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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]
Once publishers start leaving en masse, and/or news of thousands of unhappy publishers leaks into mainstream media (not just web sources) things may change.
Publishers aren't going to leave en masse, unless they're publishers that Google doesn't especially want anyway. Why? Because as long as AdSense's effective CPM is higher than what publishers can earn from other sources, most publishers will continue to use AdSense--especially since, as another WW member put it, AdSense is basically "free money" or incremental income that supplements (instead of replacing) existing revenue streams.
Mind you, some of us may put AdSense "below the fold" or use it more selectively if revenues continue to decline and there are other, more productive ways to use our screen real estate. But in most cases, we'll bite the bullet and run at least some ads until we see what the future brings from AdSense or future competitors.
I'm surprised we haven't heard from Jenstar in this thread - her input would be a valuable addition.
Almost every publisher has been hurt by this, most seriously. How can they do this? Easy, they have no obligation to retain their formula and we have no obligation to stay with them. We are free agents and so are they.
But there is nowhere to turn. It's another area where Google has a monopoly. Hats off for them for starting it, but it's hardly in our interests as publishers for them to control the market. We need competitors. In any other industry, players get nervous when their supplier is a monopoly.
I hope this has been a wake-up call and all this Google worship has been put to rest. We need competitors and we need them now!
I'm not selling anything but advertise with Google only to draw new visitors.
My traffic tend to return often since I provide sports related weather data that changes often. Consequently I can make a decent buck just from advertising.
I pay the minimum for traffic ($.05 per click)and have not paid any less or more at any time.
My CTR from search pages was about 5% and 0.5% from targeted sites. It has stayed about the same on seach pages but dropped to 0.3% on targeted pages this month.
But there is nowhere to turn. It's another area where Google has a monopoly.
Google doesn't have a monopoly. If you don't like AdSense, you can choose from other ad networks or hundreds (thousands?) of affiliate programs.
IMHO, if you depend completely on AdSense for a living, you should have been seeking other revenue streams all along. Now, obviously, it's more important than ever to diversify your sources of income.
We need competitors and we need them now!
The only player that can compete with Google at this stage is Overture, and I'm not sure if they're interested in expanding their program to this level.
Of course, Yahoo and MSN could rival AdSense, however they are way behind in the game and it could take many months before they can launch such a program.
Funny thing is MSN and Yahoo have are currently running Overture ads. It should be only a matter of time before they ditch Overture and jump into the game themselves.
I compared figures for this month, including an incomplete today, against the all time averages for this year. That's a huge number of impressions.
Imps EPC EPM
4/1 107.00% 121.85% 110.53%
4/2 083.81% 107.56% 104.40%
4/3 066.15% 088.90% 084.60%
4/4 074.05% 093.97% 076.94%
4/5 101.92% 085.73% 073.59%
4/6 068.54% 112.03% 127.42% [incomplete day]
Thank you for providing us with this feedback. We appreciate your concern
about decreased revenue. Our recent enhancements to advertiser pricing and
to our targeting will affect publishers in different ways and at different
times. While your earnings per click may decrease, your clickthrough rate
may also increase due to the increased relevancy of the ads on your pages.
In addition, although you are currently seeing reduced revenue, these
changes are intended to increase the long-term revenue potential of the
AdSense program by driving increased advertiser participation in the
Google content network.
Your AdSense reports will give you a good idea of the effect of these
changes over time.
GOOGLESPEAK: We appreciate your concern about decreased revenue.
ENGLISH TRANSLATION: We appreciate the revenue we've taken from the traffic your websites produce.
GOOGLESPEAK: Our recent enhancements to advertiser pricing and to our targeting will affect publishers in different ways and at different times.
ENGLISH TRANSLATION: We haven't figured out how to take every last dime from everybody yet but our crack team of programmers is working 24/7 on it.
GOOGLESPEAK: While your earnings per click may decrease, your clickthrough rate may also increase due to the increased relevancy of the ads on your pages.
ENGLISH TRANSLATION: We're going to count all the clicks but under report your traffic. This will make it look like you're getting a higher clickthrough rate.
GOOGLESPEAK: In addition, although you are currently seeing reduced revenue, these changes are intended to increase the long-term revenue potential of the
AdSense program by driving increased advertiser participation in the Google content network.
ENGLISH TRANSLATION: We think advertisers will watch us put the screws to publishers and see it as a business opportunity. We figure most of them won't notice they're not paying any less while we pocket the difference.
GOOGLESPEAK: Your AdSense reports will give you a good idea of the effect of these changes over time.
ENGLISH TRANSLATION: Read 'em and weep, baby.
Frankly, I'm surprised that more people aren't complaining about mistargeted ads. The ads on my site today are ludicrous, whereas before 4/1/04 they were right on target.
I reported some examples of wildly mistargeted ads to Google yesterday. They requested URLs and screen shots, which I provided. I then got a reply that said "the ads you are receiving are currently related to topics discussed in the content of your pages." I guess that's true if ads for marble countertops, vanities, and fireplaces or marble floors are considered related because the word "marble" happens to be mentioned in a review of a luxury hotel.
(Mind you, the ads for marble don't appear in that hotel review all the time. Sometimes I see ads for "mahogany entrance doors" or "wood screen and storm doors," presumably because the word "door" is on the page. I don't know where the ad for "wrought iron" came from, though, because there's no mention of iron--wrought or otherwise--on the page.)
Sheesh. No wonder my CTR and EPC are dropping. If this is how Google's improved ad targeting works, I'd hate to be an advertiser relying on the new variable-pricing algorithm to get maximum value per click.