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adsense inventory terrible for November start

did the best advertisers just kill their budgets?!

     
2:15 am on Nov 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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The good news is that one of my websites had more visitors than ever before today.

The bad news is that I was watching the ads and they went from the decent ads in October to absolutely terrible ones at midnight November 1st.

I am used to terrible rates at the end of the month as budgets dry up but wow this was a bad day for me. Click rate was half of what it is normally.

4:52 am on Nov 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Adsense is not a put-up-the-codes-and-wait-for-the-checks type of revenue source.

Sure, it is. What's more, people here need to stop obsessing about EPC and focus on the numbers that really count: effective CPM and monthly revenues.

6:06 am on Nov 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

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see EFV, with all due respect we work towards increasing the pageviews keeping the current EPC, CPM or whatever you may wanna call it in mind. When you finally get a 20% increase in traffic, its work well done. But when you get rewarded with that effort by a 20% reduction in revenue from what you were making even before the growth, it really hurts.

While I agree there is little to be gained by raging over our "losses" sometimes a pattern emerges which makes us see how we may be able to fix the "problem". I think at least this much is proven that the reduction is not by adsense otherwise all of us would be seeing this. I also believe that my EPC decreased on same day that my internal PR decreased, leading to traffic loss. Not just that but the results go to the 4th or 5th page from the 2nd or 3rd. The people that do come to the website now are unlikely to convert into sales. I think thats wat smart pricing is doing, and thus the reduction in EPC.

I wonder if any of you who have a reduction in EPC have noticed difference in SERPS for your keywords or decrease in sessions specifically from Google.

8:03 am on Nov 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Sure, it is. What's more, people here need to stop obsessing about EPC and focus on the numbers that really count: effective CPM and monthly revenues.

In my case - all of the above are down. On all three of my sites. My page impressions are up however.

Clearly, adsense is not pushing ads like they did last month.

However, November is not a big advertising month except for specific industries. i.e. retail, restaurants, grocery stores -- many industries see a decline in business during November and December

9:40 am on Nov 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

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see EFV, with all due respect we work towards increasing the pageviews keeping the current EPC, CPM or whatever you may wanna call it in mind.

And if that's not working over the longer term (I'm not talking the usual one-day/one-week panics we get here sometimes) then it's time to try another strategy. Like new content on related subject areas, like starting new sites in completely different fields (or buying them), like adding fresh content to your existing pages....

But, obsessing about EPC (or impressions) is not the answer; it never was. If you can see the broader picture you'll be very sucessful with Adsense.

When you finally get a 20% increase in traffic, its work well done (but earnings are down 20%)

It could be the quality of traffic is lower, it could be that some major advertisers closed campaigns. Let it go. Concentrate on the site/the quality of content/adding new quality content.
2:46 pm on Nov 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

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It could be the quality of traffic is lower, it could be that some major advertisers closed campaigns.

Exactly. And, as Joeychgo points out, it could be seasonal factors.

In my opinion, it's more productive to focus on a long-range growth strategy than to obsess over squeezing out the last nickel from AdSense by constantly fiddling with colors, ad placement, keywords on the page, etc.

4:38 pm on Nov 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I dont advocate obsessing about EPC -- that is a worthless exercise. But I have found Adsense to be a moving target, that you just cant rest on your laurels. Otherwise, you'll find your revenues shrinking. There are just too many variables at play that you have to constantly keep up with what have made your site work in the first place.

I know you need to do these things even WITHOUT Adsense -- adding content, building traffic, improving customer experience, etc. But Adsense adds another dimension to it -- things that I cannot just ignore and forget that I put up the code.

In terms of content creation, for example, while the ideal would be to simply think about what my customers want, now I have to include in the equation the question -- will this type of content maximize my Adsense revenues? Not that I want to build for-Adsense content. But it sure factors in the decision process, esp. considering the fact that I have limited resources at my disposal in terms of content creation (eg limited time, limited resources to pay for my writers, etc.). So I have to ask -- how will I balance what my customers want and what topics will give me the most return for my money? I run multi-topic websites and I have tracked them using channel data to know the types of topic that do well.

Right now, my strategy is to focus on building up on the topics that I haven't covered as much as the others, topics that also happen to give me the most in terms of EPM. And things are looking up as my Adsense revenues continue to increase without fail month after month. I keep my customers happy, and I am happy as I deposit my check in the bank. That's what I call a win-win situation :o)

5:19 pm on Nov 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

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"Clearly, adsense is not pushing ads like they did last month."

This doesn't make sense. Just because some people see revenue down for a month, it doesn't mean anything, let alone 'clearly'. Adsense (Google) doesn't push anything - it is the advertisers that drive your income.

Keep in mind that many people are having a great November.

8:46 pm on Nov 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Keep in mind that many people are having a great November.

While reading this topic i've heard people saying they are having a bad November, A normal November, but no one is saying they are having a great November apart from a few days at a time.

I don't believe EPC has gone UP on any topic. Just stayed the same or dropped.

8:53 pm on Nov 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Keep in mind that many people are having a great November.

I've been pleasantly surprised by how good November has been so far. Traffic and earnings are a bit down from October, but that's normal for my topic at this time of year. CPM for Nov 1-12 is considerably higher than for the same period last year, and the increase in revenue is 5 times the increase in traffic. Clearly, early predictions that AdSense would be a flash-in-the-pan phenomenon weren't correct.

9:05 pm on Nov 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

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The other day between noon and 1:15pm were GREAT for me!

It's been said time and time again that measuring your Adsense results on a daily basis is just too short term to be meaningful. Even looking at week to week or month long figures can be pretty misleading.

It's only the 12th of the month, there is no way to predict how the month will end.

Having said that, at the moment, I'm quite happy with Novembers numbers, I'm far ahead of where I'd expect to be based on the previous 3, or even 6 months.

On the other hand, the first few days of the month had me looking around for my tin cup and a good corner to pan-handle on.

Who knows, by the end of the month I may be glad they give out free Thanksgiving Day meals down at the mission.

9:11 pm on Nov 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

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>>but no one is saying they are having a great November

It's been the best month ever for me so far.

>> I don't believe EPC has gone UP on any topic
Wrong.

Guys, there is no conspiracy. Adsense isn't trying to fiddle you. They don't have some secret plan to start you off high and then gradually reduce payouts. The program is subject to normal variation in number of advertisers, how much they are spending, what competition is out there for their ads and other factors. Sorry, but the conspiracy just isn't there and the more you look for it the more you are wasting time that you could spend doing something more useful.

10:48 pm on Nov 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

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nope proved again i dint waste my time. thanks for ur suggestions folks. the news that its going good for others is helping me think positively. it could be seasonal or it could be quality of traffic. i think in my case it is the latter and even if it isnt; at least its making me work harder towards link and content. Thanks for the suggestions people; u r all like a big family; thats y i love this forum.
11:27 pm on Nov 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Best month ever. By FAR! But the funny thing is that in October, I had doubled traffic but EPM (largely because of EPC) dropped so much that a 100% increase in traffic led to only a 30% increase in revenue. This month, my traffic has dropped by about 40% but revenue is up yet another 20%. I don't get it. It seems as Octobers brilliant performance has somehow been transfered to November. The following are mere specualations (that happen to fit my swings in traffic and revenue).

(1) There is a revenue cap on sites that gets adjusted from time to time depending on past traffic and circumstances. When a site starts earning a substantial more than the cap, the EPC is turned down. But a new cap eventually is made to reflect the increased traffic (earnings) eventually. So my October earnings increase more slowly than I expect, followed by a change in the cap, followed by better than expected November earnings. It seems like one way limit fraud committed by the fly-by-night adsense scammers.

(2) Adsense algorithm is playing with supply and demand. As you increase traffic to them, their algorithm interprets that as an indication that you're overly satisfied with the price you recieve and hence they can reduce the EPM (by turning down the % of EPC). When you decrease traffic to them, that indicates to their algorithm that you are not satisfied and so they should up your EPM (again by turing the EPC % up). This also could explain why more traffic equals only slightly increased revenues. In a sense, this kind of filter/algorithm dampens the swings of adsense.

BUT both theories (shouldn't even be called theories)are wild speculation. Like Whizkiddo, I am merely trying to understand what seems to me to be a consistent relationship between traffic and EPM: Revenue does not increase or decrease as fast as traffic.

8:58 am on Nov 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

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>>BUT both theories (shouldn't even be called theories)

I'd call them theories - "conspiracy theories" ;)

5:07 pm on Nov 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

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"wasting time that you could spend doing something more useful"

I agree!
I wish i would have heeded this advice earlier.
Rough seas these adsense waters,up and down and up and down......makes me woozy.......
Ignore most of the waves in earnings,they are normal,add content, do your best to conform to the standards and just keep building and or diversify as well.

6:52 am on Nov 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

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One common factor for the people who have seen a drop (including me) is that it started at the beginning of November. Why is it only affecting some people and what did Google do to have this affect. For my site, Daily revenue fell by about 300% starting November 1st and has continued to gradually decline since.

For those who are losing money, are you using multiple Adsense ads per page? My pages started to only display one contextual ad per page the rest of the Adsense ads on the page are only displaying alternate ads. This also started the first of November.

3:27 pm on Nov 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Guys, there is no conspiracy. Adsense isn't trying to fiddle you. They don't have some secret plan to start you off high and then gradually reduce payouts. The program is subject to normal variation in number of advertisers, how much they are spending, what competition is out there for their ads and other factors. Sorry, but the conspiracy just isn't there and the more you look for it the more you are wasting time that you could spend doing something more useful.

I don't believe that Google are trying to fiddle us. However I am convinced that the Red Queen Effect ("it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place") is real.

Many people, including me, have consistently seen that if traffic goes up significantly then EPC goes down, CPM falls and earnings either grow slowly or diminish.

Of course there are dozens of possible reasons for this effect, of which the smart pricing algo is just one. But for me at least the Red Queen Effect is real.

Since this directly affects our income it is only human nature - if not necessarily an efficient use of time - to try to understand it.

4:02 pm on Nov 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

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One common factor for the people who have seen a drop (including me) is that it started at the beginning of November. Why is it only affecting some people and what did Google do to have this affect. For my site, Daily revenue fell by about 300% starting November 1st and has continued to gradually decline since.

Could it be seasonal variation? Some topics do better as winter and the holidays approach; some do worse.

Also, "smart pricing" could be a factor. Presumably Google adjusts its smart-pricing algorithm, either for general categories of content (forums, editorial pages, e-commerce pages, etc.) or for specific sites as it accumulates conversion data over time.

For those who are losing money, are you using multiple Adsense ads per page? My pages started to only display one contextual ad per page the rest of the Adsense ads on the page are only displaying alternate ads.

I've had a noticeable drop in EPC and CPM and very little increase in total revenues each time I've experimented with multiple AdSense boxes. The second box has often displayed only one ad. I have an editorial site, and I've come to the conclusion that the "clutter factor" of extra ads (and the possible loss of credibility with readers, reviewers, and PR people) isn't worth the tiny increase in revenue. Plus, the extra ads may distract readers from my handpicked affiliate links (which seem to be worth a good deal more than ads in secondary AdSense boxes).

5:19 pm on Nov 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

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The sad fact for me is that my click through rate is way down. More and more sites in my field are using adsense and there seems to be less variety of ads. I've tried different ad types and arrangements earlier so I donít see that as a solution. There is not much I can do about it other than work on increasing traffic.

For me there was a bit of an adsense boom in the summer and now the bubble is burst. Not that I am complaining about what I earn now. It's a nice bit of spending money, just a disappointment after the boom.

7:10 pm on Nov 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I also had a summer boom, and feel the same,its still good but after that a little disappointing.
Hopefully there'll be another up wave soon and if you're adding content in the meantime, it should only get better.
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