doom and gloom sky is falling commentary.

If it weren't for my knowing about the change, I would think today was normal.

Today's not over and there are many hours of stats to go, so things can still change.

11:18 pm on Apr 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

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For what it's worth, my stats for April vs. March:

Impressions down 4%
CTR up 17%
EPC up 25%
Revenue per day up 38%

I do enough statistics in my real job to know that these numbers are likely to be within the bounds of normal variation. Having said that, my site usually shows well targeted ads in a competitive sector, so it may be that I've been one of the luckier ones in this reshuffle. The increased CTR might indicate that targeting is more on topic this month than last. That combined with the increased EPC has given a decent hike in the revenue per day. Whether this holds up in the long term remains to be seen.

11:20 pm on Apr 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

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i doubt he got laid off, but there's really nothing more he can say...we've already heard the speech about how it'll encourage advertisers in the long run and maybe you'll see an increase in earnings blah blah blah...the fact is that i can't wait more than a couple months to see if advertisers are encouraged by such changes and i doubt most of the small guys, who together make a sizable portion of adsense publishers, can't either.
11:23 pm on Apr 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

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"I'll give another report in a few days once I really have some meaningful trends, but wanted to combat the it's all doom and gloom sky is falling commentary."

If you want to cheer up the victims start writing checks for the missing revenue.

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